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#09-15-2013 - ComFish News Roundup

Halibut plan is best yet: Catch sharing manages uncertainty, conserves stock
Posted: Sunday, September 15, 2013 12:39 am | Updated: 12:41 am, Sun Sep 15, 2013.
By Tom Gemmell
Heath Hilyard, the executive director of the Southeast Alaska Guides Organization, is right (Aug. 9, News-Miner). The halibut catch sharing plan, or CSP, isn’t about conservation. It’s about managing the charter halibut resource responsibly so businesses can operate with more certainty. In fact, the plan was supported by the charter sector many times throughout the years for that precise reason. Why the hue and cry now? They want more fish. Who can blame them? They were rewarded for exceeding their annual catch limit five years in a row in Southeast Alaska by being granted those extra fish as “historical catch.” Twice the plan....

Fish Factor
Permit brokers hopping
September 14, 2013
(SitNews) - Alaska’s record salmon season has permit brokers hopping as buyers seek to break into or expand their fishing opportunities in many fisheries. Notably, brokers say there is “a lot of great buzz” at Bristol Bay, despite a lackluster sockeye fishery that saw the bulk of the red run come and go eight days early. “Prior to the season the drift permits went for under $100,000, but we just sold one for $125, 000,” said Doug Bowen of Alaska Boats and Permits in Homer. Most of the bump is due to optimism about the sockeye base price of $1.50/lb, a $.50 increase from last year. Data from the state Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission show that Bristol Bay driftnet permit values have remained near or well over $100,000 since 2010, and increased steadily each year after dropping below........

Scientists fear for Alaska's king crab fishery
Posted: Saturday, September 14, 2013 12:28 pm | Updated: 12:32 pm, Sat Sep 14, 2013.
Craig Welch / The Seattle Times
DUTCH HARBOR, Alaska - For decades, the crab piled up in fishing boats like gold coins hauled from a rich and fertile sea. But the very ocean that nursed these creatures may prove to be this industry's undoing. New research earlier this year shows that Bristol Bay red king crab - the supersized monster that has come to symbolize the fortunes of Alaska's crab fleet - could fall victim to the changing chemistry of the oceans. Barring a hasty reduction in carbon-dioxide emissions - or evidence that the creatures could acclimate to changing sea conditions - a team of scientists fears Alaska's $100 million red king crab fishery could crash in decades to come. That grim possibility also raises alarm about the crab fleet's other major moneymaker, snow crab. "With red king crab, it's all doom and gloom," said Robert Foy, who oversaw the crab research....

Congress to hold subsistence hearing
Posted: Sunday, September 15, 2013 12:08 am
Staff report
FAIRBANKS — The U.S. Congress is set to hold its first hearing on the subsistence food security priority for Alaska Natives contained in the Alaska National Interest Lands Act this week.....

Molasses Spill Causing Coral Reef Death
The Huffington Post  |  By Gabriela Aoun
Posted: 09/14/2013 4:55 pm EDT  |  Updated: 09/14/2013 4:56 pm EDT
The molasses spill in Honolulu Harbor that has already caused the death of thousands of fish is now confirmed to be the cause of mass coral bleaching and death as well. Robert Richmond, University of Hawaii marine biology professor and director of Kewalo Marine Laboratory, told reporters that evidence of coral death was present not only within the harbor but also in the waters beyond it. Richmond told Hawaii News Now, "Inside the harbor is just mass mortality. The corals are dead. The invertebrates are dead … They have little unicellular algae that.....