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#07-21-2013 - ComFish News Roundup

Alaska leaders call for Arctic action before it's too late
Carey RestinoThe Arctic Sounder
English: Mead Treadwell, the Chair of the U.S....
English: Mead Treadwell, the Chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
July 20, 2013
In his keynote address to the Ice-Diminished Arctic Conference in Washington, D.C. last week, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell told those gathered to discuss the changing state of Arctic waters that early theories by bloggers were that talk about the Arctic was happening behind closed doors -- that secret plans were being laid out to dominate the region. "But they overestimated our government," Treadwell said. "In reality, few people were paying any attention to the Arctic." Today, however, they are, he said, thanks in part to symposiums like the one held this week. The meeting, co-hosted by the U.S. National/Naval Ice Center (NIC) and the U.S. Arctic Research Commission (USARC), addresses the changing state of Arctic sea ice and associated environmental conditions........

Commercial fishermen let loose to stem the tide of sockeye
Posted: July 20, 2013 - 5:39pm  |  Updated: July 20, 2013 - 5:47pm
By Rashah McChesney
Staff Writer
Two emergency orders released Saturday afternoon extend set and drift gillnetting for the weekend as the Alaska Department of Fish and....

Fish Factor
Alaska wild salmon not good enough?
State Seal of Alaska.
State Seal of Alaska. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
July 20, 2013
It might sound like a whopper of a fish story – but Alaska salmon is not good enough for Wal-Mart or the US National Park Service. The reason?  Alaska’s wild caught salmon does not brandish a specific eco-label verifying that it is sustainably managed – as determined by two Outside groups: the London-based Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California. Alaska’s seafood industry recently opted out of high priced eco-endorsements from elsewhere, believing the State’s brand of fisheries oversight can stand on its own merit.  But without the MSC stamp of approval, customers won’t find Alaska salmon in Wal-Mart’s super stores, and the Park Service is requiring that all food....

Compass: Pebble may serve to sustain Southwest Alaska, along with fishing
Published: July 20, 2013
It has been more than five years since I agreed to take on the role of leading the Pebble Partnership as its chief executive officer. Much has been said and written about my intentions in this position. While some of it may be construed as accurate, some of what I have said is taken out of context to suit the views of various groups and individuals opposing the development of a mine at Pebble......

As welders work on 'Trusty Tusty,' future of aging Alaska ferry full of questions
English: The MV Tustumena, a ferryboat that is...
The MV Tustumena, a ferryboat that is part of the Alaska Marine Highway fleet and services Kodiak (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Pat Forgey
July 20, 2013
JUNEAU -- The ongoing travails of the ferry Tustumena, now under repair at Seward Ship's Drydock, highlight the need to replace the aging ship. "We ended up finding a lot more deterioration in this vessel than we originally thought," said Jim Pruitt, owner and president of the company handling the $6 million overhaul of the Tustumena. That's got Seward Ship's Drydock embroiled in a dispute over the quality of its work with the Alaska Marine Highway System and U.S. Coast Guard inspectors. It has also left Kenai Peninsula, Kodiak Island and Southwest Alaska.....

Stimulant drug 'khat' catching on among Alaska's seafood industry workers?
Jim Paulin
Dutch Harbor Fisherman
July 20, 2013
UNALASKA -- Is khat catching on among seafood industry workers trying to stay awake while working long hours of overtime, joining a long list of more familiar stimulants from coffee to pharmaceutical amphetamines? Maybe. Khat, a drug well known in east Africa, has likely made another appearance in Unalaska. On June 30, 22 grams in a zippered plastic bag were turned in to the Unalaska Department of  Public Safety, according to police chief Jamie Sunderland. A suspect has been identified as possessing the substance, found in the area of the Unisea seafood processing plant, Sunderland said.  The green leafy material has been sent to a laboratory to  determine if it is in fact.....