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#09-24-2013 - ComFish News Roundup

Citizens group goes to court to push DNR to grant it water rights for salmon protection

Published: September 21, 2013
The proposed Chuitna coal strip mine that would excavate a Cook Inlet salmon stream out of existence was the backdrop last week to a lawsuit seeking to force the Parnell administration to act on water rights applications to protect the stream. The Chuitna strip mine, proposed by a Texas company affiliated with Dallas billionaire William Herbert Hunt, would be the biggest mine ever.....

Fishermen: lack of affordable health insurance a barrier to industry growth
by Matt Lichtenstein
September 23, 2013 9:10 am
Options for health insurance coverage can be pretty limited in Alaska for small businesses and the self-employed. That includes commercial fishermen, who make up a major segment of the economy. Some in the industry say the cost and lack of access to comprehensive health insurance is a barrier to new fishermen and an ongoing concern for those already in the business. From Petersburg, Matt Lichtenstein has more on the story as part of a CoastAlaska series on health care in Southeast. I have to disclose right at the beginning, I commercial fish part of the year but this story wasn’t originally going to involve me personally. I was just going to be the usual, detached narrator. I was confident that when I was working on my boat, I was covered by the comprehensive insurance my wife and I get through her state job. In the course of researching this story, I found out I was wrong. But I’ll get back to that later.
First, here’s a full-time fisherman Lance Watkins, who works in multiple fisheries:
“So when I listen to the news these days, they’re all about getting small businesses going again. We want small businesses to thrive and go and go small business. I know I’m a very small business as an owner of my small fishing business but I know....

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A good salmon flip-flop
Juneau Empire Editorial
Changes in government policy concerning seafood aren’t always welcomed in Alaska, but a change noted by U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski on Monday is good news indeed for Alaska’s fishing industry. The General Services Administration has refused, upon review of their policies, to allow non-governmental organizations that “certify” sustainable fishing practices to dictate the sources of fish the federal government purchases, according to a release from Murkowski’s office. The fact is, third party “certifiers” of sustainable....

Murkowski Seafood Sustainability Fight Gets Federal Flip-Flop
Logo of the United States General Services Adm...
Logo of the United States General Services Administration. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Senator’s Months of Pressure, Legislative Efforts Reap Government Revisions
WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Lisa Murkowski today welcomed news from the General Services Administration (GSA) that they have completed an internal review of their flawed federal fish certification process allowing third party eco-endorsements to dictate what the government considers ‘sustainable” seafood – despite federal guidelines prohibiting such an outsized role.  Its changes to policy can be read in the GSA’s new ‘Health and Sustainability Guidelines’ posted online hours ago. Murkowski initially urged them to reconsider this new practice in July, followed that up with a tense Senate committee hearing days later where she was able to have the National Park Service reverse course and then just last week introduced legislation to prohibit any federal agencies from ignoring their own internal rules and using third party non-governmental certification schemes when considering or labeling any domestic catch as ‘sustainable.’ “I appreciate the GSA reviewing its policy allowing 3rd party certifiers to have.....

5:22 PM MON SEPTEMBER 23, 2013
Changes Proposed to the Fish and Game Advisory Committees in Alaska
The Alaska Boards of Fisheries and Game will meet next month to consider a number of proposed changes that could impact the local Fish and Game Advisory Committee’s. KDLG’s Mike Mason has the story.....

As New Storm Approaches, F/V Chaos Awaits Salvage
By Lauren Rosenthal
Monday, September 23 2013
Last weekend, a large wind storm drove the fishing vessel Chaos aground just outside Unalaska. Rough weather delayed a Coast Guard air rescue of the boat’s crew. As KUCB's Lauren Rosenthal reports, it might keep salvagers away, too. The Chaos is a 54-foot longliner based out of Homer. Its four crew members were trying to make it back to town Friday night before a heavy storm struck. Coast Guard Petty Officer Sara Mooers says they didn’t make it – the wind and rain started early. So the crew sought shelter in a.......

Greenpeace Activists to Be Prosecuted, Could Face 15 Years in Russian Prison
MOSCOW, Sept 24 (Reuters) – Environmental activists who conducted a protest at a Russian Arctic offshore oil platform last week will be prosecuted and could face piracy charges that are punishable by up to 15 years in prison, Russian investigators said on Tuesday. It said the “attack” in which two Greenpeace activists tried scaling Gazprom’s Prirazlomnaya platform, Russia’s first offshore Arctic oil platform, had threatened environmental damage .....

Chinook salmon returning to Yukon's Fox Creek
57,000 salmon introduced to river in 2009 starting to reappear after spawning
CBC News Posted: Sep 22, 2013 2:15 PM CT
.............. About 57,000 Chinook salmon fry were put in the creek in 2009, the Ta'an Kwachan Council says. That move could soon pay off and First Nation members are starting to get excited, says Cora Lee Johns, fish and wildlife coordinator .........

On the Yukon River, a Troubling Salmon Decline
Overfishing, industrial bycatch, and climate change combine to reduce salmon numbers
Eagle, Alaska, is perched on a bend in the Yukon River, just eight miles west of the US-Canada border. What Eagle lacks in population – it claimed just 86 residents in the 2010 Census – it makes up in international fisheries importance. Every year, thousands of Chinook salmon swim past Eagle en route to their Canadian spawning grounds, some as far away as Teslin, Yukon, nearly 2,000 miles from the ocean. Before the salmon reach Eagle, they’re American fish; once they’ve passed the town, they effectively become Canadian. And while the salmon may not understand the distinction, the humans who fish....

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