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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)
   5/30, 4/29,  3/18, 1/27, 12/20, 8/26, 7/3, 5/24, 3/15, 12/31, 10/9


UFA Update – July 14, 2014

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.

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

UFA fond thanks goes to:
Rear Admiral Thomas P. Ostebo for leadership afield and support for
Alaska’s sustainable fisheries, and we welcome Rear Admiral Dan
Abel in the Change of Command for USCG  District 17.

Update on SB 71: Governor Parnell signed SB 71 into law on Tuesday. SB 71 is an all-encompassing commercial fisheries bill that began as Senator Micciche’s (R - Soldotna) legislation to fix landing tax timing payments, and ended up including flexibility in salmon cost recovery collections as well as Representative Austerman’s (R – Kodiak) HB 204 which expands the current salmon product development tax credit to include herring and to encourage utilization of the processing waste stream. UFA was honored to support this important legislation.

UFA is also quoted in Senator Micciche’s press release which can be found here.

From the Executive Director:
Between now an November 4th, you will be seeing a lot of information from UFA reminding you to get out and vote. This election cycle is crucial for Alaska and for the seafood industry. In order for your voice to be heard, you must show up to the polls for both the Primary Election (August 19th) and the General Election (November 4th). Alaska makes it easy to vote early and vote absentee so check the schedule below for the dates. The seafood industry is Alaska’s #1 private sector employer, and our numbers make a difference in electing officials. Talk to your friends, neighbors, crew and processors about voting. YOUR VOTE MATTERS, be sure to check the election schedule below for upcoming opportunities to let your voice be heard.

See UFA’s July 1st election update here: http://www.ufa-fish.org/update/14/070114.htm

VOTE WHILE YOU FISH!

Important 2014 Alaska Election Dates:
Voter and polling place lookup: https://webapp.state.ak.us/electionsLookup/JSP/
VoterLookupMain.jsp
  
Voter registration info: http://www.elections.alaska.gov/vi_vr_how.php
*** Polls are open Election Day from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ***
July 20 – Last day to REGISTER TO VOTE for the August 19th primary election. 
Aug 4 - Early and absentee in-person voting begins at many locations throughout Alaska.
Aug 4 - Civilian voters may begin to apply for absentee ballots by electronic transmission.
Aug 9 - Last day to submit your absentee ballot application by mail for the Primary Election.
Aug 18 – Last day to submit your absentee ballot application electronically for the Primary Election.
August 19 - PRIMARY ELECTION DAY
Aug 19 - Deadline for absentee by-mail ballots to be postmarked.
Aug 19 - 8:00 p.m. Alaska Standard Time, deadline for electronic transmission absentee ballots to be received.
Oct 5 - Last day to register to vote for the November 4th General Election. 
Oct 20 - Early voting and in-person absentee, special needs and by-electronic transmission voting begins.
Oct 25 - Last day to submit your absentee ballot application by mail for the General Election.
Nov 3 - Last day to submit your absentee ballot application electronically for the General Election.
November 4GENERAL ELECTION DAY

Have a safe and productive fishing season, please feel free to contact us to discuss the issues that are important to you.

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
Facebook: facebook.com/UnitedFishermenAK
Twitter: twitter.com/UFA_Fish 


Contents
State
1. Sign up for Alaska Board of Fisheries and Board of Game E-mail List
(Even if you were previously receiving it by email or mail)
2. Opinion: Possible commercial salmon opener panics Kenai dipnetters, but is it really such a bad thing?
3. ADFG posts Chinook News summer newsletter
4. Laine Welch; Bristol Bay sockeyes could exceed forecast by 45 percent
5. ADF&G 2014 Inseason Alaska Commercial Salmon Summary
6. Appeal filed in Cook Inlet fisheries management lawsuit
7. Judge requires CIFF to reimburse state for lawsuit costs
8. State Releases Plan For Maritime Workforce
9.  PWSSC Honors Bill and Irene Webber - The Cordova Times
10. Untangling Southeast Alaska's fisheries – Rasmuson funds interview project
11. R/V Sikuliaq readies for ocean research
12. Bill to Capture Lost State Revenues Becomes Law – HB 306 to sunsets many tax credits
13. HB 143 to Fix Commercial Fishing Temporary Crew Licenses Becomes Law
14. SB 194 signed - Alaska Tourism Marketing Board Created
15. Southeast Transportation Plan posted – comment meetings to come
16. AK DOT 2014-2015 Ferry Schedule 
17. Gov. Makes Boards & Commissions Appointments – names Douglas Blumer to CFAB
18. Gov. reappoints Merrigan, Childers, and Rea to North Pacific Research Board
19. Deadline July 16 for AK Sustainable Salmon Fund proposals
Marketing
20. Analyses Confirms that Alaska’s Seafood is Safe from Fukushima Radiation
21. Alaska Seafood and Fukushima Radiation Concerns - ASMI
22. Food-Mood Connection: How You Eat Can Amp Up Or Tamp Down Stress
Federal
23. Former legislator Beth Kerttula named White House Director Of Ocean Policy
24. National Ocean Policy Coalition news:
25. U.S. House adopts Congressman Byrne's amendment to defund Obama 'ocean grab'
26. Fox News: Fishing in murky waters: the administration’s secretive oceans policies come under fire
27. Obama proposes vast expansion of Pacific Ocean sanctuaries for marine life
28. Obama goes after black-market fishing, other threats to oceans
29. NMFS Recreational saltwater fishing policy in the works By Molly Dischner Alaska Journal of Commerce
30. NMFS corrects Economics report, seeks more info on sport fishing
31. Comment by Sept 12 on NMFS Recreational Saltwater Fishing Policy - Alaska town hall meeting to be held in October
32. Broker helping with Alaska insurance signups scales back
33. Murkowski J-1 Visa Amendment in Funding Bill Supports Fisheries Industry and Seafood Processors
34. Murkowski Highlights Value of Alaska’s Fisheries and Coastal Communities at International Summit
35. Murkowski Secures Funds for Alaska Fisheries Sustainability through Approps Efforts
36. Murkowski Vows to Keep Fighting for Alaska’s Sustainable Fisheries
37. High Seas Capture - Vessel fishing illegally halted in North Pacific Ocean
38. AFS meeting October 12-24, Juneau – Call for Abstracts by Sept 15 & Film Fest by Oct 1.
39. Comment deadline August 1 on DOC Gulf of Alaska Ecosystem Indicator Selection
40. Comment Deadline August 4 on BSAI Amendment 106 AFA vessel replacement
41. Comment deadline August 11 on MARAD AFA vessel regulations
42. Comment deadline August 4 on Amendment 97 GOA non-pollock trawl fisheries Chinook PSC
43. FDA and EPA issue draft updated advice for fish consumption
44. Comment deadline August 12 on Amendment 105 CDQ flatfish quota exchanges
45. Comment deadline July 30 on Amendment 105 CDQ groundfish quota transfers.
46. Comment by August 18 on NOAA Alaska Region Permit Family of Forms
47. NMFS CIE peer review of BSAI Atka Mackerel Stock Assessment, July 29-31, Seattle
48. Commercial Fishing Safety Advisory Committee application deadline (received by) July 25
49. Comment Deadline August 15 on ESA Steller Sea Lion Protection Measures
50. Comment deadline August 27 on Central North Pacific Humpback Whale delisting & DPS
51. USFWS & NMFS announce final policy on ESA “Significant Portion of its Range”
52. Comment deadline extended to October 9 on ESA Critical Habitat definitions & regs
53. Comment extended to October 9 on ESA Section 4(b)(2) implementation
54. Comment deadline July 30 on NOAA FFP Construction of New Replacement Fishing Vessels
55. Comment deadline September 29 on NEPA Procedures for MSA Fishery Actions
56. USCG Public Workshop on IMO Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters – Aug 14, Seattle
Environmental
57. Judge lets state intervene in Pebble case
58. Alaska tribes to back EPA in Pebble Mine case
59. BBNC Education Foundation Divests Pebble Mine Gift Shares
60. BB-RSDA Updates Fishermen on the Fight to Stop the Pebble Mine
61. Mining News: Miners regroup in 2014 field season
62. Northern Dynasty accepts more mining claims near Pebble
63. Dillingham to Murkowski: No Pebble Mine
64. BC Mines: Updated Feasibility Study for Brucejack Unuk River Project Confirms Positive Economics
65. Comment deadline July 16 on recertification of Cook Inlet RCAC
66. USCG Final Rule on double hull tankers – two tug escorts required
67. Comment Deadline July 16 on USFWS Classroom Guidelines for Preventing the Introduction and Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species
68. Garbage-patch tale as flimsy as a single-use plastic bag
69. Chugach National Forest initiates Land Management Plan revision
Hatchery & Aquaculture
70. Iron, steel in hatcheries may distort magnetic 'map sense' of steelhead (& Chinook)
71. Third Annual Juneau Haa–Aani OysterFest - July 19, 2014 2pm to 8pm
Subsistence
72. Herring search spans millennia
73. Herring return to Auke Bay
74. Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission Comes to Bethel to Talk Co-Management
75. Interior Proposes Reform of Federal Acknowledgment Regulations
76. Comment deadline extended to July 31 on Native land trusts – removal of Alaska Exemption
& Other…
77. NIOSH New Product Spotlight: Live to be Salty
78. AMSEA Drill Conductor, Stability, Ergonomics and others classes schedule online
79. Laine Welch’s Fish Radio  - Items from this week


