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#02-15-2014 - ComFish News Roundup

Economic Threat of Pirate Fishing: Senators Stand up for Alaska Fishermen, Coastal Communities
February 12, 2014
(SitNews) Washington, D.C. - With the pirate fishing industry costing coastal Alaskan communities millions of dollars, U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich stood up today for Alaska fishermen who play by the rules and coastal communities. Senator Murkowski (R-AK) testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations about the multi-million dollar economic threat posed by illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing to Alaska’s seafood industry, and the need for Senate ratification for the Port State Measures Agreement. Murkowski’s testimony took a unique and personal tone when she recounted that her own son is just returning to port after a season fishing crab, saying that strengthened laws have....

King Cove: Out of sight; out of mind
Added by Editor on February 15, 2014.
Saved under Editorial
Here is a huge surprise: U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, despite coldly denying King Cove a short road connection to an all-weather runway at Cold Bay and promising to help the village with alternatives, has done – wait for it – absolutely nothing for the community. Squat. Nada. Zip. Zilch. When Jewell on Dec. 23 sided with birds and environmentalists and rejected the land swap necessary for the road, she grandly assured the world she would help. She certainly should. Since 1981, more than a dozen people have died in King Cove trying to fly out for medical help in poor weather or they have perished waiting for help. In a....

Feb 14, 2014, 10:52am PST
Longtime Seattle company Wards Cove winding down operations
Marc Stiles
Staff Writer-
Puget Sound Business Journal
Wards Cove Co., once one of the Puget Sound region's largest private employers, is selling the last of its properties on Lake Union in Seattle. The sales come as the 86-year-old company begins closing what’s left of the firm that was also one of Alaska’s largest fish-processing companies. Wards Cove President and CEO Jan Supler estimated that the company used to employ around 3,000 people, mostly temporary workers, at the peak of salmon...
Another connection between Alaska and Taiwan: Smoked salmon
Dan Bloom
February 14, 2014
Alaska's ties with the Pacific island nation of Taiwan continue to expand, and now it's a new restaurant with a strong Alaskan connection. Alaskan expat Benjamin Mercer, who just turned 30 the other day, had long been talking about setting up some kind of small restaurant with a fellow traveller from Michigan while both of them were taking Chinese classes and teaching English in Taipei. They did and it's called "Salt Lick." It's a barbeque joint along Taiwan's scenic east coast (which some expats and locals call paradise).....

10:24 AM FRI FEBRUARY 14, 2014
ADF&G Releases Subsistence Halibut Harvest Numbers
DILLINGHAM:  The National Marine Fisheries Service and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game have published a study with the estimated number of subsistence-caught halibut in waters off the coast of Alaska in 2012......

3:05 PM FRI FEBRUARY 14, 2014
Sockeye Fillets Make a Whole Foods Top 10 List
The leading organic and natural foods grocery store chain in the U.S. recently released a top 10 list that includes sockeye salmon fillets from Alaska. Whole Foods announced their first quarter earnings on Wednesday. The chain’s total sales were up 10-percent compared to last year. As a matter of fact the company’s first.....

BOF makes the right call
Posted: Friday, February 14, 2014 11:38 am
We find a lot to cheer in the decisions made by the state Board of Fisheries this week. In a unanimous decision, the board decided to limit commercial fishing in Cook Inlet in the interest of letting more salmon pass through on their way to Mat-Su waters. A large part of what drives us to cheer that decision is we live here. We are Mat-Su boosters and interested in Mat-Su issues. This is not just hometown boosterism. To us, fish is food. For many in Alaska, fish is life and has been for millennia. But we think this decision also makes solid economic sense by prioritizing.....

Fisheries Committee Advances Tax Credit Extension
Feb. 14 2014
Mike Mason/KDLG
A bill that would continue a tax credit that’s heavily used by seafood processors passed out of the House Fisheries Committee yesterday (Thursday). The intent behind House Bill 204 is to continue the tax credit on new processing equipment beyond its scheduled sunset....

The Alaska Fisheries Report
Feb. 13, 2014
Coming up this week, bad news for Cook Inlet commercial fishermen is coming out of the Alaska Board of Fisheries meeting, the stormy weather caused a number of injuries on a factory trawler out west, and, wait for it: Magnetic Salmon. We had help from KDLL’s Shaylon Cochran in Kenai, KUCB’s Lauren Rosenthal and Annie Ropeik in Unalaska, and KMXT’s Brianna Gibbs in Kodiak....

Kodiak Hiring choice questioned – From King Crab Capital to Hard on Bottom Trawl Capital of the World
February 15, 2014
The city of Kodiak and the borough just approved the ultimate insider – one who has long...

Coast Guard medevacs mariner near Cold Bay, Alaska

Date: Feb. 11, 2014
U.S. Coast Guard 17th District Public Affairs
JUNEAU, Alaska — A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew medevaced an ailing mariner from a vessel in the Bering Sea near Cold Bay today.

The helicopter crew safely transported the man to emergency medical services in Cold Bay for a commercial flight to Anchorage.

Coast Guard 17th District command center watchstanders received the medevac request from the crew of the 158-foot fishing vessel Arica and immediately directed the launch of the helicopter and aircrew from forward operating location Cold Bay.

