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#02-05-2014 - ComFish News Roundup

Alaska Board of Fisheries reverses decision on escapement goals (video)
By Heather Hintze
9:31 PM February 4, 2014
The optimal escapement goal will stay the same at 15,000 to 30,000 kings in the Kenai River
ANCHORAGE - The Alaska Board of Fisheries reversed their initial decision Tuesday on escapement goals for late-run Kenai king salmon. They voted to turn down an increase in escapement goals shortly after approving the measure. The optimal escapement...

Dive association recommends geoduck closure
Published: 2014.02.04 10:31 AM
The Southeast Alaska geoduck fishery until a meeting about the Chinese ban on imports. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced today that geoduck fishing is....

3:16 PM TUE FEBRUARY 4, 2014
360 Scientists Call for Permanent Protections for Bristol Bay
Well over 300 scientists, researchers, and university professors from across the country are praising the EPA for the work done to put together the “Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment”. They are also calling for protections for the Bristol Bay region from the harmful effects of large-scale mining. KDLG’s Mike Mason has the story....

Spawning Bed Protection Not Popular With Guides
Posted: February 4, 2014 at 10:26 am
Several proposals before the Board of Fish today call for increased closures around the Kenai River king salmon spawning beds. Dwight Kramer with the Kenai Area Fishermen’s Association wrote one of the proposals....

Harbor Commissioners Defend Need for New Building
Ariel Van Cleave
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Reactions are mixed when it comes to building a new Harbormaster’s office on the Homer Spit. Concerns mostly stem from the overall cost of building and constructing the new facility. Just shy of $2.3 million: That’s the current cost estimate for design and construction of the new office. The city received a legislative grant totaling $1.5 million to cover the majority of costs for design and construction of the new facility. As part of the deal, the city had to fork over $500,000 to show they were invested in the idea. That portion will come from the port and harbor reserve fund. But there’s still that remaining $300,000. The Port and Harbor Building Task Force set its sights on.....

State Aims For Larger Ferry to Replace Tustumena
By Annie Ropeik
Tuesday, February 04 2014
State officials are hoping the ferry Tustumena’s replacement will be bigger, faster and more efficient. But they also say the current ferry doesn’t need to be retired just yet. Captain John Falvey is the general manager of the Alaska Marine Highway System. He gave the House Transportation Committee an update Tuesday on preliminary designs for the ferry that will replace the aging...

The Salmon Project: The Story Continues
Sara Loewen
February 4, 2014
Our 6-year-old wasn’t happy about leaving the fishsite this fall. What kid wants to give up daily skiff rides and building driftwood forts and beach fires for alarm clocks and classrooms?
To ease his reluctance, I let him pick out his first real fishing pole when we were back in Kodiak. His little brother, Luke, inherited the rusty push-button rod with Star Wars sound effects that no longer casts but is still good for poking at things. Grandpa wasn’t sure that Liam was ready to bring in a silver, and it’s true I spent a good part of our first trips to the river untangling his hook from alders and steering Luke and the dogs away from his erratic casting. But when Liam backed a 12-pounder onto the gravel, and we drove that silver straight to Grandpa’s, and when, every day during journal time for the first month of first grade, Liam drew....

Ketchikan: Assembly objects to DOT ideas for Herring Cove
by Leila Kheiry
February 4, 2014 5:09 PM
It wasn’t an action item on the agenda, but the issue of seasonal congestion in the Herring Cove area was a hot topic of conversation during Monday’s Borough Assembly meeting.....

Lawmakers seek Endangered Species Act overhaul
By MATTHEW BROWN, Associated Press
Updated 12:50 am, Wednesday, February 5, 2014
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Republicans in Congress on Tuesday called for an overhaul to the Endangered Species Act to curtail environmentalists' lawsuits and give more power to states, but experts say broad changes to one of the nation's cornerstone environmental laws are unlikely given the pervasive partisan divide in Washington, D.C. A group of 13 GOP lawmakers representing states across the U.S. released a report proposing "targeted reforms" for the 40-year-old federal law, which...

February 4, 2014 at 4:12 PM
Fishery managers meeting Wednesday to decide on Columbia region smelt fishery
Posted by Mark Yuasa
State Fish and Wildlife is meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 5 to discuss what options there are, if any for a sport smelt dip-net fishery on the Lower Columbia and/or Cowlitz rivers. By the late 1990s, these small silver-colored fish started to dwindle dramatically to the point where National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) listed them as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in spring of 2010. That meant smelt have been off-limits to fishermen since 2011, and even touching them dead or alive has been a no-no. Last spring, smelt began reappearing in extremely strong....

Major seafood buyers join High Liner in sustainable salmon project
Wednesday, February 05, 2014, 22:30 (GMT + 9)
Four major seafood buyers announced that they have joined High Liner Foods in supporting the Wild Salmon Center’s Salmon Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) Partnership. The Partnership, which includes NestlĂ©, Gorton’s, The Fishin’ Company, Albion Fisheries, and High Liner Foods, aims to significantly increase the number of fisheries around the globe that supply sustainable salmon.  The project's goal is to have 75 per cent of the world’s wild salmon supply become third-party certified as sustainable or be in a credible FIP by 2016. Since its launch last spring, the Partnership has inspired fisheries accounting for over....

The Trans-Pacific Partnership: An environmentalist's nightmare
By Martha Baskin
A cartoon image in the recently leaked ‘Environment Chapter’ of the the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the secretive trade agreement being negotiated by the U.S. and 11 other countries, shows Mickey Mouse expounding to the wildlife that surround him. “Of course the environment is in the TPP," he exclaims. But, as WikiLeaks revealed when it released the chapter last month, the draft version of the agreement exposes most of its environmental protections as toothless and unenforceable. “The enforcement provisions effectively result in....

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