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#01-25-2014 - ComFish News Roundup - #RFM #MSC @AlaskaSalmon

New Walmart guidelines put Alaskan salmon back on the menu
In an eagerly awaited decision that spells good news for Alaskan salmon suppliers, Walmart says it will begin accepting seafood certified by programs other than the Marine Stewardship Council
Clare Leschin-Hoar
ASMI - E-book, Friday 24 January 2014 14.31 EST
After four months of uncertainty, Alaskan salmon suppliers to Walmart have something to celebrate. The retail giant told the Guardian it has decided to expand its sustainable seafood policy to include certification programs beyond that of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), the world's largest seafood certifier. In effect, the revised policy means Walmart will continue to source wild Alaskan salmon for its stores. While that might not sound like momentous news on the surface, it is. The decision could send big ripples throughout the seafood industry. The fish fight began last summer when Walmart sent a seemingly routine letter to suppliers – in advance of the salmon season – reminding them that wild seafood needed to be certified by the MSC "or equivalent". The problem was that no equivalent certification scheme existed, and the majority of the Alaskan salmon suppliers had already walked away from MSC, saying they would no longer pay the hefty fees required for certification. Instead, they were embracing a new program called Responsible Fisheries Management , or RFM. With little warning, Walmart found itself smack-dab in the middle of a....
Winter fishing seasons begin, snow crab ramps up early 
Published: 2014.01.24 09:38 AM
The federal Bering Sea pollock A season opened Jan. 20, marking the start of the largest fishery in the U.S. This year, fishermen in federal waters will have access to 1.267 million metric tons of pollock in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands, or BSAI, and 162,351 metric tons in the Gulf of Alaska. Those total allowable catches, or TACs, are an increase compared to 2013, when fishermen had access to 1.247 million tons in the BSAI and 110,272 metric tons in the Gulf. The most recent stock assessments showed stronger pollock recruitment than had been...
Busan seafood expo a showcase for byproduct innovation
Published: 2014.01.24 09:37 AM
BUSAN, South Korea — In this seafood-loving country, where annual per capita consumption is more than eight times that of falling United States levels, fish isn’t just for breakfast, lunch and dinner anymore. With substantial government research support, Korean companies lead the Western Pacific region in development of vitamin supplements, snack foods, makeup and other often high-priced products from fish bones, skin and other byproducts commonly ground into meal by U.S. producers. Products on display in the “marine bio-tech zone” at the 11th annual Busan International Seafood & Fisheries Exposition, here Nov. 21-23, 2013, included $170 gift sets of...

Kodiak: City Approves Federal Wishlist, TWIC Card Lease Extension
Jan 24, 2014
Brianna Gibbs/KMXT
A handful of Kodiak projects will be sent to Washington D.C. in the near future. During last night’s city council meeting the council unanimously approved the city’s prioritized federal capital improvements program and issues list, essentially the city’s wish list of sorts for federal funding. City Manager Aimee Kniaziowski said she spoke with the city’s D.C. lobbyist, Brad Gilman, and he recommended including all transportation and water infrastructure projects....

Sparring continues over proposed Pebble mine
Begich Pebble is not worth the risk
Begich & Cantwell - Misc. flickr
Posted 01/24/2014
by - Margaret Bauman
In the wake of the release of a final federal report on potential impact of a proposed massive copper, gold and molybdenum mine in Southwest Alaska, the state's two U.S. Senators remain divided in their stance on the future of the mine. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said in its final watershed assessment report released in mid-January concluded that a large-scale mine in the Bristol Bay area, home of the world's largest wild sockeye salmon run, would pose substantial risk of adverse impact to salmon habitat. The report, online at, details a number of adverse results that could occur if the mine was developed and operated, including catastrophic damage to fishery habitat...

Gold crabbers get nod for boost
January 24th 11:27 am | Jim Paulin
How much gold is enough for the golden king crab fleet?
The golden king crabbers' bid for a bigger quota narrowly won an endorsement from the Unalaska Dutch Harbor Fish and Game Advisory Committee. By a 5-3 vote last week, the committee supported an amendment to boost the annual catch by 5 percent, less than the 15 percent sought by the longline crab coalition. The controversy involved a lack of solid data to justify the increase, in the absence of a major stock survey of the Aleutian Islands fishery by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. One opponent said the rationalized fishery is already doing very well financially, citing the fleet's "fresh paint, new gear, and steady crews," according to...

1 Week to Board of Fish
Posted: January 24, 2014 at 7:11 am
This time next week the Board of Fish will be sitting down to consider proposals which could dramatically change the face of Cook Inlet fishing. In more than 200 pages dedicated to the Upper Cook Inlet, there are proposals to tie sports and commercial fishing together...

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 Symposium in Seattle next month. Several Alaska officials are set to speak, including U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell. Mayor Shirley Marquardt said it's important for...

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