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#12-13-2013 - ComFish News Roundup #MoonPool

Northern Dynasty Acquires Pebble
Posted: December 13, 2013 at 6:58 am
This week the remaining partner in the Pebble Partnership, Northern Dynasty Minerals, officially took the reins, acquiring 100 percent of the Partnership’s interests. In September, Anglo American announced it would be withdrawing from the venture, focusing its portfolio on lower-risk projects.....

New boat seeks safer fishing on deadly Bering Sea
Moon Pool @HaulingGear
By MANUEL VALDES, Associated Press | December 12, 2013 | Updated: December 13, 2013 12:16am
ANACORTES, Wash. (AP) — Few professions are as deadly as commercial fishing on the Bering Sea. Crews face rogue waves and frigid gales that toss around heavy machines and cause vessels to pitch, yaw and roll on turbulent waters. The dangers are so constant that they've been made lore on the long-running cable show "Deadliest Catch." Over the years, efforts to keep crew members safe have taken many forms, including changing the culture among fishermen to equipping them with emergency gear, such as survival suits that can help them survive the icy waters longer. The latest proposed solution is being built in a dry dock north of Seattle: a $35 million, 190-foot vessel that would enable fishermen to work behind the safety of the hull, rather than out on the deck amid the dangerous wind and...
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Stikine king forecast out
by Matt Lichtenstein
December 12, 2013 11:54 am
Next year’s king salmon return to the Stikine river should be better than last year, but it’s still too small for a commercial fishery in early May. That’s according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game which just put out its preseason forecast for the river which runs through British Columbia and Alaska near Wrangell and Petersburg. The department estimates 26,000 large kings will return to the Stikine in 2014. Assistant Area Management Biologist Tom Kowalske says that’s close to the......

China Imposes First-Ever West Coast Shellfish Ban
China has suspended imports of shellfish from the west coast of the United States -- an unprecedented move that cuts off a $270 million Northwest industry from its biggest export market. China said it decided to impose the ban after recent shipments of geoduck clams from Northwest waters were found by its own government inspectors to have high levels of arsenic and a toxin that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning. The restriction took effect last week and China's government says it will continue indefinitely. It applies to clams, oysters and all other two-shelled bivalves harvested from the waters of Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Northern California. U.S. officials....

The Alaska Fisheries Report
Dec 12, 2013
Coming up this week, salmon is the focus of a science workshop in Anchorage, folks in Homer get reminded of when crab was king, and a story I’ve wanted to share for a couple months, and not just because of its name: Spawn-O-Rama! Thanks for stories from...

Begich: NGO Sustainability Certification Too Subjective
Dec 12, 2013
Jay Barrett/KMXT
The Responsible Seafood Certification and Labeling Act introduced this fall by Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski would prohibit any US federal agency from requiring the use of third party criteria or to certify seafood as sustainable. It came in response to a couple of federal agencies or contractors bypassing Alaska salmon because most of it now lacks endorsement by the Marine Stewardship Council. Last week Senator Mark Begich said the MSC’s certification model was too subjective, and that if the federal government wants to ensure the seafood it sources is sustainable – and....

Board of Fish Restricts Bag Limits
Alaska, Cook Inlet from Ninilchik
Alaska, Cook Inlet from Ninilchik (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Posted: December 13, 2013 at 7:26 am
The Board of Fish met this week to set management strategies for the Lower Cook Inlet, restricting bag limits for kings while increasing opportunities with pinks.....

Yukon fall commercial chum and coho fisherman earn $1.6 million
The final numbers are in on the Yukon River fall commercial chum and coho runs. Commercial fishermen earned nearly $1.2 million dollars for the fall chum and $461,000 for coho salmon.....

Management challenge: Inlet ‘fish wars’ escalate as king productivity ebbs
Published: 2013.12.12 12:15 PM
Editor’s note: This is the seventh in the Morris Communications series, “The case for conserving the Kenai king salmon.” It’s a lesson every elected official in Alaska learns firsthand sooner or later, and Gov. Sean Parnell got a fresh reminder this past April in the waning days of the legislative session when his nomination of Vince Webster to a second term on the Board of Fisheries was rejected by a 30-29 vote. “Fish politics is pretty brutal,” Parnell said of...

Cook Inlet commercial interests launch all-out attack on personal use and sport fishing
Kevin Delaney
December 12, 2013
The United Cook Inlet Drift Association, a commercial fishing group that represents the Cook Inlet drift gill net fleet, and a number of its members are using the Alaska Board of Fisheries to launch an all-out attack on personal-use and sport fishing in Southcentral Alaska. A series of almost 50 proposals submitted by UCIDA to the board aim to undermine the harvest of salmon by non-commercial users. The BOF will meet to deliberate these proposals and others in Anchorage Jan. 31 through Feb. 13, 2014. Board involvement in Upper Cook Inlet “fish wars’’ is nothing new. Both sport and commercial groups have aggressively sought to defend or gain catch share over the years. But UCIDA’s current attack on personal use and sport fishing goes far...

USFS taking comments on Soule River dam EA
by Leila Kheiry
December 12, 2013 1:53 PM
The Ketchikan-Misty Fiords U.S. Forest Service ranger district is accepting comments on an Environmental Assessment for the proposed Soule River hydroelectric project. The EA calls for authorizing exploration of the site for potential development. It would allow three helicopter platforms, use of stream gauges and a cable crossing system, as well as seismic work. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a three-year preliminary permit...

Port Moody Salmon Hatchery Fire Destroys Facility
CP  |  By The Canadian Press
Posted: 12/12/2013 8:38 am EST  |  Updated: 12/12/2013 10:23 am EST
PORT MOODY, B.C. - A community salmon hatchery in Port Moody, B.C., has been destroyed by fire. The fire hit the...

'No militarization of the Arctic'
Date 12.12.2013
Author Interview: John Blau
Editor Sean Sinico
A warming Arctic is opening up new trade routes and increasing competition for energy resources. Michael Byers from the University of British Columbia downplays the reported tension in the region. DW: Are you surprised by the recent developments in the Arctic? Michael Byers: The only thing that surprises me is the decision of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The other developments don't surprise me. The Russia coastline is ice-free in the summer months, and there is a great deal of shipping traffic already. So Russia has legitimate concerns about security and about smugglers and other kinds of organized crime and illegal immigration. I'm not...

Marine Debris in Alaska's Prince William Sound from elisabeth on Vimeo.

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