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#11-06-2013 - ComFish News Roundup

Discards by Gulf of AK hook/line fleet “substantial” says observer data
November 5, 2013 by Laine Welch
This year for the first time the expanded observer program has been covering small boats and the hook and line fleet.   Besides getting data on what’s actually coming over the rails, the program has three main goals.....

Washington GMO labeling vote to keep watchers in suspense
By JENNY HOPKINSON | 11/5/13 2:10 PM EST
Don’t tell the food industry or Washington state residents that Election Day 2013 is a sleepy one. One vote Tuesday in the Evergreen State could decide whether foods sold there, and ultimately in other states, too, have to be labeled any time they contain ingredients that were genetically engineered.....

Seafood Processing Leadership Institute in Kodiak This Week
Nov 5, 2013
Brianna Gibbs/KMXT
Kodiak is no stranger to aspiring cannery bosses, but this week a few more than usual are in town. About 15 mid-career seafood processing professionals are attending the Alaska Seafood Processing Leadership Institute at the Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center on Near Island.....

Will Alaska’s Legislature protect in-stream flows?
By Hal Shepherd
Nov 5th, 2013
In response to significant public opposition to House Bill 77 that arose in last year’s legislative session, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources recently released a fact sheet entitled, “Modernizing Alaska’s Permitting System.” The facts sheet provides that “DNR and the governor … introduced (the bill) as part of an initiative to … ensure that projects are permitted in a timely, predictable and efficient manner, while safeguarding the environment.” Some may suggest that the bill is more likely the result of the Parnell Administration’s intimate relationship with the energy industry than any need to fix inconsistencies in the permitting process. The courts, for one, don’t appear to be on board with DNR’s argument that the bill....

Aniakchak and Bristol Bay
The Big Lie that the opposition to the proposed Pebble Mine bases everything on is that Bristol Bay is the Land That Always Was, with nothing ever changing, with nothing ever disturbing the pristine idyllic wilderness inhabited by Friends of Wildlife, and good stewards of the land and fish and other small and not so small furry creatures. They go further and claim that any real or imagined insult that the ecosystem suffers will irrevocably and for all time damage, destroy, and otherwise annihilate all future salmon returns into Bristol Bay. This claim requires past knowledge of what has gone on in Bristol Bay over the last several thousand years. And folks, it ain’t pretty. The problem with this story is.........

Salmon Catch Down Again for Russia
06 November 2013
RUSSIA - The Russian Fishery Agency forecasts the total salmon catch in Russia to only reach 360,000 MT in 2013 (nearly all of which is in the Russian Far East), which, if realized would be 20 percent lower than 2012, and 28 percent below 2011.....

U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea Unenforceable as Dutch Hope to Free Greenpeace Activists
By Michael Hogan
HAMBURG, Nov 6 (Reuters) – The Netherlands asked an international court on Wednesday to order Russia to release 30 people detained during a Greenpeace protest against oil drilling in the Arctic at a tribunal Moscow refused to attend. Dutch government representative Liesbeth Lijnzaad said Russia had “violated the human rights” of the activists who tried to climb onto Russia’s first offshore Arctic oil rig in September, detaining them for seven weeks “without grounds”. Russia has......

Five more gray whales wash ashore in Chukotka, Russia
By Karen Graham
Nov 5, 2013
Gray whales in the North Pacific belong to two distinct populations, with the Western gray whale population seen mainly along the coasts of China, Korea, Japan and Russia. They have been hunted to the point of near extinction, and less than 100 remain. The Moscow Times reported on Tuesday that five critically-endangered gray whale carcasses had been washed ashore on the.....