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#12-26-2013 - ComFish News Roundup

A king without a crown: Chinook vulnerable to ocean forces
BY ABBY LOWELL, MORRIS NEWS SERVICE-ALASKA/JUNEAU EMPIRE
Published: 2013.12.24 03:00 PM
Editor’s note: This is the ninth in the Morris Communications series “The case for conserving the Kenai king salmon.” Alaska’s long-lived monarch — the king salmon — has fallen from its throne. The species, which once thrived as a fabled ruler in state waters, was sought-after by fisherman from all over the world. Their massive presence in rivers like the Kenai, the Yukon and the Taku, to name only a few, brought sport and commercial fisherman to banks and river mouths for a chance to harvest this mighty resource. The largest known king — weighing in at 126.5 pounds — was caught in a fish trap off Prince of Wales Island in Southeast Alaska in 1938. Today, fish of that caliber are seemingly nonexistent. Alaska has seen unprecedented declines in recent years resulting in.... http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/December-Issue-5-2013/A-king-without-a-crown-Chinook-vulnerable-to-ocean-forces/

Southeast fall Dungeness crab catch improves
by Joe Viechnicki
December 24, 2013 10:30 am
Southeast Alaska’s Dungeness crab fleet has exceeded expectations for the season, thanks to a strong catch during October and November. “The fall season looked pretty good compared to past seasons. We came in at right at a million pounds for the fall season,” said Adam Messmer, Fish and Game’s assistant shellfish manager for Southeast. The last two years, the fall catch has been around half that. The increase.....  http://www.kfsk.org/2013/12/24/southeast-fall-dungeness-crab-catch-improves/

Corkline-News for Southeast Gillnetters, December 24, 2013 - http://www.akgillnet.org/?p=732

Outrage Over Federal Decision to Nix Land Swap: Grinch Steals Road From King Cove 
Conservation Groups Praise Action
By MARY KAUFFMAN
aleutianseast.org
(SitNews) King Cove, Alaska - King Cove city and tribal leaders expressed indignation following Secretary Sally Jewell’s decision to deny a land exchange that would have granted  them access to a small life-saving road corridor (206 acres) through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge to the nearby all-weather Cold Bay Airport. Jewell announced her decision today after several months of determining how to balance the needs of conservation with the health and safety needs of local residents. As directed by Congress in the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell concluded yesterday a four-year analysis, and issued a decision supporting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s preferred alternative to decline a proposed land exchange with the State of Alaska and prevent construction of a road through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, which was first established in the 1960s. This land exchange approved by Congress in the 2009 – the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge Land Exchange Act – proposed adding more than 56,000 acres of state and tribal land to the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge in exchange for a 206-acre road corridor through a corner of the refuge to.......... http://www.sitnews.us/1213News/122413/122413_king_cove.html

In halibut turf wars, no one's looking out for the little guy
Craig Medred
December 25, 2013
The time is well past for contemplating why the U.S. government would stick it to Alaska halibut fishermen least able to defend themselves, but that doesn't make the question moot. Too long it has been ignored, and in that regard I am forced to contemplate the long-ago comments of an acquaintance highly placed in the hierarchy of the bureaucracy dictating the management of fisheries in the north Pacific Ocean. For reasons about to become obvious, this person will remain nameless. Suffice to say, however, that it was a member of a federal bureaucracy that is supposed to protect the interests of all Americans with the emphasis on "all." Here I cannot help but think of the classic exchange of lines between Pfc. Louden Downey and Lance Cpl. Harold Dawson in  the movie "A Few Good Men:" Downey: "What did we do wrong? We did nothing wrong!" Dawson: "Yeah we did. We were supposed to fight for people who couldn't fight for themselves. We were.... http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20131225/halibut-turf-wars-no-ones-looking-out-little-guy

Potential rare earth element found in Arctic
Mia BennettEye on the Arctic
December 24, 2013
I attended the American Geopysical Union Fall Meeting last week in San Francisco. It’s billed as “the largest worldwide conference in geophysical science,” with over 20,000 attendants. There was a vast number of talks on the cryosphere, which I’ll try to cover over the next few days. One session I attended, “Frontier Science from Extended Continental Shelf Studies,” included talks presenting the results of ocean-going expeditions by countries such as Japan, New Zealand, Russia, and the U.S. While most of these cruises’ priorities were to map the continental shelf, they generated many side benefits in the form of new scientific discoveries. In effect, on...... http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20131224/potential-rare-earth-element-found-arctic

