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#03-20-2013 - ComFish News Roundup

Grocers Won’t Sell Altered Fish, Groups Say
Published: March 20, 2013
Several supermarket chains have pledged not to sell what could become the first genetically modified animal to reach the nation’s dinner plates — a salmon engineered to grow about twice as fast as normal. The supermarkets — including Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s and Aldi —stated their policies in response to a campaign by consumer and environmental groups opposed to the fish. The groups are expected to announce the chains’ policies on Wednesday. The....
GMO Labeling Laws On Deck In Midwest
By Abbie Fentress Swanson and Harvest Public Media
Whole Foods Market recently announced that all products sold in its U-S and Canadian stores containing genetically modified organisms will be clearly labeled as such by 2018. The decision by the grocery chain has pushed this strongly debated food labeling issue into the shopping aisle....

Supreme Court sides with timber industry in runoff dispute, dealing blow to environmentalists
Published March 20,
In a defeat for environmentalists, the Supreme Court on Wednesday sided with the U.S. timber industry in a dispute over whether loggers should have to get special EPA permits because of gravel and dirt falling into nearby waterways. In a 7-1 vote, the court reversed a lower-court ruling which said the run-off from logging sites is the same as any other industrial pollution....

Alaska gas association plans to sue over listing of seals
Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 10:36 am
Associated Press
JUNEAU, Alaska - The Alaska Oil and Gas Association plans to sue over a federal decision to list as threatened two types of ice seals. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced in December that ringed seals and bearded seals in the Arctic Ocean would be protected under....

Without cautious management, Kenai king salmon could flirt with disaster
Ricky Gease
March 19, 2013
In response to the historic sport and commercial fishery closures during 2012, justified by the smallest return of Kenai kings ever observed, the Alaska Board of Fisheries will consider changes in the management of Kenai kings at its upcoming statewide meeting in Anchorage this week. Three issues will be addressed...

Northern Dynasty Responds to Allegation Made By Senator Cantwell
1:35 PM TUE MARCH 19, 2013
Northern Dynasty Minerals has responded to the allegations made earlier this week by U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell that the company was misleading federal officials. In a written statement issued Tuesday Northern Dynasty Minerals President and CEO claimed that Senator Cantwell's concerns have no basis in fact. Cantwell claims that Northern Dynasty Minerals has made contradictory statements to the EPA, the Securities and Exchange Commission and investors about the EPA's draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment and a potential mine plan. Ron Thiessen admits...

Fishing Still Deadliest Profession
Mar 20, 2013
Jay Barrett/KMXT
Crabbing in the Bering Sea may not be the deadliest catch any more, but commercial fishing is still the most dangerous profession in America. According to a study published in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly newsletter, commercial fishing has....

Ketchikan: Boro: Transfer state $ back to state for ferry dock
by Leila Kheiry
March 19, 2013 3:46 PM
The Ketchikan Gateway Borough will look into how it can transfer state grant funds back to the state, in hopes of expediting the Alaska Marine Highway System’s planned Ward Cove moorage facility project. Last June, the borough received about $7.5 million from the Alaska Department of Commerce for a conceptual design and cost estimate for the project. The grant funds have been accepted, but not yet spent. Capt. John Falvey, who runs the Marine Highway System, asked the Ketchikan....

New Airstrip, Road Would Connect Nanwalek, Port Graham
State Officials Seek Public Comment On Plan
Aaron Selbig
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Following a couple of accidents and concerns about overall safety, state planners are proposing a new airport be constructed to serve the villages of Nanwalek and Port Graham. Public comment is being taken about the proposed project now. According to National Transportation Safety Board reports, the existing Nanwalek airstrip is 1,850 feet long by 50 feet wide. It sits at sea level, bordered by the waters of Cook Inlet and by upsloping....

MSC's finds 1% mislabeling rate
The Marine Stewardship Council has released the latest results of its DNA testing program that the organization says validates the organization's Chain of Custody certification process. According the MSC, in the most extensive testing of its labelled products carried out to date – of the 381 samples taken from retail packed products, fresh fish counters, and catering restaurants in 14 different...

Appeals Court Puts Oregon's Gill Net Fishing Rules on Hold – For Now
April 1, 2013
In last November’s election, Oregon voters overwhelmingly rejected Measure 81, which would have banned commercial non-tribal gill net fishing on Oregon’s “inland waters” and allowed the use of seine nets in their stead. The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission (OFWC) overturned the resounding tally of 884,913 votes (66 percent) with just four votes of their own in December. In a controversial 4-2 decision, the commissioners opted to back Gov. John Kitzhaber’s plan to move commercial non-tribal gill-netters off the main stem of the....

Murkowski, Landrieu to unveil Senate energy revenue sharing bill
Washington (Platts)--19Mar2013/625 pm EDT/2225 GMT
Two key US senators Wednesday plan to unveil a new bill that would expand revenue sharing for oil and natural gas production in federal waters, accelerate payments for coastal states and extend payments to renewable energy development. Under the bill, states could receive as much as 37.5% of revenues for offshore energy projects and 50% of...

Administration won’t trade ANWR drilling for clean energy fund
Posted by Juliet Eilperin on March 19, 2013 at 2:36 pm
The Obama administration is not willing to trade drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge for an agreement to establish a new fund to research cleaner automotive technology, one of the president’s advisers said Tuesday. Heather Zichal, deputy assistant to the president on energy and climate change, told reporters at the National Press Club that while the administration is committed to...
Secretary of State John Kerry addresses the Ross Sea
Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 23:00 (GMT + 9)
“The Ross Sea is a natural laboratory,” the Secretary of State said. “We disrespect it at our peril.” These were the first comments about protecting the world’s oceans expressed by John Kerry since becoming Secretary of State at a Washington reception hosted by The Pew Charitable Trusts and he also urged the creation of what would be the globe’s largest marine reserve in Antarctica’s Ross Sea.....

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#01-14-2014 - ComFish News Roundup

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Danish commandos 'monitoring hippies' on Arctic offshore rig #artcticloons

Image by Steve Rhodes via Flickr Alaska Dispatch | May 31, 2011 Armed Danish commandos have (possibly) been summoned to monitor Earth-loving "hippies" clinging to the underbelly of an Arctic deepwater oil rig  off the coast of Greenland , sources say. The environmental non-governmental group  Greenpeace  has published  statements and  video  showing its activists aboard two ships that are attempting to "interfere" with oil exploration going on in the Davis Strait, 100 miles west of Greenland. This business has in turn prompted the Kingdom of Denmark to launch two ships and a few helicopters to monitor the Greenpeace interference. The  Leiv Eriksson  is the source of all this Arctic bait and switch. British oil company  Cairn Energy  is attempting to drill four wells at depths of at least 5,000 feet this summer in "iceberg-strewn sea" with the 53,000-ton offshore oil rig, which has made its way to Arctic waters after a month of failed attempts by Green