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#02-16-2013 - ComFish News Roundup

Record filed in observer lawsuit, new association may intervene
Feb 15, 2013 - 01:30 PM
The administrative record was filed today in the lawsuit over the observer program implemented by National Marine Fisheries Service in January. The Boat Company sued the National Marine Fisheries Service in December over the observer program that was implemented this month, saying the new program does not provide adequate information to address bycatch of halibut and chinook salmon in the Gulf of Alaska. NMFS filed....

Rep. Young Introduces Legislation to Prohibit Aquaculture In Federal Waters 2/14/13
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Alaskan Congressman Don Young today introduced legislation that would prohibit the Secretary of Interior and the Secretary of Commerce from authorizing commercial finfish aquaculture operations in the federal Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) unless specifically authorized by Congress. “If not properly managed, farmed fish can be a significant threat to the health of Alaska’s wild stocks and the health of our oceans,” Rep. Young said.  “Alaska’s seafood industry is one of the largest employers in the state, and today’s legislation will  preserve Congress’ prerogative to determine what type of aquaculture programs should and should not be conducted in our waters and those adjacent to our waters.”  Congress has never authorized open ocean aquaculture or provided a legislative framework for managing finfish farms in the EEZ. This legislation has not yet been assigned a bill number.

My Turn: Growing sea otter population in Southeast Alaska focus of upcoming symposium
Posted: February 15, 2013 - 12:02am
Sea otters, which were hunted to extinction in Southeast Alaska during the 18th and 19th century fur trade, were reintroduced in the 1960s. In this region, 403 animals were transplanted to six sites, predominantly on the outer coast. The population is now estimated at about 25,000 and ranges continuously along the outer coast of Southeast Alaska and interior areas including Glacier Bay. The Glacier Bay population is particularly interesting because it.....

Wrangell: Port Commission discusses new MSC lease space
February 14, 2013
The Wrangell Port Commission discussed the storage of boats in the Ritchie Yard at the corner of Case Avenue and Shakes Street during their regular meeting on Feb. 11 – and also talked of plans to open up new lease space at the Marine Service Center. Harbormaster Greg Meissner said the reason for opening up new space for storage, as well as four new working lease areas is simple. “We’ve just run out of room,” he said.....

If you can't beat it, label it
February 15th 2:07 pm | Hannah Heimbuch      
Alaska's Representative Don Young introduced a House Resolution last week that would require genetically engineered fish to be labeled before it goes to market. H.R. 584 is the congressional response to a proposal the Federal Food and Drug Administration. The company AquaBounty Technologies is seeking approval for production of a hybrid salmon that uses a Chinook growth gene, as...

OPINION: Pebble a reminder that southwest needs jobs
February 15th 2:13 pm | Nels Anderson, Jr.      
The opinion piece by Melvin Andrew, "My Personal Pebble", expresses clearly what is driving people toward Pebble. The regional corporations and village corporations are not providing regional economic opportunities for people to work, feed their families, and deliver economic security. The Bristol Bay Native Corporation and Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation are the richest organizations in the Bristol Bay region but they do not have an economic development plan that will equal what Pebble is doing to provide new jobs for residents of our Bristol Bay villages.
People need work and will migrate out of the region or move toward work at Pebble to provide money to feed their....

OPINION: Hydroelectric plant would deter visitors
February 15th 2:12 pm | Jonathan A. Friedman, M.D.    
Dear Senator Micciche and Committee Members:
I am writing in opposition to SB32, proposed by Senator L. McGuire, which would permit development and operation of a hydroelectric plant at Chikuminuk Lake in Wood-Tikchik State Park. I live in Texas and each summer bring my family (and frequently other friends and family) to Alaska for a wilderness experience in different parts of the state.  For the upcoming summer, a group of ten of us (my family and another....

SEAPA puts out a call for new power proposals
by Leila Kheiry
February 15, 2013 4:16 PM
Energy is an ongoing topic across the nation, including Alaska. In Southeast, a regional power agency is looking for new sources of electricity, and will consider proposals for any kind of power generation concept. Southeast Alaska Power Agency officials gave some details about their call for power at a recent Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce lunch. Southeast Alaska needs more power. Even those communities with multiple hydroelectric dams rely more and more on expensive backup diesel generators as the demand for power increases each year. Part of the problem is reliability. Hydro power is plentiful when it rains – and it rains a lot in Southeast – but when there’s a dry spell like last October, lake levels drop. When those levels hit a certain point, operators have to power down the hydro generators, and start burning diesel.....

Seward: Power mills spin up
February 14, 2013
In less than nine months, the Alaska Vocational Technical Center wind turbine has generated over 85,000 kWh of electricity with only a little downtime here or there. The windmill’s generator systems were wired into the City of Seward electrical grid last May as the first utility interconnect of this sort for the city’s electric department. The system has averaged 13 kilowatts ever since, much of that helping power Seward, albeit largely just the buildings on the AVTEC campus. Dan Logan is the keeper of the tower, a landmark feature of the Seward skyline. As part of his duties Logan heads up the AVTEC educational program involving industrial power generation. It’s a multidisciplinary curriculum which combines delicate process control wiring with diesel engine mechanics. In keeping with AVTEC’s mission, the Northern Power Systems wind turbine is....

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