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#03-14-2013 - ComFish News Roundup
Otter bounty bill gets good, bad reviews
by Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska News
March 13, 2013 8:19 pm
A bill rewarding sea otter hunters was praised and panned at its first hearing on Wednesday. The measure proposes paying $100 per otter. Only Alaska Natives can legally harvest the protected marine mammals. And federal rules limit processing and sales. The sponsor is Bert Stedman, a Sitka Republican whose district includes Southeast’s outer coast. He wore an otter pelt on his shoulders as he came before.....

Magnuson Stevens Act up for Reauthorization
By Peter Granitz, APRN - Washington DC | March 13, 2013 - 5:30 pm
Congress enacted the Magnuson Stevens Act more than 30 years ago and last amended it in 2006. The bill put an end to foreign fishermen legally harvesting seafood in American waters and stabilized many fisheries by enforcing catch limits. No member of the House Natural Resources Committee present this morning indicated they’d let the program expire. And everyone who testified said it should be continued, though with some.....

Mar 13, 2013 - 04:17 PM AKST
GUEST COMMENTARY: Solution needed for Cook Inlet salmon dilemma
The Anchorage/MatSu region is the major population center in Alaska and the fastest growing area in Alaska. Cook Inlet, an integral part of the region, separates two of Alaska’s major river systems, the Kenai River watershed, on the Kenai Peninsula and the Susitna River watershed, adjacent to Anchorage and the Mat-Su Valley. This area is also unique in that it is centrally located on the only major paved highway system in....

North Pacific Harvesters Earned $1.9 billion in 2011
Commercial fishermen in the North Pacific earned more than $1.9 billion from their commercial harvest of 5.3 billion pounds in 2011, with salmon valued at $565 million dominating landings revenue, a new federal fisheries report says. The total also includes pollock valued at $363 million; crab worth $249 million, and Pacific cod valued at $210 million, according to Fisheries Economics of the United States 2011. Alaska’s seafood industry alone generated $4.7 billion in sales impacts, $2 billion in income.....

Mar 13, 2013 - 04:18 PM AKST
Shell game: state scallop fishery faces scrutiny
A bill extending the limited entry program for scallops is making its way through the Alaska State Senate, but not without scrutiny. On March 11, an amendment to Senate Bill 54 passed in the Resources Committee to shorten the length of the program as a result of concerns raised in hearings from legislators and in public comment about consolidation in the fishery over the last decade under parallel state and federal limited entry. When the bill was introduced by Resources Committee Chair Sen. Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage, in February, it would have extended the program by 10 years until 2023. Before the bill was......

Bill Would Double Cost of Seven-Day Alaska Crewmember Licenses
Legislation introduced by Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer, would double the cost of seven-day crewmember fishing licenses from $30 to $60 in Alaska. Seaton said March 9 that there has been an explosive growth in the number of non-resident fishermen purchasing more than one seven-day license for a fishing season at $30 apiece....

Cuts likely for lower Columbia fall chinook fishing
By Allen Thomas
Columbian Reporter, Outdoors
Thursday, March 14, 2013
State, federal and tribal officials — plus all manner of commercial and sport fishing interests — are in the middle of the month-long process leading to the setting of summer and fall salmon fishing seasons and regulations. It all comes to conclusion in mid-April when the Pacific Fishery Management Council adopts ocean salmon-fishing seasons followed by Washington and Oregon announcing inland fishing rules. And here’s what I think is the biggest news coming out of the process is for lower Columbia River.....