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#05-17-2013 - ComFish News Roundup

Click for 9am update today 
Togiak Sac Roe Herring Update... Good Weather and Lots of Fish
2:32 PM THU MAY 16, 2013
The massive Togiak Sac Roe Herring Fishery is rolling right along with nearly half of the total quota already harvested. KDLG's Mike Mason has the details..... .......Update today at 9am 15,245 tons harvested

4:45 PM THU MAY 16, 2013
BBEDC and the Bristol Bay Borough Mayor Support Fritz Johnson for the Board of Fish
A campaign is underway to drum up support for a local Bristol Bay fishermen to be appointed to the Alaska Board of Fisheries. KDLG's Mike Mason has the story....

Non-pelagic trawlers hit halibut limit in Gulf, BSAI plaice TAC achieved
May 16, 2013 - 04:48 PM
Vessels using trawl gear in the Gulf of Alaska cannot target deep-water species from May 18 to July 1. The National Marine Fisheries Service, or NMFS, announced today that the directed trawl fishery for deep-water species had reached its second seasonal apportionment of halibut. The deep-water species fisheries include sablefish (or black cod), rockfish, deep-water flatfish, rex sole and arrowtooth flounder, but does not apply to the rationalized rockfish program....

Alaska Air Cargo Delivers Season's First Copper River Salmon to Seattle
Joint Base Lewis-McChord reservist to battle Seattle chefs in annual 'Copper Chef Cook-off'
5/17/2013 6:21:22 AM
SEATTLE — Alaska Air Cargo delivered the season's first shipment of Copper River salmon today to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The arrival of the coveted Copper River salmon marks the start of the summer salmon season and is anticipated by seafood lovers throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond. The Alaska Airlines plane arrived early this morning with Copper River king and sockeye salmon from three seafood processors: Ocean Beauty Seafoods, Trident Seafoods and Copper River Seafoods. At least four more Alaska Airlines flights today will transport salmon from Cordova, Alaska, to Anchorage, Alaska, Seattle and across the United States....

NOAA Will Look at an ESA Listing for the Iliamna Lake Seals
The Federal Government is starting the process to determine if the harbor seals that call Iliamna Lake home should be listed under the Endangered Species Act. On Thursday NOAA Fisheries announced that a status review will be undertaken to determine if the Iliamna Lake seals are a distinct population segment of the Pacific harbor seal. The review will also look at whether or not the seals should be listed as threatened or endangered. The status review is in response to a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity to list the seals under the Endangered Species Act. Estimates vary but the Center for....
Fishing regulations change for Yukon River
May 16, 2013
...........A permit is no longer required when using a drift gillnet to harvest chinook salmon in portions of the Yukon River waters adjacent to federal management units within Subdistricts 4B and 4C.....

Feds oppose smaller Sealaska land bill
By Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska News
Posted on May 16, 2013 at 4:23 pm
A new, smaller Sealaska land-selection measure faces opposition from the federal government. The legislation would transfer 3,600 acres of the Tongass National Forest to the Southeast-based regional Native corporation. Sealaska’s timberlands have been logged of much of their harvestable trees. Officials say the acreage will keep timber operations going. At a Congressional hearing Thursday, U.S. Forest Service official Jim Peña objected to a.......

Interior Department Releases Draft Rules on 'Fracking'
May 16, 2013|By Chris Klint | Channel 2 News
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced new draft rules governing hydraulic fracturing during oil drilling on federal and Indian lands Thursday, calling them part of a pro-energy Obama administration policy. The new rules, establishing safety standards over “fracking,” which involve injecting water and chemicals into wells to release otherwise inaccessible oil, received more...

May 16, 2013 - 11:25 AM AKST
Japanese group offers fast-track on LNG
A Japanese consortium working on an independent Alaska liquefied natural gas project has completed a feasibility study and given it to state officials.  North Slope producers and TransCanada, who are pursuing their own LNG plant, have also been briefed on the proposal by officials with Japanese-owned Resources Energy Inc., or REI. Gov. Sean Parnell’s support for the plan is critical to its success, said Shun-ichi Shimizu, president and CEO of REI in a May 13 interview with the Journal. Parnell has so far supported a proposal by major North Slope producers and TransCanada, a pipeline company, for a gas pipeline and LNG project. REI brings something new, however: Customers for LNG.......

