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Showing posts from February, 2014

#02-28-2014 - ComFish News Roundup (EPA moves re: Pebble)

EPA starts process that could restrict Pebble Mine BY BECKY BOHRER Washington Post Associated Press February 28, 2014 Updated 24 minutes ago JUNEAU, ALASKA — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is taking the first steps toward possibly restricting or even prohibiting development of a massive gold-and-copper prospect near the headwaters of a world-premier sockeye salmon fishery in southwest Alaska. The decision follows release of an EPA report in January that found large-scale mining in the Bristol Bay watershed posed significant risk to salmon and could adversely affect Alaska Natives in the region, whose culture is built around salmon. The action, being announced Friday, is what supporters of the proposed Pebble Mine have feared — and could result in the agency blocking the project, even before it gets to the permitting phase. Opponents of the mine have urged EPA to take steps to protect the region. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said in a release that scientific study h

#02-27-2014 - ComFish News Roundup

UFA and many of our member groups is at the Magnuson hearing in DC today. — UnitedFishermenAK (@UFA_Fish) February 27, 2014 Alaska requests Endangered Species Act delisting for humpback whales Yereth Rosen National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the U.S. logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia ) February 26, 2014 Humpback whales, once nearly wiped out in the North Pacific by commercial hunters, are now so plentiful in the Alaska-to-Hawaii migration corridor that they should be removed from the Endangered Species Act list, the state of Alaska argues in a petition to federal officials. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game said Wednesday it has submitted a delisting petition to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the federal agency that manages and protects the nation’s whales. The North Pacific humpback population was down to about 1,000 in 1966, the year that....

Good Samaritans (Miss Jana & Equinox), + Coast Guard rescue three men near Valdez (map)

News Release Date: Feb. 27, 2014 U.S. Coast Guard 17th District Public Affairs Kodiak KODIAK, Alaska — The crews of the 36-foot good Samaritan fishing vessel Miss Jana and the 50-foot good Samaritan fishing vessel Equinox rescued three persons out of the water in the vicinity of Valdez Arm after their 36-foot landing craft Belltech 5 began taking on water and sank, Wednesday night. Sector Anchorage command center watchstanders received a mayday call on VHF radio channel 16 from the crew of the Belltech 5. Sector Anchorage issued an urgent marine information broadcast and the crew of the Miss Jana responded to the scene, rescuing the three men from the water. Shortly after embarking the men, the crew of the Miss Jana reported engine problems and transferred the men to the nearby fishing vessel Equinox. The Equinox took the Miss Jana in tow. While in transit to Valdez, the Equinox was met by a Coast Guard 45-foot response boat-medium from Station Valdez who embarked the three

#02-26-2014 - ComFish News Roundup

STATES RIGHTS Feds to Alaskans: No road for humans, lots of land for animals Meeting the Alaska Ferry at King Cove (Photo credit: J. Stephen Conn ) By Barnini Chakraborty Published February 26, 2014 In one of Alaska's most remote outposts, where a thousand hardy souls make their homes, the Obama administration has put the fate of birds and bears above the lives of people, blocking construction of an 11-mile gravel trail connecting a tiny fishing hamlet to a life-saving airport. For more than three decades the predominantly Aleut fishing community of King Cove has been fighting to build a one-lane,gravel track connecting the Cove to the nearby hamlet of Cold Bay. What they have gotten is 30 years of.... Alaska's fight for the life-saving King Cove road is making waves in national media. — Sen. Lisa Murkowski (@lisamurkowski) February 26, 2014 Pebbl

Confirmed by Satellite: Large Landslide Detected in Southeastern Alaska

More @APRN > Map: (.kml provided by   February 25, 2014 Using imagery from the Landsat 8 satellite, scientists have confirmed that a large landslide occurred in southeastern Alaska on February 16, 2014. Preliminary estimates suggest the landslide on the flanks of  Mount La Perouse  involved 68 million metric tons (75 million short tons) of material, which would make it the largest known landslide on Earth since 2010. The  Operational Land Imager  on  Landsat 8  acquired this image on February 23, 2014. The avalanche debris appears light brown compared to the snow-covered surroundings. The sediment slid in a southeasterly direction, stretching across 7.4 kilometers (4.6 miles) and mixing with ice and snow in the process. The slide was triggered by the collapse of a near-vertical mountain face at an elevation of 2,800 meters (9,200 feet), according to Columbi

#02-25-2014 - ComFish News Roundup

Political solution sought for China geoduck ban by Leila Kheiry February 24, 2014 4:11 PM Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski and members of the Southeast Alaska Regional Dive Fisheries Association talked last week about the possibility that China’s ban on Alaska and Washington State geoducks is based more on politics than on science. Senator Murkowski stopped in Ketchikan after her trip to Juneau to address the Alaska State Legislature. She met with various groups, including some dive fishermen who are worried about China’s ongoing ban on geoduck clams. “I liked how one gentleman put it,” she said during a press availability later that day. “He said, ‘Some are saying it’s an issue that relates to science. Some have suggested there’s more politics. It’s probably political science.’” Phil Doherty is the executive director at SARDFA. He said he told the senator that.... Rick Halford: Protecting the Long Term Future of Br

Coast Guard medevacs 48-year-old man near Cold Bay, Alaska

News Release Date: Feb. 24, 2014 U.S. Coast Guard 17th District Public Affairs Anchorage ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Kodiak, NOAA forward deployed to Cold Bay, medevaced a 48-year-old man from the 272-foot fishing vessel American Dynasty approximately 95 miles northwest of Cold Bay, Monday. The helicopter crew flew the man to the Cold Bay Clinic for subsequent transport to Anchorage by commercial medevac services. Watchstanders at the Coast Guard 17th District command center in Juneau were notified of the man’s injury by Health Force Partners, medical support providers for the crew of the American Dynasty. It was reported he was suffering from severe abdominal pain. The watchstanders consulted the duty flight surgeon who recommended the medevac. “This case highlights the value of our hoist capable helicopters deployed to forward operating locations throughout Alaska,” said Lt. Cmdr. Doug Watson of the Coast Guard 17th

#02-24-2014 - ComFish News Roundup

1:47 PM SUN FEBRUARY 23, 2014 Rio Tinto Employee Resigns from the Northern Dynasty Minerals Board By MIKE MASON A member of the Northern Dynasty Minerals Board of Directors has resigned. Stephen Scott is the General Manager with Rio Tinto’s copper division and he was appointed to the Northern Dynasty Minerals Board in 2007. In a press release, Northern Dynasty Minerals confirmed that the appointment was made in conjunction with an investment in the company made by Rio Tinto. Rio Tinto is a giant mining company that currently holds a 19-percent interest in Northern Dynasty Minerals. Rio Tinto has come under pressure recently to divest itself of its... Mag: Alaskan Outrage As Obama Appointee Rejects Wilderness Road Time Mag The Department of the Interior's decision to nix a new road is a life-and-death issue for a remote Alaskan village By Alex Altman Feb. 19, 2014 King Cove is a village of un