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United Fishermen of AK

Mailing Address:
PO Box 20229
Juneau, AK 99802-0229

Physical Address:
410 Calhoun Ave Ste 101
Juneau, Alaska

Phone: 907.586.2820
Fax: 907.463.2545
ufa@ufa-fish.org

 

Updates

Keep informed with news concerning Alaska fishermen today.
    Join the UFA mailing list

    Past Updates (archives)
   3/18, 1/27, 12/20, 8/26, 7/3, 5/24, 3/15, 12/31, 10/9, 8/31, 7/31, 6/21, ,4/20,  3/6

UFA Update


March 18, 2014

Thanks to rejoining UFA Ocean Class business member Trident Seafoods!  We greatly appreciate your support.

The UFA reception in February was a huge success, thanks to our generous seafood donations from Jim and Mona Stone of the Alaska Scallop Association for the scallops and amazing catering, Taku Fisheries for the salmon, rockfish, halibut and Tanner crab, Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers for the Bairdi crab, and Trident Seafoods for the Redi Grilled Pollock.

Help support Alaska’s #1 private sector employer and protect your fishing business by joining UFA today! Visit 'Become a Member' to see the various membership levels and benefits.  UFA members receive a free subscription to National Fisherman and Pacific Fishing.

We have updated UFA’s Alaska Commercial Fishing and Seafood Processing community fact sheets with additional tax revenue from local municipal and borough fish taxes – thanks to the Alaska Department of Commerce and Andy Wink of McDowell Group. The updated sheets are: Aleutians East, Aleutians West, Bristol Bay Borough, Dillingham, Lake and Peninsula Borough, Kodiak, Sitka, and Unalaska-Dutch Harbor.
See UFA updated Community Fact Sheets at: http://www.ufa-fish.org/cff.htm

From the Executive Director,
With the legislative session past the half-way point, we would like to update our members and friends on recent actions. UFA held their semi-annual board meeting February 19-21 in Juneau where 38 action items were taken. The UFA board was also able to meet with 16 members of the Alaska State Legislature, Senator Murkowski, Governor Parnell, and many other officials such as DNR Commissioner Balash and ADF&G Commissioner Campbell. Directly after the UFA meeting, I testified in Washington DC in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation’s Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard. The hearing was titled: “North Pacific Perspectives on Magnuson-Stevens Act Reauthorization”, and you can watch the video HERE.

The UFA office is also busy keeping an eye on legislative committees, bills, and budgets. With a decline in revenue to the state, the Governor and Legislature are working hard to find ways to reduce the budget. Last session, the Legislature adopted a zero-growth budget and this session they are looking to reduce further. The bottom line is that although Alaska is rich in resources, we are running out of money in the general fund. There will be a lot of belt tightening over the next five years, and the cuts that are being implemented this year may be small compared to what we are facing in the future. The House has passed their version of the Operating Budget which includes a $1 million reduction in the ADF&G budget on top of the $570,000 reduction from the Governor’s budget. The House also adopted a $780,000 reduction to the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) budget (the industry contributes over $9.7 million to the general fund in “Seafood Marketing Assessment” taxes), and reversed a 25% reduction to the Alaska Marine Safety Education Association (AMSEA) budget (which is funded by state boat registration receipts and does not rely on revenue from the general fund).

Please consider weighing in with your senator or representative on the importance of adequate funding for ADF&G, ASMI, and AMSEA. The seafood industry in Alaska brings in over $130 million in state-levied taxes, self-assessments, and state fees that go into Alaska’s general fund as well as seafood related local government taxes which partially offset the need for state funding and tax revenue from local residents and businesses in some communities. Find who represents you at the Alaska legislative website: http://w3.legis.state.ak.us/index.php   

Julianne Curry
Executive Director
United Fishermen of Alaska
Office: 907.586.2820
Cell: 907.957.4747
http://www.ufa-fish.org
jcurry@ufa-fish.org

Inclusion of an item does not mean that UFA endorses or agrees.

Table of Contents
1. UFA invited to testify at Senate Commerce Oceans subcommittee hearing on Magnuson–Stevens Act (MSA) reauthorization – Feb 27, 2014
2. New group supports state denial of setnet ban initiative
3. Hearing set April 22 for suit over setnet ban initiative
4. ADN Compass by Mark Hamilton: Fish board did well for conservation of Kenai kings
5. ADN Compass by Frank Mullen: Board of Fish misses the boat on Kenai kings
6. Kenai king salmon could benefit from enhancement
7. Board of Fisheries Upper Cook Inlet meeting January 31–February 13, 2014 results
8. Boston Seafood Show - March 16-18, 2014
9. EPA moves to protect Bristol Bay fishery from Pebble Mine
10. EPA extends response deadline on Pebble Mine impacts
11. The Atlantic: Is Alaska's Pebble Mine the Next Keystone XL?
12. Alaska residents decry permitting bill HB 77
13. Murkowski Tells Foreign Relations Committee: Alaskan Fisherman Need a Level Playing Field
14. Begich, Rubio Team Up to Fight EPA Regulations on F/V incidental discharge
15. Reminder – March 31 is deadline for ACA Health Insurance enrollment
16. Self-employed fishers prepare for ACA mandate
16. Reminder: Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend Application deadline is March 31
17. Crystal Lake hatchery building, eggs destroyed in fire
18. Proposal to bring tourists to Pelican raises eyebrows
19. Southeast Geoduck Dive Fishery Opens; Market Found
20. Chinese ban of US shellfish to continue
21. Murkowski Urges FDA Involvement in Lifting China Shellfish Ban
22. Murkowski Takes Frankenfish Fight to FDA in Hearing
23. Six fisheries in U.S. to receive fishery disaster relief funds
24. Congressman Young: Vital Alaskan Causes Advance in Coast Guard Bill
25. Southeast sees record tanner crab harvest
26. Succulent sockeye from Cordova a triple crown winner in Alaska's Symphony of Seafood
27. B.C. Mines Spark Worry in Southeast Alaska
28. Southeast Alaska Fish Habitat Partnership recognized by National Fish Habitat Board
29. University, state timber offerings planned near Petersburg
30. Governor Parnell Makes Nomination to Fishery Council
31. NPFMC February newsletter
32. Laine Welch’s Fish Radio – items from this week:
33. Alaska Board of Forestry Meets in Juneau March 19-20
34. Alaskan Seafood Processing Notice of Data Availability & Docket on Effluent Guidelines
35. Comment Deadline April 16 on Alaska Water Quality Antidegradation regulations
36. State establishes quarantine for five aquatic invasive plants
37. Kenai Peninsula leads fight against elodea
38. Comment deadline March 28 on Elodea removal in Kenai Peninsula Lakes
39. Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute releases new eCookbook for kids
40. AK Sustainable Salmon Fund Call for Proposals – & info meeting March 19
41. Comment deadline April 30 on DNR Aquatic farm Regulations
42. USCG Final Rule on Waiver of Citizenship Requirements for Crewmembers on Commercial Fishing Vessels
43. NOAA posts Halibut Catch Sharing Plan final rule
44. IPHC Scholarship application deadline June 30
45. Weather slows halibut opener, first prices similar to 2013
46. NMFS posts Amendment 95 Final Rule re Halibut PSC limits
47. NOAA final rule on Halibut & Sablefish IFQ vessel ownership requirements
48. NMFS posts 2014 & 2015 BSAI & GOA Groundfish Harvest Specifications
49. Comment deadline May 30 on NMFS information request on IUU nations
50. National Organic Standards Board to meet April 29 – May 2 in San Antonio
51. NOAA posts MMPA List of Fisheries for 2014
52. FisherPoets Astoria starts Kickstarter campaign to publish 7 book Anthology
53. ComFish Alaska  - Kodiak ComFish Alaska - April 17-19, 2014
54. Deadline April 10 for 2014-2015 Board of Fisheries Proposals – SE, PWS, Upper Copper / Upper Susitna…
55. Deadline March 21 on Applications for Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Councils
56. Deadline March 28 on federal Subsistence Fish and Shellfish Proposals
57. AMSEA Drill Conductor, Stability, Ergonomics and others classes schedule online


1. UFA invited to testify at Senate Commerce Oceans subcommittee hearing on Magnuson–Stevens Act (MSA) reauthorization – Feb 27, 2014
Archived video and written testimony from speakers:
Dr. James W. Balsiger, Regional Administrator, Alaska Region, National Marine Fisheries Service
Mr. Chris Oliver, Executive Director, North Pacific Fishery Management Council
Mr. Tim Andrew, Director of Natural Resources, Association of Village Council Presidents
&
Mr. Joseph Plesha, Chief Legal Officer, Trident Seafoods
Ms. Lori Swanson, Executive Director, Groundfish Forum
Ms. Linda Behnken, Executive Director, Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association
Mr. Ricky Gease, Executive Director Kenai River Sportsmen's Association
Mr. Michael LeVinem, Pacific Senior Counsel, Oceana
Ms. Julianne Curry, Executive Director, United Fishermen of Alaska

Video online at:
http://www.commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Hearings&
ContentRecord_id=8d9327f0-4290-4f29-91d1-4548896cb2a2&
ContentType_id=14f995b9-dfa5-407a-9d35-56cc7152a7ed&Group
_id=b06c39af-e033-4cba-9221-de668ca1978a


2. New group supports state denial of setnet ban initiative
By Molly Dischner, Alaska Journal of Commerce
A new commercial fisheries group is getting involved in the lawsuit over the proposed ballot initiative to ban setnets.

Resources for All Alaskans, or RFAA, filed an amicus brief March 6 supporting the State of Alaska’s decision that the setnet ban initiative was unconstitutional and sponsors could not attempt to collect enough signatures to put it on the August 2016 primary ballot.

The ballot initiative to ban setnets in urban parts of the state was proposed by the Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance, or AFCA. If the initiative made it on to the ballot and passed, its primary effect would be to eliminate Cook Inlet setnetters…
RFAA is registered in Kenai, but has a statewide focus. Board members include Kodiak setnetter and North Pacific Fishery Management Council member Duncan Fields, United Fishermen of Alaska President and Cordova District Fishermen United President Jerry McCune and Trident Seafood Executive Vice President John Garner.

Snug Harbor Seafood co-owner Paul Dale and former Lt. Gov. Loren Lehman, a Cook Inlet setnetter, are listed as members of the group’s advisory council. Dale was also listed as president when the group was founded…
http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/March-
Issue-3-2014/New-group-supports-state-denial-of-setnet-ban-i
nitiative/


3. Hearing set April 22 for suit over setnet ban initiative
Oral argument in the Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance’s appeal of the Lieutenant Governor’s decision not to certify its proposed ballot initiative is scheduled for April 22 in Anchorage.
The alliance, or AFCA, wants to ask voters whether to ban setnets in urban parts of the state. If the initiative made it on to the ballot and passed, it would eliminate setnetters in Cook Inlet…
http://peninsulaclarion.com/news/2014-02-26


4. ADN Compass by Mark Hamilton: Fish board did well for conservation of Kenai kings
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Alaska Board of Fisheries (BOF) for its dedication during the recent two-week Upper Cook Inlet management hearings. Nowhere else are fisheries managed through a more open public process than the one used here in Alaska…
 http://www.adn.com/2014/02/28/3350755/compass-fish-
board-did-well-for.html


5. ADN Compass by Frank Mullen: Board of Fish misses the boat on Kenai kings
By FRANK MULLENMarch 15, 2014
Mark Hamilton, president of the Kenai River Sportfishing Association, recently opined that the Board of Fish meetings had produced a "clear victory for Kenai kings." I disagree and believe that any objective person would disagree as well.Many have suggested that the blame for the lack of kings lies with the offshore fisheries. Scientific studies show that minimal interception actually occurs. (Google NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-AFSC-244.) Others suggest that Cook Inlet setnet interception is the culprit, but science does not support this theory either.

Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2014/03/15/3375419/
compass-board-of-fish-misses-the.html#storylink=cpy

The study noted in Mullen column - Turbidity Monitoring on the Lower Kenai River 2008 – 2010 – Kenai Watershed Forum, is online at  http://dec.alaska.gov/water/wnpspc/protection_restoration/Kenai
RiverWQ/pdfs/KWF_KENAI_RIVER_TURBIDITY_REPORT.pdf


6. Kenai king salmon could benefit from enhancement
By Glenn Gillam, Kenai and Las Vegas
The last two weeks have been busy for the Board of Fisheries. As a guide, lodge manager and avid fisherman, I was listening intently to as much as I could, especially regarding the Kenai and Kasilof king salmon returns.

Unfortunately, but obviously, there was much disagreement among the attendees and the various fishing interests involved. I am convinced that there will probably never be a consensus.

However, one significant proposal received little attention. That was stocking or enhancing the Kenai salmon runs. From what I was able to hear, ADF&G has the ability to enhance a run without prior approval. The question then becomes, why hasn’t this happened?
http://peninsulaclarion.com/opinion/letters/2014-02-21/kenai-king
-salmon-could-benefit-from-enhancement


7. Board of Fisheries Upper Cook Inlet meeting January 31–February 13, 2014 results
Meeting Summary – list of actions: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static-f/regulations/regprocess/
fisheriesboard/pdfs/2013-2014/uci/uci_soa_2014.pdf

Meeting page: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=
fisheriesboard.meetinginfo&date=01-31-2014&meeting=uci

Board of Fisheries home page: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fisheriesboard.main


8. Boston Seafood Show - March 16-18, 2014
Seafood Expo North America and Seafood Processing North America
Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
http://www.seafoodexpo.com/north-america/

9. EPA moves to protect Bristol Bay fishery from Pebble Mine
Agency action begins process to prevent damage to world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery

(Washington, D.C.—Feb. 28, 2014) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is initiating a process under the Clean Water Act to identify appropriate options to protect the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery in Bristol Bay, Alaska from the potentially destructive impacts of the proposed Pebble Mine. The Pebble Mine has the potential to be one of the largest open pit copper mines ever developed and could threaten a salmon resource rare in its quality and productivity. During this process, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers cannot approve a permit for the mine.

This action, requested by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, reflects the unique nature of the Bristol Bay watershed as one of the world’s last prolific wild salmon resources and the threat posed by the Pebble deposit, a mine unprecedented in scope and scale. It does not reflect an EPA policy change in mine permitting.

"Extensive scientific study has given us ample reason to believe that the Pebble Mine would likely have significant and irreversible negative impacts on the Bristol Bay watershed and its abundant salmon fisheries," said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. "It’s why EPA is taking this step forward in our effort to ensure protection for the world’s most productive salmon fishery from the risks it faces from what could be one of the largest open pit mines on earth. This process is not something the Agency does very often, but Bristol Bay is an extraordinary and unique resource."
EPA Press release:
http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/097dc6e31131100
385257c8d0058f74d?OpenDocument

EPA Bristol Bay page: http://www2.epa.gov/bristolbay


10. EPA extends response deadline on Pebble Mine impacts
By Associated Press

A federal agency is providing more time for the state and the group behind the proposed Pebble Mine to provide information showing development at the site would not result in “unacceptable” environmental impacts…
The state, Pebble Limited Partnership and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had 15 days from the Feb. 28 announcement to submit information showing no “unacceptable adverse” impacts to waters would occur or to show that actions could be taken to prevent such impacts.

The state and Pebble requested the process be stayed until permit applications are submitted and reviewed.
EPA has instead extended the response deadline to April 29.
http://www.ktoo.org/2014/03/18/epa-extends-response-deadline-
pebble-mine-impacts/


11. The Atlantic: Is Alaska's Pebble Mine the Next Keystone XL?
The push to open a gold-and-copper mine in a rich fishing area has split Alaskans along unusual political lines.
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/03/is-alaskas-
pebble-mine-the-next-keystone-xl/284251/


12. Alaska residents decry permitting bill HB 77
JUNEAU — “Extremism,” “anti-democracy” and “legislative trash” were just a few of the phrases Alaskans used to describe a controversial permitting bill that was resurrected by the Parnell administration this week.

The Senate Resources Committee would have heard even more creative descriptions for House Bill 77, but many dozens still were waiting for their two minutes to testify when chairwoman Sen. Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage, promptly ended testimony after the allotted 90 minutes passed.
http://www.newsminer.com/news/local_news/alaska-residents-
decry-permitting-bill/article_d49589fe-aa7d-11e3-93d3-001a4
bcf6878.html

&&&&

Parnell agrees to change controversial HB 77
By Bob Tkacz, For the Journal

JUNEAU — Gov. Sean Parnell has agreed to substantial changes to House Bill 77, his controversial land and water management reform bill that was pulled off the Senate floor on the final day of the 2013 session in the face of growing public opposition…
http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/February
-Issue-4-2014/Parnell-agrees-to-change-controversial-HB-77/

&&&&&

HB 77 would increase permitting process efficiency
By Joe Balash, Alaska Commissioner of Natural Resources

DNR’s efforts through House Bill 77 to increase the efficiency of our land and water-use authorizations did not pass last year. It is important to note that most provisions of the bill did not trigger wide opposition. However, three did, regarding general permits, water reservations and appeals.

DNR staff, along with legislators, met with the public and stakeholder organizations to look for ways to address their concerns about HB 77. We are pleased to support amendments recently incorporated by the Senate Resources Committee chair for consideration. These include the following notable changes…
http://www.frontiersman.com/opinions/spectrum/hb-would-increase-
permitting-process-efficiency/article_13c3f180-ae4b-11e3-9eed-001
9bb2963f4.html

HB 77 latest version: http://www.legis.state.ak.us/PDF/28/Bills/HB0077C.PDF
Bill tracking & documents: http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/get_bill.asp?bill=HB%20%
2077&session=28


13. Murkowski Tells Foreign Relations Committee: Alaskan Fisherman Need a Level Playing Field
Senator Testifies on Economic Threat of Pirate Fishing

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Lisa Murkowski today 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 resulted in “a much better world for our crabbers and fisherman than just years ago.”