State
1. Sign up for Alaska Board of Fisheries and Board of Game E-mail List
(Even if you were previously receiving it by email or mail)
“The Alaska Board of Fisheries (BOF) and the Alaska Board of Game (BOG) are updating their e-mail distribution list.  In order to continue receiving e-mail notifications from the BOF and BOG, all users are asked to sign up for the new distribution list.
In addition, we will significantly curtail the number of hard copies mailed.  Notices for meetings, regulatory changes, proposals, and call for proposals will be sent electronically for the upcoming 2014-2015 meeting cycle.
We will not transfer over e-mails we currently have on file, therefore you must sign up to continue receiving the information…”
Board of Fisheries and Board of Game Email Subscription Signup:
http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=process.email
subscription


2. Opinion: Possible commercial salmon opener panics Kenai dipnetters, but is it really such a bad thing?
By Craig Medred, Alaska Dispatch
Kenai River dipnetters appeared to be on the verge of going apoplectic Friday at the news the Alaska Department of Fish and Game might allow an emergency opening of the commercial setnet salmon fishery off the mouth of that river…
Everyone needs to take a deep breath. This is not a simple situation…
Dipnet, sport and commercial fishermen all agreed at the Fish Board meeting this winter that commercial setnetters are entitled to some sockeye. And everyone agreed the Kenai River chinook salmon run is in trouble…
If there is going to be a sockeye setnet fishery with a minimum king take, this is arguably the best time to prosecute that fishery. And until someone comes up with a cleaner way to fish the beaches than exists today, there is going to be some bycatch of kings in any setnet fishery…
But in America's Great Entitlement State, it seems, everyone has come to expect they're owed things. In that regard at least, the dipnetters aren't that much different from the setnetters who have for years believed they are entitled to catch Kenai sockeye.
They're not. But neither are dipnetters..
http://alaskadispatch.com/article/20140711/opinion-possible
-commercial-salmon-opener-panics-kenai-dipnetters-it-really-such

Related:
Kenai fish managers consider weekend setnet opener in upper Cook Inlet
http://alaskadispatch.com/article/20140710/kenai-fish-managers-
consider-weekend-setnet-opener-upper-cook-inlet


3. ADFG posts Chinook News summer newsletter
Chinook News is designed in newspaper format to highlight the major issues surrounding Chinook salmon in Alaska while giving the reader an overview of what the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is doing to understand and sustainably manage this important resource.
Weak Chinook salmon runs have impacted cultural patterns of food gathering, sport opportunities, and commercial economic activity, and the State of Alaska launched the Chinook Salmon Research Initiative in 2012 to further explore and address the causes for the down turn in production. Over the next five years, the Initiative will study 12 river systems throughout Alaska through the support of Governor Parnell and the Alaska Legislature…
http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=chinooknews.main


4. Laine Welch; Bristol Bay sockeyes could exceed forecast by 45 percent
With salmon fisheries going on every summer all across Alaska, you might wonder why so much attention is focused on Bristol Bay. The answer can be summed up in two words: sockeye salmon.
Bristol Bay is home to the largest red salmon runs in the world and sockeye is Alaska's most valuable salmon fishery by far. In most years, well over one-third of Alaska's total earnings from salmon fishing stem from Bristol Bay.

Whereas other fishing regions like Copper River, Cook Inlet, Kodiak, Southeast and the Alaska Peninsula might get sockeye catches ranging from 1 million to 5 million fish, Bristol Bay's harvests can reach into the 20 million to 40 million range. "The Bay" also has the most salmon fishermen, with more than 2,800 active permit holders.
Fishermen were expecting to catch about 17 million reds at Bristol Bay this summer, but it could blow past that by the time you read this. Catches already were topping two million a day and by July 4, the harvest was at 14 million -- with another surge of sockeyes on the way. Salmon trackers already were predicting that the run of sockeyes homing in to Bristol Bay could top 38 million, 45 percent over the preseason forecast.