KMXT's Alaska Fisheries Report
May 16, 2013
Coming up this week, Copper River opens, Togiak opens, Kodiak is a little slow and they’re done in Seymour Canal. Plus, why does the largest CDQ group want to get even bigger? The Alaska Fisheries Report was made possible with contributions from KCHU’s Tony Gorman in Valdez, KSKA’s Ellen Lockyer in Anchorage, KDLG’s Mike Mason in Dillingham, KFSK’s Matt Lichtenstein in Petersburg, and KUCB’s Stephanie Joyce in Unalaska....

Petersburg celebrates 55th Little Norway Festival
By Shelly Pope
The 55th Little Norway Festival begins today and Petersburg is ready to celebrate. This festival celebrates Syttende Mai or May 17, the signing of Norway's Constitution in 1814. Over the more than 50 years since its beginning, the Little Norway Festival has expanded to celebrate, not only, Norway's Constitution but also U.S. Armed Forces Day and the coming of spring and the beginning of the fishing season. The activities for this celebration run from Thursday to Sunday. The Little Norway Festival is a grand event that comes together with the cooperation of hundreds. Both visitors and locals alike enjoy Petersburg’s rich heritage through music, dance, art.....
MTAB Talks Tustumena Replacement
May 16, 2013
Brianna Gibbs/KMXT
After almost 50 years in service, Alaska will say “goodbye” to the M/V Tustumena. But frequent farers of the Alaska Marine Highway System ferry won’t have to say those goodbyes just yet. KMXT’s Brianna Gibbs has more. During the Marine Transportation Advisory Board meeting on Tuesday in Juneau, board members discussed the lengthy process of replacing the ship. AMHS General Manager Captain John Falvey said a new ferry is still five years out. “September of 2015 hopefully we’re building, if everything is perfect. And we talk about how long it takes to construct a ship, probably 2-3 years to construct a 325-foot ship.....

Alaska ferry system considers raising rates
Published: May 16, 2013 Updated 10 hours ago
The Associated Press
KODIAK, ALASKA — The Alaska Marine Highway System is considering raising its rates for traveling aboard the state's ferries in order to deal with a pared down operating budget approved by lawmakers this spring. Officials informed the state's public advisory board this week that the ferry system will end its discount program, according to a story in Thursday's Kodiak Daily Mirror......

Chinooks wins Alaska Seafood Contest
By Heidi Zemach
May 16, 2013
Chinooks Restaurant of Seward took first place at the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s second annual Great Alaska Seafood Cook-off. The win was an improvement from last year when the restaurant’s team placed second in the same competition. The live competition featured finalists from around the state of Alaska culled from around 20 entrants at the Bill Sheffield Railroad Depot on May 8. Chinook’s Chef Kevin Lane and Lori LeMaster, who owns Chinooks with her husband Dan Butts, were the winning team from a field of competitors that included Anchorage chefs.....

Sablefish entrée is a winner for Seward chef
Posted 05/17/2013
by - Margaret Bauman
A seafood chef from Seward will be representing Alaska in the Great American Seafood Cook-off in New Orleans in August, thanks to his creativity in an entrée spotlighting sourdough-crusted sablefish. Chef Kevin Lane of Chinooks Waterfront, with restaurant owner Katherine LeMaster as his assistant, took first prize May 8 at the 2013 Great Alaska Seafood Cook Off in Anchorage. Lane also competed in 2012, placing second......

SEAPA Study – Waste of Ratepayers’ Money
By Bob Sivertsen
May 16, 2013
The Southeast Alaska Power Agency (SEAPA) is a nonprofit wholesale power provider, not a monopoly as recently alleged. As a nonprofit, revenues are invested back into the Agency's operations and maintenance, and most years, rebates are given back to the member communities, all of which benefit our communities. Revenues are not pocketed by owners or stockholders. Working through contracts with the member communities, including the Power Sales.......

Arctic states open council to China, India, SKorea
Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2013 10:29 am
Associated Press | 2 comments
KIRUNA, Sweden - Arctic states agreed Wednesday to let nations that are located nowhere near the Earth's north to become observers to their diplomatic council, boosting rising economic powers China, India and South Korea, which are seeking to mine the region for its untapped energy and other natural resources.....