“It is important that Alaskan and U.S. fishermen have a level playing field when it comes to our fishing opportunities. Russian IUU crab has been a serious problem for Alaska since at least 1990.”
http://www.murkowski.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=PressReleases
&ContentRecord_id=31263eff-fa76-4181-b4dc-402ff0af77a4&Conten
tType_id=b94acc28-404a-4fc6-b143-a9e15bf92da4&Group_id=c01df
158-d935-4d7a-895d-f694ddf41624&MonthDisplay=2&YearDisplay=
2014

&&&&&

Begich: No More Parlay for Pirates
Senator Applauds Advancement of Anti-Pirate Fishing Measures
http://www.begich.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases?ID=de
164ef4-5802-44e3-871f-9a77766f1097


14. Begich, Rubio Team Up to Fight EPA Regulations on F/V incidental discharge
Senators Lead Bipartisan Effort to Cut through Red Tape for Saltwater Vessels

Cutting through red tape created by a confusing jumble of state and federal regulations, U.S. Senators Mark Begich (D-AK) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) today introduced a bipartisan bill to set uniform standards for regulating ballast water and other incidental discharges from vessels, and clarify requirements for fishermen and other small boat users.

Begich is the chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and the Coast Guard and Rubio serves as the ranking member. The bill, The Vessel Incidental Discharge Act, has broad bipartisan support with 20 Democrat and Republican co-sponsors, including Sen. Lisa Murkowski.  It is widely supported by the maritime industry.
http://www.begich.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases?ID
=4fb49d2d-51ce-4338-ada1-52d0864696d3

EPA Vessel Discharge home page: http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/home.cfm?program_id=350

&&&
Commercial Vessel Discharge Reform Act gains support – Cordova Times
http://www.thecordovatimes.com/article/1409commercial-
vessel-discharge-reform-act-gains


15. Reminder – March 31 is deadline for ACA Health Insurance enrollment
Reminder of the March 31 deadline for enrolling in health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (www.healthcare.gov ) is below, and in flyer attached from Senator Begich’s office
The United Way Alaska navigator help page is at http://www.alaska211.org/ .
Enroll Alaska, a for-profit entity is online at http://www.enrollingalaska.com/home.aspx .


16. Self-employed fishers prepare for ACA mandate
By Molly Dischner, Alaska Journal of Commerce

As the March 31 deadline for the individual insurance mandate under the Affordable Care Act nears, Alaska’s fishers are still navigating the changes.

“My sense is, a lot of fishermen are still in a wait and see mode,” said United Fishermen of Alaska Executive Adminstrator Mark Vinsel.

Fishermen and charter operators are often self-employed, and the mandate for Americans to procure health insurance will directly affect them.

Officially, the mandate went into affect in January, but enrollment through the new health insurance exchanges is available until March 31, and penalties will not be assessed for those who enroll by that date. Those that don’t enroll will face a tax penalty…

“It was a big pain to wade through the process, and the process is far from perfect,” he said.
Ultimately, however, they saved about 80 percent on better insurance.

“As a self-employed fisherman, I had a multitude of choices, which I’ve never had in the past,” Meintel said…

http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/March-
Issue-1-2014/Self-employed-fishers-prepare-for-ACA-mandate/


16. Reminder: Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend Application deadline is March 31
http://pfd.alaska.gov/


17. Crystal Lake hatchery building, eggs destroyed in fire
By Joe Viechnicki - KFSK, Petersburg

Fire destroyed a salmon incubation building and over a million eggs at Crystal Lake Hatchery on Mitkof Island south of Petersburg early Tuesday morning.

The hatchery buildings are owned by the state of Alaska and the hatchery is operated by the Southern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association, based in Ketchikan. It produces king and coho salmon.John Burke is general manager with the regional non-profit hatchery association. He says the incubation room burned down and fuel tanks and generator room were also damaged in the blaze…
http://www.ktoo.org/2014/03/05/crystal-lake-hatchery-building
-eggs-destroyed-in-fire/


18. Proposal to bring tourists to Pelican raises eyebrows
Counter-offer to purchase crab plant with aim to expand seafood processing…

In the old Pelican Seafoods, Inc. crab plant — a huge dilapidated aluminum building next to the largely defunct fish processing plant on the west end of 1.7-mile long town — Steve Daniels walked through the egg room, formerly used to process salmon eggs, and the salt room, a storage space used to preserve fish caught by commercial fleets fishing in Cross Sound…

Daniels and his business partner Kent Craford are proposing investing $2 million to transform the slumbering plant, fish house and adjacent properties into a world-class fishing destination. The two pitched their redevelopment proposal to the city council back in August under their business license Fairweather Development LLC…

The proposal not only raised eyebrows from some local residents, who are reluctant to give up the blue-collar feel of the small remote fishing community some 70 miles away from Juneau, but it also gave rise to a counter-offer from a second interested party whose vision for the property is perhaps more aligned with those who see Pelican’s future in reviving its past…
http://juneauempire.com/local/2014-03-04/proposal-bring-tourists
-pelican-raises-eyebrows


19. Southeast Geoduck Dive Fishery Opens; Market Found
Southeast Alaska divers were out fishing for geoducks Thursday, for the first time in about two months.
Phil Doherty of the Southeast Alaska Regional Dive Fisheries Association says they decided to move forward with fishing after meeting last week with some processors. He says those processors found markets other than China for the clams.
“We did our PSP sampling on Sunday. We sent the geoducks up to DEC lab on Monday, got the PSP results on Tuesday and of the six areas that we sampled, three of them passed PSP levels, so we were able to fish,” he said…

APRN story & Audio:
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2014/03/14/geoduck-dive-fishery-
opens-market-found/


20. Chinese ban of US shellfish to continue
BREMERTON, Wash. (Feb 1) — The Chinese ban of shellfish imports from the U.S. West Coast will continue indefinitely, according to a letter sent by Chinese officials to a U.S. agency.
http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2014/02/china_
ban_on_west_coast_shellf.html


21. Murkowski Urges FDA Involvement in Lifting China Shellfish Ban
Senator Gets Assurance from FDA Director They’ll Be Available to Support Effort “24 Hours a Day”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Lisa Murkowski today took the opportunity of the Food and Drug Administration Director’s appearance on Capitol Hill to get answers for Alaskans about FDA’s role in resolving China’s ban on West Coast shellfish imports.  Her focus was on an upcoming meeting with officials in China that will be the next important step towards lifting the ban.

The China trip – which Senator Murkowski urged federal agencies to schedule quickly – was confirmed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Tuesday for next Friday, March 21st.  The U.S. Delegation will include representatives from NOAA, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office and the Foreign Agriculture Service of the Department of Agriculture.  Since the FDA has primary jurisdiction over food safety issues in the U.S., Murkowski was concerned that FDA will not be there, asking “I want to know what FDA’s role will be in these discussions and whether you’re attending.  And if not, why not?”

Senator Murkowski press release:
http://www.murkowski.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=PressRelease
s&ContentRecord_id=bc323f46-0560-4c12-9943-1f69a76aed13&C
ontentType_id=b94acc28-404a-4fc6-b143-a9e15bf92da4&Group_
id=c01df158-d935-4d7a-895d-f694ddf41624


22. Murkowski Takes Frankenfish Fight to FDA in Hearing
Senator Gets Director’s Word that Safety Must Be Certain Before Approval

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Lisa Murkowski today took the opportunity of the Food and Drug Administration Director’s appearance on Capitol Hill to remind the FDA of Alaskans’ deep concerns over genetically-engineered salmon, urging her repeatedly to not approve Frankenfish and to look critically at the wide range of threats it poses.  After Murkowski’s remarks and questioning, the FDA Director committed to her that unless safety can be guaranteed, then approval will not be granted…
http://www.murkowski.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=PressReleases
&ContentRecord_id=f7e11603-f81b-4a23-8e34-082bbb67f795&Cont
entType_id=b94acc28-404a-4fc6-b143-a9e15bf92da4&Group_id=c0
1df158-d935-4d7a-895d-f694ddf41624


23. Six fisheries in U.S. to receive fishery disaster relief funds
February 26, 2014

… NOAA Fisheries announced that $75 million appropriated by Congress as part of the Fiscal Year 2014 federal budget will be allocated to six fisheries across the country that were declared fishery disasters by the Department of Commerce in 2012 and 2013.

 Those receiving allocations from the disaster relief fund include: commercial fisheries in American Samoa following the tsunami of 2009; commercial fisheries in Mississippi following the Mississippi River flood of 2011; the New England multispecies groundfish fishery for the 2013 season; Alaska’s Chinook salmon fishery for 2011 and 2012; the Florida oyster fishery in the Gulf of Mexico due to a drought in 2012; and fisheries in New York and New Jersey following Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

NOAA Press Release:
http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2014/20140226_
disasterfunding_fish.html

&&&
Murkowski Fisheries Failure Funding Fight Secures Over $20M for Alaska
Senator’s Persistence in Building ‘Coastal Caucus’ Reaps Results After Uphill Battle
Senator Murkowski Press release: http://www.murkowski.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=PressReleases
&ContentRecord_id=d2201df4-1d56-46ba-a68d-1cd530e88c36&Con
tentType_id=b94acc28-404a-4fc6-b143-a9e15bf92da4&Group_id=c
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ay=2014


24. Congressman Young: Vital Alaskan Causes Advance in Coast Guard Bill
Washington, D.C. - Former Chairmen and senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee

Congressman Don Young today addressed a bipartisan bill to improve the United States Coast Guard’s (USCG) essential mission of protecting our nation’s oceans and waterways. H.R. 4005, the Howard Coble Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2014, advances a number of vitally important Alaskan causes such as repealing overbearing regulations facing fishermen and vessel owners, improvements to USCG lands and housing infrastructure, and the replacement and modernization of aging USCG assets including the nation’s deteriorating icebreaker fleet…

Congressman Young’s Maritime Lien Reform Act was included in H.R. 4005 and works to protect the earning power and livelihood of Alaska commercial fishing permits owners by prohibiting maritime liens from being imposed on their fishing permits. Alaska law currently prohibits liens of Alaska limited entry permits, but court rulings have subjected fishing licenses to maritime lien under the Federal Admiralty Law…

Congressman Don Young press release (Feb 11):
http://donyoung.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID
=369684


25. Southeast sees record tanner crab harvest
By Joe Viechnicki - KFSK, Petersburg
Southeast Alaska commercial crab boats caught around 1.25 million pounds of Tanner crab last month, the biggest catch in over a decade.

Crab fishing opened Feb. 12, two days after the scheduled start date because of bad weather. The fleet had six days of fishing in the most popular areas, and a total of 11 days in the rest of the Panhandle.

Joe Stratman is lead crab biologist for the region for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

“This 1.25 million pound harvest just slightly exceeded last season’s harvest by 12,000 pounds,” Stratman said. “So the harvest was very similar to last year but it was the largest Tanner harvest we’ve had in the last 13 seasons. You’d have to go back to the 2000-2001 season to find a larger harvest.”
http://www.ktoo.org/2014/03/14/southeast-sees-record-tanner
-crab-harvest/


26. Succulent sockeye from Cordova a triple crown winner in Alaska's Symphony of Seafood
Margaret Bauman, The Cordova Times

  CORDOVA -- A family with deep roots in Cordova put their cold-smoked Alaska sockeye salmon recipe to the test in the 2014 Alaska Symphony of Seafood and came away a triple-crown winner.

Tilgner's Ruby Red Ole World Scottish Style Cold Smoked Sockeye Salmon captured the grand prize, first place in smoked products competition and the Anchorage People's Choice award, voted on by participants in the gala soiree earlier this month.http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20140223/succulen
t-sockeye-cordova-triple-crown-winner-alaskas-symphony-seafood


27. B.C. Mines Spark Worry in Southeast Alaska
Paula Dobbyn - SitNews

Concern is mounting among Southeast Alaska fishermen, community leaders and tribes about a mining boom in British Columbia that could affect wild salmon and other species on the U.S. side of the border.

Spurred by the construction of a major power transmission line, and relaxed environmental regulations in Canada, a rash of mining activity is occurring in the transboundary region, a remote area laced with salmon rivers that joins Alaska and British Columbia. At least ten B.C. mine projects are in various stages of development, according to published reports. Five are located on salmon rivers that flow into Alaska’s southern panhandle, home to the lush, 17-million-acre Tongass National Forest. The mining push comes as B.C.’s provincial government tries to promote development in the sparsely populated region. In a jobs plan unveiled two years ago, B.C. Premier Christy Clark vowed to see eight new mines constructed and nine others expanded by 2015…
http://www.sitnews.us/PaulaDobbyn/031014_mining_bc.html


28. Southeast Alaska Fish Habitat Partnership recognized by National Fish Habitat Board
The National Fish Habitat Partnership now has 19 Partnerships Focused on Habitat Conservation

(Washington, DC) - On Monday, March 10 during the second day of the National Fish Habitat Board’s spring meeting the Southeast Alaska Fish Habitat Partnership (SEAKFHP) was granted full recognition status.  Fish Habitat Partnerships are the primary work units of the National Fish Habitat Partnership and take the lead in bringing partners together to put conservation projects “on-the-ground” that make a difference for fish and their habitats across the nation…

The Southeast Alaska Fish Habitat Partnership spans the entire southern panhandle of Alaska including the dynamic watersheds and waterways that make up the Alexander Archipelago…  The mission of the Southeast Alaska Fish Habitat Partnership is to support cooperative fish habitat conservation, restoration, and management in freshwater, estuarine and marine ecosystems across Southeast Alaska with consideration of economic, social, and cultural interests of local communities in its endeavors…

Press release: http://fishhabitat.org/   
Southeast Alaska FHP home page: http://www.seakfhp.org/
Mat-Su Basin FHP:  http://www.fishhabitat.org/partnership/matanuska-susitna-
basin-salmon-habitat-partnership

National Fish Habitat Partnership home page: http://fishhabitat.org/


29. University, state timber offerings planned near Petersburg
by Joe Viechnicki, KFSK Petersburg, March 17

The University of Alaska lands office is offering two timber sales on Mitkof Island south of Petersburg this year. The lands on the southern and western side of the island would be helicopter logged. Meanwhile, the state of Alaska is also in the early stages of writing a plan for Southeast’s new state forest lands…
http://www.kfsk.org/2014/03/17/university-state-timber-
offerings-planned-near-petersburg/


30. Governor Parnell Makes Nomination to Fishery Council
March 6, 2014, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell today nominated Simon Kinneen for consideration by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce for service on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC). The governor also named Ragnar Alstrom and John Moller as alternate nominees.

“Simon’s strong background and experience with subsistence, sport fishing, and commercial fishing, will make a great contribution to the NPFMC,” said Governor Parnell. “Each of these nominees is committed to continue to improve fishery management for the benefit of the resource, the commercial fishing industry, and for individuals who depend on the food source.”
Press release: http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell/press-room/full-press
-release.html?pr=6745


31. NPFMC February newsletter
The Council Newsletter , which summarizes the latest Council agenda items is now available online. Documents, handouts, and motions are still available through links on that meeting’s Agenda…

Newsletter topics include Observer program, Guided halibut management, Area 4A Pots, Grenadiers, BSAI halibut bycatch, Steller Sea Lions, Ecosystem Policy, and more…

Newsletter:
http://www.npfmc.org/wp-content/PDFdocuments/newsletters
/news214.pdf

February meeting agenda & documents: http://legistar2.granicus.com/npfmc/meetings/2014/2/876_A_
North_Pacific_Council_14-02-03_Meeting_Agenda.pdf

NPFMC home page: http://www.npfmc.org/


32. Laine Welch’s Fish Radio – items from this week:
Pet treats from pollock skins = using every part of the fish
FrankenFish is a Sitting Duck!
Finding clues to disappearing king crab
Politics, Fisheries, and Economics Served up by SWAMC
Homemade robot takes high rez images of ocean floor
These and more, online at http://www.alaskafishradio.com/


33. Alaska Board of Forestry Meets in Juneau March 19-20
The Board of Forestry will meet to discuss statewide forestry issues on Wednesday, March 19, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on Thursday, March 20, from 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. The meeting will be held in Juneau and will be teleconferenced. 

The agenda will include reports on the following topics:
•Proposed Fiscal Year 2015 forestry, forest practices, and monitoring budgets,
•The Susitna State Forest and negotiated timber sales bill (HB79),
•2013 forest practices compliance monitoring results,
•A 20-year study of Forest Practices Act effectiveness in protecting fish habitat and water quality,
•Assessments of Forest Practices Act effectiveness from the departments of Natural Resources, Environmental Conservation, and Fish and Game,  
•Dept. of Environmental Conservation consideration of state assumption of Section 404 permit authority,
•Wood energy in Alaska and state timber sales for wood energy projects,
•· Federal forest management in Alaska including Tongass and Chugach national forest planning, Roadless Rule implementation, Southeast land ownership initiatives, and Southeast Conference review of Tongass conservation and management,
•Alaska Timber Jobs Task Force recommendations and implementation,
•Reforestation standards review process for Interior and Southcentral Alaska,
•University of Alaska Fairbanks forestry research program update, and
•Division of Forestry program updates and organization.

Online Public Notice: http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/
Notices/View.aspx?id=171194


34. Alaskan Seafood Processing Notice of Data Availability & Docket on Effluent Guidelines
EPA has published information it gathered recently from seafood processing facilities in Alaska and other publicly available sources. These data relate to the Alaskan seafood subcategories of the Seafood Processing Effluent Guidelines at 40 CFR Part 408. The Agency is providing preliminary results of analyses of the updated data and indications of how these results might be reflected in revised regulations which it may promulgate.

EPA Seafood Processing Data Availability:
http://water.epa.gov/scitech/wastetech/guide/seafood/noda.cfm

EPA Docket and comments received at Regulations.gov Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2013-0652:
http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OW-
2013-0652


35. Comment Deadline April 16 on Alaska Water Quality Antidegradation regulations
…the public comment period for Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation’s draft antidegradation implementation regulations has been extended to 4:30 pm on April 16, 2014.

Notice of comment period extension: http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View.aspx?id
=171700

Public Notice January 9, 2014: http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View.aspx?id
=170773

Proposed regulations: http://dec.alaska.gov/water/wqsar/Antidegradation/docs/Anti
degradation_2014_Amendments_Public_Notice_Version.pdf

DEC Anti-degradation regulations home page:  http://dec.alaska.gov/water/wqsar/Antidegradation/index.html .