Alaska's statewide sockeye catch this summer is pegged at nearly 34 million, a 14 percent increase over 2013. The total salmon catch this year is projected at 133 million fish, down 47 percent from last year's record haul. (Summed up in two words: pink salmon.)
http://www.adn.com/node/1596711?sp=/99/171//


5. ADF&G 2014 Inseason Alaska Commercial Salmon Summary
http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=commercialbyfishery
salmon.bluesheetsummary


6. Appeal filed in Cook Inlet fisheries management lawsuit
The Cook Inlet Fisherman’s Fund is appealing the court decision that upheld the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s 2013 management of Cook Inlet salmon fisheries.
The fisherman’s fund, or CIFF, filed an appeal with the Alaska Supreme Court June 10, according to CIFF attorney Bruce Weyhrauch.
Next the record in the case must be prepared, and a transcript of the proceedings provided to the court, and then CIFF can file its opening brief.
CIFF sued the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in July 2013, asserting that fisheries managers did not follow Cook Inlet salmon management plans appropriately that year and caused harm to commercial fishermen.

After hearing oral argument May 29, Anchorage Superior Court Judge Andrew Guidi granted the state’s motion for summary judgment on June 2. He wrote in his final decision that there was no evidence that ADFG had “exceeded its authority in executing the emergency plan promulgated by the Alaska Board of Fisheries. Specifically, the fund has failed to articulate any concrete way in which the department overstepped its management authority other than the claim — already rejected on motion for preliminary injunction — that the fund’s fishermen were entitled to 51 hours of extra fishing time by law.”

Weyhrauch listed seven points of appeal in the Supreme Court filing, asserting that the court erred at each step of the way, including when it granted ADFG’s motion for summary judgment and denied CIFF’s request for injunctive relief, constitutional claims, tort claims and discovery.
http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/June
-Issue-4-2014/Appeal-filed-in-Cook-Inlet-fisheries-management-l
awsuit/


7. Judge requires CIFF to reimburse state for lawsuit costs
By Molly Dischner, Alaska Journal of Commerce

A judge ruled Wednesday that a commercial fishing group should pay part of the State’s cost for the lawsuit regarding management of the Cook Inlet salmon fisheries in 2013…
http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/
Breaking-News-2013/Judge-requires-CIFF-to-reimburse-state-
for-lawsuit-costs/


8. State Releases Plan For Maritime Workforce
A new plan released by state this spring identifies the highest work force needs around Alaska for seafood harvesting, processing, fishery management as well as ship operations and repair. The plan also lists steps forward to fill those jobs.

The maritime industry is Alaska’s largest private employer with more than 70,000 jobs across the four sectors. More than 50,000 of those are in commercial fishing and seafood processing. But employers have told the state that the supply of skilled workers is not meeting demand – and that’s where this document comes in.

“The Alaska maritime workforce development plan really represents a way to really look at the workforce development system, from the k-12 education system, post-secondary education, any specific occupational training and then what employers are demanding, what kinds of skill sets they need and figuring out ways to bridge those two systems so that the education and training system is delivering workers with the right skill sets at the right time,” said Wanetta Ayers, business partnerships director with the state’s Department of Labor…
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2014/06/16/state-releases-plan
-for-maritime-workforce/

AK Department of Labor Maritime Workforce Development Plan
http://labor.alaska.gov/maritimeplan/

University of Alaska Fisheries, Seafood and Maritime Initiative page:
http://www.alaska.edu/fsmi/


9.  PWSSC Honors Bill and Irene Webber - The Cordova Times
The Prince William Sound Science Center has announced the recipients of the 10th Annual PWSSC Fisheries Achievement Award: Bill and Irene Webber…
After some very lean years when seining was closed in the early 70s, Bill became a co-founder of PWS Aquaculture Corporation. Many credit the aquaculture corporation for being a source of stability in this region, as well as a driver of international trade, and for that, we have founders like Bill Webber to thank…
http://www.thecordovatimes.com/article/14232014-pwssc
-fisheries-achievement-award-bill


10. Untangling Southeast Alaska's fisheries – Rasmuson funds interview project
Rasmuson grant fuels Amanda Compton's interview-based radio project

Ask Amanda Compton why she is documenting the experiences of Southeast Alaska fisheries workers, and you’d best carve out some time for her answer…
 “I guess I just have this inherent fascination with uncovering a tangle, whether it’s figuring out an industry or how something works — and then telling other people about it,” Compton said. “I want to figure out how these fisheries and parts of these fisheries work, and to tell the story through the lens of someone in particular — through this family that lives at a hatchery, through this guy that runs a boat that has people jumping off to dive for sea cucumbers, through this woman who runs a tender, through this skipper that plays the ukulele. That’s going to make it more approachable and that’s going to make it more interesting to people and make my job more fun — and harder too. To me, harder is more fun.”
http://chat.juneauempire.com/art/2014-06-19/untangling-southeast-
alaskas-fisheries#.U8Ma60BBrFw


11. R/V Sikuliaq readies for ocean research
By Molly Dischner, Alaska Journal of Commerce
Next summer, there’ll be a new ship docking in Dutch Harbor and Nome on its way to the Arctic. But first, the research vessel Sikuliaq is headed to Honolulu for its inaugural research cruises.
This summer, the 261-foot oceanographic research vessel will make its way from the Great Lakes to the Pacific via the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Panama Canal, stopping for testing and research along the way. By February 2015, it is expected to arrive in its homeport of Sewar

The University of Alaska Fairbanks will operate the ship, but it is owned by the National Science Foundation, and scheduling research cruises is done in conjunction with the University National Oceanographic Laboratory System, or UNOLS, said Dan Oliver, the marine superintendant at UAF’s Seward Marine Center…
http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/June-
Issue-4-2014/R-V-Sikuliaq-readies-for-ocean-research/


12. Bill to Capture Lost State Revenues Becomes Law – HB 306 to sunsets many tax credits
Monday, July 7, 2014, Fairbanks, Alaska – Representative Steve Thompson’s bill to save the state millions of dollars in “lost” revenues tied to indirect expenditures was signed by Alaska Governor Sean Parnell today. House Bill 306 helps the state capture lost revenues incurred through indirect expenditures, like waiver of fees or credits used against a corporate tax…
The Alaska Dept. of Revenue will report to legislators at every First Session of each new legislature, on indirect expenditures, and then the Legislative Finance Division will analyze the report for each department on a schedule laid out in the bill. The analysis will factor in whether an item is of monetary benefit to the state, meets the legislative intent, estimate of the foregone revenue, and economic effect, among others.

