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#09-09-2013 - ComFish News Roundup

Commissions work to define Arctic policy
September 7th 1:44 am | By Jim Paulin
Treadwell said the policy commission's  work will get harder as it "moves from
fuzzy stuff to real stuff." 
A top state legislator last week tried to avoid a fight with the federal government by seeking a closed-door meeting with an official of the Obama administration, in Unalaska/Dutch Harbor. Two different Arctic commissions met last week in the Aleutians and friction was felt between the state and federal panels. The United States Arctic Research Commission is made up of eight commissioners and is tasked with helping the federal government develop its Arctic research plan and how the newly created national Arctic strategy will be implemented. The Alaska Arctic Policy Commission also convened in Unalaska, with its 26 commissioners working to......
.............. The research commission's job is to identify where to spend federal research dollars, and three commercial fishing advocates worried that could mean money taken away from fisheries surveys that help set catch limits. The state commission, by contrast, is tasked with developing a policy, and Herron said it faces a tight deadline. Unalaska city natural resources analyst Frank Kelty, and Unisea fish processing executive Tom Enlow both feared that federal fisheries research could lose out to trendier subjects like Bering Sea canyons studies. At-Sea Processors Association executive director Stephanie Madsen representing pollock factory trawlers similarly warned.............

Bycatch in pollock fishery 'seems unlikely' as cause of Chinook declines in AYK, research report says
An organization known as the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim Sustainable Salmon Initiative recently issued a research action plan to address Western Alaska's weak Chinook returns. The plan is cumbersome reading, but Deckboss spent some time with it and offers this very brief summary.....

Bycatch fish goes to Alaska food bank
By Matthew F. Smith
Story Created: Sep 8, 2013 at 8:48 AM AKDT
ANCHORAGE - Thousands of pounds of salmon and halibut taken by trawl fisherman are making their way back to Alaska, and the state's food bank is working to get it out to those in need. The fish are incidental bycatch of pollock fisheries in the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska. The.....

Emmonak plans for long overdue port
Posted: Sunday, September 8, 2013 2:40 pm
Elwood Brehmer / Alaska Journal of Commerce
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The longest river in Alaska and the third-longest river in North America does not have a landing. Emmonak, the community of about 800 at the mouth of the Yukon, has plans to change that. The city has proposed a $16 million, 650-foot port that would be a transportation hub in Western Alaska, Emmonak City Manager Martin Moore Sr. said. Not having a port at the mouth of the Yukon River has been a burden for communities all along the river and he said the infrastructure is long overdue. "This dock is not for Emmonak, but for the whole region and it's an important factor in bringing the cost of energy and the cost of transportation down," Moore said. "We pay exorbitant fuel....

Bellingham port celebrates 50th anniversary of Alaska ferry system
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Published: September 9, 2013
People can enjoy a walking tour of an Alaskan ferry during a Bellingham event celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Alaska Marine Highway System. The event Saturday, Sept. 14, will also feature an Alaska travel and trade show from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Bellingham Cruise Terminal, with representatives from nearly a dozen Alaskan.....

USDA pilot program fails to stop contaminated meat
By Kimberly Kindy, Published: September 8, 2013
A meat inspection program that the Agriculture Department plans to roll out in pork plants nationwide has repeatedly failed to stop the production of contaminated meat at American and foreign plants that have already adopted the approach, documents and interviews show. The program allows meat producers to increase the speed of processing lines by as much as 20 percent and cuts the number of USDA safety inspectors at each plant in half, replacing them with private inspectors employed by meat companies. The approach has been used for more than a decade by five American hog plants under a pilot program.......