36. State establishes quarantine for five aquatic invasive plants
(Palmer, AK) – The Alaska Division of Agriculture has established a quarantine at the boundaries of Alaska to prevent the entry and spread of five specific aquatic invasive weeds.  Management efforts are being implemented to address current Elodea infestations and establishing the quarantine stops further importation  of the pests listed below which are popular for use in classrooms and in the aquarium trade.  The Division of Agriculture is in the process of amending current Plant Health and Quarantine Regulations (11 AAC34) and will be adding the five aquatic plants below to the Noxious Weed listing.  For additional information go to http://plants.alaska.gov/invasives/elodea.htm .

Quarantined aquatic Invasive plants listed below.
            Canadian waterweed (Elodea canadensis)
            Western nuttallii        (Elodea nuttallii)
            Brazilian waterweed  (Egeria densa)
            Hydrilla                       (Hydrilla verticillata)
            Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum)

This list is comprised of the most recent and accepted scientific and common names of the quarantine plant species.  Regulated status also applies to all synonyms of these botanical names.

QUARANTINE RESTRICTIONS:  It is prohibited to import, transport, buy, sell, offer for sale, or distribute plants or plant parts of the regulated species within the state of Alaska.  It is further prohibited to intentionally transplant wild plants and/or plant parts of these species within the state of Alaska.
Online Public Notice: http://plants.alaska.gov/pdf/aquaticquarantinerelease.pdf


37. Kenai Peninsula leads fight against elodea
A bill to help control Alaska’s elodea infestation was pulled out of the legislature on Monday after the Alaska Division of Agriculture quarantined the invasive aquatic plant from the state.

The bill, sponsored by Reps. Kurt Olson, R-Kenai, Paul Seaton, R-Homer, and House Speaker Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski, called for prohibiting the import, sale, purchase and release of elodea into Alaskan waters.

However, the Division of Agriculture was able to establish the quarantine and immediately make elodea illegal without the legislative process, Olson said…
http://peninsulaclarion.com/news/2014-03-16/kenai-leads-fight
-against-elodea


38. Comment deadline March 28 on Elodea removal in Kenai Peninsula Lakes
DNR Notice of application for permit by the Homer Soil and Water Conservation District to apply herbicide to control invasive elodea in Stormy, Beck, and Daniels Lakes in the Kenai Peninsula area:
http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View.aspx
?id=171283


39. Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute releases new eCookbook for kids
Alaska Style – recipes for kids – online at: http://www.wildalaskaflavor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/ASMI_KIDSCOOKBOOK_Updated.pdf

ASMI home page: http://www.alaskaseafood.org/


40. AK Sustainable Salmon Fund Call for Proposals – & info meeting March 19
The Alaska Sustainable Salmon Fund (AKSSF) is announcing its statewide Expert Panel meeting and 2014 call for proposals. 

Statewide Expert Panel Meeting:
March 19, 2014: 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Residence Inn, Anchorage
1025 E 35th Ave.  

AK Sustainable Salmon Fund home page: http://akssf.org

Online Public Notice:
http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View
.aspx?id=171443


41. Comment deadline April 30 on DNR Aquatic farm Regulations

Greetings aquatic farmers, industry members, and interested parties;

DNR is in the process of updating and revising regulations associated with the Aquatic Farm Statute AS 38.05.083. As a first step toward drafting a new regulatory package (which will be released for review and comment once it is drafted), we are seeking input from aquatic farmers, industry members, interested parties, and members of the general public. Specifically, we are looking for you to identify existing regulations you believe are inconsistent with the statutes (AS 38.05.070 and 38.05.083) and propose alternatives. In addition, we are looking for ways the industry and its members can provide us with a set of measurement standards to evaluate the 'commercial success' of an aquatic farmsite.

The Public Comment period will run from March 1, 2014-April 30, 2014 and comments will be accepted via email, USPS, or comment online here.

To facilitate the comment process, we will be hosting a series of informal public scoping meetings.
Meeting dates, time and location are as follows:

  • March 10, 2014 6 PM-8PM at the Islands and Oceans Center, Homer, Alaska
  • March 24, 2014 6PM-8PM in the Hickel Room, Centennial Hall, Juneau, Alaska
  • April 22, 2014 5PM-7PM Webinar, Anchorage, Alaska

http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/aquatic/


42. USCG Final Rule on Waiver of Citizenship Requirements for Crewmembers on Commercial Fishing Vessels
A Rule by the Coast Guard on 02/14/2014

Summary: The Coast Guard amends its regulations to include a description of the procedures for requesting and processing waivers of citizenship requirements on commercial fishing vessels. We seek to improve our efforts to inform the commercial fishing industry of this opportunity by codifying the application procedure policy into the Code of Federal Regulations…
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/02/14/2014-03302
/waiver-of-citizenship-requirements-for-crewmembers-on-commercial-
fishing-vessels


43. NOAA posts Halibut Catch Sharing Plan final rule
The Assistant Administrator (AA) for Fisheries, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), on behalf of the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC), publishes annual management measures adopted as regulations by the IPHC and accepted by
the Secretary of State governing the Pacific halibut fishery…

Federal Register Notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-05339
NPFMC Halibut Catch Sharing Plan home page:
 http://www.npfmc.org/charter-halibut-catch-sharing-plan/


44. IPHC Scholarship application deadline June 30
The IPHC is currently accepting applications for our scholarship program. Our scholarship provides funding for students with a connection to the halibut fishery pursuing undergraduate or technical degrees. Please consider notifying your members and forwarding our web link to potential candidates.   Thank you and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
http://www.iphc.int/opportunities/scholarship.html


45. Weather slows halibut opener, first prices similar to 2013
By Molly Dischner, Alaska Journal of Commerce 

Commercial halibut fishers began targeting 16.7 million pounds of quota March 8, but bad weather kept many off the fishing grounds.

Individual fishing quota, or IFQ, holders will take the majority of the Alaska commercial catch limit, about 15.9 million pounds, with Community Development Quota landings from the Bering Sea areas making up the remainder of the catch.
Sablefish IFQ holders have access to about 23.6 million pounds this year…
http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/March
-Issue-3-2014/Weather-slows-halibut-opener-first-prices-similar-to
-2013/


46. NMFS posts Amendment 95 Final Rule re Halibut PSC limits

SUMMARY: NMFS issues regulations to implement Amendment 95 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP). These regulations modify halibut prohibited species catch (PSC) management in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) by establishing halibut PSC limits for the GOA in Federal regulation and reducing the GOA halibut PSC limits for the trawl and hook-and-line gear sectors. The reduction to the trawl gear PSC limit also proportionately reduces a subset of trawl halibut PSC limits (also called sideboard limits) for American Fisheries Act, Amendment 80, and Central GOA Rockfish Program vessels. These regulations also incorporate three measures to minimize adverse economic impacts on fishing industry sectors. First, the reductions for these sectors will be phased-in over 3 years. Second, this action allows the Amendment 80 sector to roll over unused halibut PSC sideboard limits from one season to the subsequent season. Third, this action combines management of the deep-water and shallow-water halibut PSC limits from May 15 to June 30, which allows the aggregate halibut PSC limit to be used in either the deep-water or shallow-water fishery. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable laws.

DATES: Effective March 24, 2014.
Federal Register Notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-03631


47. NOAA final rule on Halibut & Sablefish IFQ vessel ownership requirements

NMFS adopts a final rule that modifies the vessel ownership requirement for an exemption from the owner-on-board requirement in the Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Program for the fixed-gear commercial Pacific halibut and sablefish fisheries off Alaska. This rule imposes a 12-month vessel ownership requirement on initial individual recipients of quota share (QS) who wish an exemption from the owner-on-board requirement and who wish to use a hired master to harvest their IFQ. For the 12-month period prior to applying to use a hired master, an individual QS holder must own a minimum 20-percent interest in the vessel that the hired master will use to fish the IFQ on behalf of the individual QS holder. The rule temporarily suspends the 12-month vessel ownership requirement for an initial individual recipient of QS whose vessel has been totally lost, irreparably damaged, or so damaged that the vessel requires at least 60 days for repairs. This action is intended to maintain a predominantly owner-operated fishery in the Pacific halibut and sablefish fisheries…

Federal Register notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-03910


48. NMFS posts 2014 & 2015 BSAI & GOA Groundfish Harvest Specifications
NMFS announces final 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications, prohibited species catch allowances, and closures for the groundfish fishery of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to establish harvest limits for groundfish during the 2014 and 2015 fishing years, and to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the BSAI (FMP).

NMFS 2014 & 2015 Groundfish Harvest Specifications page:
http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sustainablefisheries/specs14_15/

Federal Register notice – BSAI : https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-04762
Gulf of Alaska: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-04886


49. Comment deadline May 30 on NMFS information request on IUU nations

NMFS is seeking information regarding nations whose vessels are engaged in illegal, unreported, or unregulated (IUU) fishing, bycatch of protected living marine resources (PLMRs), and/or fishing activities in waters beyond any national jurisdiction that target or incidentally catch sharks. Such information will be reviewed for the purposes of the identification of nations pursuant to the High Seas Driftnet Fishing Moratorium Protection Act (Moratorium Protection Act).
DATES: Information should be received on or before May 30, 2014.
Federal Register notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-04889 .


50. National Organic Standards Board to meet April 29 – May 2 in San Antonio

…the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is announcing an upcoming meeting of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). Written public comments are invited in advance of the meeting,
and the meeting will include scheduled time for oral comments from the public.

DATES: The meeting will be held April 29-May 2, 2014…at the St. Anthony Hotel, 300 East Travis Street, San Antonio, TX 78205, 210-227-4392. Information and instructions about the meeting are posted at the following Web address: http://www.ams.usda.gov/NOSBMeetings .

Agenda topics include:
 *Proposal: Aquaculture - Chlorine (for aquatic animals) - petitioned
*Proposal: Aquaculture - Tocopherols (for aquatic animals) - petitioned
*Proposal: Aquaculture - Minerals (for aquatic animals) - petitioned
Proposal: Aquaculture - Vitamins (for aquatic animals) - petitioned
+Proposal: Aquaculture - Biologics: Vaccines (for aquatic animals) – petitioned

Federal Register Notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-05111


51. NOAA posts MMPA List of Fisheries for 2014
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) publishes its final List of Fisheries (LOF) for 2014, as required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). The final LOF for 2014 reflects new information on interactions between commercial fisheries and marine mammals. NMFS must classify each commercial fishery on the LOF into one of three categories under the MMPA based upon the level of mortality and serious injury of marine mammals that occurs incidental to each fishery. The classification of a fishery on the LOF determines whether participants in that fishery are subject to certain provisions of the MMPA, such as registration, observer coverage, and take reduction plan (TRP) requirements…

The LOF for 2014 has no changes to fishery classifications or to fisheries that are subject to a take reduction plan…
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/03/14/2014-05576
/list-of-fisheries-for-2014#h-29


52. FisherPoets Astoria starts Kickstarter campaign to publish 7 book Anthology
The FisherPoets gathering, held each Feb. in Astoria, Oregon is looking to raise funds to create a FisherPoets Anthology - a seven book set of stories, poems and songs that are all written by commercial fishermen and women celebrating the commercial fishing experience.

We’ve raised half of the $10K needed by May 1…
To learn more see www.inthetote.com  or to contribute, see:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/814172743/anchored-in
-deep-water-the-fisherpoets-anthology


53. ComFish Alaska  - Kodiak ComFish Alaska - April 17-19, 2014
Alaska's Premier Commercial Fisheries Trade Show…
http://comfishalaska.com/


54. Deadline April 10 for 2014-2015 Board of Fisheries Proposals – SE, PWS, Upper Copper / Upper Susitna…
The Alaska Board of Fisheries calls for proposed changes in the subsistence, personal use, sport, guided sport, and commercial fishing regulations for the Prince William Sound and Upper Copper/Upper Susitna finfish and Southeast and Yakutat finfish areas, and Southeast and Yakutat crab (king, tanner, dungeness), shrimp, miscellaneous shellfish, and Statewide (except Southeast and Yakutat areas) Dungeness crab, shrimp, miscellaneous shellfish areas…
http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/regulations/regprocess/fisherie
sboard/pdfs/2014-2015/call2014_2015.pdf


55. Deadline March 21 on Applications for Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Councils
Details and Information packet:
http://www.doi.gov/subsistence/councils/application/upload/
14-Nomination-Packet.pdf

Federal Subsistence Management Program home page:  http://www.doi.gov/subsistence/index.cfm


56. Deadline March 28 on federal Subsistence Fish and Shellfish Proposals
The Office of Subsistence Management is accepting proposals through March 28, 2014 to change Federal regulations for the subsistence harvest of fish andshellfish on Federal public lands. Proposed changes are for April 1, 2015 through March 31, 2017…
http://www.doi.gov/subsistence/fish-and-shellfish-proposals.cfm  

RAC Meeting page: http://www.doi.gov/subsistence/calendars/index.cfm

DOI Federal Subsistence notice: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fisheriesboard.
meetinginfo&date=03-17-2014&meeting=statewide


57. AMSEA Drill Conductor, Stability, Ergonomics and others classes schedule online
http://amsea.org/



Inclusion of an item does not mean that UFA endorses or agrees.
To support UFA by joining or renewing your membership, see
http://www.ufa-fish.org/members.htm

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If you received this email as a forward and would like to be added to our list, simply REPLY and type SUBSCRIBE in the subject line of this email. To receive no future emails from UFA, simply type UNSUBSCRIBE in all caps in the subject line.
UFA never sells or releases your email information.

Compiled by staff of United Fishermen of Alaska, PO Box 20229, Juneau AK 99802 (907) 586-2820

January 27, 2014

The UFA annual Spring meeting will be held February 19, 20 and 21 in Juneau at Rockwell upstairs meeting room at 109 South Franklin St (former Elks Lodge).

Please support UFA business members – online at http://www.ufa-fish.org/bm.htm .

Thanks to new UFA Lifetime member Jeremy Jensen.

Protect your fishing business by joining UFA today! Visit http://www.ufa-fish.org/members.htm to see the various membership levels and benefits.  UFA members receive a free subscription to National Fisherman and Pacific Fishing.

From the Director
It’s that time of year again! The annual UFA spring meeting in Juneau will be held February 19th through 21st in the Rockwell ballroom at 109 South Franklin St. (formerly the Elks Lodge). This meeting is UFA’s opportunity to meet with lawmakers in the Alaska Legislature, key officials in state and federal government, and discuss issues that impact the seafood industry in Alaska. The UFA meeting is open to current members (except while in executive session), and we encourage you to stop by and listen in. We look forward to another productive meeting where UFA will discuss active legislation, the net ban initiative, Board of Fisheries, and many other issues.  

As usual, feel free to contact the UFA office if you have any questions or would like more information about what UFA does for you.

Julianne Curry
Executive Director
United Fishermen of Alaska
http://www.ufa-fish.org
jcurry@ufa-fish.org  

UFA MISSION
To promote and protect the common interest of Alaska's commercial fishing industry, as a vital component of Alaska's social and economic well-being.

*** Inclusion of an item does not mean that UFA endorses or agrees. ***

Table of Contents
1. Kenai setnet ban initiative – Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance to Sue the State
2. Kenai Fisheries panel brings fishers from all user groups to the table
3. Legislature hears from ADFG on CIFF/UCIDA lawsuit
4. Board of Fisheries Upper Cook Inlet Finfish - Anchorage, January 31–February 13, 2014 (and items added to Statewide Crab)
5. Deadline April 10 for 2014-2015 Board of Fisheries Proposals – SE, PWS, Upper Copper / Upper Susitna…
6. Walmart: Working with suppliers in Alaska to ensure sustainable seafood
7. State, Walmart Announce Agreement on Seafood
8. Murkowski Commends Wal-Mart Decision to Continue Stocking Alaska Seafood in Stores Nationwide
9. NGOs push Walmart to defy Congress, reject Alaska’s sustainability program (Sackton January 2)
10. Pebble Mine Could Devastate Alaska's Bristol Bay Region, EPA Finds
11. Alaskans blast Jewell decision to deny King Cove road
12. Begich Legislation Paves the Way for Road to King Cove
13. Appeals court reinstates overfishing charges against Kookesh, two others
14. Yes, Virginia, Walleye Pollock is Gadus chalcogrammus (Cod)
15. Halibut harvests cut for 10th straight season
16. NPFMC to meet February 3 – 11, Seattle
17. Murkowski Food Advocacy Effort Builds Momentum, Expands to $20 Million Alaska Salmon Purchase
18. NOAA Gives Murkowski, Alaskans More Time for MMPA Acoustic Impacts Input
19. Murkowski’s Appropriations Advocacy Reaps Fishery Failure and Tsunami Debris Aid
20. Juneau Rep. Beth Kerttula resigns
21. The Statesman - Senator Gary Stevens visits Cordova
22. Senator Micciche to address permitting bill HB 77
23. State talks water rights at Mat-Su Borough meeting
24. HB77 fails to define 'irreparable' damage to fish habitat
25. Chenault, Huggins Discuss Education, Gas Line, And Fish Politics
26. Ketchikan Fishing photos and stories wanted for museum exhibit
27. Laine Welch’s Fish Radio  - Programs from this week
28. Comment deadline February 3 on NOAA Changes to Chart Printing and Distribution
29. Comment deadline February 3 on elimination of marker buoy vessel name requirement
30. NMFS posts Amendment 99 final rule on BSAI PCod vessel replacement
31. Comment deadline January 29 on Cook Inlet seismic marine mammal take
32. Comment deadline extended to February 5 on APDES Storm Water Discharge General Permit
33. Deadline February 12 for ACWA Water Quality, Quantity and Habitat projects
34. Comment deadline March 17 on DEC Anti-degradation implementation regulations
35. Deadline February 27 for Tongass Federal Advisory Committee nominations
36. Comment deadline March 28 on federal Subsistence fish and shellfish regs – RAC meetings scheduled
37. Comment deadline March 25 on Special Subsistence Permits and Harvest Logs for Pacific Halibut in Waters Off Alaska
38. Alaska Symphony of Seafood – Anchorage, February 13
39. AFSC posts Community Profiles for North Pacific Fisheries – Alaska, Volumes 1-12
40. UFA Community Fish Facts sheets updated with Local Fish Taxes.
41. Alaska Fish & Wildlife News
42. Upcoming HACCP workshops and Better Process Control School taught by the Marine Advisory Program:
43. Fishlines – Alaska Sea Grant Newsletter for January 2014
44. AMSEA Drill Conductor, Stability, Ergonomics and others classes schedule online


1. Kenai setnet ban initiative – Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance to Sue the State
The Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance will appeal the state’s decision to reject its proposed ballot initiative that would ban setnetters in Cook Inlet.