The department and agency review schedule is: 2015 – Fish and Game..
The tax credit sunsets are staggered as well: 2016 – Winn Brindle Scholarship Tax Credit, Salmon Utilization Tax Credit; 2018 – Film Tax Credit, all education tax credits; 2020 – CDQ Tax Credit and Salmon Production Tax Credit.
House Majority press release:
http://www.housemajority.org/2014/07/08/bill-to-capture-lost-state-
revenues-becomes-law-2/


13. HB 143 to Fix Commercial Fishing Temporary Crew Licenses Becomes Law
Tuesday, July 8, 2014, Soldotna, Alaska – Alaska Governor Sean Parnell today signed a bill by Rep. Paul Seaton to fix a loophole in state law relating to temporary commercial fishing crew “dude” licenses. House Bill 143 will limit crew to purchasing a single temporary license per year, instead of buying numerous temporary licenses…
http://www.housemajority.org/2014/07/08/bill-to-fix-comm-fish-
temporary-crew-licenses-becomes-law/

HB 143 online: http://www.legis.state.ak.us/PDF/28/Bills/H
B0143Z.PDF


14. SB 194 signed - Alaska Tourism Marketing Board Created
July 10, 2014, Anchorage, Alaska – Continuing his commitment to grow Alaska’s tourism economy and create more opportunities for Alaskans and Alaska businesses, Governor Sean Parnell today signed several bills into law, including Senate Bill 194, legislation establishing the Alaska Tourism Marketing Board within the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development. Among other things, the board will be charged with encouraging the expansion and growth of Alaska’s visitor industry and maximizing the number of Alaskans employed in tourism. Senator Lesil McGuire sponsored the legislation.
Governor Parnell also signed other legislation…
Governor Parnell press release:
http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell/press-room/full-press-release
.html?pr=6895

SB 194 online: http://www.legis.state.ak.us/PDF/28/Bills/SB0194Z.PDF
"… (b) The board consists of 21 members as follows:
(1) 18 members appointed by the governor who are members of the leading statewide nonprofit tourism association and who represent different segments of the tourism industry and company sizes and the following regions of the state…
(2) the commissioner of commerce, community, and economic development or the commissioner's designee;
(3) one member of the senate appointed by the president of the senate, who shall serve ex officio as a nonvoting member of the board; and
(4) one member of the house of representatives appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives, who shall serve ex officio as a nonvoting member of the board.

Alaska Travel Industry Association home page: http://alaskatia.org/


15. Southeast Transportation Plan posted – comment meetings to come
The Department of Transportation has released a draft transportation plan for the region and will soon be holding meetings to present it to the public and gather comments.  No schedule yet, but in the meantime, you can review the document here:http://dot.alaska.gov/sereg/projects/satp/index.shtml.


16. AK DOT 2014-2015 Ferry Schedule 
DOT released the final winter 2014-2015 schedule… View it online at: www.ferryalaska.com.


17. Gov. Makes Boards & Commissions Appointments – names Douglas Blumer to CFAB
July 10, 2014, Anchorage, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell today announced appointments to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority/Alaska Energy Authority, Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank Board of Directors, and Citizens’ Advisory Commission on Federal Areas…
Governor Parnell appointed Douglas Blumer to the Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank Board of Directors. The board manages assets of the bank and selects the officers of the bank.
Blumer, of Anchorage, is the Alaska sales manager for NC Power Systems and has been a commercial fisherman for 15 years. He grew up in the farming business and currently owns and manages two family farms. Blumer is one of two director seats appointed by the governor…
Governor Parnell press release:
http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell/press-room/full-press-release.
html?pr=6894


18. Gov. reappoints Merrigan, Childers, and Rea to North Pacific Research Board
Governor Parnell re-nominated Dorothy Childers, Gerry Merrigan, and Caryn Rea to the North Pacific Research Board, whose members are appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. The board recommends marine research initiatives relating to fisheries and marine ecosystems in the North Pacific Ocean, Bering Sea, and Arctic Ocean.

Childers, of Anchorage, is the associate director of the Alaska Marine Conservation Council. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York. Childers is re-nominated to an environmental representative seat.

Merrigan, of Petersburg, has been a member of the North Pacific Research Board since 2005 and is a past member of the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council (NPFMC) and the Pacific Salmon Commission. He has fished commercially since 1984 in the salmon troll and halibut fisheries in Southeast Alaska, as well as Bristol Bay and False Pass...
Governor Parnell Press Release:
http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell/press-room/full-press-release
.html?pr=6864


19. Deadline July 16 for AK Sustainable Salmon Fund proposals
Alaska Online Public Notice:
http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View.asp
x?id=171443


Marketing

20. Analyses Confirms that Alaska’s Seafood is Safe from Fukushima Radiation
JUNEAU — The Alaska departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Health and Social Services (DHSS) have received results from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on radiation testing of Alaska seafood. The results confirm information from federal, State and international agencies that seafood in the North Pacific and Alaska waters poses no radiation related health concerns to those who consume it.

The FDA is the lead U.S. agency in food safety. The agency has been monitoring radiation in both domestic and imported foods and determined that there have been no levels of Fukushima radiation in those foods that would pose a public health concern. However, Alaskans have insisted on Alaska-specific sampling and data. DEC and DHSS developed a sampling plan and coordinated with the FDA for them to analyze several Alaska fish species that are known to migrate from the western Pacific Ocean and that are harvested by commercial, recreational and subsistence fishers.

“We heard concerns from our neighbors, friends and other citizens throughout Alaska about the possible contamination of Alaska fish with the radiation releases from the Fukushima disaster,” DEC Environmental Health director Elaine Busse Floyd said. “We did not expect to find any problems with Alaska seafood based on federal monitoring of domestic and imported foods. However, we felt that it was important to assist the FDA by developing a sampling plan and obtaining Alaska fish to be tested. The data reassures us and other Alaskans for whom seafood is such a critical part of life in Alaska.”

The testing found no detections of the Fukushima-related radioisotopes Iodine-131, Cesium-134, or Cesium-137. There was some detection of background or naturally-occurring radiation. The results indicate no appreciable risk from any tested radionuclide in these fish. DEC and DHSS have posted the findings on their websites.
All samples were analyzed by standard techniques routinely used by the FDA to evaluate food safety. The fish samples were composites, containing tissue from several fish, and were collected using a statistical protocol. Samples were collected across the state from the Aleutian Islands/Bering Sea to Southeast Alaska…

http://www.akbizmag.com/Alaska-Business-Monthly/June-2014/
Analyses-Confirms-that-Alaskas-Seafood-is-Safe-from-Fukushima-
Radiation/

DEC press release:
or http://www.iphc.int/documents/adfg/Alaska_Seafood_Radiatio
n_Safe_6-27-14.pdf

Data Charts: http://www.iphc.int/documents/adfg/Radiation_Not
_Detected_in_Fish_Charts_6_27_14.pdf


21. Alaska Seafood and Fukushima Radiation Concerns - ASMI
http://pressroom.alaskaseafood.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/
Response-to-Fukushima.pdf


22. Food-Mood Connection: How You Eat Can Amp Up Or Tamp Down Stress
… "You can either be good at weathering stress or you can be brittle. And omega-3s make your stress system more flexible," Hibbeln says. He points to showing that omega-3s can help protect neurons against the damage that can be done by chronic stress…

NPR Story:
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/07/14/329529110/food
-mood-connection-how-you-eat-can-amp-up-or-tamp-down-stress

Study: Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and chronic stress-induced modulations of glutamatergic neurotransmission in the hippocampus:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24417620


Omega-3 Rich Diet May Keep Joints Healthy
http://cooks.ndtv.com/article/show/omega-3-rich-diet-may-keep
-joints-healthy-558409


Federal

23. Former legislator Beth Kerttula named White House Director Of Ocean Policy
Pat Forgey, Alaska Dispatch
JUNEAU -- Alaska's Beth Kerttula, who left the Legislature earlier this year for a Stanford fellowship in ocean policy, has been tapped to become the new ocean policy director for the Obama White House.

