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#02-19-2013 - ComFish News Roundup

Public comments weeded out of Alaska pesticide permit process
Laurel Andrews
February 18, 2013
Next month, state agencies seeking to use chemical pesticides on state land will undergo a new application process that no longer includes public comment or review, due to new regulations adopted by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation on Feb. 6. Opponents say years of public opposition to the spraying of pesticides has been circumvented by the new regulations, and claim they pose a danger to public health and safety. Supporters call the move a way to streamline a process that was overly burdensome. The new regulations replace the permit application process with the requirement that agencies develop an Integrated Pest Management Plan (IPM) and submit it to the DEC, who will then post the plans on its....

Trout Unlimited Distances Itself from New Sealaska Lands Bill
Trout Unlimited Sets the Record Straight
February 18, 2013
(SitNews) Juneau, Alaska - A conservation group this weekend said it does not support a plan by Alaska's delegation to allow an Alaska Native-owned corporation to acquire roughly 70,000 acres of the Tongass National Forest for logging, energy and tourism development. Saturday, Trout Unlimited, the nation’s oldest and largest coldwater fisheries conservation organization, announced that contrary to a misleading media release issued by Sealaska Corporation, it does not support newly introduced legislation....

Top Chef expected to lure ‘foodies’ to Last Frontier, try Alaska seafood
By Matt Miller
Posted on February 18, 2013 at 6:49 am
Last Wednesday marked the premiere showing of the last episode produced in Juneau for the popular cooking competition show Top Chef: Seattle. Crews filmed, or taped cooking segments last August at various locations around the Capital City, including at a waterfront eatery, a salmon bake, on a nearby glacier, and at the Governor’s House. All of the local residents and officials were contractually-prohibited from saying anything about the production or even acknowledging that it ever happened. At least until now......

The House Fisheries Committee Takes Testimony About Derelict Vessels in Alaska
The State of Alaska has a problem with derelict vessels and lawmakers in Juneau are looking at how to address the situation. KDLG's Mike Mason has the story. (5:10)......

Wastewater bill on final leg of journey
After recent defeat of five amendments, Senate scheduled bill for today
Posted: February 18, 2013 - 8:47pm  |  Updated: February 19, 2013 - 12:09am
The issue of cruise ship wastewater is set to make what is perhaps its final appearance in the Legislature today. House Bill 80, legislation aimed at changing water quality requirements for cruise ships and other large passenger vessels in Alaska waters....

Northwest Cook: Plank cooking a smokin' good idea
By Katherine Miller, The Oregonian
February 19, 2013 at 6:00 AM, updated February 19, 2013 at 6:06 AM
There's something a little unnerving about being in a crowd where seemingly everyone -- except you -- is wearing camo print. Although I'm an avid hiker and camper, my love of the outdoors doesn't include fishing, hunting or ATVs. But for several years now, the annual Pacific Northwest Sportsmen's Show has had a popular cooking component, and I figured it was high time I checked it out. After picking up my press pass at the Portland Expo Center, I meandered up and down the rows of vendors and found a world wholly new to me -- one of......

Opinion: Kulluk incident not about Arctic drilling
Posted 02/18/2013
by Captain Peter Turner - for the Cordova Times
The incident involving the Kulluk and its towing vessel has no relation to any drilling operation. Drilling in Arctic in the offshore US waters relates leased areas of the Chukchi Sea, the Bering Sea and the Beaufort Sea. The Kulluk was being towed well south of these seas, and had nothing to do....

Oops: Obama Cited a Pro-ANWR Drilling Report While Touting Energy Policy in His State of the Union Address
Feb. 19, 2013 11:04am Becket Adams
President Obama during his State of the Union address last week cited a report that calls for expanded offshore drilling and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), according to a report from the Washington Free Beacon (WFB). Considering his administration’s anti-drilling history, this comes as a bit of a shock. The moment occurred when the president proposed establishing an “energy security trust,” citing.....

February 19, 2013
Fed IG auditing NOAA policies
By Richard Gaines
Staff Writer
After issuing a series of investigative reports exposing excessive enforcement on the part of federal fisheries agents, the U.S. Commerce Department’s Office of Inspector General has now turned to auditing how NOAA carried out and implemented policies that have transformed fisheries into commodity markets — and are being blamed for job losses and consolidation throughout the industry. NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco, who has resigned effective at the end of February, was the moving force for the so-called catch share commodification in President Obama’s first term, having......

Gulf of Mexico fish farms move closer to reality
The possibility of Gulf of Mexico aquaculture moved another step closer to reality this month. But the small step forward – mainly adding a few rules for the proposed fish farming – caused fishers and environmentalists to once again speak out against an idea they fear will unfairly compete against local....