In November, AFCA submitted signatures asking for voters to consider banning setnetting in the urban, nonsubsistence, areas of the state — such as the Anchorage area, much of the Kenai Peninsula, Valdez and Juneau. It would eliminate Cook Inlet setnetters and not have an immediate affect on anyone else, although fishermen in other communities would lose the right to setnet if Alaska’s Board of Fisheries and Board of Game removed a region’s rural, subsistence, designation in the future.

Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell announced Jan. 6 that the proposed ban on setnetting did not meet legal standards to appear on a ballot.

Treadwell used an Alaska Department of Law opinion, that the initiative was a prohibited appropriation of state assets, in striking it down.

AFCA announced the decision to appeal Jan. 22 during a press conference in Anchorage, and maintained that the initiative was about conservation, not appropriation.

Kenai Peninsula Clarion: http://peninsulaclarion.com/news/2014-01-22-0

To follow this case, search Trial Courts at http://courts.alaska.gov/search-cases.htm  and search by case number 3AN-14-04558CI . (or)

Earlier story:
Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance Set Net Ban Fails to Make it to Ballot
http://alaska-native-news.com/alaska-native-news-at-sea/9886-
alaska-fisheries-conservation-alliance-set-net-ban-fails-to-make-it-t
o-ballot.html


2. Kenai Fisheries panel brings fishers from all user groups to the table
by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion

More than 130 people had lunch together at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center where a panel of representatives from many of the fishing groups in the Cook Inlet answered questions on the ongoing conflict over fishing.
Six panelists answered prepared questions about the history of the fishery, problems with management and potential solutions to coping with the decline in king salmon…
http://peninsulaclarion.com/news/2014-01-22/fisheries-panel-
brings-fishers-from-all-user-groups-to-the-table


3. Legislature hears from ADFG on CIFF/UCIDA lawsuit
By Rashah McChesney, Peninsula Clarion

A joint House and Senate finance subcommittee on Tuesday met to hear a report on a lawsuit filed against the National Marine Fisheries Service by two Cook-Inlet commercial fishing entities.

Sen. Mike Dunleavy, R-Wasilla, and Rep. Bill Stoltz, R-Mat Su-Chugiak and others from the subcommittee, heard from the Alaska Department of Law and representatives from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game on state intervention in the lawsuit; though the plaintiff, the United Cook Inlet Drift Association, declined to participate in the proceedings.

The lawsuit challenges the validity of a 2011 decision which transferred salmon management from federal authorities to the State of Alaska in Cook Inlet, Prince William Sound and Alaska Peninsula salmon fisheries.

The final rule implementing the change went into effect Jan. 22, 2013 and the drift association along with the Cook Inlet Fishermen’s Fund, CIFF, ask for federal oversight of the fishery arguing that salmon runs in the Cook Inlet are being mismanaged by the state….
http://peninsulaclarion.com/news/2014-01-18/legislature-hears-
from-adfg-on-ciffucida-lawsuit


4. Board of Fisheries Upper Cook Inlet Finfish - Anchorage, January 31–February 13, 2014
The Alaska Board of Fisheries (board) will meet January 31–February 13, 2014 at the Egan Civic and Convention Center, 555 W. 5th Avenue, Anchorage, Alaska. During this fourteen day public meeting, the board will meet to consider 236 proposals regarding the Upper Cook Inlet region submitted by the general public, fishing organizations, local Fish and Game Advisory Committees, and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game…

BOF Upper Cook Inlet Meeting Information: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fisheriesboard.meeting
info&date=01-31-2014&meeting=uci


Tentative Agenda: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/regulations/regprocess/fisheries
board/pdfs/2013-2014/uci/agenda_uci_2014.pdf


Board of Fisheries home page: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fisheriesboard.main
Online Public Notice: http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View.aspx
?id=170641

&&&&&&&&&&
Items added to Board of Fisheries Statewide King & Tanner Crab meeting March 17-21
This SUPPLEMENTAL NOTICE is being issued to notify the public of the following topic being added to the Board of Fisheries (board) schedule to be considered at the meeting noted:

The following additional topic will be addressed at the board’s Statewide King and Tanner Crab, and Supplemental Items meeting scheduled for March 17–21, 2014 at the Sheraton Hotel, 401 East 6th Avenue, Anchorage, Alaska:

IN THE BRISTOL BAY FINFISH AREA:  Consider amending regulations relating to deployment of set gillnet gear in the Ugashik River to remedy a navigational obstruction in the Ugashik River set gill net salmon fishery. (Newly assigned Proposal 375 – formerly ACR 10.)

IN THE YUKON RIVER FINFISH AREA: Consider establishing a purse seine fishery on the Yukon River for commercial harvest of Yukon River summer chum salmon in districts 1-3 during times of king salmon conservation, including the gear that may be used, based on an emergency finding for a Yukon Delta Fisheries Development Association emergency petition. (Newly assigned Proposal 377.)…

Online Public Notice:
http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View.
aspx?id=170817

Statewide King and Tanner Meeting March 17-21 – BOF Meeting Info page:
http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fisheriesboard.meeting
info&date=03-17-2014&meeting=statewide


5. Deadline April 10 for 2014-2015 Board of Fisheries Proposals – SE, PWS, Upper Copper / Upper Susitna…
The Alaska Board of Fisheries calls for proposed changes in the subsistence, personal use, sport, guided sport, and commercial fishing regulations for the Prince William Sound and Upper Copper/Upper Susitna finfish and Southeast and Yakutat finfish areas, and Southeast and Yakutat crab (king, tanner, dungeness), shrimp, miscellaneous shellfish, and Statewide (except Southeast and Yakutat areas) Dungeness crab, shrimp, miscellaneous shellfish areas…
http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/regulations/regprocess/fisheries
board/pdfs/2014-2015/call2014_2015.pdf


6. Walmart: Working with suppliers in Alaska to ensure sustainable seafood
We’re proud of our role in promoting sustainable fisheries. So, when salmon fisheries in Alaska indicated they wanted to adopt a new program called Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM), we respected that decision but also wanted to credibly stand by our commitment. We turned to The Sustainability Consortium, an organization made up of businesses, academics and nonprofits, to develop principles for credible fishery management. Based on their findings, we took another look at our policy. We’re pleased to incorporate the latest science by applying TSC’s principles to our sustainable seafood policy.

Walmart has proudly sourced seafood from the state of Alaska for many years, and under our newly revised sustainable sourcing policy, we will continue to do so…
http://www.walmartgreenroom.com/2014/01/working-with-
suppliers-in-alaska-to-ensure-sustainable-seafood/


7. State, Walmart Announce Agreement on Seafood
January 24, 2014, Juneau, Alaska – Following focused efforts by the State of Alaska to educate, inform, and reassure Walmart about Alaska’s commitment to responsible fisheries management, Governor Sean Parnell today announced that Walmart and the state had come to an agreement, and that the retailer will continue to purchase Alaska seafood.

“This is great news for Alaska’s seafood industry and the state as a whole,” Governor Parnell said. “We are very happy to hear that Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, will continue to buy Alaska seafood. I want to especially commend the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development, the Department of Fish and Game, and the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) for their hard work in showcasing the sustainability of Alaska seafood. Maintaining choice in seafood sustainability certifications is important to the State of Alaska and the fishing industry, and Walmart’s decision is a major step in the right direction.”

Governor Sean Parnell press release:  http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell/press-room/full-press-release.html?pr=6714
&
Walmart reps ‘schooled’ on Alaska’s salmon industry by Laine Welch
http://homertribune.com/2014/01/walmart-reps-schooled-on-
alaskas-salmon-industry/

*
Time: Can Walmart (and Other Mega-Corporations) Do Good?
http://business.time.com/2014/01/06/walmart-and-the-myth-of-
corporate-responsibility/


8. Murkowski Commends Wal-Mart Decision to Continue Stocking Alaska Seafood in Stores Nationwide
Announcement “Clear Vindication of Our Superior Sustainable Management”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Wal-Mart today announced that it will continue to buy Alaska seafood for its nationwide stores, concluding a four-month review of Alaska’s sustainability standards and practices.  Senator Lisa Murkowski – who has been pushing back against outside groups attempting to question Alaska seafood since last Summer – had the following has been taking on sustainability concerns from outside entities
Senator Murkowski’s press release today http://www.murkowski.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=PressReleases
&ContentRecord_id=3e45551f-e430-4bdd-b366-c1d3f09d12df&
ContentType_id=b94acc28-404a-4fc6-b143-a9e15bf92da4&Group
_id=c01df158-d935-4d7a-895d-f694ddf41624


9. NGOs push Walmart to defy Congress, reject Alaska’s sustainability program (Sackton January 2)
By John Sackton, editor of Seafood News

Note: ISEAL has responded to this article, including refuting the reference that they were set up specifically to bypass WTO conflict of interest rules. Read their response here.

Walmart has missed its self-imposed end of year deadline to review the sustainability criteria it is using for its seafood purchases.
At the same time, 8 powerful NGO’s have threatened to walk away from Walmart’s program unless it is made to resemble the scoring criteria of the NGO-founded ISEAL. ISEAL was specifically set up to bypass WTO conflict of interest rules that would prohibit NGO advisors from being both standards developers and governors…
http://www.undercurrentnews.com/2014/01/02/ngos-push-walmart
-to-defy-congress-reject-alaskas-sustainability-program/


10. Pebble Mine Could Devastate Alaska's Bristol Bay Region, EPA Finds

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A government report indicates a large-scale copper and gold mine in Alaska's Bristol Bay region could have devastating effects on the world's largest sockeye salmon fishery and adversely affect Alaska Natives, whose culture is built around salmon.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday released its final assessment of the impact of mining in the Bristol Bay region. Its findings are similar to those of an earlier draft report, concluding that, depending on the size of the mine, up to 94 miles of streams would be destroyed in the mere build-out of the project, including losses of between 5 and 22 miles of streams known to provide salmon spawning and rearing habitat. Up to 5,350 acres of wetlands, ponds and lakes also would be lost due to the mine footprint.

The report concludes that "large-scale mining in the Bristol Bay watershed poses significant near- and long-term risk to salmon, wildlife and Native Alaska cultures," EPA regional administrator Dennis McLerran said in a conference call with reporters…
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/15/pebble-mine-alaska
-epa-study_n_4603946.html

Federal Register notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-01082
EPA Bristol Bay Assessment page: http://www2.epa.gov/bristolbay

Begich Responds to EPA Announcement on Bristol Bay
Says Science Will Guide Review of Watershed Assessment and Proposed Mine
http://www.begich.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2014/1/begich-responds-to-epa-announcement-on-bristol-bay


11. Alaskans blast Jewell decision to deny King Cove road
By Elwood Brehmer, Alaska Journal of Commerce

Interior Secretary Jewell put the biggest roadblock to date in front of an effort to build a route between the Aleutian villages of King Cove and Cold Bay Dec. 23 when she denied a land swap needed for the project.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski called Jewell’s decision an “insult” and “offensive” in a press conference immediately following the announcement.
“This is a disappointing decision, extremely disappointing to me, but I cannot imagine how disappointed the people of King Cove are that the secretary of (the) Interior, who came out, who listened to them, who visited with them, turned a deaf ear — absolute deaf ear to their request for a simple ask,” Murkowski said…
http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/
December-Issue-5-2013/Alaskans-blast-Jewell-decision-to-deny
-King-Cove-road/


12. Begich Legislation Paves the Way for Road to King Cove
“If the federal bureaucrats won’t do the right thing, I will.”

Frustrated by the U.S. Department of Interior’s (DOI) decision to ignore the public safety of Alaskans and reject a land exchange to facilitate a road linking the community of King Cove to the all-weather airport in Cold Bay, U.S. Senator Mark Begich today introduced legislation that would mandate the exchange and allow the State of Alaska to build the road.

Senator Mark Begich press release (January 15):
http://www.begich.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases?ID
=f8ac0566-a351-4f8a-b12a-9941b78ac25f


13. Appeals court reinstates overfishing charges against Kookesh, two others
By Casey Kelly

Overfishing charges against former State Senator Albert Kookesh and two other men have been reinstated by the Alaska Court of Appeals.
In 2009, Kookesh and three others – Rocky Estrada, Sr., Stanley Johnson, and Scott Hunter – were fishing for sockeye salmon at Kanalku Bay near his hometown of Angoon. A state wildlife trooper observed them catching more salmon than allowed under their subsistence permits, and issued citations.

Kookesh, Estrada, and Johnson challenged, saying the Alaska Department of Fish and Game cannot establish catch limits. They argued the only way to enact limits is through the Alaska Board of Fisheries.

A District Court judge agreed, and dismissed the charges against the men.
The Court of Appeals in ruling today (Friday) said the board of fish can delegate authority to the department. The case was returned to the District Court.

Kookesh says he and the other defendants would like to continue fighting, but their attorney – Tony Strong of Juneau – has been disbarred for an unrelated matter.

KTOO radio story December 27:
http://www.ktoo.org/2013/12/27/appeals-court-reinstates-over
fishing-charges-against-kookesh-two-others/


14. Yes, Virginia, Walleye Pollock is Gadus chalcogrammus (Cod)

“The recent change of the scientific name of Walleye Pollock from Theragra chalcogramma to Gadus chalcogrammus has created some consternation among those of us working with this species on nearly a daily basis. The decision to change the generic assignment came about through extensive genetic studies that examined the number of species and evolutionary relationships among the cods (e.g., Coulson et al., 2006; Teletchea et al., 2006; Carr and Marshall, 2008). In all of these studies, Walleye Pollock was definitively placed in an evolutionary lineage that included the Pacific, Atlantic, and Greenland Cods (Gadus macrocephalus, G. morhua, and G. ogac). The data also indicated that Theragra is more closely related to G. morhua than the other cod species, rather than outside Gadus in a separate lineage. Morphological studies have been ambiguous, the position of Theragra left unresolved among other gadid genera (Dunn, 1989; Teletchea et al., 2006). Nomenclature should be congruent with our best hypothesis of evolutionary relationships, and to recognize this relationship a nomenclatural decision needed to be made. Authors (Coulson et al., 2006; Carr and Marshall, 2008) chose to include the Gadus and Theragra cod lineages together in the single genus Gadus, rather than remove Gadus morhua from Gadus in order to retain Theragra for Walleye Pollock…

Alaska Fisheries Science Center:
http://www.afsc.noaa.gov/Quarterly/OND2013/divrptsRACE1.htm


15. Halibut harvests cut for 10th straight season
By Molly Dischner, Alaska Journal of Commerce

SEATTLE — Halibut fishermen will see another year of cuts under catch limits adopted Jan. 17 at the International Pacific Halibut Commission’s annual meeting.

Alaska’s portion of the 2014 catch is about 19.7 million pounds, out of a coastwide catch of 27.5 million pounds.
The coastwide catch is about 10 percent less than 2013, marking 10 consecutive years of cuts. The 2013 limit was about 31.02 million pounds coastwide, and 23 million pounds in Alaska.

The commission, or IPHC, met in Seattle Jan. 13-17 to set the catch limits from Northern California to the Bering Sea and discuss other issues in the Pacific halibut fishery.
http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/January
-Issue-4-2014/Halibut-harvests-cut-for-10th-straight-season/

IPHC home page: http://www.iphc.int/
IPHC Annual meeting page: http://www.iphc.int/meetings-and-events/annual-meeting.html


16. NPFMC to meet February 3 – 11, Seattle

Meeting Info and downloadable App: http://www.npfmc.org/2014-council-meetings/
Agenda: http://legistar2.granicus.com/npfmc/meetings/2014/2/876
_A_North_Pacific_Council_14-02-03_Meeting_Agenda.pdf

See agenda for links to meeting items:
Schedule of Events and Public Comment Info
Observer Advisory Committee Agenda
Bering Sea Canyons Workshop Agenda
Ecosystem Committee Agenda
Enforcement Committee Agenda
And more…

Federal Register notice January 16: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-00737

NPFMC home page: http://www.npfmc.org/


17. Murkowski Food Advocacy Effort Builds Momentum, Expands to $20 Million Alaska Salmon Purchase
Department of Agriculture Purchases Canned Pink Salmon for Food Banks Nationwide

WASHINGTON, D.C. – After successfully encouraging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to expand its efforts to provide more produce to food banks and affiliates nationwide last week, Senator Lisa Murkowski was able to help convince Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to use $20 million in existing funds to also purchase Alaska canned pink salmon for Americans in need.

Senator Lisa Murkowski press release:
http://www.murkowski.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Press
Releases&ContentRecord_id=242e3770-f5ff-4503-a89c-c9ae
a87ff18a&ContentType_id=b94acc28-404a-4fc6-b143-a9e15
bf92da4&Group_id=c01df158-d935-4d7a-895d-f694ddf41624
&MonthDisplay=1&YearDisplay=2014


18. NOAA Gives Murkowski, Alaskans More Time for MMPA Acoustic Impacts Input
Senator’s Push Gets Extension for Better Science, More Accurate Conclusions, “You Have to Allow for Time to Weigh In”…

Between Christmas and New Year’s Eve of 2013, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) opened a one month nationwide window for comments on its study results of acoustic noise on marine mammals.  However, given the timing very few Alaskans or Americans knew about the opportunity – and Senator Lisa Murkowski called it an “unwelcome holiday surprise” while pressing the administration for more time.

Today, NOAA responded to her call and added 45 days to the comment period for interested parties to participate, which was initially scheduled to end next Monday.  The new deadline will be March 13th…
http://www.murkowski.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Press
Releases&ContentRecord_id=95931214-de39-4b3c-a4e6-2bf
9cfbee011&ContentType_id=b94acc28-404a-4fc6-b143-a9e1
5bf92da4&Group_id=c01df158-d935-4d7a-895d-f694ddf416
24&MonthDisplay=1&YearDisplay=2014

The draft guidance is available in electronic form via the Internet at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/acoustics/ .