The Palmer native represented Juneau in the House of Representatives for 15 years, the last seven as leader of the Democratic minority. She left for Stanford University, her alma mater, in January to serve as a visiting fellow at the Center for Ocean Solutions…
http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20140605/former-legislator
-beth-kerttula-named-white-house-director-ocean-policy

National Ocean Council home page: http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/oceans/


24. National Ocean Policy Coalition news:
The National Ocean Policy Coalition is a national organization focused on developing a national ocean policy that considers the following interests: energy, mining, agriculture, chemicals, construction, manufacturing, shipping, transportation, ports, commercial and recreational fishing, and boating…
News items include:

I. Obama Administration Announces New Ocean Protection Executive Measures
II. Sec. of State Kerry Advocates for Marine Protection at Ocean Conference
III. Protected Areas, Climate Change Central Themes at Capitol Hill Ocean Week
IV. NOAA Establishes New National Marine Sanctuary Nomination Process
V. Northeast RPB Releases Documents Ahead of Workshop & Meeting…
Online at: http://us1.campaign-archive2.com/?u=6bb66fed099f6eb
4e4253667e&id=90f4385bcc&e=9001490418


25. U.S. House adopts Congressman Byrne's amendment to defund Obama 'ocean grab'
The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday adopted an amendment offered by Rep. Bradley Byrne to cut off funding for an executive order issued by President Barack Obama that the congressman contends amounts to an "ocean grab."

Byrne, R-Fairhope, along with Rep. Bill Flores, R-Texas, offered the amendment to the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2015. The amendment passed on a voice vote.

Byrne voted in the 253-170 majority to pass the entire $34 billion spending bill, which funds the Department of Energy, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and provides money for some Interior Department programs and several independent agencies, such as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Byrne's amendment, if it becomes law, would prohibit the government from using federal funds to implement an National Ocean Policy, created by executive order in 2010 and requiring various agencies to work to together to – in Byrne's words – "zone the ocean."..
http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20140605/former-legislator
-beth-kerttula-named-white-house-director-ocean-policy


26. Fox News: Fishing in murky waters: the administration’s secretive oceans policies come under fire
The Obama administration is using its “phone and pen” method of governing by executive action to push its agenda and extend its powers in a huge new area: the Pacific Ocean.
American fishermen are reacting with skepticism, concern and frustration at the latest murky steps to prevent fishing in vast tracts of the Pacific. The proposed expansion was announced along with other White House ocean conservation initiatives on June 16, as the kickoff to a two-day State Department conference aimed at greater international coordination to overcome a variety of ocean ills, including not only overfishing, but marine pollution and ocean acidification -- the last linked by conservationists to global carbon emissions and “climate change.”
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/07/09/fishing-in-murky
-waters-administrations-secretive-oceans-policies-come-under/


27. Obama proposes vast expansion of Pacific Ocean sanctuaries for marine life
President Obama announced Tuesday his intent to make a broad swath of the central Pacific Ocean off-limits to fishing, energy exploration and other activities.
The proposal, slated to go into effect later this year after a comment period, could create the world’s largest marine sanctuary and double the area of ocean globally that is fully protected…
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-will-propose-vast-
expansion-of-pacific-ocean-marine-sanctuary/2014/06/16/f86899
72-f0c6-11e3-bf76-447a5df6411f_story.html

&
Obama, Leonardo DiCaprio vow efforts to protect the ocean
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/06
/17/obama-leonardo-dicaprio-vow-efforts-to-protect-the-ocean/

&
Secretary of State John Kerry says summit will seek global action to protect oceans
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/secretary-of-state-john-
kerry-says-summit-will-seek-global-action-to-protect-oceans/201
4/06/11/471c6636-f188-11e3-bf76-447a5df6411f_story.html

U.S. State Department – Our Ocean Initiatives: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web
&cd=4&ved=0CDMQFjAD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.state.gov
%2Fdocuments%2Forganization%2F228006.pdf&ei=LCrEU5-KG
oL7oATOtYCgCQ&usg=AFQjCNGcrNf7RfnCKdQ1ql9Zi9CKpYKw
tw&sig2=i6AKMh_6VuIIWyEQoaGmKA&bvm=bv.70810081,d.
cGU&cad=rja

White House Council on Environmental Quality National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ceq/initiatives
/oceans


28. Obama goes after black-market fishing, other threats to oceans
CNN - June 18
The Obama administration announced new measures to combat black-market fishing and protect ocean ecosystems on Tuesday, as scientists, diplomats, policymakers, and heads of state concluded a conference dedicated to ocean preservation.
http://edition.cnn.com/2014/06/17/politics/obama-ocean
-conservation/

29. NMFS Recreational saltwater fishing policy in the works By Molly Dischner Alaska Journal of Commerce
The National Marine Fisheries Service is working on a draft policy that could incorporate more consideration of marine recreational fishing in management actions.
The agency, or NMFS, has released four draft goals for a new national saltwater recreational fisheries policy, and is taking comments on the plan through September, with an October hearing planned to get input from Alaskans.

According to information from NMFS, the recreational fishing policy will provide values to guide fishery management decisions made under the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
According to a statement from NMFS, “The effort is about better understanding angler needs, better tailoring our programs and services, and empowering anglers to be responsible stewards.”
In Alaska, marine recreational fishing generated 4,824 jobs, $213 million in income impacts, $558 million in sales impacts and $337 million in value-added impacts in 2012, according to the most recent fisheries economics report produced by NMFS…
http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/
July-Issue-1-2014/Recreational-saltwater-fishing-policy-in-the-works/


30. NMFS corrects Economics report, seeks more info on sport fishing
The National Marine Fisheries Service is also working to improve its data on the impacts of recreational fishing. The agency recently announced corrections to its “Fisheries Economics of the United States 2012” report.

The report, which was released this spring, aims to compare recreational and commercial fishing values throughout the country.
At the time it was released, commercial seafood imports were included. Now, the impacts of imported seafood can be sorted out of the commercial impacts, providing a more realistic comparison, according to the agency.