Historic Alaska cannery to be stabilized
Wednesday, December 25, 2013 9:03 am
Jennifer Canfield / Juneau Empire
JUNEAU, Alaska — Here's some good news for the residents of Kake who have for years feared the demise of the historic Keku Cannery: funding to stabilize the crumbling landmark has been approved
Gary Williams, executive director for the Organized Village of Kake, said the tribe has been authorized to use its Bureau of Indian Affairs transportation funding to stabilize the building, which is located on BIA trust land. Once it's stabilized, the tribe intends to move its.... http://www.newsminer.com/news/alaska_news/historic-alaska-cannery-to-be-stabilized/article_de1d8f8e-6d8e-11e3-87f5-0019bb30f31a.html

Renewal of fisheries law brings back debate over managing stocks
Posted: Wednesday, December 25, 2013 10:02 pm
By RICHARD DEGENER Staff Writer
As a Star Wars movie, the title might be: Return of the Anglers, Net Fishermen Fight Back.
Catching fish and saving fish are real-life pursuits, however, not a movie. The people who catch fish had the nation’s premier federal fishing law on their side until reauthorizations of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act in 1996 and 2006. Those reauthorizations of a law originally enacted in 1976 to kick foreign fishermen off the coast and boost the U.S. fishing industry were heavily influenced by... http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/communities/lower_capemay/renewal-of-fisheries-law-brings-back-debate-over-managing-stocks/article_67674cf6-6dd7-11e3-8f67-001a4bcf887a.html

Pacific cod producers report strong recovery
SEAFOOD.COM NEWS by John Sackton -- December 23, 2013 --It is a different year as the pacific cod longline fleet prepares to go into the 2014 winter season.  Last year, with a huge surge of cod on the market, prices for H&G frozen at sea cod fell to $1.10 per lb.  This year, production contracts are being set at the $1.50 level, an increase of 35 percent. What is driving this market is strong demand for cod in the US, Europe and Japan. “For the first time in many years the major markets of the world for this production..... http://www.nationalfisherman.com/news-events/top-news/2781-pacific-cod-producers-report-strong-recovery

December 26, 2013
NOAA zeroing in on tariff grants
Millions to be given out for research and development
By Sean Horgan
Staff Writer
The process for determining the successful applicants for Saltonstall-Kennedy grant funds is entering the final stages of technical review and administrators hope to begin the flow of money to successful candidates sometime in January, NOAA officials said Tuesday. The review, delayed by almost a month by the partial shutdown of the federal government in October, is being conducted by staffers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and outside.... http://www.gloucestertimes.com/fishing/x1221275972/NOAA-zeroing-in-on-tariff-grants

The Navy’s Amazing Ocean-Powered Underwater Drone
If Santa can harness reindeer to fly the globe, the Navy can use "hydraulic buoyancy" to wage underwater war
By Mark Thompson @MarkThompson_DCDec. 22, 2013
While you were out shopping Sunday for those last-minute holiday gifts, the Navy pushed ahead with its own vision of an underwater sugar plum: a fleet of “long endurance, transoceanic gliders harvesting all energy from the ocean thermocline.” And you thought Jules Verne died in 1905. Fact is, the Navy has been seeking—pretty much under the surface—a way to do underwater what the Air Force has been doing in the sky: prowl stealthily for long periods of time, and gather the kind of data that could turn the tide in war. The Navy’s goal is.... http://swampland.time.com/2013/12/22/navy-underwater-drone/

US judge rejects BP bid for extra proof in oil spill claims
18 hours ago
New York (AFP) - A US federal judge has rejected a bid from BP to require companies prove their losses are directly linked to the 2010 massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill before getting a payout. The British energy giant last year reached a $7.8 billion settlement with thousands of people and businesses hit by the worst environmental disaster in US history. But it has been challenging the way Patrick Juneau, a court-appointed administrator of claims, calculates..... http://news.yahoo.com/us-judge-rejects-bp-bid-extra-proof-oil-001628103.html