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#06-21-2013 - ComFish News Roundup

Frankenfish legislation on the move
Posted 06/21/2013
by - Cordova Times Staff
An amendment to require labeling of genetically engineered salmon, introduced by Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, and co-sponsored by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee on June 20...

CVFD responds to incident at Cordova fuel dock
Posted 06/21/2013
by - Cordova Times Staff
Following report of an explosion at the Cordova fuel dock this past Saturday, June 15, shortly after 5 p.m., twenty-eight members of the Cordova Volunteer Fire Department responded to the scene......

Impacts pondered for expanding state waters fisheries
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Published: 2013.06.20 02:45 PM
JUNEAU — In an era of widespread anti-government sentiment, and Alaska’s particular anti-Washington bent, state and federal fisheries managers are beginning to address a range of issues that will further intertwine their regulatory activities and could risk coastal economic and chinook survival without high levels of cooperation. Early this year, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council began a new approach to “rationalization” of federal trawl fisheries in the Gulf of Alaska that would include establishment of comprehensive salmon, halibut and crab bycatch controls. At their annual “Joint Protocol Committee” meeting, June 12 in Juneau, three members each of the North Pacific council and Alaska Board of Fisheries had their first, brief, formal discussion on their respective futures. “I’m hopeful that we can coordinate some efforts with the council before we start making so many heavy decisions on these new fisheries you’re talking about, or reallocation of.....

Petersburg to send letter objecting to chemical spraying, waits on ordinance
by Joe Viechnicki
June 20, 2013 10:07 am
Petersburg is sending a letter to the state opposing large scale herbicide and pesticide spraying, but will wait on drafting an ordinance on spraying. The letter is in response to a move by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation earlier this year eliminating the DEC permitting requirement for using the chemicals on state land. Former city councilor and retired state fishery biologist Barry Bracken approached the borough assembly this month about the issue and drafted the letter to the state Department of Transportation. The DOT has considered spraying herbicides to control plant growth along roadsides in the past but has opted to cut the plants instead.....

Commercial fisheries important part of Kenai Peninsula
By Jenny Neyman
Special to the Tribune
As the push-pull of allocative arguments continue to churn in Cook Inlet fisheries, the Alaska Salmon Alliance has released an economic report to support its position that commercial fisheries are a significant part of the Kenai Peninsula economy, and so should have a place in the water and at the regulatory table. The “Cook Inlet Drift and Setnet Salmon Fisheries” report, prepared for ASA by Northern Economics, based in Anchorage and Bellingham, Wash., was released this month, and estimates the 2011 ex-vessel value of the Cook Inlet salmon fishery — including drift- and setnet salmon fisheries as well as purse seine and hatchery cost-recovery fisheries — at $56.4 million, which exceeds the estimated 2011 value of all Lower 48 salmon fisheries combined. “There’s just been a lot of speculation about the value of Cook Inlet commercial fisheries. And as it turns out it’s rivaling the Bering Sea’s crab fishery, which is...

Assembly keeps 2011 salmon habitat law on the books
Revisions expected July 2
Posted: June 19, 2013 - 12:10pm  |  Updated: June 20, 2013 - 8:45am
Peninsula Clarion
It boiled down to science vs. emotion and personal property rights vs. government encroachment as scores spoke about the future of salmon habitat regulation on the Kenai Peninsula; one man, a Russian immigrant, warned of eventual gulags. Following 315 minutes of commentary made by nearly 100 citizens, the most any sitting assembly member can remember, the Kenai....

Boro continues work on fish protection
KPB Assembly Report
By Sue McClure
With over 90 people providing public testimony on the two anadromous fish habitat protection ordinances, this week’s Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meeting lasted until midnight. People filled the chambers and two conference rooms to testify on Ordinance 2013-12, intended to repeal Ordinance 2012-11 which extended anadromous fish protection to water bodies throughout most of the borough. Also included for repeal was subsidiary Ordinance 2013-18 which resulted from the Anadromous Fish Protection Task Force and modifies 2012-11. After testimony and discussion, Ordinance 2013-12 was defeated 6-3. Three more testified on the next ordinance, and....

Commerce Department Announces NPFMC Picks
By Stephanie Joyce
Thursday, June 20 2013...

Alaska boat operator fined for getting close to whales
Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013 1:18 pm
Associated Press
JUNEAU, Alaska - The owner and operator of an Alaska charter vessel has been fined for getting too close to whales. Administrative law judge Susan Biro last week fined Geoffrey Wilson and Alaska Yacht Charters $5,000 in connection with the 2010 incident in southeast Alaska.....

Eklutna, Snettisham hydro projects still haven’t redressed fish and wildlife damages
Rick Sinnott
June 20, 2013
In “Through the Looking Glass”, the White Queen chastised Alice, “It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards.” I’m plagued by just that sort of memory. I have been wondering, for instance, whatever happened to the agreement – dated Aug. 7, 1991 – to mitigate the effects of the Eklutna and Snettisham hydroelectric projects on local fish and wildlife populations. Salmon runs, and wildlife that depended on salmon, were never rehabilitated after dams were built on the Eklutna River to supply electricity in the early years of Anchorage. A multi-agency working group has been unable to restore the river, much less the fish. Electric utilities, which own all rights to the water, are unwilling to share it with fish. Few people remember the original agreement. More....

Congressman Young’s Tradition Foods Amendment Included FARRM Bill
Posted on June 21, 2013 by Delta News Web
From the desk of Congressman Don Young
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the U.S. House of Representatives continues to debate H.R. 1947, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act (FARRM), Alaskan Congressman Don Young successfully offered an amendment to the bill that would remove barriers that currently prohibit American Indians and Alaska Natives from serving traditional foods in hospitals, elder care facilities and schools.....

Schumer: Give hunters a tax deduction for donating deer, turkey to feed hungry
By Mark Weiner
June 20, 2013 at 2:20 PM, updated June 20, 2013 at 9:02 PM
Washington -- U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said today he plans to introduce legislation for a new federal tax deduction that will help feed the hungry, boost the economy and tackle the growing deer population at the same time. Schumer, D-N.Y., said his bipartisan bill would offer a tax deduction to hunters who donate their game, such as deer or wild turkey, to anti-hunger programs. The deduction would be for the cost of processing the venison or other game. Venison processors also would benefit from the legislation, which would make tax-exempt all processing income they receive from charities. Schumer said he wants.....

Feds visit Alaska for input on Arctic policy
Published: 2013.06.20 02:45 PM
June 20, 2013
A senior federal government group led by a top White House official was in Alaska on June 14 meeting with state and local officials on President Barack Obama’s new Arctic policy. Over the next few months the group will flesh out the policy, which was announced recently, Nancy Sutley, chair of the White House Council in Environmental Quality, told those at a public meeting held in Anchorage. State officials meeting with the group said they were not entirely satisfied and that the policy statement has a lot of generalities but no commitments. Released in March in the form of recommendations to the president, the policy document lays out information on climate change effects and changing patterns of use in the Arctic, along with risks. It recommends an overall coordinated approach to Arctic policy among....

Gillnet restrictions bite into economy
Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013 11:13 am
The Daily Astorian
The impact of the threat to gillnetting on the Columbia River is here.
Businesses are hurting. “We can’t survive if we don’t have the gillnetters,” said Bob Zakrzewski, co-owner of Columbia Pacific Marine Works in Astoria, which does boat and motor repairs for gillnet fishermen. Jon Englund of Englund Marine and Industrial Supply said his business has tracked purchases of gillnet fishing gear and supplies between Nov. 1 and the end of April. “We know what we’re down in that area and it’s right around $250,000,” he said.......

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