Submit Comments at www.regulations.gov  identified by [NOAA-NMFS-2013-0177],
or go to Docket:  http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2013-0177

Federal Register Notice (Original December 27: https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-30951 )
(We have not found an updated Federal Register Notice for the comment deadline extension)

NOAA page: Seeking public comment on Marine Mammal Acoustic Guidance
http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/acoustics/guidance_
announcement.html

NOAA page Ocean Acoustics: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/acoustics/

NOAA's Marine Mammal Acoustic Guidance - Status of NOAA's Guidance for Assessing the Effects of Anthropogenic Sound on Marine Mammals…
http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/acoustics/guidelines.htm


19. Murkowski’s Appropriations Advocacy Reaps Fishery Failure and Tsunami Debris Aid

Senator’s Campaign Gets $75M for Fish Disasters Nationwide…

The 2014 Omnibus Appropriations bill marks a major benchmark for Senator Lisa Murkowski’s negotiations for Alaska that address a wide range of marine needs for the state – most notably providing $75 million for recent fishery failures nationwide, including Alaska’s Chinook disaster in 2012.  It also boosts tsunami debris response efforts, advances a much-needed electronic monitoring alternative for Alaska’s small boat fishing fleet, and millions in government loans to improve the commercial fishing fleet…

Senator Lisa Murkowski press release:
http://www.murkowski.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Press
Releases&ContentRecord_id=5a860507-c5b4-4b2a-8f74-6fdf3
8d6ead2&ContentType_id=b94acc28-404a-4fc6-b143-a9e15b
f92da4&Group_id=c01df158-d935-4d7a-895d-f694ddf41624


20. Juneau Rep. Beth Kerttula resigns
By Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO, and Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN

The House Minority Leader announced her new job Tuesday afternoon in a speech on the floor of the Alaska House of Representatives.
She will be a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Ocean Solutions at Stanford.

Anchorage Rep. Chris Tuck has been selected by the Democratic caucus as the new minority leader…
http://www.ktoo.org/2014/01/21/juneau-rep-beth-kerttula-to-resign/
&
…On Wednesday, the House Committee on Committees met briefly to approve a request by minority Democrats to have Rep. Scott Kawasaki, D-Fairbanks, replace Tuck on House Resources…

On the Senate side, Minority Leader Hollis French, in a floor speech, called the majority's rejection of proposed committee changes a troubling decision that doesn't foster good will in the opening days of the legislative session…
http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/5de168e104844e91bbfcf7
5062ce4729/AK-XGR--Committee-Changes


21. The Statesman - Senator Gary Stevens visits Cordova
Posted 01/17/2014, Jennifer Gibbins, Cordova Times

 Long recognized for his ability to build consensus, statesman, professor and Senator Gary Stevens and his wife Rita recently spent three days visiting Cordova last week. Stevens represents Cordova as part of Senate District R, a district that includes 35,000 residents across 60-some communities from Cordova to Kodiak…
http://www.thecordovatimes.com/article/1403the-statesman---
senator-gary-stevens-visits


22. Senator Micciche to address permitting bill HB 77
Posted: January 16, 2014 - 8:33pm By Becky Bohrer, Associated Press

JUNEAU — A Soldotna legislator on Thursday said he has asked that a controversial permitting bill be sent to the Senate Resources Committee for further review when the Legislature reconvenes.

Sen. Peter Micciche, who held community meetings on HB77 last month, said his constituency does not support the bill in its current form.
 http://peninsulaclarion.com/news/2014-01-16/micciche-to-address
-permitting-bill


23. State talks water rights at Mat-Su Borough meeting

Saturday, January 18, 2014 12:00 am
Andrew Wellner, Mat-Su Frontiersman

PALMER — State Department of Natural Resources Deputy Commissioner Ed Fogels said he thinks people are misinterpreting a bill his department has proposed for the Legislature.

House Bill 77 does a number of things, but the piece that has been most controversial in the Mat-Su deals with in-stream flow reservations.
A flow reservation mandates that a body of water maintain a certain water level.
Someone with a flow reservation can block a permit application from a person or business seeking to remove so much water from the body as to drop below that level.

The legislation would restrict those reservations so that only government bodies and agencies could apply for them.
http://www.frontiersman.com/news/state-talks-water-rights-at-
mat-su-borough-meeting/article_943a77be-80b3-11e3-bdd7-
0019bb2963f4.html

HB77 bill tracking: http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/get_bill.asp?bill=
HB%20%2077&session=28


24. HB77 fails to define 'irreparable' damage to fish habitat
Melanie Brown, Alaska Dispatch, January 20, 2014

While fish and game habitat is often sacrificed in the name of development, Alaska has never said no to a large mine permit application. Yet the Alaska Department of Natural Resources is attempting to gut the permitting process, the only process through which Alaskans can weigh in on permit decisions, by streamlining this critical public participation via a piece of legislation called House Bill 77. The bill narrowly escaped being ratified by the Senate before the state Legislature called its recess last spring.

If this bill becomes a law, the DNR commissioner will have singular power to approve general permits as long as he thinks that the development will not cause significant and irreparable harm. The bill does nothing to define what the commissioner views as “irreparable.” For instance, does the commissioner think damage caused by an open pit mine at the headwaters of salmon producing streams can be mitigated and repaired? Does DNR think that mining through 11 miles of salmon-bearing river can result in a river where salmon will continue to return after its coal seams are excavated?

http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20140120/hb77-fails-
define-irreparable-damage-fish-habitat

Alaska DNR Chuitna Large Mine page: http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/mining/largemine/chuitna/


25. Chenault, Huggins Discuss Education, Gas Line, And Fish Politics
By Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
January 21, 2014 - 4:28 pm

 As lawmakers begin the 90 day session, House Speaker Mike Chenault and Senate President Charlie Huggins say there is just one must pass bill this session- the budget.

But the majority party has other items on their agenda, along with a commitment to fiscal restraint.
I asked Speaker Chenault to outline his priorities…

Representative Chenault, you’re from the Kenai Peninsula and Senator Huggins, you’re from Wasilla . Both of your bodies of constituents are very invested in the strength of salmon runs in Southcentral. Do you have plans to delve into fish politics this session?
Rep. Chenault – It’s never been my intention to ever get into fish politics. I come from the lower Mat-Su and Charlie comes from the upper Kenai, and while we may have our differences of opinion, I don’t think that fish politics ever plays well or allocation issues ever play well in the legislature…

Senator Huggins, are you willing to wade into the fish politics issue?

Sen. Huggins – Well, we have people in Mat-Su, and Mike just described some of that, but what I see is we have to put all the moving parts of fish escapement, return, and everything that falls in between those two. … I’ll sum it up very quickly: There’s something wrong when you can be from Washington State and you can be selling fish and making money and people in Wasilla can’t even go fishing in the streams. But there are a lot of variables in the middle. There aren’t any evil people and the fish are suffering, so I say that whatever we do, we air on the side of the fish. All stakeholders are gonna have to give on this. The Board of Fish, I support them in the allocation business, and I don’t want to see the legislature in the allocation business because I don’t think it works…

http://www.alaskapublic.org/2014/01/21/chenault-huggins-discuss
-education-gas-line-and-fish-politics/


26. Ketchikan Fishing photos and stories wanted for museum exhibit

The Ketchikan Museum Department is seeking YOUR photos and stories to capture and share the tradition of commercial fishing in Ketchikan, past and present.

Ketchikan locals are invited to submit one commercial fishing photo with information and one paragraph story to be included in a digital slideshow of memories that will be enjoyed by locals and summer visitors alike. This community history project will be on display during the Tongass Historical Museum’s 2014 winter - summer exhibit, First in Fish: Ketchikan’s Commercial Fishing Traditions. The digital album will also be saved in the Museum’s records for future generations.

First in Fish will open Friday, February 28 with a free opening reception from 5 - 7 PM.
http://www.city.ketchikan.ak.us/departments/museums/
happening.html


27. Laine Welch’s Fish Radio  - Programs from this week

Plan to ban AK setnetters goes back to court
Sens. Murkowski & Begich differ on EPA and Bristol Bay
Alaska Pollock, Pacific Cod, Crab and More
Pollock opened for trawlers Monday in the Gulf and out in the Bering Sea.
Sen. Murkowski asks for 60 day extend for input on undersea sounds/marine mammals
EPA says Pebble Mine is a bad idea: Reactions
 And more – online at http://www.alaskafishradio.com/


28. Comment deadline February 3 on NOAA Changes to Chart Printing and Distribution
Notice To Advise The Public Of Changes To The Printing And Distribution Of Noaa's Nautical Charts, Including Digital Charts, And To Seek Public Comment…

Summary: NOAA is making significant changes to nautical chart printing and distribution, and is seeking public comment. This notice informs the public of the Office of Coast Survey's approach to expanding navigation products and services, and explains how mariners may continue to access the nautical charts necessary for safe navigation of U.S. waters and to meet regulatory carriage requirements.
DATES:  Written, faxed, or emailed comments are due by midnight, February 3, 2014.

Federal Register notice January 2:  https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-31378


29. Comment deadline February 3 on elimination of marker buoy vessel name requirement

Summary: NMFS proposes to revise the identification marking requirements for fishing gear marker buoys (buoys) used in Federal waters off Alaska. This proposed rule would eliminate the requirement that hook-and-line, longline pot, and pot-and-line buoys be marked with the vessel's name. The requirement to mark buoys with either the vessel's Federal fisheries permit number or Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) number remains in effect. This action is needed to remove a regulatory requirement that is unnecessary. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI Groundfish FMP), the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA Groundfish FMP), and other applicable laws…

Comments must be received no later than February 3, 2014…
Federal register January 3: https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-31416


30. NMFS posts Amendment 99 final rule on BSAI PCod vessel replacement

Summary: NMFS publishes regulations to implement Amendment 99 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP). Amendment 99 enables the holders of license limitation program (LLP) licenses authorizing a designated vessel to catch and process Pacific cod in the BSAI hook-and-line fisheries to use newly built or existing vessels that are not eligible under current vessel length and capacity restrictions. This action is necessary to promote safety-at-sea by encouraging the replacement of older vessels with newer and more efficient vessels that are able to meet modern vessel safety standards. This action is intended to facilitate the increased retention and utilization of groundfish by allowing sector participants to use larger vessels with increased processing and hold capabilities…

Federal register January 6: https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-31556


31. Comment deadline January 29 on Cook Inlet seismic marine mammal take

Summary: NMFS received an application from Apache Alaska Corporation (Apache) for an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to a proposed 3D seismic survey in Cook Inlet, Alaska, between March 1, 2014, and December 31, 2014. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS requests comments on its proposal to issue an IHA to Apache to take, by Level B harassment only, five species of marine mammals during the specified activity…
DATES: Comments and information must be received no later than January 29, 2014.

Federal Register Notice December 31: https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-31333


32. Comment deadline extended to February 5 on APDES Storm Water Discharge General Permit
Extension of Notice of Review of an Alaska Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (APDES) preliminary draft general permit entitled Multi-Sector General Permit for Storm Water Discharges Associated with Industrial Activity (MSGP)…

ADEC’s Wastewater Discharge Authorization Program web page at: http://www.dec.state.ak.us/water/wwdp/index.htm  

Public Notice:  http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/
View.aspx?id=170913


33. Deadline February 12 for ACWA Water Quality, Quantity and Habitat projects

Alaska's Clean Water Actions (ACWA) Partnership - Solicitation for Water Quality, Water Quantity and Aquatic Habitat Projects, Fiscal Year 2015
There are several parts to this solicitation, see the application for full details.
http://www.dec.state.ak.us/water/acwa/onlineACWAapp.htm

Two types of projects will be considered for funding through this solicitation for projects occurring during the 2015 fiscal year (July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015): 

1)           Projects that address identified water resource protection or restoration activities on ACWA high priority waters. The ACWA High Priority Waters List is available as Appendix D in the application. The solicitation will only accept project applications for waters found on the ACWA priority waters list and the actions identified for those waters.

2)           Projects that address identified statewide or area-wide stewardship activities as described in Appendix C of the application. Specific educational opportunities are included in this year’s grant application.

DEADLINE for all applications is 5:00 p.m. February 12, 2014
http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View.aspx?id
=170623


34. Comment deadline March 17 on DEC Anti-degradation implementation regulations

Antidegradation is a tool used to protect the water quality in the State of Alaska. Antidegradation implementation is the method or process for determining whether and to what extent the water quality may be lowered.

The Federal Clean Water Act requires states to have an anti-degradation policy and implementation methods…

DEC Division of Water staff drafted antidegradation implementation method regulations, which were posted for formal public comment on January 13th, 2014. The department will accept comments throughout the 60 day public comment period ending March 17th, 2014.

Online Public Notice: http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View.aspx?
id=170773

DEC Antidegradation page:
http://dec.alaska.gov/water/wqsar/Antidegradation/index.html


35. Deadline February 27 for Tongass Federal Advisory Committee nominations

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - The U.S. Forest Service published its intent on Monday to establish a federal advisory committee to provide advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture and the Chief of the Forest Service on developing a sustainable forest management strategy for the Tongass National Forest, with an emphasis on supporting a transition to young growth management. The Forest Service is now seeking nominations to fill fifteen vacancies. The committee will include a diverse group of stakeholders and will operate in a way that is open, transparent, and accessible to the public.

The Tongass Federal Advisory Committee is being established as a result of both the five-year review of the Tongass Land Management Plan and a July memorandum from the Secretary of Agriculture, Addressing Sustainable Forestry in Southeast Alaska. The Committee will be expected to provide advice on transitioning to young growth in a manner that supports the existing forest industry in Southeast Alaska. Advice from the Committee may also inform modification of the Tongass Land Management Plan.

The U.S. Forest Service invites persons interested in serving on the Tongass Advisory Committee to submit a nomination by February 27, 2014. Any individual or organization may nominate one or more qualified persons; individuals may also nominate themselves…
http://www.sitnews.us/0114News/011514/011514_advisory.html

USFS Tongass Advisory Committee page: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/tongass/home/?cid=stelprdb5444388
Federal Register Notice January 13: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-00326


36. Comment deadline March 28 on federal Subsistence fish and shellfish regs – RAC meetings scheduled

Summary: This proposed rule would establish regulations for fish and shellfish seasons, harvest limits, methods and means related to taking of fish and shellfish for subsistence uses during the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 regulatory years. The Federal Subsistence Board (Board) is on a schedule of completing the process of revising subsistence taking of fish and shellfish regulations in odd-numbered years and subsistence taking of wildlife regulations in even-numbered years; public proposal and review processes take place during the preceding year. The Board also addresses customary and traditional use determinations during the applicable cycle. When final, the resulting rulemaking will replace the existing subsistence fish and shellfish taking regulations. This proposed rule would also amend the general regulations on subsistence taking of fish and wildlife…

DATES: Public meetings: The Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Councils will hold public meetings to receive comments and make proposals to change this proposed rule on several dates between February 11 and March 21, 2014, and then hold another round of public meetings to discuss and receive comments on the proposals, and make recommendations on the proposals to the Federal Subsistence Board, on several dates between August 19 and October 24, 2014. The Board will discuss and evaluate proposed regulatory changes during a public meeting in Anchorage, AK, in January 2015. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for specific information on dates and locations of the public meetings.

Public comments: Comments and proposals to change this proposed rule must be received or postmarked by March 28, 2014.

…The Federal Subsistence Board, through the Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Councils, will hold public meetings on this proposed rule at the following locations in Alaska, on the following dates:

Region 1—Southeast Regional Council – Anchorage - March 11, 2014.
Region 2—Southcentral Regional Council - Anchorage - March 11, 2014.
Region 3—Kodiak/Aleutians Regional Council - TBD - March 20, 2014.
Region 4—Bristol Bay Regional Council - Naknek - February 11, 2014.
Region 5—Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Regional Council - Bethel - March 5, 2014.
Region 6—Western Interior Regional Council - Aniak - February 25, 2014.
Region 7—Seward Peninsula Regional Council - Nome - March 18, 2014.
Region 8—Northwest Arctic Regional Council - Kotzebue - February 18, 2014.
Region 9—Eastern Interior Regional Council - Fairbanks - March 6, 2014.
Region 10—North Slope Regional Council - Barrow - February 12, 2014.

Federal Register Notice January 10: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-00239

Meeting page: http://www.doi.gov/subsistence/calendars/index.cfm

DOI Federal Subsistence notice: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fisheriesboard.meeting
info&date=03-17-2014&meeting=statewide


37. Comment deadline March 25 on Special Subsistence Permits and Harvest Logs for Pacific Halibut in Waters Off Alaska
This request is for extension of a currently approved information collection…

This information collection describes special permits issued to participants in the Pacific halibut subsistence fishery in waters off the coast of Alaska and any appeals resulting from denials. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) designed the permits to work in conjunction with other halibut harvest assessment measures…

DATES:  Written comments must be submitted on or before March 25, 2014.
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/01/24/2014-01407
/proposed-information-collection-comment-request-special-subsistence-
permits-and-harvest-logs-for


38. Alaska Symphony of Seafood – Anchorage, February 13

The Symphony is an annual competition for new value-added products made from Alaska seafood.  More information is attached and at this link:  http://www.symphonyofseafood.com .  If you are not able to travel for the event, we would be thrilled for you to pass this on to any industry members in the Anchorage area who may be more readily available to attend.

Tickets to the Symphony must be purchased ahead of time.  Tickets go on sale next week and are available through Centertix:
•           Online at www.centertix.net
•           By phone:  907-263-ARTS (2787)
•           Or in person at 621 West 6th Avenue in Anchorage
http://www.symphonyofseafood.com


39. AFSC posts Community Profiles for North Pacific Fisheries – Alaska, Volumes 1-12

Community profiles for North Pacific fisheries - Alaska. U.S. Dep. Commer., NOAA Tech. Memo. NMFS-AFSC-259 (Volumes 1-12). (pdf., 51 MB Note large file size – 5,308 pages). 
http://www.afsc.noaa.gov/Publications/AFSC-TM/NOAA-TM-AFSC-
259/NOAA-TM-AFSC-259-COMPLETE.pdf

NOAA Economic and Social Sciences Research Program home page:
http://www.afsc.noaa.gov/REFM/Socioeconomics/Projects/CPU.php
(this page relates to the project and has regional links and info, though we do not see the above document posted here).