In Alaska, the value of commercial fishing continues to outweigh the value of marine recreational fishing despite the change, but that wasn’t the case elsewhere in the nation…
http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/July-
Issue-1-2014/NMFS-corrects-report-seeks-more-info-on-sport-fishing/

NOAA Fisheries Economics of the United States 2012 page:
http://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/commercial-fisheries/fus/fus12/


31. Comment by Sept 12 on NMFS Recreational Saltwater Fishing Policy - Alaska town hall meeting to be held in October
NOAA Fisheries, the federal agency responsible for the stewardship of our ocean and coastal resources, is asking for your help in developing an Agency-wide saltwater recreational fisheries policy…
Policy Information Webinars:
July 9 @ 7:00 pm (EDT)  & July 28 @ 2:00 pm (EDT)

A meeting is scheduled for the NPFMC October 6-15 meeting in Anchorage…see complete meeting schedule at:
http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/management/recreational/policy
/town_halls.html

Recreational Saltwater Fishing Policy home page:
http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/management/recreational/policy/

Comment online – deadline September 12, 2014:
http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/management/recreational/policy
/comment_online.html

MAFAC Recreational Fisheries Working Group report November 2013:
http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ocs/mafac/docs/finaleditswhitepape
r_26nov2013.pdf

NOAA Fisheries Economic Reports April, 2014:     
http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/stories/2014/04/04_16_14sos
_feus_reports_2013.html


32. Broker helping with Alaska insurance signups scales back
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A broker established last year with plans of helping tens of thousands of Alaskans sign up for private health insurance has scaled back.
Enroll Alaska had set a target of signing up 40,000 people during the open enrollment period that ran from Oct. 1 through March. They wound up signing up 2,400.
"We just didn't know how hungry people were to get health insurance that was subsidized for the first time," said Joshua Weinstein, a consultant with Northrim Benefits Group who helped launch Enroll Alaska.

He blamed the disappointing total in part to the rocky rollout of the federally run online insurance marketplace. But he also told APRN (http://bit.ly/1kwKMcs) there remains opposition to the federal health care law and confusion about how the subsidies many Alaskans qualify would work. He said insurance companies weren't processing applications smoothly, either…
http://www.newsminer.com/news/alaska_news/broker-helping
-with-alaska-insurance-signups-scales-back/article_79358578-
f3de-11e3-ba36-0017a43b2370.html

Enroll Alaska: http://www.enrollingalaska.com/home.aspx

The next Open Enrollment period begins November 15, 2014, and runs through February 15, 2015. You can, however, go into the Marketplace or your State Exchange at any time to set up an account… Healthcare.gov: https://www.healthcare.gov/marketplace/b/welcome/


33. Murkowski J-1 Visa Amendment in Funding Bill Supports Fisheries Industry and Seafood Processors
Senator Also Works With Appropriations Committee to Staff Up Arctic Positions

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Lisa Murkowski today successfully added a key amendment to the 2015 State and Foreign Operations spending bill to restore the J-1 Visa program through Fiscal Year 2015 and help Alaska’s seafood processors statewide hire needed staff – after the State Department had suspended visas due to concerns rising from Lower 48 activities. The J-1 program is an important policy that allows processing companies to recruit staff from outside the United States when their rural location and seasonal workload makes hiring locally or domestically difficult.  Murkowski also was able to allocate vital funds for the State Department to begin adding Arctic-focused personnel as the nation ramps up its efforts and leadership in the region prior to taking Chair of the Arctic Council.

“Alaska’s seafood processors have been having difficulty hiring the workers they need during peak summer seasons, since the J-1 program was shut down two years ago,” said Murkowski.  “Seafood processors from Naknek to Kodiak to Ketchikan rely on this program when they cannot hire Alaskans or workers from the Lower 48, so I would like to thank my committee colleagues for understanding the need to continue this program for the next year, and Senator Begich for joining me in this effort.”…
http://www.akbizmag.com/Alaska-Business-Monthly/June-2014/
Murkowski-J-1-Visa-Amendment-in-Funding-Bill-Supports-Fisheries
-Industry-and-Seafood-Processors/

& Empire Editorial: Senators promise more foreign workers for Alaska
We weren’t aware that multibillion-dollar seafood corporations needed help to make money….
http://juneauempire.com/opinion/2014-06-27/empire-editorial-
senators-promise-more-foreign-workers-alaska

& PSPA: My Turn: Too many jobs, not enough Alaskans
… If you know of job candidates who are physically capable, willing to work hard in a drug-free workplace and need a summer job, please send them our way.    
http://juneauempire.com/opinion/2014-07-02/my-turn-too-many
-jobs-not-enough-alaskans


34. Murkowski Highlights Value of Alaska’s Fisheries and Coastal Communities at International Summit
At State Department, Senator Says “We Have a Good Story to Tell”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Lisa Murkowski joined her Senate Oceans Caucus co-chair Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) at the Department of State’s “Our Ocean” Conference to lead a discussion on America’s leadership in managing fisheries on a sustainable basis.  In her joint remarks, Murkowski said “We have a good thing going” with fisheries management in Alaska – citing it as a model for fisheries worldwide – while also discussing the importance of recently-passed treaties to combat pirate fishing and the continued vigilance needed on the issue of tsunami debris.
Senator Murkowski press release: http://www.murkowski.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/
pressreleases?ID=b1803ae1-a906-4be6-a52a-f9074f40cefe


35. Murkowski Secures Funds for Alaska Fisheries Sustainability through Approps Efforts
Arctic Charting, Electronic Monitoring, Tsunami Debris Also Among Priorities in 2015 Funding Bill
WASHINGTON, DC – The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science has finalized its 2015 bill which includes the strong funding for fisheries management requested by Senator Lisa Murkowski.

“It is critical that fisheries managers in Alaska have the resources necessary to conduct the stock assessments and surveys they need to set quotas that ensure our wild, abundant fisheries remain sustainably managed.” 

The funding in this bill supports the North Pacific Council, the Pacific Salmon Commission and the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission – all key components in the management of Alaska’s fisheries.  Senator Murkowski’s efforts also address the need for nautical charting in the U.S. Arctic, led to the inclusion of funding and report language to expedite the development of electronic monitoring technology to improve data collection in the small boat fixed gear fleet and ensure greater emphasis on clean-up of tsunami debris along Alaska’s coast.
http://www.murkowski.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press
releases?ID=f6a49131-58ba-45a4-b076-ecbdb299e7f6


36. Murkowski Vows to Keep Fighting for Alaska’s Sustainable Fisheries
Senator Gives Remarks to Sustainable Seafood Seminar with NOAA

Senator Lisa Murkowski today spoke before federal and commercial seafood representatives at the Sustainable Seafood Seminar – pledging to continue her support for strong federal funding for fisheries management.  Additionally, she reiterated her commitment to protect the seafood industry from threats posed by genetically-engineered salmon and third-party sustainable seafood certification schemes…
http://www.murkowski.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases
?ID=5a572ebd-0513-4649-9072-6abbbdf8f1fb


37. High Seas Capture - Vessel fishing illegally halted in North Pacific Ocean
A 191-foot vessel of Chinese registry found to be fishing illegally in the North Pacific Ocean with a large-scale high seas drift net was handed over to China coast guard officials in the East China Sea on June 3 by the U.S. Coast Guard.

