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#05-28-2013 - ComFish News Roundup

A sea otter's thick fur makes its body appear ...
A sea otter's thick fur makes its body appear much plumper on land than in the water. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Sea otters/fisheries can’t co-exist in SE AK, report concludes
May 27, 2013 by AdminFish
Fish Radio
May 28, 2013
Sea otters are cleaning out valuable commercial fisheries in Southeast Alaska – they have been at it for decades.  A second report updates the financial hit the otters have caused to the region’s fisheries since 2005.  Both were done by the McDowell Group of Juneau for the Southeast Alaska Regional Dive Fisheries Association (SARDFA)...
Russian scientists ordered to evacuate Arctic research station on ice floe
Fred Weir
The Christian Science Monitor
May 26, 2013
The emergency has sparked a wider debate among Russian Arctic researchers over how to continue their work amid rapidly changing climate conditions, and in an atmosphere in which the race for newly uncovered Arctic resources has become one of the most politically charged issues on the international agenda. "It's getting harder and harder to find a proper block of ice to sustain one of these stations," says Viktor Boyarsky, a former polar explorer and current director of the Russian State Museum of the Arctic and Antarctic in St. Petersburg.

New Unalaska wastewater treatment plant ups monthly utility costs to nearly $300
Jim PaulinDutch Harbor Fisherman
May 26, 2013
Unalaska’s major upgrade of its water and sewer continues to move forward, in compliance with the terms of a consent decree with the federal Environmental Protection Agency..........
..........The city ended up with legal bills of more than a half million dollars for lawyers in Anchorage and Washington, D.C....

Alaskans debate whether religion of Native Alaskans is more important than state salmon fishing rules
ON MAY 27, 2013 AT 8:56 AM
A hot debate is going on in Alaska over whether the religious rights of Native Alaskans are more important than state salmon fishing rules in light of a recent case in which a judge ruled that the needs of salmon trumps everyone's and anyone's religious rights.  The backstory runs thus:  There was an emergency river closure last summer in Alaska by the state in order, they say, to ensure that Chinook salmon made it to their spawning grounds to ensure the run in coming years.  Two dozen Yupik fishermen went fishing anyway, for subsistence reasons–they depend upon the fish to feed their families.  When they were caught by Alaska State Trooper Brett Gibbens,  Gibbens said he found them fishing with an illegally large mesh.  He wrote a citation, and the whole thing wound up in court.   The ACLU got involved. A rally in tandem with the Idle No More movement was held. The defense of the Yupik fishermen rested on a precedent case decided by the Alaska Supreme Court who found previously based on a 35 year old case Frank v. State that subsistence fishing is religiously protected.  Craig Medred of the Alaska Dispatch adds:
The high court ruled in 1979 that....

'They could be coming any second'
Fishing slow, but hope springs eternal at Ninilchik opener
Posted: May 25, 2013 - 9:10pm
By Dan Schwartz
Peninsula Clarion
Art Duran stood by his blue truck eating a sandwich in a dusty parking lot by the Ninilchik River. For about 5 hours he had been fishing for king salmon, he said, but the water was high. As of lunchtime, he hadn’t even a bite. “I know there’s fish in there,” the Sterling resident said. “You just got to find the right spot.” The high waters Saturday had chased all the kings to the eddies on the far side of the river.....

Seward celebrates seafaring tradition
Resurrection Bay, Alaska, USA. Photo taken fro...
Resurrection Bay, Alaska, USA. Photo taken from the parking lot of the Alaska Sea Life Center. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Wolfgang Kurtz
LOG Editor
May 23, 2013
It was a cold and stormy Saturday in Southcentral Alaska with snow falling in Anchorage and Soldotna. However, Seward had a little piece of springtime carved out for Harbor Opening Day as the skies over Resurrection Bay were blue and the sun shown warmly. On the other hand the wind, well, the breeze was rather stiff as a small crowd gathered at the Seward Mariners’ Memorial for the second annual memorial service and Blessing of the Fleet. Dedicated last year under drizzly yet warmer conditions, the....

Anchorage Coast Guard's commander nears year on new job
Posted: Sunday, May 26, 2013 2:00 pm
Mike Nesper / Chugiak-Eagle River Star
EAGLE RIVER, Alaska — Throughout his two-decade-long career in the Coast Guard, Cpt. Paul Mehler III has traveled throughout the country and the world. Now, he can add Alaska to his list. Mehler assumed command of the Coast Guard Sector Anchorage last June. He's responsible for more than 35,000 miles of coastline and 4,000 miles of navigable rivers. "It's the largest geographic area for command in the Coast Guard," he said during an interview at his downtown Anchorage office May 9. The challenge of the job is one aspect that attracted Mehler to the position. "It's the most dynamic and exciting zone the Coast Guard has right now," he said. "Just the....