40. UFA Community Fish Facts sheets updated with Local Fish Taxes.

We have updated UFA’s Alaska Commercial Fishing and Seafood Processing community fact sheets with additional tax revenue from local municipal and borough fish taxes – thanks to Andy Wink and the Alaska department of Commerce.
The updated sheets are Aleutians East, Aleutians West, Bristol Bay Borough, Dillingham, Lake and Peninsula Borough, Kodiak, Sitka, and Unalaska-Dutch Harbor.

UFA updated Community Fact Sheets: http://www.ufa-fish.org/cff.htm
Alaska Department of Commerce Taxable database: http://commerce.alaska.gov/dnn/dcra/OfficeoftheStateAssessor/
AlaskaTaxableDatabase.aspx


41. Alaska Fish & Wildlife News

January 2014 http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=
wildlifenews.main


Stories include:
Blasting Kanalku Falls By Greg Albrecht http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=wildlifenews.view_
article&articles_id=641

The History of Upper Cook Inlet Salmon Fisheries - A Century of Salmon By Katie Sechrist and Joe Rutz
http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=wildlifenews.view_
article&articles_id=639


42. Upcoming HACCP workshops and Better Process Control School taught by the Marine Advisory Program: http://seagrant.uaf.edu/map/workshops/index.html  

Better Process Control School - February 3–5, 2014, Anchorage, Alaska

HACCP—Anchorage, February 6–7, 2014

Ammonia Refrigeration Training Class March 10–14, Palmer Palmer, Alaska

Kodiak Area Marine Science Symposium 2014April 22–25, 2014, Kodiak, Alaska

If you need more information, please contact Brennan Smith (bmsmith10@alaska.edu ).


43. Fishlines – Alaska Sea Grant Newsletter for January 2014

Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summits Top 300 Graduates
Students Give Research Talks
Marine Mammal App
…and more, online at:
http://seagrant.uaf.edu/news/fishlines/2014/january.php


44. AMSEA Drill Conductor, Stability, Ergonomics and others classes schedule online
http://amsea.org/



Inclusion of an item does not mean that UFA endorses or agrees.
To support UFA by joining or renewing your membership, see
http://www.ufa-fish.org/members.htm

Email list additions or corrections?  Send to ufa@ufa-fish.org .

If you received this email as a forward and would like to be added to our list, simply REPLY and type SUBSCRIBE in the subject line of this email. To receive no future emails from UFA, simply type UNSUBSCRIBE in all caps in the subject line.
UFA never sells or releases your email information.

Compiled by staff of United Fishermen of Alaska, PO Box 20229, Juneau AK 99802 (907) 586-2820

December 20, 2013

Thanks to new UFA Bay Class Business Members  Bulletproof Nets, Taku River Reds, and Marine Surveyors of Southeast Alaska.
Please support UFA business members – online at http://www.ufa-fish.org/bm.htm .

Thanks to new UFA Lifetime members Steve Reifenstuhl, Aaron Jolin, Steve Brown, and Matthew Alward.

Protect your fishing business by joining UFA today! Visit http://www.ufa-fish.org/members.htm to see the various membership levels and benefits.
UFA members receive a free subscription to National Fisherman and Pacific Fishing.

UFA new items: UFA Responds to AFCA Action to Reallocate Salmon through Initiative – Press release, November 12 (see items5 -7 below).

We have posted the 2013 Edition of UFA Alaska Fishing and Seafood processing Community Fact Sheets, including Alaska and Washington statewide sheets, online at
www.ufa-fish.org/cff.htm.  - Related UFA Press Release, December 16

From the Executive Director:

As the year draws to a close, UFA is taking this time to reflect on the past fishing season and legislative session. Thank you to everyone who stopped by the UFA booth at Pacific Marine Expo this year! Thanks to the help of numerous member group volunteers, UFA picked up a record 40?? new members in the three day period. UFA welcomes our new members who help keep this great organization afloat. 

We know many of you had very profitable 2013 fishing season, and we encourage you to consider giving a little extra before the new year starts in order to protect your fishing business. Please support your local gear group association and encourage others to support UFA. 

UFA has made great strides in increasing awareness of the fishing industry, and your advocates at UFA are looking forward to yet another productive legislative session. Keep in mind that many elected officials are running for state office in the coming year, and they need your support and encouragement to run a good campaign. Please consider donating to those who help protect your fishing business and understand the complexities of Alaska's largest private sector employer- the seafood industry. A contribution before the end of the year to show your support will really impact those running for office. We also encourage you to hold a fishing industry fundraiser for elected officials. Help increase the awareness of the fishing industry by sitting down with candidates in your district and in other parts of the state. If you need any help, please feel free to contact me with questions or requests. 

As always, we highly encourage you to donate to the UFA Fish PAC; they need your support before the year closes! Please contact the office if you need additional information. 

Merry Christmas and happy holidays from the UFA office. We look forward to another productive year!

-Julianne Curry
Executive Director
United Fishermen of Alaska

Table of Contents
1. Ten Part Series: Morris Communications presents “The case for conserving the Kenai king salmon”
2. Fish Wars Heat Up, By Scott Christiansen, Anchorage Press
3. Kenai River king salmon need more in-river protection
4. Kenai / Soldotna Fish and Game AC election meeting and BOF proposal discussion Dec. 30 (Anchorage AC too)
5. Peninsula fishing groups debate set net ban initiative - Alaska Division of Elections to reach decision by Jan. 6
6. Under guise of conservation, anti-setnet initiative seeks to reallocate Cook Inlet salmon
7. Kenai fishing groups file opposition to proposed setnet ban - see ONLINE PETITION
8. DNR Cancels Public Meetings on House Bill 77
9. Central Peninsula speaks out against HB77
10. Facing vocal opposition, natural resources bill may face tough go in Senate – Anchorage Daily News December 11, 2013
11. Young Fishermen’s Summit report - Fish on, speak up, by Hannah Heimbuch
12. NPFMC Goes Digital with new website and ipad app
13. NPFMC - Items from the December Meeting
14. Magnuson Stevens Reauthorization - House Natural Resources draft posted for comments
15. Fish board adjusts commercial regulations in lower Cook Inlet
16. Board of Fisheries Upper Cook Inlet Finfish meeting – January 31 – February 13, 2014, Anchorage
17. Strong Cook Inlet sockeye run of 6.1M forecast for 2014
18. NOAA Removes the Eastern Steller Sea Lion from the Endangered Species List
19. Geoduck industry fighting China’s shellfish-import ban
20. Begich Urges China to Renew its Imports of Alaska Shellfish
21. Begich Praises Pacific Seafood Processors for Salmon Donation
22. Begich to FDA:  Leave Surprises to Santa this Season - Puts Agency on Notice about Frankenfish Approval
23. Begich Objects to Canadian Approval of Frankenfish Eggs for Panama
24. Will FDA Salmon Ruling Lead to Labeling Law?
25. NOAA: Coastal ocean aquaculture can be environmentally sustainable
26. Senator Murkowski Calls on Walmart to Carry Products Made with Salmon from Alaska
27. The Battle of Dude Creek – Gustavus plan revision highlights Habitat Division
28. Fukushima Radiation - Little Impact on Alaska Seafood
29. ADN: Alaska health exchange website getting better but not perfect
30. Resource Development Council Resource review - December 2013 issue
31. Juneau Economic Development Council and USFS Innovation Summit – January 29-30, Juneau
32. Alaska Sea Grant Fishlines newsletter for December
33. Alaska Economic Trends – November Seafood Harvesting Jobs issue
34. NOAA Fisheries of the United States – 2012
35. Laine Welch’s Fish Radio – items from this week
36. Deadline February 14 for Comment on AK Regional Response Oil Dispersant Policy
37. Mental Health Trust Adopts Resource Management Strategy – comment by January 10, 2014
38. USFWS approves copper-clad lead shot for migratory bird hunting
39. Comment deadline December 31 on NPFMC Amendment 102 for CQE sablefish in Aleutian Islands
40. EPA posts Alaska seafood processing discharge and effluent data - Comment deadline January 6.
41. NOAA processor survey - Comment deadline January 6 on new data collection
42. US Coast Guard extends comment period to Jan, 23 on OCS Safety and Environmental Management System Requirements
43. Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (MAFAC) December 3-5 meeting summary:
44. Comment deadline January 17 on Pinto Abalone ESA 90-day listing finding
45. Halibut catch sharing plan set for 2014 implementation
46. NMFS posts IFQ Halibut and Sablefish Cost Recovery fee 2013 - 2.8%
47. Comment deadline January 9 on BSAI groundfish 2014-2015 Harvest Specifications
48. Comment deadline January 9 on GOA groundfish 2014-2015 Harvest Specifications
49. NMFS Notification Of Standard Ex Vessel Prices for groundfish and halibut observer fees
50. NOAA posts MMPA List of Fisheries for 2014 – comment deadline January 6
51. Deadline Jan. 6, 2014 for 2014 Southeast Alaska Chinook Salmon Mitigation Infrastructure Grants
52. Deadline Jan. 6 for Southeast Alaska Chinook Salmon Hatchery Enhancement Grant Program
53. NOAA posts Procedures for Government-to-Government Consultation With Federally Recognized Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations
54. Applicants Sought for Subsistence Regional Advisory Council Membership  - Deadline: March 21, 2014
55. Northeast Fishermen look for your help – Raffle for new car up to $45K or $25K cash
56. Help Wanted: Assistant Professor Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program (MAP), Bristol Bay region
57. Alaska Board of Fisheries to meet in Kodiak, January 7-10 on Kodiak Finfish
58. AMSEA Drill Conductor, Stability, Ergonomics and others classes schedule online
59. Notes on Unsubscribing or Subscribing


1. Ten Part Series: Morris Communications presents “The case for conserving the Kenai king salmon”
Introduction by William S. Morris III/Chairman and CEO/Morris Communications Co:
“Morris Communications’ history in Alaska dates to 1969 when the company purchased the Juneau Empire. Today, the company also owns and operates Alaska Magazine, The Milepost, Where Alaska, the Alaska Journal of Commerce, Capital City Weekly, the Chugiak-Eagle River Star, the Homer News and the Peninsula Clarion. The company also owns and operates six radio stations in Anchorage — KBEAR 104.1, KWHL 106.5, MIX 103.1, KOOL 97.3, KFQD 750, KHAR 590 and 96.7 — and KAYO 100.9 in Wasilla…
Because of the tremendous importance of this wonderful species of salmon and because of the decline in their numbers, the newspapers owned by the Morris Communications Corp. will be presenting a 10-part series entitled, “The Case for conserving the Kenai king salmon.”
The purpose of the series is to find the facts and put them into simple and easy to understand terms in the public domain. We hope that this series can make a major difference in the long-term growth, management and sustainability of this great fish…”
http://www.alaskastar.com/Alaska-Star/October-Issue-5-2013/Morris
-Communications-presents-The-case-for-conserving-the-Kenai-king-s
almon/

Part 1: Widespread decline of kings points to natural forces By Molly Dischner, Rashah McChesney
http://peninsulaclarion.com/news/2013-11-08/widespread-decline-
of-kings-points-to-natural-forces

Part 2: Salmon species - other than kings - thriving around Alaska, By Abby Lowell
http://peninsulaclarion.com/news/2013-11-08/salmon-species-other
-than-kings-thriving-around-alaska

Part 3: Kings drive news, sockeyes drive Inlet economy, By Rashah Mcchesney
http://capitalcityweekly.com/stories/112013/out_1182558055.shtml

Part 4: What became of the Yukon kings? An in-river look, By Dan O'Neill
http://juneauempire.com/state/2013-11-24/what-became-yukon
-kings-river-look#.UrNNHVJ3sdU

or if blocked at Juneau Empire, try
 http://peninsulaclarion.com/news/2013-11-23/king-salmon-part-
4-what-became-of-the-yukon-kings

Part 5: Alaska salmon management: A unique process for a unique state, By Molly Dischner, Alaska Journal of Commerce
http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/December
-Issue-1-2013/Alaska-salmon-management-A-unique-process-for-a-
unique-state/

Part 6: Questions remain about king counts after ADFG shift to high-tech sonar, By Rashah McChesney
http://homernews.com/homer-news/business/2013-12-11/questions
-remain-about-king-counts-after-adfg-shift-to-high-tech

Part 7:  Management challenge: 'fish wars' escalate as king productivity ebbs, By Andrew Jensen  
http://peninsulaclarion.com/news/2013-12-14/management-
challenge-fish-wars-escalate-as-king-productivity-ebbs

Part 8:  Fishermen focus on how ADFG sets, achieves escapement goals, By Molly Dischner  (December 18):
 http://www.alaskastar.com/Alaska-Star/December-Issue-3-2013
/Fishermen-focus-on-how-ADFG-sets-achieves-escapement-goals/

Look for parts 9 and 10 in the any of above publications, in the next two weeks.


2. Fish Wars Heat Up, By Scott Christiansen, Anchorage Press
There’s an established fishery war on the Kenai Peninsula that heated up in recent weeks on two battlefronts: politics and news media. The feud is yet another struggle over gear type and licensing, the type of controversy that’s become more common as Alaska fisheries get more popular and the state gathers more “stakeholders” while Mother Nature and the hatcheries stubbornly refuse to make certain every stakeholder gets precisely the fish — or freezer full, or paycheck — they want out of their fishery. This particular feud is at least three decades old and pits commercial sport fishing guides and their clients against set net fishermen on the Kenai Peninsula. The sport fishers eye a particular prize: getting more trophy-sized king salmon upriver. The set netters have a prize, too: just keeping their jobs…
Andy Hall, a set net fisherman who is also a former editor and publisher for Morris, said readers should at least be aware of what is going on at Morris as they read the coverage.
http://m.anchoragepress.com/news/blotter/fish-wars-heat-up/article
_f901ba42-52e4-11e3-9da8-0019bb2963f4.html?mode=jqm


3. Kenai River king salmon need more in-river protection
By Dwight Kramer|, November 24, 2013
In recent years we have seen a troubling pattern of near record low returns of both early and late run Kenai River chinook salmon. We believe the declines in statewide chinook fisheries are largely due to marine survival issues, however, we also feel that part of our Kenai River decline can be linked to in-river harvest patterns, fishing on middle river mainstem spawning fish throughout July, insufficient spawning area protections, selective harvest of our larger age-class fish, and multiple years of over-harvest of the population due to biased high sonar counts…
http://peninsulaclarion.com/opinion/2013-11-24/kenai-kings-need
-more-spawning-protection


4. Kenai / Soldotna Fish and Game AC election meeting and BOF proposal discussion Dec. 30 (Anchorage AC too)
The Kenai/Soldotna Fish & Game Advisory Committee will hold an election meeting on Monday, December 30th at the Soldotna Sports Center, located on K-Beach Road at 6:30 pm. 
Also on the agenda will be:
Upper Cook Inlet Board of Fisheries proposal discussion.  
Online Public Notice:
http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View.
aspx?id=170476

Upper Cook Inlet proposals for February Board of Fisheries meeting are online at http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fisheriesboard.meeting
info&date=01-31-2014&meeting=uci

Also, the Anchorage Fish & Game Advisory Committee Game Sub-committee will meet on Monday, December 30th at 6:30PM at the CMM General Contractor office located at 18743 Old Glenn Highway, Chugiak, AK.  Agenda includes continue discussion of Interior Region Proposals, starting with Proposal #91.
Notice is online at http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices
/View.aspx?id=170556


5. Peninsula fishing groups debate set net ban initiative - Alaska Division of Elections to reach decision by Jan. 6

By Hannah Heimbuch, Homer Tribune
Shortly after the new year, Alaska’s Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell and the State Division of Elections will decide whether an initiative to ban set nets off Alaska’s urban shores will go before the state’s voters.

The Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance announced their proposal one month ago, citing the declining Kenai River king run as proof that stronger conservation methods are needed in the salmon fisheries. From the AFCA perspective, that means reducing the number of king salmon intercepted by shore-bound commercial fisheries targeting sockeye salmon…
http://homertribune.com/2013/12/peninsula-fishing-groups-
debate-set-net-ban-initiative/


6. Under guise of conservation, anti-setnet initiative seeks to reallocate Cook Inlet salmon
Zach Hill, Alaska Dispatch
http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20131121/under-guise-
conservation-anti-setnet-initiative-seeks-reallocate-cook-inlet-
salmon


7. Kenai fishing groups file opposition to proposed setnet ban – see ONLINE PETITION
By Molly Dischner, Alaska Journal of Commerce
As the deadline to certify an initiative to ban setnetting nears, fishing groups are filing legal opinions with the state opposing the measure.
The Kenai Area Fisherman’s Coalition and the Kenai Peninsula Fishermen’s Association have each sent a letter to the state offering a legal opinion on the ban. The Alaska Salmon Alliance also plans to weigh in…
In November, the Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance, or AFCA, filed a petition to ask voters to consider banning setnets in certain “urban,” non-subsistence parts of the state. The initiative talks about urban areas statewide, but for now it would essentially ban setnetting in Cook Inlet.
Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell is required to issue a decision on the initiative by Jan. 6.
http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/
December-Issue-4-2013/Kenai-fishing-groups-file-opposition-
to-proposed-setnet-ban/

The Kenai setnet ban initiative is described as “not allocation” on the “Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance” website at:
http://www.akfisheries.org/initiative/  .
 (Not to be confused with our friends at the Alaska Salmon Alliance, online at www.aksalmonalliance.org )

ONLINE PETITION: The Alaska Salmon Alliance Protect Our Kings petition is now online at
  http://www.aksalmonalliance.org/sign-our-petition/


8. DNR Cancels Public Meetings on House Bill 77
Since the Legislature gaveled out this spring, state officials have been trying to build support for a controversial land management bill that couldn’t get enough votes in the final days of session. Public meetings were supposed to be part of their outreach effort. But APRN’s Alexandra Gutierrez reports that the Department of Natural Resources has called those meetings off…
http://ktna.org/2013/11/21/dnr-cancels-public-meetings-on-
house-bill-77/


9. Central Peninsula speaks out against HB77
Commenters: Changes to bill are needed; don't cut the public out –
Kenai Peninsula Clarion, December 10
The central Kenai Peninsula’s sometimes polarized community came together Monday to protest the proposed House Bill 77 during testimony in Soldotna.