"This seizure is a direct result of the teamwork between the Coast Guard and our Chinese, Japanese and Canadian law enforcement partners," said Rear Adm. Thomas Ostebo, commander of the Coast Guard 17th District in Juneau, Alaska.
- See more at: http://www.thecordovatimes.com/article/1423high-
seas-capture-vessel-fishing-illegally#sthash.FeMIGBz1.dpuf


38. AFS meeting October 12-24, Juneau – Call for Abstracts by Sept 15 & Film Fest by Oct 1.
American Fisheries Society and American Water Resources Association – Juneau, October 21-24. Abstracts are due by September 15, 2014. Details online at:  http://www.afs-alaska.org/call-for-session-proposals-for-2013-chapter-meeting

Also - The Southeast Alaska Fish Habitat Partnership (SEAKFHP) will be hosting the first annual Alaska Fish Film Festival during the welcoming session for the conference.
To be considered, submissions must:
•         Be filmed in Alaska
•         Detail or have a linkage to some aspect of fish conservation and/or fish habitat conservation
•         Be less than 10 minutes in length
If you have any questions please contact Mark Kaelke, Trout Unlimited’s Southeast Alaska Project Director, at MKaelke@tu.org

The final deadline for video submissions is October 1, 2014. Early submissions are encouraged. Film submission guidelines and the online submission form can be found on the SEAKFHP website at: http://www.seakfhp.org/1st-annual-alaska-fish-film-festival-
october-21st-2014/
.

SEAKFHP Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/sealaskafhp .


39. Comment deadline August 1 on DOC Gulf of Alaska Ecosystem Indicator Selection
… The goal of this project is to select a short (8-10) list of ecosystem indicators for the Gulf of Alaska that will form the basis of a Gulf of Alaska (GOA) Report Card and Ecosystem Assessment to include in the NOAA's Ecosystem Considerations report…

For the purposes of this project, ecosystem indicators are defined as time-series of data that measure some component of the ecosystem…
We will use these rankings to form the basis of a new GOA report card and ecosystem assessment. We hope that by surveying a greater number of individuals than were involved with indicator selection for the eastern Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands, the survey results will reflect broader expertise and an `equal voice' from all participants…

Federal Register notice: 
https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-12668


40. Comment Deadline August 4 on BSAI Amendment 106 AFA vessel replacement
NMFS issues a proposed rule to implement Amendment 106 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP). The proposed rule would allow the owner of an American Fisheries Act (AFA) vessel to rebuild or replace the vessel without limitation on the length, weight, or horsepower of the rebuilt or replacement vessel when the vessel is operating in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI). The proposed rule would also allow the owner of an AFA catcher vessel that is a member of an inshore cooperative to remove the vessel from the Bering Sea directed pollock fishery and assign the pollock catch history of the removed vessel to one or more vessels in the inshore cooperative to which the removed vessel belonged. This action is necessary to bring the regulations implementing the BSAI FMP into conformity with the AFA as amended by the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010. This action would also improve vessel safety and operational efficiency in the AFA fleet by allowing the rebuilding or replacement of AFA vessels with safer and more efficient vessels and by allowing the removal of inactive catcher vessels from the AFA fishery…

Federal Register – Notice of availability: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-12829

Federal Register – Proposed Rule: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-14012

Secretarial Review Draft RIR/IRFA: http://alaskafisheries.
noaa.gov/analyses/amd106/bsai106secdraftea.pdf


41. Comment deadline August 11 on MARAD AFA vessel regulations
The Maritime Administration (“MARAD”) is soliciting public comments on amendments to its regulations which implement new requirements regarding certain large fishing industry vessels set forth in the American Fisheries Act of 1998, as amended by the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 (“CGAA”) and the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2012 (“CGMTA”). The proposed revisions to the regulation adds two new exceptions to the restrictions on the eligibility of vessels over 165 feet in registered length to be documented with fishery endorsements, eliminates the 15-day application deadline for vessels whose fishery endorsements have become invalid, limits fishery endorsement eligibility for certain large fishing industry vessels, and eliminates certain exemptions for specific vessels that were deleted in the CGMTA…

DATES: Comments must be received on or before August 11, 2014. MARAD will consider comments filed after this date to the extent practicable.

Federal register: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-13282


42. Comment deadline August 4 on Amendment 97 GOA non-pollock trawl fisheries Chinook PSC
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council has submitted Amendment 97 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP). If approved, Amendment 97 would limit Chinook salmon prohibited species catch (PSC) in the Western and Central Gulf of Alaska (GOA) non-pollock trawl fisheries. This action would establish separate Chinook salmon PSC annual limits for the non-pollock trawl catcher vessel (CV) and catcher/processor (C/P) sectors and a seasonal limit for the C/P sector. The CV sector PSC limit would be further divided between vessels participating in the Central GOA Rockfish Program and vessels not participating in the Central GOA Rockfish Program. If a sector reached its seasonal or annual Chinook salmon PSC limit, NMFS would prohibit further directed fishing for non-pollock groundfish by vessels in that sector for the remainder of the season or fishing year. This proposed action would also establish salmon retention and discard requirements for vessels, shoreside processors and stationary floating processors participating in the non-pollock groundfish fisheries. The combination of these retention requirements will enable accurate reporting of salmon in eLandings at the processor. Salmon accounting at a processor may assist the industry in tracking and cooperatively managing its Chinook salmon PSC. This action is necessary to minimize the catch of Chinook salmon to the extent practicable in the Western and Central GOA non-pollock trawl fisheries…

Federal Register Notice of Availability:  https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-13066

Federal Register Proposed Rule: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-14726

NOAA Fisheries Alaska Chinook Salmon Bycatch Management page:
 http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/Sustainablefisheries/bycatch/
default.htm


43. FDA and EPA issue draft updated advice for fish consumption
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today issued draft updated advice on fish consumption. The two agencies have concluded pregnant and breastfeeding women, those who might become pregnant, and young children should eat more fish that is lower in mercury in order to gain important developmental and health benefits. The draft updated advice is consistent with recommendations in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans
FDA press release: http://www.fda.gov/newsevents/newsroom/
pressannouncements/ucm397929.htm

Federal Register Notice, June 11:
https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-13584
&&
Fish: What Pregnant Women and Parents Should Know
Draft Updated Advice by FDA and EPA
http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodborneIllnessContaminants/
Metals/ucm393070.htm


44. Comment deadline August 12 on Amendment 105 CDQ flatfish quota exchanges
If approved, Amendment 105 would establish a process for Western Alaska Community Development Quota (CDQ) groups and cooperatives established under the Amendment 80 Program (Amendment 80 cooperatives) to exchange harvest quota from one of three flatfish species (flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole) for an equal amount of another of these three flatfish species, while maintaining total catch below acceptable biological catch (ABC) limits for each species and below the sum of the total allowable catches (TACs) for all three species…
Comments on the amendment must be received on or before August 12, 2014…
Federal Register notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-13855


45. Comment deadline July 30 on Amendment 105 CDQ groundfish quota transfers.
Submit comments on or before July 30, 2014…
Federal Register notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-15185


46. Comment by August 18 on NOAA Alaska Region Permit Family of Forms
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…
This request is for extension of a currently approved information collection.

