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#03-16-2013 - ComFish News Roundup
Alaska's food for thought
Kreiss-Tomkins, others awarded by teen environmental group
Posted: March 14, 2013 - 10:11pm  |  Updated: March 15, 2013 - 12:14am
As a strong wind howled down 4th Street downtown, many of the legislators they intended to honor were ensconced inside the Alaska State Capitol, deliberating over the state operating budget in a lengthy floor session. But the students were undeterred. High school students from across Alaska gathered in Dimond Courthouse Plaza to barbecue salmon and hand out awards for legislators Thursday at noon, whether they were there or not. The teenagers of the Alaska Youth for Environmental Action were in Juneau this week ....

OPINION: Processors need to pay for quality
March 15th 12:43 pm | Izetta Chambers
I recently wrote an article on how fishermen have been raising the bar on quality in the Bristol Bay. This article has generated some interest, and a few follow up questions. One reader posed a question about how we can get the other half of the fleet to adopt these salmon quality improvements. Here is my response: processors need to start paying for quality. This is a three-pronged approach, which is...

Musical chairs along the Aleutian Chain
March 15th 12:45 pm | Jim Paulin
Musical chairs, or rather municipal chairs, continues among top local government administrators in southwest Alaska. Former Unalaska assistant city manager John Fulton is now the manager of the Bristol Bay Borough. He replaces Pat Jordan, who replaced Fulton down the Chain in Unalaska, where Jordan is now the assistant city manager. Fulton started work at his new job on Feb. 13 with a two-year contract approved by....

Boat storage, renovations top Port Commission agenda
March 14, 2013
A possible change to a City ordinance dealing with the long-term storage of vessels at the Marine Service Center was one of the topics discussed during the Wrangell Port Commission meeting held March 11 at City Hall. A discussion about prioritizing renovations at either Shoemaker Bay or Inner Harbor also took place before the regular meeting during a workshop session. According to Harbormaster Greg Meissner, a possible renovation of Shoemaker would cost as much as $9.75 million and would...

City sues three firms over Anchorage port design, oversight
Published: March 15, 2013 Updated 7 hours ago
JUNEAU -- In a new lawsuit, the Municipality of Anchorage is blaming expensive and complex problems with the Port of Anchorage expansion directly on the engineers that designed it and the firm hired to manage the project. Three companies all failed in their roles in designing, analyzing or overseeing the beleaguered, long-stalled project, the city says in a lawsuit filed March 8 in Anchorage Superior Court.

Fish Factor
Increased Surveys of Halibut Stock Planned
March 15, 2013
SitNews - Halibut scientists plan to expand the yearly Pacific stock assessments by 30% next summer, adding 390 survey stations to the existing 1,300 already in use from Oregon to the Bering Sea. Since 1998 the halibut surveys, which occur from June through October, have been conducted in a depth range of 20 to 275 fathoms where most of the fishing was taking place. But that’s been changing in recent years, said Claude Dykstra, Survey Manager for the International Pacific Halibut Commission. “We’re seeing the catch coming out of the deeper areas, particularly out in Area 4, the Unalaska region, out through the Aleutians and on into the Bering Sea, and we’ve seen shallower water captures being pulled out of....

Surprise: A terrible bill is sailing through Alaska's Legislature
Tara Jollie
March 15, 2013
Senate Bill 26 (SB26) is terrible public policy that drastically alters the sale, exchange, permitting and use of state lands and or water. It passed the House under its sister bill HB77. Obviously, the governor has this on the fast track. Why, one might ask. Approximately 223,205 people (AKDOL, R&A, US Census 2010) -- one third of the total state population, live in unorganized places all across the state. How will this legislation impact their...

March 16, 2013
NOAA economic report seen as 'sham'
Sales, job data doesn't add up, fishermen say
By Richard Gaines
Staff Writer
NOAA's annual statistical progress report on the vitality of the nation's fishing industry, which traditionally accentuates the positive, indicates that 2011 produced the "highest landings volume since 1997 and the highest value" in dollars "ever recorded." The massive document of narrative, charts and figures provided fodder for the testimony Wednesday by Samuel D. Rauch III, the deputy assistant administrator at NOAA, before the House Natural Resources Committee's opening hearing in the lengthy....

Fish farm application rejected over wild salmon concerns
Friday, March 15, 2013, 01:40 (GMT + 9)
Ottawa has rejected an application by Snow Island Salmon Inc to build a fish farm in Shoal Bay over concerns about the risk to nearby wild salmon populations. “This was the first time (Fisheries and Oceans Canada) used the term moderate risk to wild salmon,” specified Sterling Belliveau, fisheries and aquaculture minister. DFO said the proposed Shoal Bay fish farm site posed a “low risk to fish habitat” but....