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#08-20-2013 - ComFish News Roundup
Fish Factor
F/V volunteers needed to field test new EMS
August 19, 2013
Want to get onboard observers out of those small fishing boat bunks? The more fishermen who volunteer their vessels to field test new electronic monitoring systems (EMS), the faster the program will replace that extra body onboard. Starting this year and for the first time, fishery observers are required aboard Alaska’s long line fleet of roughly 1,500 boats, most of which are well under 50 feet. Observers have been aboard other types of Alaska fishing vessels for decades to collect data and monitor catches and bycatches; now scientists and managers want a better idea of what’s coming up on those miles of hooks and lines, no matter what the vessel size. Small boat fishermen are clamoring to displace the observers with cameras, which are....

Coast Guard Commandant Talks Arctic Strategy in Unalaska
By Lauren Rosenthal
Monday, August 19 2013
The highest ranking leader in the United States Coast Guard stopped into Unalaska today to talk about Arctic strategy. Commandant Admiral Robert Papp hosted a town hall meeting with city officials and leaders from the local Native corporation. It was the first time a sitting commandant has visited Unalaska. Papp said that’s a nod to the strategic importance of the community -- particularly, its port. Unalaska has a deepwater port that’s ice-free all year. Even though...

11:11 AM MON AUGUST 19, 2013
Who Came Up With the Idea of Maybe Using 404-C on the Pebble Mine?
The oversight committee in the U.S. House of Representatives is launching a probe into whether the idea of preemptively using section 404-C of the Clean Water Act to stop development of the Pebble Mine actually originated within the Environmental Protection Agency. KDLG’s Mike Mason has the details....

Have king salmon fallen victim to cellphones on Alaska's Kuskokwim River?
Craig Medred
August 19, 2013
The return of big chinook salmon to the Kuskokwim River of Western Alaska is over for the year, and some are wondering how much damage the cellphone might have done to a once-magnificent run of fish. Subsistence fishermen in the Bethel area reported good fishing through the season, and most everyone seems happy with the fish they've put up for the winter. This season didn’t resemble the turmoil of 2012, when the Alaska Department of Fish and Game closed the fishery to protect the chinooks and a rebellion broke out along the river, only to be followed by a series of difficult trials in the spring. So a summer with people fishing and catching fish was a good thing......

Tustumena delays tough on Aleutian communities
English: The MV Tustumena, a ferryboat that is...
English: The MV Tustumena, a ferryboat that is part of the Alaska Marine Highway fleet and services Kodiak (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Posted: August 19, 2013 - 8:31pm
By ELWOOD BREHMER Morris News Service-Alaska
Alaska Journal of Commerce
Prolonged repairs to the M/V Tustumena have made for a challenging travel summer in the southwestern communities the state ferry typically serves. One of the Alaska Marine Highway System’s oldest vessels, the 49-year-old Tustumena has been dry-docked at Seward Ship’s Drydock Inc. just outside of the city since last November. The ship is undergoing capital improvement repairs...

Two tugs: Coast Guard proposes regulation to follow law
Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner editorial
Almost three years ago, Congress told the U.S. Coast Guard to adopt regulations as soon as possible to require two tugboat escorts for double-hull oil tankers in Prince William Sound. This week, the Coast Guard released its “interim rule” implementing that law effective Sept. 18. Comments on the rule will be taken through Nov. 18. Perhaps there was little urgency to get this rule done because all oil tankers traveling in the sound have had two tug escorts since 2008. It’s important to get this regulation in place...

11:04 AM MON AUGUST 19, 2013
F/V Lonestar Not Going Anywhere, For Now
Magone Marine unable to lift the vessel out of the mud after four attempts, taking the salvage plan back to the drawing board. It’s shaping up to be a quiet week at the mouth of the Igushik River, where salvage operations have thus far failed to lift the F/V Lonestar out of the mud. KDLG’s Dave Bendinger has this update....

Southeast Alaska community of Kake hopes to save old cannery; fears of building collapse
First Posted: August 19, 2013 - 1:28 pm
Last Updated: August 19, 2013 - 1:30 pm
KAKE, Alaska — The southeast Alaska community of Kake is trying to save its historic Keku Cannery. The cannery was named one of the nation's most endangered historic places earlier this year by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Gary Williams, the executive director of the Organized Village of Kake, fears the run-down building will collapse. He said if....

Has mystery illness in Alaska seals run its course?
Ben Anderson
August 19, 2013
The first of Alaska's sick seals began to appear in summer 2011. Mostly ringed seals, covered in lesions, were being discovered hauled out on Arctic shorelines. The ones still living were lethargic, and in some cases already dead. Two years later, fewer and fewer cases are being documented, and at least one Alaska researcher believes the fatal illness may....

False Distress Call Costs Ohio Man 3 Months, $500,000 in Restitution
An Ohio man has been sentenced to three months in federal custody and ordered to pay $489,007 in restitution after for making a false distress call that caused a massive search on Lake Erie, the U.S. Guard and attorney’s office for the Northern District of Ohio have announced. Danik Shiv Kumar, 21, of Sandusky, Ohio, pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of....

NOAA adds 82 sites to Marine Protected Areas list
The number of National Marine Protected Areas has risen by 82 sites, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced recently in a Federal Register notice. All but two of the new sites are in California and were....

BC: Feds must do more to protect BC salmon
Published: August 19, 2013 7:00 AM
Dear Sir:
Skeena River sockeye salmon are returning in desperately low numbers this summer, causing concern among conservationists for the future of one of British Columbia’s largest and most diverse salmon runs. The run collapse triggered closures of commercial and...