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#03-06-2014 - ComFish News Roundup

Alaska’s Halibut and Black Cod Harvest Season Opens Saturday
Offloading Halibut
Offloading Halibut (Photo credit: nrahaim)
Alaska Seafood announces the opening of two sustainable whitefish fisheries. Alaska is home to over 95% of Pacific halibut and over 70% of black cod caught in the U.S.
Juneau, Alaska (PRWEB) March 06, 2014
Alaska’s wild halibut and black cod (sablefish) harvest season opens Saturday, March 8, 2014, at 12:00 PM local time. Statewide Total Allowable Catch (TAC) limits for Alaska halibut and black cod are set at 16.8 million pounds and 33.6 million pounds respectively. Alaska is home to over 95% of the Pacific halibut and over 70% of the black cod harvested in the United States. Like all species of Alaska seafood, Alaska halibut and black cod are wild and sustainable, as mandated by the Alaska Constitution. Alaska’s science-based fishery management....

Geraghty pushes back on EPA process on Pebble mine
Posted: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 11:09 am
Associated Press
JUNEAU, Alaska - Alaska Attorney General Michael Geraghty is pushing back against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over a process that could lead to development of a massive gold-and-copper prospect in the Bristol Bay region being restricted or prohibited.
EPA announced Friday it was exercising a rarely used authority under the Clean Water Act as a way to protect a world-premiere sockeye salmon fishery....

Kroger, Safeway Will Nix GMO Salmon Regardless of FDA Decision
Kroger and Safeway, the largest retail grocery companies in the U.S., have reportedly agreed not to sell genetically modified salmon. The decision was released Monday by a coalition of food safety, consumer, health and fishing groups. The two grocery chains are now part of more than 9,000 stores across the country that have rejected carrying the GM AquAdvantage® salmon regardless of....

Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Sea Otter Recovery Status Questioned
A federal study released by the US Geological Survey concludes that nearly 25 years after the Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster in Prince William Sound the population of sea otters has returned to pre-spill numbers. But marine conservation biologist Rick Steiner, who has tracked effects of the disaster for years, has suggested that due to uncertainties noted in the study itself that the status of the Prince William Sound sea otters be moved from “recovered” to “very likely recovered.” Brenda Ballachey, the USGS research biologist who was the lead author of the study, said signs of recovery were seen in the years leading up to 2009, and the most recent results from 2011........

The Exchange: Handling Risk in a Crowded Bering Sea
By Annie Ropeik
Wednesday, March 05 2014
With oil development in the Alaskan Arctic comes an influx of new vessels in the already high-traffic Bering Sea. As pipelines expand and new projects start up all around the Pacific Northwest and in Alaska, more huge....

Anticipated salmon run could overwhelm Fraser River this summer, experts say
VANCOUVER — The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Mar. 05 2014, 6:21 PM EST
If the early signals are correct, the Fraser River could have the biggest salmon run in B.C. history this summer, with up to 72 million sockeye returning. That would be more than double the record number that came back in 2010, when about 30 million sockeye flooded into the Fraser, overwhelming fish plants with such bounty they ran out of ice and storage boxes....

Over 155,000 salmon lost due to gales
Thursday, March 06, 2014, 23:10 (GMT + 9)
Recent strong winds and heavy seas have been blamed for the fault which allowed about 155,000 salmon to escape from a fish farm in Shetland, according to its operators. Meridian Salmon Group, one of the top five salmon farming companies in Scotland that is located on the island of Yell, had more than 364,000 salmon in cages before extreme weather conditions affected them, BBC reported. A company spokesman pointed out: "Gale force winds and large swells caused a.....