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#10-11-2013 - ComFish News Roundup

Walmart launches project to evaluate seafood sustainability
Published: 2013.10.10 02:11 PM
A secretive project aimed at developing “criteria to evaluate seafood sustainability programs” was scheduled to begin with an Oct. 9 working dinner workshop in Atlanta. The project is being managed by “The Sustainability Consortium,” a think tank that describes itself as representing “100+ of the world’s largest organizations,” but appears to be an initiative of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which was a founding member of TSC. The project has State of Alaska support, according to an email from a Walmart spokeswoman, and the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute will be participating. “I saw the governor last night and he let me know he appreciates our collaboration on this issue. I let him know we feel we are on the right track and appreciate the two of you,” wrote Jennifer Spall, a senior public affairs director in Seattle for Walmart, in a Sept. 25....

Council seeks info on Gulf bycatch tools, quota shares
Published: 2013.10.10 02:11 PM
Gulf of Alaska rationalization is a step closer after the North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s Oct. 5 action in Anchorage. The council asked staff to analyze a general structure for rationalizing Gulf of Alaska trawl fisheries in an effort to manage bycatch. The council also took action to collect certain economic data from harvesters and processors in the Gulf of Alaska trawl sector. That effort could inform the council and the public on how a rationalization program will affect communities, fishermen and others involved in the fishery if such a program is implemented. Such a rule will collect certain data about employment and fishery costs from harvesters and processors that are involved in trawl groundfish fisheries in the Central and Western Gulf of Alaska. It also extends the already existing data collection efforts for the fleet....

Tendering issue target of regulatory amendment
Published: 2013.10.10 02:11 PM
The interplay between observer coverage and tendering in the Gulf of Alaska remained a primary concern for the North Pacific Fishery Management Council at its October meeting in Anchorage. During discussion of the marine observer program implemented in January of this year, the council initiated a regulatory amendment to address the tendering issue and asked to prioritize that regulatory focus. The council also asked the National Marine Fisheries Service, or NMFS, to continue working on the revised marine observer program and agreed to change the protocol for chinook salmon genetic sampling. Council member Dan Hull made the motion for action on the observer issues, largely based on the Observer Advisory Committee’s....

4:00 PM THU OCTOBER 10, 2013
More Seafood Processors Participating in ASMI's Ecolabel

20 more seafood companies have signed on to the “Responsible Fisheries Management” program for Alaska Seafood. KDLG’s Mike Mason has the details.....

Booming Southeast pink returns fuel Alaska's biggest salmon harvest ever
Pat Forgey
October 10, 2013
JUNEAU -- Booming pink salmon runs made Southeast Alaska the state's top salmon fishery this year, as the state itself set a record for the number of salmon caught, the Department of Fish and Game said Thursday. In 2013, there were 219 million pink salmon caught across the state, where a total of 272 million salmon were landed. Both numbers were records. "Our salmon managers across the state have....
PWS: Firing up the vote and the fish
Posted 10/11/2013
by Kim Ryals - for the Cordova Times
It's that time of year again. The silvers have slowed, gold leaves swirl to ground, and inside the Copper River/PWS Marketing Association elections are being held. The 2013 Board of Directors election sees three gillnet seats open, most recently occupied by Brian Rutzer, Bill Webber and Thea Thomas. Brian and Bill have declined nominations to run for the board again, both of them after years of service to the organization. On behalf of the membership, I want to thank them for volunteering their time and unique skills and expertise in leading your local RSDA. Five candidates are on the ballot, which was mailed to each permit holder almost a month ago at their address on file with the CFEC. Ballots are due to the CRPWSMA office by October 15th. You.....

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 01, 2013 Nominations are open for board seats through November 1

Petersburg: Dredging complete in North Harbor, moves to Ocean Beauty
October 10, 2013
The Pacific Pile dredge crew, based out of Seattle, finished dredging the North Harbor and have moved to the area in front of Ocean Beauty where they will spend the next couple weeks. A crew of three men operate the dredge barge named ‘The Web’. Mike Eldridge, operator, typically runs the excavator. He watches a screen that displays water depth and tracks how far down he needs to keep digging. As Eldridge closes the bucket and digs out dredge material a splotch of yellow appears like a sponge on the map of the bottom of the sea floor. “We’re at 22 feet,” Eldridge says. “We haveto be at 25 feet so we gotta gnaw it out a little bit more.” The screen displays various layers of color that indicate depth. Red is high, yellow is closer to target depth but....

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Seward: New dock for small boat harbor
October 10, 2013
"D” float at the small boat harbor undergoes demolition as part of a $2.36 million project to replace the aging and deteriorated dock which was built within a few months after the 1964 Alaska Earthquake. Modern metal pilings will replace....

Seward important to ocean acidification research
October 10, 2013
Walk into the D.W. Hood Laboratory across from the Alutiiq Pride Shellfish Hatchery, and you will come to a room where seawater from Resurrection Bay enters the facility. The water is fed into the hatchery where it is warmed and treated, and where shellfish such as oysters, geoducks, cockles, razor clams, littleneck clams, mussels, scallops and sea cucumbers and even red king crabs are raised. The seawater pipe now runs through a machine that monitors and records its carbon dioxide, or CO2 concentration. It is dubbed the “Burkolator” for its creator Burke Hales of Oregon...

5:15 PM THU OCTOBER 10, 2013
The "Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment" Discussed During Congressional Oversight Hearing
Many of the recent policy and enforcement efforts of the Environmental Protection Agency came under fire Thursday during an oversight hearing in the U.S. House of Representatives. Much of the hearing was focused on the EPA’s “Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment”. KDLG’s Mike Mason listened in and filed this report, which is part 1 of a 2 part series.....

Shutdown tensions seep into mining hearing
By Laura Barron-Lopez - 10/10/13 02:53 PM ET
House Democrats on Thursday blasted Republicans for the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) absence during a hearing called by the GOP to review the agency's "questionable" actions against American mining jobs. The Energy and Mineral Resources hearing — which was held to examine the EPA's watershed assessment of the proposed gold and copper mine in Alaska's Bristol Bay and the federal raid of gold miners in Chicken, Alaska — quickly became embroiled in government politics.  "It is unfortunate that the EPA can't be here today to tell their side of the....

Salvage Efforts Continue For Sunken Tender In Haines
By Margaret Friedenauer, KHNS - Haines | October 10, 2013 - 5:55 pm
A salvage operation and clean-up efforts are still underway in Haines, where a 78-foot tender sank last weekend in the boat harbor. The tender Neptune is being raised from the bottom of the Haines Harbor, although progress is going more slowly than anticipated....

Federal shutdown could further delay Alaska ferry's return
The Associated Press | Posted 17 hours ago
KODIAK, Alaska — The partial shutdown of the federal government may keep a state ferry out of service even longer. The ferry Tustumena is in the water and scheduled to return to service in Kodiak on Oct. 20 after going into drydock for repairs last November....

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