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#02-11-2014 - ComFish News Roundup

BOF changes Central District drift fishery plan
Published: 2014.02.10 12:38 PM
On Monday, the Alaska Board of Fisheries approved several changes to the Central District Drift Gillnet Fishery Management Plan outlined in a proposal submitted by the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Fish & Wildlife Commission. After more than an hour of discussion, the board voted unanimously to adopt the new regulation that includes provisions establishing a 1 percent rule for the fishery in August and a new area to fish called the Anchor Point section. The fishing season — which opens on the later date of either the third Monday in June or June 19 — will allow fishing from July 9–15 in the Expanded Kenai and Kasilof Sections and Area 1. The expanded....

Council asks for info on halibut vessel caps
Published: 2014.02.10 10:27 PM
After extensive public testimony on the matter, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council agreed to take an initial step in possible changes to the existing vessel caps in halibut and sablefish fisheries. Currently, any vessel in the halibut individual fishing quota, or IFQ, fishery is prevented from harvesting more than a certain portion of the statewide harvest. In 2013, that was 109,000 pounds. The council’s action, which was....

Reifenstuhl: Regional hatcheries return investment seven-fold
By Robert Woolsey, KCAW - Sitka
Posted on February 10, 2014 at 7:39 am
Commercial fisheries have never been more important to Southeast Alaska, and the region’s hatchery programs are a critical part of that success. That was the message Steve Reifenstuhl delivered to the Sitka Chamber of Commerce last week. Reifenstuhl is the general manager of the....

Pollock as halibut bait shows mixed results, Good in the GOA!
February 10, 2014
by Laine Welch
Fish RadioFebruary 11, 2014
This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch –  Pollock as halibut bait gets mixed reviews. More after this....

'Gyre' dives into the murky waters of marine debris 
February 6, 2014
ere are no roads within 150 miles of Hallo Bay, a brown bear haven in Alaska's Katmai National Park. Yet last year four tons of garbage were collected from just four miles of beach in one day. Plastic bottles. Fly swatters with sports team logos. Fishing nets. All were brought to Hallo Bay with the tides. Alaska's wilderness is the closest thing to a pristine landscape on the planet, but even the Last Frontier is not immune to the growing ocean trash problem. An ambitious new art and science exhibition tackles the big picture. "Gyre: The Plastic Ocean" debuts Feb. 7 at the Anchorage Museum. "Gyre" tells a global marine debris story through the work of 26 artists hailing from Australia to Finland, as well as a National....

America in the Arctic: Melting ice and soft security
11 Feb 2014, 10:00
Ros Donald
If you want an indication that US ambition in the Arctic has been limited, you could turn to the size of its icebreaker fleet. Russia, which sees exploiting the Arctic as vital to its national interest, has 20 icebreakers. At present, America has just three. To the frustration of many, the US has never placed the region near the top of its list of priorities. But with the Arctic sea ice in long term retreat, and new economic possibilities opening in the region, that mindset may now be changing.
Soft security
Retreating sea ice creates new possibilities for resource extraction, tourism and fishing in the....

Study Finds There Are Literally More Fish in the Sea
Feb. 10, 2014 8:00pm Liz Klimas
When the phrase “there are plenty more fish in the sea” is employed, it’s usually to serve as a balm after a relationship goes sour. But in this case, we mean literal fish. A new study from researchers with the Malaspina Expedition, managed by the Spanish National Research Council, found there could be 10 times more fish mass in the ocean than previously estimated. According to a release about the research....

Geoduck quota within reach for Lower Elwha Klallam tribe despite China’s ban
By Paul Gottlieb
Peninsula Daily News
PORT ANGELES — The Lower Elwha Klallam tribe expects to meet its geoduck quota despite an indefinite Chinese ban on shellfish imports from Northern California to Alaska that caused the tribe to lose about $100,000 in revenue. Although the Chinese market normally consumes about 90 percent of the Klallam harvest, the tribe’s geoduck buyers have largely recovered by selling product in Asia — including China, tribal Fisheries Manager Doug Morrill said Monday. Buyers are contravening the ban by going through Canada and Hong Kong to get restricted American geoducks to China, he said. Morrill said the ban, imposed in December about a month before the busy Chinese New Year season, caused about $100,000 in revenue.....

Local legislators back seafood marketing plan
By Steve Urbon
February 11, 2014 12:00 AM
NEW BEDFORD — Maryland has its blue crabs. Maine has its lobsters. Rhode Island has its quahogs. Alaska has its king crabs. And New Bedford has its scallops. Now a bill before the Legislature filed by state Sen. Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester would give Bay State groundfishermen, who land 70 percent of the catch in New England, some traction in the seafood marketing business. The bill emerged out of....

Failed Somali pirate prosecution fuels terror trial fears
By JOSH GERSTEIN | 2/10/14 1:25 PM EST
The failed prosecution of an alleged Somali pirate — and the fact that that failure could leave him living freely, and permanently, inside U.S. borders — is highlighting anew the risks of trying terror suspects in American courts. Just a few weeks ago, Ali Mohamed Ali was facing the possibility of a mandatory life sentence in a 2008 shipjacking off the coast of Yemen — an incident much like the one dramatized in the film “Captain Phillips.” Now, the Somali native is in immigration detention in Virginia and seeking permanent asylum in the United States.....