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#03-19-2013 - ComFish News Roundup

Alaska senators sponsor hydro improvement act
by Leila Kheiry
March 18, 2013 3:21 PM
Along with other Western senators, Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich are sponsoring the Hydropower Improvement Act of 2013. According to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the bill seeks to increase the nation’s hydropower capacity, to expand clean-power generation and create jobs. Murkowski says that hydropower already supplies 24 percent of Alaska’s electricity....

Senators Call for Proper Labeling of Genetically Modified Salmon

Frankenfish Amendment Added to Senate Continuing Resolution Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich, today announced their next step in protecting Americans from potentially harmful and invasive “Frankenfish” by filing an amendment to the Continuing Resolution being debated on the Senate floor that would require clear and unquestionable labeling of GE salmon when sold to consumers.

The amendment would ensure millions of Americans know the difference between natural salmon cultivated in our streams and oceans rather than in science labs and holding pens.

“When any consumer is clearly presented with an option of natural salmon – particularly from Alaska – against putting some chemistry experiment on their plate, there really is no choice at all,” said Senator Murkowski.  “With all the splicing and the scientific wizardry going on behind the scenes, I’m not even sure they should be labeled as ‘salmon’ in the first place.”

“Alaskans deserve to know what is on their dinner plates, especially if it’s something that was grown in a science lab or was caught across the globe,” said Senator Begich. “With Alaskans world renowned stocks of wild salmon, every effort needs to be made to protect the hard-working fishermen selling a real, wild product from imposters trying to trick consumers.”

As the Food and Drug Administration continues their approval process and comment period on GE salmon – ending April 26th – the push for proper labeling is a critical effort supported by a “Coastal Coalition” in the U.S. Senate, with lawmakers from the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic Oceans all engaged in the fight.

Investigation sought on statements regarding Pebble mine
Posted 03/18/2013
by - Margaret Bauman
Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-WA., is asking for a federal investigation into contradictory information provided by Northern Dynasty Minerals to federal officials regarding the proposed Pebble mine in Southwest Alaska. Cantwell voiced her concerns about potential discrepancies in filing materials provided to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission by Northern Dynasty Minerals in a letter sent March 18.......
Scallop extension passes Senate
Mar 18, 2013 - 12:03 PM
EDIT: This post was updated to reflect confirmation of where SB 54 will go, and information about a companion bill. The Alaska Senate passed a bill to extend the limited entry scallop program in an 18-1 vote this morning. Senate Bill 54 would extend the weathervane scallop and hair crab programs until Dec. 30, 2018. The program has come under scrutiny during earlier hearings, but drew only a little discussion on....
Fish processing vessel grounds on Kodiak Island
Published: March 18, 2013 Updated 15 hours ago
By RACHEL D'ORO — Associated Press
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA — A fish processing vessel that went hard aground on Kodiak Island was struck by other problems earlier this year, including a diesel spill and two ammonia leaks. The 169-foot Pacific Producer grounded in 9-foot tides early Friday while traveling through Ouzinkie Narrows between Kodiak and Spruce islands. The vessel had just left the city of Kodiak....

Kodiak: Old Harbor Seeks Funds to Finish Airport Expansion
Mar 18, 2013
Jay Barrett/KMXT
Representatives from Old Harbor made a pitch to the Senate Transportation Committee Thursday for a few more million dollars to complete expansion of the airport in the community. Carl Marrs is the chief executive officer for the Old Harbor Native Corporation. “You may ask, ‘Why we are expanding the runway?’ Well, the answer to that is that it’s been in the works for some time, but it’s been too costly. Our community was dying," he....

Southwest Alaska towns hope to share in Arctic oil boom
Jim Paulin Dutch Harbor Fisherman
March 18, 2013
Forget the troubled Kulluk oil drillship's $6 million tax break. That's small potatoes compared to the much bigger multiples of millions in oil money that local Alaska governments want. The coming of Big Oil to Southwest Alaska -- fueled by offshore oil drilling farther north in the Arctic -- puts big and expensive burdens on municipal services, and representatives of local governments want federal policy changed to give the communities money to pay for impacts to roads, schools, hospitals, airports and more.....

Small boat harbor in Bethel being dredged
Posted: Monday, March 18, 2013 12:40 pm
Associated Press
BETHEL, Alaska - Dredging has begun in the small boat harbor in Bethel to remove built-up sediment. KYUK says the dredging is expected to...

Alaska Fishermen’s Fund jumps to $10K; Visiting Kodiak in mid-April
March 18, 2013 by admin
Fish Radio
March 19, 2013
This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Medical help for injured fishermen. More on the Fishermen’s Fund after this – Federal grants are available to help “Made in America” companies compete with imports and save.....

Judge to rule on stopping salmon release
A small but feisty fish conservation group is asking a federal judge Wednesday to take the unprecedented action of stopping Oregon's seasonal release of juvenile salmon and steelhead in the Sandy River. The Oregon City-based Native Fish Society filed suit against Oregon fishery officials and the National Marine Fisheries Service two years ago, contending releases from the Sandy Hatchery harms threatened salmon....

Sen. Landrieu cool to Obama's 'energy security' fund
By Zack Colman - 03/18/13 10:53 AM ET...

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