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#04-30-2013 - ComFish News Roundup

Petersburg holds 2013 blessing of the fleet

by Matt Lichtenstein
April 30, 2013 6:30 am
Petersburg fishermen and their families, local officials, clergy and other community residents gathered in the Sons of Norway Hall on a rainy Sunday afternoon for the town’s annual Blessing of the Fleet. The ceremony is organized by the Petersburg Ministerial and Vessel Owners associations as well as the Sons of Norway. The custom is repeated in coastal communities throughout the state each spring as the busy summer fishing season draws near.....

Fish Factor
Crafting of Bycatch Reduction Plan for Trawl Groundfish Fisheries
April 29, 2013
SitNews - Fishing industry stakeholders and federal managers in June will begin crafting a bycatch reduction plan for trawl groundfish fisheries in the Gulf.  It will include some form of catch share plan, and as the main delivery port for more than $100 million worth of pollock, cod, flats and other fishes, Kodiak is closely guarding any giveaways. It’s similar to a chess game, said Duncan Fields, a lifelong Kodiak fisherman and a member of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council charged with designing the new plan. “You have multiple moving pieces and every time you move a piece, it impacts all other pieces on the board,” Fields explained at a recent panel discussion in Kodiak.  “You have your queen and your king– those might be....

Sitka's wild-and-crazy herring fishing rodeo facing some harsh realities
Brendan Jones
April 29, 2013
Just as daffodils and groundhogs, cherry trees and robins announce the arrival of spring elsewhere, so the sac roe herring fishery spells the end of winter here in Sitka, Alaska. Seine boats with names like Storm Chaser, Perseverance, Leading Lady, Defiant and Invincible begin to appear on our island from points north and south, often rafting to my tugboat here in Eliason Harbor. The herring fleet holds its collective breath -- generally in the smoky air of the Pioneer Bar -- awaiting the green light from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to begin....   (Discuss at FB)

11:28 AM MON APRIL 29, 2013
Coast Guard Inspectors Coming to Bristol Bay in May and June
The Coast Guard provided an update during the recent "Business of Fish" workshop in Naknek on new and existing regulations for commercial fishermen. Personal with the U.S. Coast Guard will be traveling to the Bristol Bay region in May and June to get the fishing fleet ready for this summer's massive salmon fishery. KDLG's Mike Mason has the details.....

9:25 AM MON APRIL 29, 2013
Native Leaders Call for Subsistence Protections in the Bristol Bay Area Plan
A wide-spread effort is underway to change a document important to the future of the Bristol Bay region. As part of that effort Alaska Native leaders from the region are calling for increased protections for subsistence hunting and fishing. KDLG's Mike Mason reports.....

Apr 26 2013
Begich Statement on Revised Bristol Bay Assessment
U.S. Sen. Mark Begich made the following statement following today’s release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) revised Bristol Bay assessment: “The EPA was asked some tough questions by Alaskans and their own hand-picked peer review panel about how large scale development might affect the rich salmon resources of Bristol Bay. While I remain opposed to a pre-emptive veto of this or any other project, an open, public process that answers Alaskans’ questions and puts better science on the table is a good thing. I look forward to reviewing this assessment and hope it answers questions about whether this project can meet the high hurdle of developing a large-scale mine while protecting our renewable resources.”

Murkowski and Mark Begich, continue to push for Chinook diaster relief
MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013...

New England groundfish cuts go into effect
Wednesday, May 01, 2013, 01:20 (GMT + 9)
Starting this Wednesday, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) will begin enforcing a 77 per cent reduction in the volume of codfish New England fishers can catch in the Gulf of Maine, while the catch limit for cod on Georges Bank will be cut 61 per cent and be valid until 2016. The move prompted a protest rally earlier this week that was attended by many of the state’s top elected officials and fishing crews. The reason for the weaker cod stocks remains a matter of debate: some blame overfishing while others point to climate change and warming waters. Many....

China is plundering the planet’s seas—and it’s doing it 12.5 times more than it’s telling anybody
By Gwynn Guilford @sinoceros 7 hours ago
China might be cracking down on luxury spending in watches, cars, banquets and really foul liquor. But the market for pricey fish parts continues relatively unabated. US border officials recently busted a ring smuggling bladders of an endangered fish used for medicinal Chinese soups (here are some images of these prized bladders). The amount of bladders they seized could have sold for more than $3.6 million, said prosecutors. And there are many other smuggling rings out there. The totoaba, which is native to the Gulf of California, can grow to six feet long and live up to 25 years. Chinese medicine prizes a tubular organ that regulates the totoabas’ buoyancy; the bladder, of sorts, is thought to help promote fertility. According to one report, a similar fish native to Chinese waters called a bahaba, which is coveted...

EPA study cites report from admitted data fakers
12:53 PM 04/29/2013
The Environmental Protection Agency’s revised draft assessment of an Alaska mine project cites research from environmental consultants who admitted falsifying a report in an environmental lawsuit. The EPA’s new review of the potential Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska, relied on research from Stratus Consulting and Ann Maest, the company’s managing scientist. Stratus recently admitted to providing false statements in a decades-long $19 billion lawsuit against the oil company Chevron....

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