Kulluk Hearing Resumes Tuesday
By Steve Heimel, APRN - Anchorage | May 27, 2013 - 5:08 pm
The Coast Guard probe of the grounding of the drilling rig Kulluk resumes tomorrow after running through last Saturday with questioning of a Shell executive, who explained the lines of authority during multiple over-lapping vacations in their Alaska office at the same time that a tax deadline was approaching and a critical marine operation was beginning.....

Japanese company inks deals in pursuit of natural gas
Anchorage and Cook Inlet, Alaska, are seen in ...
Anchorage and Cook Inlet, Alaska, are seen in this 30 by 30 km (19 by 19 miles) sub-image, acquired May 12, 2000, by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Posted: May 27, 2013 - 9:55pm
By TIM BRADNER Morris News Service-Alaska
Alaska Journal of Commerce
Resources Energy Inc., the Japanese company interested in developing a large liquefied natural gas project, has signed several agreements to explore business relationships in Alaska................
...........Agreements have also been signed, which are confidential, with Cook Inlet explorers and producers including ConocoPhillips, Cook Inlet Energy Inc., Buccaneer Energy and NordAq Energy, Pease said.....

After years of work, massive Southeast Alaska land swap on the brink #SeaAlaska
Pat Forgey
May 27, 2013
More than 40 years after Alaska aboriginal land rights were decided by the Alaska Native Land Claims Settlement Act, that process is nearing a close with the pending transfer of tens of thousands of Tongass National Forest land to Sealaska Corp., the regional Alaska Native Regional Corporation for Southeast Alaska. Bills sponsored by members of Alaska's U.S. Congressional delegation would do exactly that, but they would also do something even more important for Sealaska. They would enable the Juneau-based company to choose lands from outside areas in which they were originally allowed to select.  Those new areas include timberland of much higher value as well as important sites for tourism, recreation, power and other things.....

Tech industry targets GOP senators to pass immigration reform (Good news for canneries?)
By Jennifer Martinez - 05/27/13 10:00 AM ET
............ Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)
Alaska is better known for its fishing and timber industries rather than its ties to the tech industry. However, some industry sources note that the provisions in the Senate bill covering low-skilled workers may attract Murkowski's support.....

'India has science, business interests in the Arctic'
English: Kapil Sibal, Union minister in Minist...
English: Kapil Sibal, Union minister in Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Earth Sciences in the Cabinet of India, at the 2007 World Economic Forum on Africa, June 13-15, Cape Town (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Friday May 24, 2013
New Delhi, May 24 — India's status as an observer at the eight-nation Arctic Council will give it a chance to understand the ice cap's climate, which impacts the Indian monsoon, along with the possibility of exploring the mineral-rich North Pole and shorter shipping routes for future business, a senior official said. "At the momment our interest is mainly from the science (of the region). But later, we could explore business prospects too," Shailesh Nayak, secretary in the Ministry of Earth Sciences, told IANS. "The science of the region is important as whatever happens in the Arctic climate effects the Indian subcontinent, especially the Indian monsoon which is most critical for us as it has a significant impact on.....

EU decision cheers Iceland fishing industry
Published:  27 May, 2013
ICELAND'S fishing industry has welcomed the new Reykjavik's government's decision to calls off talks with Brussels on EU membership and promise a full referendum on the issue at a later stage......

Europe has Faroes Islands in its sights for first sanctions
Fisherman of Klaksvík, Faroe Islands.Magnus Jo...
Fisherman of Klaksvík, Faroe Islands.Magnus Johansen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Lewis Smith
May 28 2013 Lewis Smith
The Faroe Islands are perhaps best known as the source of the knitted black and white jumper worn by Sarah Lund in The Killing but the tiny nation could now make history as the first to suffer trade sanctions under new European laws. The Faroes, a group of 18 islands in the North Atlantic between Scotland and Iceland, has repeatedly defied the European Union over herring....

#BycatchProject Cruises Again In World’s Most Productive Tuna Fishing Grounds
by The Daily Catch May 22, 2013
A veteran group of scientists and fishers will embark on a weeks-long journey through the Pacific in search of better fishing practices, identifying techniques that reduce the potentially wasteful catch of unwanted species. They’ll be onboard the Cape Finisterre, part of Tri Marine’s fleet of fishing vessels, for the sixth leg of the ISSF #BycatchProject in a region where roughly 51 percent of the world’s tuna is fished. At least 75 percent of the catch is made by purse seine vessels, which use a net to encircle and....

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