Without exception, the public expressed displeasure for two portions of HB77: the removal of public input on permits and the loss of personal access to water reservation…
The main concern of those attending the hearing, which was held in the Kenai Peninsula Assembly Chambers and sponsored by Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, was that the bill would centralize decisions on state land use with the commissioner of DNR, and therefore the governor.
Micciche called for hearings in Soldotna and Homer, he said, because he received more email correspondence for HB 77 than any other bill during the 2013 Legislative session…
http://peninsulaclarion.com/news/2013-12-10/central-peninsula-
against-hb77


10. Facing vocal opposition, natural resources bill may face tough go in Senate – Anchorage Daily News December 11, 2013
HOMER -- One major unresolved bill from the past legislative session, a sweeping law to eliminate public notice and comment when some permits are issued, ran into fierce opposition in meetings this week in the Kenai Peninsula district of Sen. Peter Micciche, prompting the Soldotna Republican to declare the measure in deep trouble.
House Bill 77, a product of Gov. Sean Parnell's administration, teetered on the verge of Senate passage in the closing days of the 2013 session in April, but was stashed in the Senate Rules Committee when vote counters projected a 10-10 tie on the floor -- a single vote shy. The bill had passed the House in March and is high on the Senate agenda when it reconvenes next month.
But Micciche, a moderate once considered a "yes" vote by opponents of the bill, said constituents have been flooding his office with comments and are even buttonholing him on the street. Nearly everyone is opposed, he said.  "I would be unlikely to support the bill in its current form," he said Wednesday. The administration should withdraw the bill and re-write it, or Senate President Charlie Huggins should return it to a new round of committee hearings, Micciche said.
Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2013/12/11/3226129/
facing-unified-opposition-natural.html#storylink=cpy

&
Anchorage Daily News editorial: Our View: Either rewrite House Bill 77 or kill it
http://www.adn.com/2013/12/12/3227459/our-view-either-
rewirte-house.html

&
Kenai Peninsula Clarion: HB 77 Needs Work
http://peninsulaclarion.com/opinion/2013-12-12/hb-77-needs
-work

UFA comments HB77-SB26 Water Allocation Senate Finance (Mar.11,2013)
http://www.ufa-fish.org/positions/UFA%20comments%20HB77-SB26%20Senate%20Finance%20031113.pdf


11. Young Fishermen’s Summit report - Fish on, speak up, by Hannah Heimbuch
When I sat down for the start of the Alaska Young Fisherman’s Summit in Anchorage last Tuesday, I didn’t know a single face at my table. I’d driven up from Homer alone in the wee hours, preparing to absorb as much information as one fisherman/reporter could.

But as introductions were made, I realized that I was far from the only local to show up. Six other Homer women stood to give their names and fisheries, which ranged from Cook Inlet to Bristol Bay, with Gulf and Western territories in between. There were about 60 young fishermen present from all over the state, and the Homer contingent made up the majority of the women. Four young men from the village of Razdolna also made the trek north.
http://homertribune.com/2013/12/fish-on-speak-up/


12. NPFMC Goes Digital with new website and ipad app
The Council has moved to an entirely new document management system which allows a new, easier way for the public to view items related to a Council meeting.  All the items associated with a Council meeting, either before or after, are available to the public via the online database:  npfmc.legistar.com .  The items are searchable and downloadable, and there’s even a feature to be alerted if something new is posted on a specific agenda item.  This means the entire Council notebook is available online.  An easier interface is available through an app for the ipad called Granicus.  Call the office if you’d like more information on this feature.
NPFMC home page: http://www.npfmc.org/


13. NPFMC - Items from the December Meeting
Tender Activity
SSL BiOp Extension Request
BSAI and GOA specs
Charter Halibut
Round Island Transit Area
Chinook PSC Rollover
Octopus/Skate Directed Fishery
GOA Pot Gear for Sablefish
These and more, online at http://www.npfmc.org/2013-council-meetings/


14. Magnuson Stevens Reauthorization - House Natural Resources draft posted for comments
The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act governs the recreational and commercial harvest of fisheries in Federal waters. It was last authorized by Congress in 2006 through fiscal year 2013 and Chairman Hastings has unveiled a draft proposal to renew and modernize the law. The draft proposal would implement common sense reforms that will promote increased flexibility and transparency, improve data collection, create jobs, and give predictability and certainty to the coastal communities that depend on fishing activities…
http://naturalresources.house.gov/magnusonstevens/

Discussion Draft: http://naturalresources.house.gov/uploadedfiles/
magnusonstevensactdiscussiondraft-113.pdf
 


15. Fish board adjusts commercial regulations in lower Cook Inlet
By Molly Dischner, Kenai Peninsula Clarion, December 14
Lower Cook Inlet commercial fishermen will see some changes in the boundaries for certain fisheries next year.

Alaska’s Board of Fisheries tackled a handful of proposals that will affect commercial boundaries and markers at the Lower Cook Inlet meeting in Anchorage last week.

Salmon seiners will operate under redefined boundaries and use latitude and longitude coordinates instead of physical markers in certain parts of Lower Cook Inlet.

The public panel, including fishermen, that discussed those proposals during committee work came to a consensus to support them, despite concerns about some changes…
http://m.peninsulaclarion.com/news/2013-12-14/fish-board-adjust
-commercial-regulations-in-lower-cook-inlet

&&&&
Board of Fisheries Lower Cook Inlet Finfish December 8-11, 2013 Meeting documents and summary of actions are online at:
http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fisheriesboard.meeting
info&date=12-08-2013&meeting=lci

See also Notice of Proposed Regulatory Changes in the 2013–2014
Meeting Cycle

And Notice of Proposed Regulatory Changes- Errors and Omissions
Alaska Board of Fisheries home page:
http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fisheriesboard.main


16. Board of Fisheries Upper Cook Inlet Finfish meeting – January 31 – February 13, 2014, Anchorage
Agenda: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/regulations/regprocess
/fisheriesboard/pdfs/2013-2014/uci/agenda_uci_2014.pdf

Meeting Information page:
http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fisheriesboard.
meetinginfo&date=01-31-2014&meeting=uci


17. Strong Cook Inlet sockeye run of 6.1M forecast for 2014
By Molly Dischner, Alaska Journal of Commerce (Nov 26)
Upper Cook Inlet could see another strong year for sockeye returns if the 2014 forecast for 6.1 million fish comes to fruition.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game released its 2014 forecast Nov. 19, which predicts a run of between 4.4 million to 7.8 million sockeye, or red, salmon. That would be an above average return for the region.
http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/
December-Issue-1-2013/Strong-Cook-Inlet-sockeye-run-of-6
1M-forecast-for-2014/

ADFG 2014 Upper Cook Inlet Sockeye Salmon Forecast
www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/applications/dcfnewsrelease/
375604964.pdf

&&
2014 BRISTOL BAY SOCKEYE SALMON FORECAST (PDF 216 kB) - 11/27/13
2014 NUSHAGAK RIVER CHINOOK SALMON HARVEST PROJECTION (PDF 109 kB) - 10/22/13
Other forcasts and reports are being added- for your area see ADFG Commercial fisheries home page , select an area and the tabs for species, and forecasts.


18. NOAA Removes the Eastern Steller Sea Lion from the Endangered Species List
After public input and careful scientific review, NOAA Fisheries has found that the Eastern Population segment of Steller sea lions has recovered and can be removed from the Endangered Species Act.  The is the first species NOAA has delisted due to recovery since the eastern North Pacific gray whale was taken off the list of threatened and endangered species in 1994…
NOAA press release (Oct 23): http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/newsreleases/2013/
easternssl
102313.htm

Federal Register notice (Nov 4):
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/11/04/2013-25261/
endangered-and-threatened-species-delisting-of-the-eastern-distinct-
population-segment-of-steller

NOAA Eastern Steller Sea Lion page:
http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/protectedresources/stellers/edps/
status.htm


19. Geoduck industry fighting China’s shellfish-import ban
By Jay Greene, Seattle Times business reporter
Washington geoduck farmers and harvesters have turned to politicians to help overturn a Chinese shellfish-import ban that’s all but shut down the local industry. Washington geoduck harvesters and government officials, including Gov. Jay Inslee, are scrambling to overturn China’s decision to ban some shellfish exports from the Pacific Northwest…

Fish inspectors in China notified the U.S. Embassy on Dec. 3 that China was tentatively suspending imports of geoduck and other “double-shell aquatic animals,” such as oysters, because they found high levels of paralytic shellfish poisoning, or PSP, in a Nov. 21 shipment of geoducks…
http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2022464264
_shellfishbanxml.html

&&&&&&&&&&&
Alaska dive industry: Southeast Alaska Divers Not Yet Affected By China’s Shellfish Ban
By Matt Lichtenstein, KFSK - Petersburg | December 19, 2013 - 10:15 am
An industry representative says Southeast geoduck clam divers have not been affected by China’s recent ban on West Coast shellfish import since they haven’t been fishing recently.
According to Southeast Alaska Dive Fisheries Association Director Phil Doherty, other factors have been keeping divers off the grounds since early this month…
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2013/12/19/industry-southeast-
alaska-divers-not-yet-affected-by-chinese-shellfish-ban/


20. Begich Urges China to Renew its Imports of Alaska Shellfish
Tells Ambassador that Alaska Maintains Highest Safety Standards…
In a letter today (Dec. 17) to Chinese Ambassador to the United States Tiankai Cui, Begich asked for help lifting China’s recent ban on geoduck clams, a prized Chinese delicacy that flourishes in the waters of Southeast Alaska and the Pacific Northwest.

http://www.begich.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases?
ID=1e814c33-6c8c-4b68-9438-d3a3f0b7ce55


21. Begich Praises Pacific Seafood Processors for Salmon Donation
40,000 Pounds of Salmon Headed to St. Lawrence Island
 U.S. Senator Mark Begich praised members of the Pacific Seafood Processors Association (PSPA) for their donation of 40,000 pounds of seafood to the residents of St. Lawrence Island who are facing a severe food shortage this year due to unusual ice conditions that stymied this year’s walrus hunt…
http://www.begich.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases?
ID=ad3d59f6-3df5-47b0-a837-f0d5a8860ce8


22. Begich to FDA:  Leave Surprises to Santa this Season - Puts Agency on Notice about Frankenfish Approval
U.S. Senator Mark Begich put the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on notice that any changes to Frankenfish policy must be well-promoted and must include ample time for public debate – not obscured by a release during the holiday season.  In a letter to the FDA yesterday, Sen. Begich reminded the agency about last year’s unwelcome and untimely announcement. 
Press release: http://www.begich.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press
releases?ID=cd42261a-4e47-41ea-8a43-a73f762b0e72


23. Begich Objects to Canadian Approval of Frankenfish Eggs for Panama
(Nov. 26) Proposes Ban of Shipments of Engineered Salmon Roe through U.S.Routes
U.S. Senator Mark Begich today voiced his strong objection to Canadian authorities’ approval of the sale of genetically engineered salmon eggs for production in Panama.  The announcement of approval of the production and sale of Frankenfish roe appeared in a routine announcement from Canadian authorities yesterday, raising fears the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was poised to approve the sale and production of the genetically engineered (GE) fish for human consumption…
http://www.begich.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases?ID
=0d1b8876-b988-4fcd-9b87-20443b06e350

&
Canada OKs Production Of Genetically Modified Salmon
http://www.law360.com/articles/491509/canada-oks-production-of
-genetically-modified-salmon


24. Will FDA Salmon Ruling Lead to Labeling Law?
As the U.S. Food and Drug Administration prepares to release its final ruling on whether a genetically engineered salmon will end up in grocery stores, a handful of northwestern lawmakers are watching especially closely.

The salmon, developed by a Massachusetts-based biotech firm, AquaBounty, would be the first genetically modified animal approved for consumption and commercialization. While the FDA has already said the salmon would be safe to eat and would pose no threat to the environment, the agency has yet to flash its final green light. That approval could come any day.

If and when it does, some lawmakers want the genetically engineered salmon to carry a label saying it’s genetically modified, in part, they say, to preserve the identity of their state’s fisheries.

“It’s a hundreds of millions of dollars industry for us,” Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, said in an interview. “Our salmon’s going to be sitting next to an inferior product and consumers won’t know the difference because there’s no label.”

Earlier this year, Begich introduced a bill that would require labels on the genetically engineered salmon. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, attached the measure to the 2014 Agriculture appropriations bill, winning a 15-14 vote in the Senate Appropriations Committee in June. The spending bill would require the FDA to spend at least $150,000 on a label identifying genetically engineered fish…
http://www.rollcall.com/news/will_fda_salmon_ruling_lead_to_
labeling_law-229701-1.html


25. NOAA: Coastal ocean aquaculture can be environmentally sustainable
Little to no effects on coastal ocean environment seen with proper safeguards, planning…
December 18, 2013

Specific types of fish farming can be accomplished with minimal or no harm to the coastal ocean environment as long as proper planning and safeguards are in place, according to a new report from researchers at NOAA's National Ocean Service.

 The study, led by scientists at National Ocean Service's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), evaluated the environmental effects of finfish aquaculture, including interactions with water quality, benthic habitats, and marine life across various farming practices and habitat types…
"We did this study because of concerns that putting marine finfish farms in the coastal ocean could have adverse effects on the environment," said Dr. James Morris, NCCOS ecologist. "We found that, in cases where farms are appropriately sited and responsibly managed, impacts to the environment are minimal to non-existent."

NOAA Press release: http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2013/
20131218_aquaculture.html

Report:  “Marine Cage Culture and the Environment: Twenty-first
Century Science Informing a Sustainable Industry.


26. Senator Murkowski Calls on Walmart to Carry Products Made with Salmon from Alaska
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski is continuing to lobby the largest retailer on earth to carry products made with salmon from Alaska. On Wednesday Senator Lisa Murkowski sent a letter to the incoming CEO of Walmart outlining her concerns with the current purchasing practices of Walmart in regards to salmon from Alaska…
http://kdlg.org/post/senator-murkowski-calls-walmart-carry-products
-made-salmon-alaska

Senator Murkowski Press Release: “No Doubt” Alaska Seafood is Sustainable:
http://www.murkowski.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=PressReleases
&ContentRecord_id=6e6a3b33-33cd-45bf-bab5-c77680d15036&
ContentType_id=b94acc28-404a-4fc6-b143-a9e15bf92da4&Group
_id=c01df158-d935-4d7a-895d-f694ddf41624


27. The Battle of Dude Creek – Gustavus plan revision highlights Habitat Division
By Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN - Juneau | October 25, 2013

Now, the cranes aren’t the only thing causing a fuss at Dude Creek. The wetlands have become an unlikely battleground in a fight that could decide how millions of acres of sensitive land in the state are managed…

Hank Lentfer represents the Nature Conservancy on the planning team. The conservation group had been planning to let the state manage their reserve in Gustavus, but that deal has been put into question by changes to the special areas planning process. (Alexandra Gutierrez/APRN)

The management plan had been cut in half and was covered in red edits. Whole sections on scientific research and local knowledge had been stripped. When it came to things like geological exploration or hazardous waste disposal, phrases like “will not allow” were replaced with “may allow.” Everything that was prohibited before could now be permitted on a case-by-case basis and without public notice.
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2013/10/25/the-battle-of-dude-creek/


28. Fukushima Radiation - Little Impact on Alaska Seafood
Current data indicates that Alaskan Seafood is not affected by the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant reactor damage, or subsequent activity surrounding the power plant. We have been coordinating with other state and federal agencies to monitor the situation at the Fukushima plant and will take action if it becomes necessary. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the lead agency on food safety. Additional information regarding response and testing can be found on their website here.
Fish and shellfish from Alaskan waters and beaches are not affected by the nuclear reactor damage in Japan and are safe to eat; they are, however, still subject to local toxins such as paralytic shellfish poisoning.
https://dec.alaska.gov/eh/fss/Food/radiation_news.htm


29. ADN: Alaska health exchange website getting better but not perfect
Since its Oct. 1 launch, navigators, certified counselors and brokers helping individual Alaskans sign up for health insurance have expressed frustration over the technical glitches that barred most people from completing enrollment on HealthCare.gov during its first month.But recently, two months into open enrollment, the Internet site has begun looking up, said representatives from the Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center, the private broker Enroll Alaska, and Susan Johnson, northwest regional director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.Enroll Alaska, an affiliate of Northrim Bank, has enrolled 86 people in Alaska's online marketplace and 36 apart from the website so far -- most in recent weeks, said Tyann Boling, its chief operating officer…
http://www.adn.com/2013/12/03/3210936/officials-said-tuesday
-morning.html

Deadline to enroll is December 23, 2013 if you want your coverage to begin on January 1, 2014.
The deadline to get insured and avoid a penalty is March 31, 2014.

