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#01-24-2014 - ComFish News Roundup (Wal-Mart says yes to @AlaskaSalmon !)

Wal-Mart PR : Working with suppliers in Alaska to ensure sustainable seafood

Murkowski Commends Wal-Mart Decision to Continue Stocking Alaska Seafood in Stores Nationwide - January 24, 2014

Announcement “Clear Vindication of Our Superior Sustainable Management”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Wal-Mart today announced that it will continue to buy Alaska seafood for its nationwide stores, concluding a four-month review of Alaska’s sustainability standards and practices.  Senator Lisa Murkowski – who has been pushing back against outside groups attempting to question Alaska seafood since last Summer – had the following has been taking on sustainability concerns from outside entities.
English: Wal-Mart location in Moncton
English: Wal-Mart location in Moncton (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Alaska's sustainable wild seafood continues to be its own best advocate, and today's announcement from Wal-Mart is clear vindication of our superior sustainable management practices. This is a significant step in confirming wild Alaska seafood as the benchmark for sustainability. Last year, I made sure the National Park Service did not get away with guidelines that disparaged Alaska salmon, and I am pleased that Wal-Mart has stayed focused on the facts and science rather than rhetoric of groups outside the state who are pursuing an anti-Alaska campaign.  Additionally, I appreciate that Wal-Mart's decision makers took me up on my invitation to make an Alaska visit a core component of their process.

"Alaskans welcome every chance we get to brag about our salmon and other seafood, and demonstrate a commitment to sustainability so firm that it's written into our state constitution.  I appreciate the hard work of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute and Governor Parnell's office as they walked Wal-Mart and The Sustainability Consortium through our thorough work, demanding process and the delicious results.

"Alaska wild seafood's sustainability is the gold standard for the industry worldwide -- and is one of our tastiest natural resources.  I thank Wal-Mart for its commitment to excellent products for its millions of shoppers from coast to coast."

House Bill 77 Will Need Major Changes, Say Legislators
Aaron Selbig
Thursday, January 23, 2014
This year’s session of the Alaska State Legislature began Tuesday. As happens just about every year, policies related to the state’s natural resources will figure heavily into the debate. One of the most high-profile bills of the legislative off-season has been House Bill 77, a controversial proposal that proponents say would streamline the permitting process for natural resources projects. The bill was sponsored by Governor Sean Parnell. It had a pair of well-attended public hearings on....

Deadlines Announced to Participate in BBEDC's Vessel Upgrade Program
11:19 AM THU JANUARY 23, 2014
Commercial fishermen from the Bristol Bay region are eligible for money and assistance to upgrade their vessels. The assistance comes from the local community development quota organization for the Bristol Bay region. However, there are some looming deadlines for fishermen to consider. For over a decade now the Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation has been trying to help local commercial fishermen chill their catch at the point of harvest. That...

The Alaska Fisheries Report
Jan 23, 2014
Coming up this week, sportsfishing interests in Soldotna are not giving up on their efforts to force a vote to ban setnets in Cook Inlet, there’s more quota for Southeast halibut fishermen, but less elsewhere, and a breakthrough in excluders for trawl nets might save...

A Visit to Pillar Bay Salmon Cannery 

Story last updated at 1/23/2014 - 11:55 am
By Pat Roppel | Capital City Weekly
Remote canneries peppered Southeast Alaska in the days before transporting salmon in refrigerated vessels allowed processors to move operations closer to towns. The Bay of Pillars on the west coast of Kuiu Island was home to one of these canneries. This was one of the first locations to be fished in the southern part of Chatham Strait because of a stream that supported a run of sockeye salmon. The first cannery in the bay opened in 1890 and another was constructed in 1902. It was the latter cannery and the herring reduction plant that Arlene Pickrell, her son Randi and I explored in 1972. None of us knew what to expect. As our Ketchikan Air float plane circled, we could see below us prominent....

Unalaska's Arctic agenda: Win funds and influence people
January 24th 11:40 am | Jim Paulin
Stung by not even being considered in a recent Arctic port study, Unalaska city officials believe they know what they need to do to keep federal funding flowing into the Aleutian Islands community: Always attend meetings where Arctic agendas are discussed. The city's Arctic agenda: win funds and influence people. While Unalaska is about a thousand miles away from the Arctic, the city is already feeling the impact of increased commerce as the nearest year-round open water port, city officials said. The Unalaska City Council last week approved sending the mayor and a council member to the Arctic Encounter....

Something fishy is about to happen
Posted: Friday, January 24, 2014 12:16 am
By Howard Delo
I’ve been discussing the upcoming Alaska Board of Fisheries (BOF) meeting for the last three weeks. I’ve touched on some of the negative proposals impacting our Northern District salmon runs and why it is important for you to make your comments known to the BOF opposing the bad and supporting the beneficial proposals, all of which....

Omega-3 intake linked to signs of brain aging
By Shereen Jegtvig
January 22, 2014 4:05 PM
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Older women with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood had slightly less brain shrinkage than women with low fatty acid levels in a new study. The results may suggest that omega-3s protect the brain from the loss of volume that happens with normal aging and is seen more severely in people with dementia, the researchers say. "The brain gets smaller during the normal aging process - about 0.5 percent per year after age 70, but dementia is associated with....

Congress to discuss double inspection on imported catfish
Friday, January 24, 2014, 04:20 (GMT + 9)
The Congress is now discussing the new farm bill, and whether it will include or not a double inspection on imported catfish from two national agencies: the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In the early 2000s, companies such as High Liner began importing Vietnamese catfish, which is far cheaper than American catfish. Southern catfish farmers in...

NOAA data shows spiraling Northeast fishery
The Northeast groundfish fishery performed at an almost historically low level in 2012, with alarming declines in landings and gross revenues and a continuing downward spiral in the number of vessels actively fishing, according to a report released yesterday by NOAA....

A quarter of the world's sharks and rays now threatened with extinction, say scientists
Fabien Tepper
The Christian Science Monitor
January 23, 2014
Sharks and rays may look like visitors from prehistory, but they behave like humans in one surprising way: they invest a lot of energy into just a few children. And thanks in part to their parenting style, many of these species may not survive the human fishing industry. One quarter of all the world's cartilaginous fish species – known as chondrichthyans – are now threatened, reports a study published Tuesday in the journal eLife. The class includes sharks and rays, as well as chimaeras...