The aircrew rendezvoused with the fishing vessel and safely hoisted the mariner, who was reportedly suffering from abdominal pain.

“Our forward operating locations allow us to minimize response times during particular fishing seasons throughout Alaska,” said Lt. Sarah Morin, a command duty officer with the 17th District command center. “During at-sea emergencies, narrowing the gap between the fishing fleet and our response assets is critical.”

Weather on scene was reported as 8- to 10-foot seas with 35 mph winds and visibility at 0.5 to 0.75 miles.

U.S. to Appoint Arctic 'Special Representative' After Alaska Pressure
Chris Klint Chris Klint, Senior Digital Producer
POSTED: 01:36 PM AKST Feb 14, 2014
Anchorage: The U.S. government will appoint a "special representative for the Arctic region," joining other nations pushing for greater influence above the Arctic Circle as its strategic and commercial importance grows. According to Devon Kearns, a spokesperson for Sen. Mark Begich’s office, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry talked on the phone with Begich Wednesday, and the State Department contacted him Friday, to confirm the establishment of the new position. Both Begich and Sen. Lisa Murkowski have been pushing for the appointment. Begich, who says he...

Warm-water-loving bacteria showing up in Alaska marine mammals
Yereth Rosen
February 14, 2014
A type of stomach-turning bacteria that thrives in warm waters is starting to turn up in sea otters and other marine mammals that live off Alaska's Gulf Coast, an indicator of northern climate change, according to a newly published research paper authored by several Alaska veterinarians and biologists. The bacteria is Vibrio parahaemolyticus -- Vp for short -- and it proliferates in waters at least 15 degrees Celsius (59 degrees F), is a fecal pathogen notorious for accumulating in shellfish and causing diarrhea, vomiting and other gastrointestinal woes in people who eat the shellfish. That bacteria-related illness made its first documented Alaska appearance in 2004, when 62 cruise ship passengers were stricken with stomach pains and other...

Tiny fish could be to blame for crashing Alaska sea life populations
Alex DeMarban
February 14, 2014
A scientist who has spent much of his career studying paralytic shellfish poisoning has an all-encompassing theory about what may have killed gobs of threatened and endangered marine mammal predators in Alaska, not to mention the vaunted king salmon that appears to be on the decline in some of the state's waterways. The hypothesis involves the tiny sand lance, a pencil-shaped fish found along Alaska’s coasts that gets gobbled up by animals seeking a fatty burst of energy, including Steller sea lions, sea otters and northern fur seals, species of concern that have seen stunning population drops in Western Alaska. Also chowing down on the fatty forage fish, which takes shelter in the .....

Seward: Dock burn winds down
By Wolfgang Kurtz
LOG Editor
February 13, 2014
Against the backdrop of a short list of environmental headlines in the Seward area, a recent fire to dispose of material from a demolished floating dock appears to have generated little exposure for the City of Seward and the Alaska Railroad. Burn permittee and city dock demolition contractor West Construction/Orion Marine Contractors continues to be eyed by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation for its leading role in the blaze that generated complaints from residents over the amount and nature of smoke generated. Complaints and photographic evidence submitted to ADEC were .....

Hawaii: Scientist Resigns Over ‘Abusive Work Environment’ with Federal Fishery Council
02/14/2014 at 5:04PM HST
Robin Baird, a renowned research biologist, says an “abusive work environment” has forced him to quit his position on a committee that advises the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council on protected species.....

Severe drought blocks salmon migration in the coast of California
Friday, February 14, 2014, 04:00 (GMT + 9)
California central coast is going through a severe drought, which is preventing coho salmon from leaving for the ocean or swimming upstream to spawn. Most of the small creeks and streams flowing into the ocean along the coast are now sandbars that grow in the mouths of the rivers due to lack of snow runoff. This...

California's Man-Made Drought
The green war against San Joaquin Valley farmers.
Updated Sept. 2, 2009 12:49 p.m. ET
California has a new endangered species on its hands in the San Joaquin Valley—farmers. Thanks to environmental regulations designed to protect the likes of the three-inch long delta smelt, one of America's premier agricultural regions is suffering in a drought made worse by federal regulations. The state's water emergency is unfolding thanks to the latest mishandling of the Endangered Species Act. Last December, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued what is known as a "biological opinion" imposing water reductions on the San Joaquin Valley and environs to safeguard the federally protected hypomesus transpacificus, a.k.a., the delta smelt. As a result, tens of billions of gallons of water from mountains east and north...

Navy to hold Eureka meeting on training, weapons testing; area extends to the tip of Humboldt County
Will Houston/The Times-Standard
POSTED:   02/15/2014 02:28:20 AM PST
The U.S. Navy is scheduled hold a meeting in Eureka in early March to allow members of the public to comment on the potential environmental impacts of the Navy's five-year training and weapons testing plans along the North Coast. During the training period -- lasting from 2015 to 2020 -- Navy personnel will conduct exercises and test a variety of weapons and equipment such as sonar technology, electromagnetic devices and explosives off the coasts of Alaska, Oregon, Washington and Northern California. The testing....

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#01-14-2014 - ComFish News Roundup

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