Enroll Alaska - http://www.enrollingalaska.com/home.aspx  
Phone support: 855-385-5550 (toll free) or 907-770-5100

United Way 2-1-1 Navigator page (Call 2-1-1 or 1-800-478-2221)
http://www.alaska211.org/(S(i35t40zsuvq35cxljd2aapsh))/
default.aspx

Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium – for help with exemptions that apply to Alaska Native and American Indian people. 
See http://anthctoday.org/aca/ or call 907-729-7777

Alaska (Federal) Healthcare Exchange:
http://www.healthinsurance.org/alaska-state-health-insurance
-exchange/

State of Alaska Division of Insurance Affordable Care Act page: http://commerce.alaska.gov/ins/Insurance/ACA/exchanges.html

UFA Info on the Affordable Care Act for Fishermen and Fishing Groups
http://www.ufa-fish.org/doc/Health_Insurance_10012013.pdf


30. Resource Development Council Resource review - December 2013 issue
http://www.akrdc.org/newsletters/
Topics in this edition include:


31. Juneau Economic Development Council and USFS Innovation Summit – January 29-30, Juneau
The Innovation Summit is an annual gathering of leaders interested in forming better solutions to further the economy of Southeast.The forum fosters collaboration across sectors and industries and delivers fresh ideas and new perspectives from in and outside of Alaska…
http://www.jedc.org/innovation/


32. Alaska Sea Grant Fishlines newsletter for December
http://seagrant.uaf.edu/news/fishlines/2013/december.php


33. Alaska Economic Trends – November Seafood Harvesting Jobs issue
http://labor.state.ak.us/trends/nov13.pdf
AK Department of Labor Economic Trends Archive: http://labor.state.ak.us/trends/


34. NOAA Fisheries of the United States – 2012
…online at: http://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/st1/publications.html
NOAA Press release (Oct 30)
http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/newsreleases/2013/landing
report103013.htm

UFA Alaska and Washington Community Fishing and Seafood Processing fact Sheets:
http://www.ufa-fish.org/CFF/2013/00a%20All%20UFA%20
Community%20Fish%20Facts%202013.3.1.pdf


35. Laine Welch’s Fish Radio – items from this week:
-Hatcheries provide 30% of AK wild salmon
-Each year about one third of Alaska’s salmon catch comes from fish hatcheries.
-As Visions of 2014 Fish Numbers Danced in Their Heads
-Early numbers for next year’s commercial fisheries are all the buzz…
-AK fishing facts for 26 regions: Fish bucks go far beyond the docks
-US consumers call for fish, healthier fast foods – but don’t buy it
-Standing By The Brand
All these and more – online at http://www.alaskafishradio.com/


36. Deadline February 14 for Comment on AK Regional Response Oil Dispersant Policy
Notice of Public Comment Period for Proposed Changes to the Alaska Regional Response Team’s Oil Dispersant Authorization Policy…

The public comment period for Annex F, Appendix I (Alaska Regional Response Team Oil Dispersant Authorization Plan) will remain open through February 14, 2014, and is being opened prior to public comment on the other topics to maximize opportunity for public input and to coincide with a multi-agency, public outreach effort.
AK DEC Public Notice:
http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View
.aspx?id=170486
 

More info at Alaska Regional Response Team - www.alaskarrt.org  (see right sidebar)


37. Mental Health Trust Adopts Resource Management Strategy – comment by January 10, 2014
Notice is hereby given that, pursuant to the provisions of AS 38.05.801 and 11 AAC 99, the Executive Director of the Alaska Mental Health Trust Land Office (TLO) has determined that it is in the best interest of the Alaska Mental Health Trust and its beneficiaries to adopt the Resource Management Strategy (RMS) as the long-term asset management strategy…
Online public notice: http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/
View.aspx?id=170432

Mental Health Land Trust documents: http://www.mhtrustland.org/index.cfm?section=Press-Room&page=Media-Releases&viewpost=2&ContentId=797


38. USFWS approves copper-clad lead shot for migratory bird hunting
SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, approve copper-clad iron shot and fluoropolymer coatings for hunting waterfowl and coots. We published a proposed rule for approval of copper-clad iron shot and fluoropolymer coatings in the Federal Register on September 26, 2012 (77 FR 59158). We considered comments on the proposed rule, and we believe that neither the shot nor the coatings will pose toxicity hazards to fish or wildlife or their habitats…
Federal Register notice:
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/11/01/2013-26063/
migratory-bird-hunting-application-for-approval-of-copper-clad-iron-s
hot-and-fluoropolymer-shot

Draft Environmental Assessment for Approval of Copper-Clad Iron Shot – online at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FWS-R9-MB-
2012-0028-0004

Related reading:
NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-NWFSC-83 - An Overview of Sensory Effects on Juvenile Salmonids Exposed to Dissolved Copper:
Applying a Benchmark Concentration, Approach to Evaluate Sublethal, Neurobehavioral Toxicity
“The review does not address the effects of dCu on salmonid habitats, although copper is also highly toxic at low μg/L concentrations to aquatic primary producers and invertebrates (i.e., the aquatic food web)…”
“Recent experiments on the sensory systems and corresponding behavior of juvenile salmonids contribute to more than four decades of research and show that dCu is a neurotoxicant that directly damages the sensory capabilities of salmonids at low concentrations…”
http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/pdfs/consultations/copper_salmon
_nmfsnwfsc83.pdf


39. Comment deadline December 31 on NPFMC Amendment 102 for CQE sablefish in Aleutian Islands
NMFS announces that the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) has submitted Amendment 102 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP) for review by the Secretary of Commerce. Amendment 102 would implement a Community Quota Entity (CQE) Program for sablefish in
the Aleutian Islands regulatory area. The proposed CQE Program would be similar to the existing CQE Program in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). Amendment 102 is necessary to provide additional fishing opportunities in fishery dependent communities of the Aleutian Islands and sustain participation in the sablefish IFQ fisheries…

Comments on Amendment 102 must be received no later than 5 p.m., Alaska local time (A.l.t.), on December 31, 2013…

Federal Register notice Nov 1: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/11/01/2013-26106/fisheries-of-the-exclusive-economic-zone-off-alaska-
bering-sea-and-aleutian-islands-management-area#h-4


40. EPA posts Alaska seafood processing discharge and effluent data - Comment deadline January 6.
SUMMARY: This notice makes available for public review and comment additional data and information gathered recently by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from seafood processing facilities in Alaska and other publicly available sources. These data relate to the applicability of and discharge requirements for the Alaskan seafood subcategories of the Canned and Preserved Seafood Processing effluent limitations guidelines. EPA is providing preliminary results of analyses of the updated data and preliminary indications of how these results may be reflected in EPA's final response to petitions submitted in 1980 by certain members of the Alaskan seafood processing industry, and in amended effluent limitations guidelines applicable to certain Alaskan seafood processing discharges which EPA is considering whether to promulgate in final form.

DATES: Comments on this Notice, as well as any additional pertinent information and data must be received on or before January 6, 2014.

Federal Register  (Nov 7): 
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/11/07/2013-
26483/alaskan-seafood-processing-effluent-limitations-guidelines

For more info enter Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2013-0652 at www.regulations.gov


41. NOAA processor survey - Comment deadline January 6 on new data collection
Summary: The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

Written comments must be submitted on or before January 6, 2014…

The objective of the survey is to collect information on seafood plant characteristics, plant ownership, operating costs, capital costs, labor and revenue related to the processing of marine fish species. As specified in the Magnuson-Stevenson Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1996 (and reauthorized in 2007), NMFS is required to enumerate the economic impacts of the policies it implements on the harvesting and processing sectors of the commercial fishing industry, as well as to coastal communities. The information collected in this survey will be used to provide information on potential impacts of management decisions on the fishing industry. In general, analysis of cost and revenue information for the seafood processing plant and other activities of the plant allow analysts to estimate the economic contributions and impacts of marine fish processing to each coastal state and nationwide.
…Respondents have a choice of either electronic or paper forms.
Federal Register notice (Nov 7):  https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/11/07/2013-26666/proposed-information-collection-comment-request-commercial-
fisheries-seafood-processor-survey


42. US Coast Guard extends comment period to Jan, 23 on OCS Safety and Environmental Management System Requirements
The Coast Guard is extending the comment period for the advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) entitled “Safety and Environmental Management System Requirements for Vessels on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf,” published on September 10, 2013, until January 23, 2014. We are extending the comment period at the request of industry to ensure stakeholders have adequate time to submit complete responses…
Federal Register (Nov. 12)
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/11/12/2013-26878/
safety-and-environmental-management-system-requirements-for-
vessels-on-the-us-outer-continental


43. Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (MAFAC) December 3-5 meeting summary:
MAFAC review of May 2013 MSA reauthorization priorities:
 MAFAC priorities for further consideration
MONF3 findings - potential implementation routes
ESA Section 7 Consultation Process Working Group Report
…and more, online at:
 http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ocs/mafac/meetings/2013_12/index.htm


44. Comment deadline January 17 on Pinto Abalone ESA 90-day listing finding
Summary: We, NMFS, announce 90-day findings on two petitions received to list the pinto abalone (Haliotis kamtschatkana) as a threatened or endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and to designate critical habitat concurrently with the listing. We find that the petitions and information in our files present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted. We will conduct a status review of the species to determine if the petitioned action is warranted. To ensure that the status review is comprehensive, we are soliciting scientific and commercial information pertaining to this species from any interested party…

Information and comments on the subject action must be received by January 17, 2014.

Federal Register notice (Nov 18): https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-27553
NOAA Pinto Abalone Status review page:
http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/protectedresources/abalone/default.htm


45. Halibut catch sharing plan set for 2014 implementation  
The National Marine Fisheries Service offered some management certainty for Alaskans interested in catching halibut when it announced that it would implement the new catch sharing plan in 2014. Under the plan, or CSP, commercial and charter operators in Southeast and Southcentral Alaska will have a combined catch limit next summer, with each sector taking a certain percentage of that pool of fish. The exact percentage each sector takes are different in Area 2C and Area 3A, or Southeast and the central Gulf of Alaska, respectively, and also vary with abundance…
http://www.adn.com/2013/12/16/3232285/halibut-catch-
sharing-plan-set.html

&&&&&

NOAA final rule on Halibut Catch Sharing Plan
NMFS issues regulations to implement a catch sharing plan for the guided sport (charter) and commercial fisheries for Pacific halibut in waters of International Pacific Halibut Commission Regulatory Areas 2C (Southeast Alaska) and 3A (Central Gulf of Alaska). This catch sharing plan replaces the Guideline Harvest Level program, defines an annual process for allocating halibut between the charter and commercial fisheries in Area 2C and Area 3A, and establishes allocations for each fishery. The commercial fishery will continue to be managed under the Individual Fishing Quota system. To allow flexibility for individual commercial and charter fishery participants, the catch sharing plan also authorizes annual transfers of commercial halibut quota to charter halibut permit holders for harvest in the charter fishery. This action is necessary to achieve the halibut fishery management goals of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.

Federal Register notice (December 12): https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-29598
NOAA press release (Dec. 9): http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/newsreleases/2013/halibutcsp
120913.htm

NOAA Sport Halibut home page:
http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sustainablefisheries/halibut/sport.htm


46. NMFS posts IFQ Halibut and Sablefish Cost Recovery fee 2013 - 2.8%
NMFS publishes individual fishing quota (IFQ) standard prices and fee percentage for the IFQ cost recovery program in the halibut and sablefish fisheries of the North Pacific. The fee percentage for 2013 is 2.8%. This action is intended to provide holders of halibut and sablefish IFQ permits with the 2013 standard prices and fee percentage to calculate the required payment for IFQ cost recovery fees due by January 31, 2014…

Federal Register notice (Dec 4: https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-29023
NOAA IFQ cost recovery program page:  http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/ram/ifqfees.htm


47. Comment deadline January 9 on BSAI groundfish 2014-2015 Harvest Specifications
NMFS proposes 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications, apportionments, and prohibited species catch allowances for the groundfish fisheries of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) management area. This action is necessary to establish harvest limits for groundfish during the 2014 and 2015 fishing years, and to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area…
Comments must be received by January 9, 2014…

Federal Register (Dec. 10):  https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-29352

NPFMC Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands Groundfish FMP page:
http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/npfmc/fishery-management-plans
/bsai-groundfish.html


48. Comment deadline January 9 on GOA groundfish 2014-2015 Harvest Specifications
Summary: NMFS proposes 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications, apportionments, and Pacific halibut prohibited species catch limits for the groundfish fishery of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to establish harvest limits for groundfish during the 2014 and 2015 fishing years and to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska…
Comments must be received by January 9, 2014…

Federal Register (Dec. 10): https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-29354

NPMFC Gulf of Alaska Groundfish FMP page:
http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/npfmc/fishery-management-plans/
goa-groundfish.html


49. NMFS Notification Of Standard Ex Vessel Prices for groundfish and halibut observer fees
NMFS publishes standard ex-vessel prices for groundfish and halibut for the calculation of the observer fee under the North Pacific Groundfish and Halibut Observer Program (Observer Program). This notice is intended to provide information to vessel owners, processors, registered buyers, and other participants about the standard ex-vessel prices that will be used to calculate the observer fee liability for landings of groundfish and halibut made in 2014. NMFS will send invoices to processors and registered buyers subject to the fee by January 15, 2015. Fees are due to NMFS on or before February 15, 2015…
Federal Register (Dec. 9): https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-29356
NOAA Restructured Observer Program home page: http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sustainablefisheries/observers/


50. NOAA posts MMPA List of Fisheries for 2014 – comment deadline January 6
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) publishes its proposed List of Fisheries (LOF) for 2014, as required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). The proposed LOF for 2014 reflects new information on interactions between commercial fisheries and marine mammals. NMFS must classify each commercial fishery on the LOF into one of three categories under the MMPA based upon the level of mortality and serious injury of marine mammals that occurs incidental to each fishery…
NMFS proposes to add grey whale (Eastern North Pacific) to the list of species/stocks incidentally killed or injured in the “Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands crab pot” fishery…

Federal Register (Dec. 6): https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-29208

List of Fisheries home page: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/interactions/lof/


51. Deadline Jan. 6, 2014 for 2014 Southeast Alaska Chinook Salmon Mitigation Infrastructure Grants

The Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development is pleased to announce the availability of 2014 Southeast Alaska Chinook Salmon Mitigation Infrastructure Grant funds.  Eligible entities are encouraged to submit applications for grants which help mitigate economic impacts to Southeast Alaska fisheries interests from the reduction in the Southeast Alaska Chinook salmon harvest…

Total funding available for the 2014 grant program is estimated to be $870,671.00 ($190,715.00 in category 1 and $679,956.00 in category 4). 

Based upon funding available during the 2014 application cycle, potential grants are limited to the following categories:

1. Ice-making and storage infrastructure projects providing service to coastal area of:
b.Wrangell Island
4. Infrastructure projects that will provide a lasting benefit to the sport Chinook salmon fishery under one or more of the following criteria:
a.Fish cleaning float improvements;
b.Fish waste disposal; and
c.Improved access to ice.
Eligible applicants for this program include: municipalities, Alaska Native tribes, regional development organizations, incorporated nonprofit entities, and businesses.

Online Public Notice:
http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View.
aspx?id=170086

Application and info: http://commerce.alaska.gov/dnn/dcra/GrantsSection/Chinook
SalmonInfrastructureGrants.aspx


52. Deadline Jan. 6 for Southeast Alaska Chinook Salmon Hatchery Enhancement Grant Program
The purpose of this program is to help mitigate economic impacts to the fisheries interests from the reduction in the Southeast Alaska Chinook salmon harvest.
Total funding available for the 2014 grant program is estimated to be $464,361…
Eligible applicants include a hatchery that holds an active permit issued under AS 16.10.400 and 5AAC 40.

 Public Notice:
http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View
.aspx?id=170087

Info and Application: http://commerce.alaska.gov/dnn/dcra/GrantsSection/ChinookSalmon
HatcheryEnhancementGrants.aspx


53. NOAA posts Procedures for Government-to-Government Consultation With Federally Recognized Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations
In compliance with Executive Order (E.O.) 13175, “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments” (November 6, 2000), the Department of Commerce (Department) adopted a Tribal Consultation and Coordination policy statement. This policy establishes the manner in which NOAA works with Federally recognized Indian Tribes when developing NOAA policies that have Tribal implications. This Handbook is intended to assist NOAA, including its regional and field staff, in conducting effective government-to-government consultations and fulfill NOAA's obligations under E.O. 13175 and Department Administrative Order 218-8 on Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, and the Department of Commerce Tribal Consultation and Coordination Policy…
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/11/15/2013-
27415/final-noaa-procedures-for-government-to-government-
consultation-with-federally-recognized-indian


54. Applicants Sought for Subsistence Regional Advisory Council Membership  - Deadline: March 21, 2014
The Federal Subsistence Board is accepting applications through March 21, 2014 to fill seats on the 10 Subsistence Regional Advisory Councils. Council membership appointments are for 1- to 3-year terms. There are approximately 40 seats open for appointment among all Councils. The Councils meet at least twice a year and provide critical advice to the Federal Subsistence

Board on subsistence management issues. Council meetings serve as a forum for regional public involvement in Federal subsistence management. Council members must be knowledgeable about the uses of fish and wildlife resources in their region.

 Individuals may apply for membership themselves, or an individual or organization may nominate someone for Council membership. The application form and information about the application process and the Subsistence Regional Advisory Councils is available on the Federal Subsistence Management Program's website: http://www.doi.gov/subsistence/index.cfm . The application form and additional information is also available by contacting Carl Johnson at the Office of Subsistence Management at (800) 478-1456 or (907) 786-3676…
http://www.doi.gov/subsistence/news/general/rac-application
-announcement.cfm


55. Northeast Fishermen look for your help – Raffle for new car up to $45K or $25K cash
(Raffle tickets are $300 and the raffle will be held when 300 tickets are sold.)

Northeast Fishery Sector Inc. (Sector 13) is a non-profit membership organization that was established in May 2010.  Membership is comprised of fishermen from Massachusetts south to North Carolina. The members of Sector 13 operate under strict federal regulations and self imposed rules and regulations. The sector has 54 registered federal permits with boats ranging in size from 40’ to 100’. They primarily fish using trawl gear for cod, haddock, flounders, fluke, squid, and whitting-regulated species-on Georges Bank and in Southern New England waters.
Home page: https://www.nefs13.org   (see link to raffle)


56. Help Wanted: Assistant Professor Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program (MAP), Bristol Bay region
his is a tenure-track faculty position that provides marine extension services to residents of 33 rural communities in the Bristol Bay region of southwestern Alaska. The position is part of a statewide system of Marine Advisory Program (MAP) specialists and agents who provide information and technical assistance to the public relating to: commercial, subsistence or sport fisheries issues, coastal economic development (such as seafood processing, tourism or marine business management), commercial fisheries development, community-based science and environmental monitoring, resource management, marine conservation, and marine resource education.
Info and Application: http://www.sfos.uaf.edu/employment/Bristol_Bay_MAP.pdf


57. Alaska Board of Fisheries to meet in Kodiak, January 7-10 on Kodiak Finfish
…due to a lower than anticipated number of proposals, the meeting will be reduced by one day…
Board of Fisheries press release:
http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/regulations/regprocess/fisheries
board/pdfs/2013-2014/press_release_kodiak_2013.pdf

Meeting Information: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fisheriesboard.
meetinginfo&date=01-07-2014&meeting=kodiak


58. AMSEA Drill Conductor, Stability, Ergonomics and others classes schedule online
http://amsea.org/

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