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#12-09-2013 - ComFish News Roundup

Board of Fisheries hears reports, testimony, emergency petition
Alaska’s Board of Fisheries began its Lower Cook Inlet finfish meeting today in Anchorage with staff reports, committee work and public testimony — including an emergency request for purse seines on the Yukon River. Lower Cook Inlet is up for discussion as part of the board’s regular cycle of reviewing every fishery in the state on a three-year rotation. The board is tasked with discussing 45 proposals from stakeholders, advisory committees and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game that seek to change regulations regarding...

Researcher says fisheries management should consider human element when it comes to closing 'opening day'
Suzanna Caldwell
December 7, 2013
As the battle brews with the Kenai fish wars, one scientist is hoping management decisions about opening day will consider more the human aspects of the fishery. Philip Loring, assistant professor of sustainability sciences at the University of Saskatchewan, spent two summers interviewing commercial fishermen on the sociological and cultural impacts of closing "opening day" on their ability to fish. Loring's paper detailing the issues, "'That’s what opening day is for': Social and cultural dimensions of (not) fishing for salmon in Cook Inlet, Alaska" was published Thursday in....

Senators' push for new icebreakers faces long odds
Mia BennettEye on the Arctic
December 8, 2013
In Mid-November, U.S. Senators Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act cosponsored by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) that would authorize spending on up to four icebreakers. While a total of four icebreakers would cost approximately $3.207 billion in 2008 dollars, the per-ship amount of about $802 million is small compared to the cost of an amphibious assault ship ($3 billion) or aircraft carrier ($11 billion). The Navy would contract the construction of the icebreakers, which would then be turned over to the U.S. Coast Guard. The USS Healy, the only icebreaker that the U.S. has in service at the moment, was in fact similarly funded by the defense budget and then given over to the Coast Guard. Yet a director from....