For a person to participate in Federal fisheries, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) requires a Federal Fisheries Permit (FFP), a Federal Processor Permit (FPP), or an Experimental Fisheries Permit (EFP). NMFS Alaska Region created a set of groundfish permits that operators of vessels and managers of processors must have onboard or onsite when fishing for, receiving, buying, or processing groundfish. These permits provide NMFS with a way to monitor participation in groundfish fisheries…
Written comments must be submitted on or before August 18, 2014…

Federal Register notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-14309


47. NMFS CIE peer review of BSAI Atka Mackerel Stock Assessment, July 29-31, Seattle
NMFS has requested the Center for Independent Experts (CIE) to conduct a peer review of the agency's stock assessment of Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands Atka mackerel. The CIE is a group that provides independent peer reviews of NMFS science nationwide, including reviews of stock assessments for fish and marine mammals. The CIE review will examine whether the assessment incorporates the best available scientific information and provides a reasonable approach to understanding the population dynamics and stock status of Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands Atka mackerel. The public is invited to attend and observe the presentations and discussions between the CIE panel and the NMFS scientists who collected and processed the data, and designed the underlying model…

DATES: The review will be held July 29 through July 31, 2014, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time.
ADDRESSES: The review will be held at the NMFS Alaska Fisheries Science Center, 7600 Sand Point Way NE., Building 4, Seattle, WA, 98115, in conference room 2039.

Federal Register notice:  https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-14477

AFSC Atka Mackerel Research page: http://www.afsc.noaa.gov/species/Atka_mackerel.php


48. Commercial Fishing Safety Advisory Committee application deadline (received by) July 25
The Coast Guard seeks applications for membership on the Commercial Fishing Safety Advisory Committee. The Commercial Fishing Safety Advisory Committee provides advice and makes recommendations to the Coast Guard and the Department of Homeland Security on various matters relating to the safe operation of commercial fishing industry vessels…
Applicants must submit a cover letter and resume in time to reach the Designated Federal Officer on or before July 25, 2014…

The Coast Guard will consider applications for seven (07) positions that expire or become vacant in October 2014 in the following categories:

(a) Commercial Fishing Industry representatives (four positions);
(b) General Public, a marine surveyor who provides services to commercial fishing vessels (one position);
(c) A representative of manufacturers of equipment for commercial fishing vessels (one position); and
(d) A representative of owners of commercial fishing vessels (one position).

Federal Register notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-14494
Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Program:    http://www.fishsafe.info/


49. Comment Deadline August 15 on ESA Steller Sea Lion Protection Measures
NMFS proposes to implement Steller sea lion protection measures to insure that groundfish fisheries in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI) off Alaska are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the western distinct population segment (WDPS) of Steller sea lions or destroy or adversely modify its designated critical habitat. These management measures would disperse fishing effort temporally and spatially to provide protection from potential competition for important Steller sea lion prey species in the BSAI. The intent of this proposed action is to protect the endangered WDPS of Steller sea lions, as required by the Endangered Species Act, and to minimize, to the extent practicable, the economic impact of fishery management measures, as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act…

Submit comments on or before August 15, 2014…

Federal Register notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-15216

NOAA Fisheries Steller Sea Lion page: http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/protectedresources/stellers/

KDLG Radio: NOAA Proposes New Rule to Protect Steller Sea Lions
http://kdlg.org/post/noaa-proposes-new-rule-protect-steller-sea-lions


50. Comment deadline August 27 on Central North Pacific Humpback Whale delisting & DPS
We, NMFS, announce a 90-day finding on a petition to identify the Central North Pacific population of humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) as a Distinct Population Segment (DPS) and delist the DPS under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted. Therefore, we are continuing our status review for the humpback whale to determine whether this population is a DPS and whether delisting is warranted. To ensure this status review is comprehensive, we solicit scientific and commercial information regarding this species…

Information and comments must be received by July 28, 2014…

Interested persons may obtain a copy of the petition online at the NMFS Alaska Region Web site: http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/protectedresources/whales/
humpback/
.
Federal Register notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-14961

Comment extension posted 7/11/14: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-16150


51. USFWS & NMFS announce final policy on ESA “Significant Portion of its Range”
We, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (collectively, the Services), announce a policy to provide our interpretation of the phrase “significant portion of its range” in the Endangered Species Act's (Act's) definitions of “endangered species” and “threatened species.” The purpose of this final policy is to provide an interpretation and application of “significant portion of its range” that reflects a permissible reading of the law and minimizes undesirable policy outcomes, while fulfilling the conservation purposes of the Act. This final policy provides a consistent standard for interpretation of the phrase and its role in listing determinations…
Federal Register notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-15216


52. Comment deadline extended to October 9 on ESA Critical Habitat definitions & regs
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (collectively referred to as the “Services” or “we”), announce the extension of the public comment periods on our May 12, 2014, proposals to revise definitions and regulations regarding critical habitat. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted, as they will be fully considered in preparation of each final rule…

We will consider comments received or postmarked on or before October 9, 2014…
Federal Register Notice of comment extension: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-14774

Federal Register Notice (May 12) https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-10503

NOAA & USFWS joint press release:
http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/mediacenter/2014/04/02__05
__esajointpressreleasefws.html

USFWS Improving ESA Implementation page:
http://www.fws.gov/endangered/improving_esa/reg_reform.html


53. Comment extended to October 9 on ESA Section 4(b)(2) implementation
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (collectively referred to as the “Services” or “we”), announce the extension of the public comment period on our May 12, 2014, draft policy regarding implementation of section 4(b)(2) of the Endangered Species Act…
We will accept comments from all interested parties until October 9, 2014…

Federal Register comment extension: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-14773


54. Comment deadline July 30 on NOAA FFP Construction of New Replacement Fishing Vessels
NMFS issues this advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) to provide background information and request public comment on potential amendments to the regulations governing the Fisheries Financing Program (FFP) that address several specific issues currently affecting fishers and fishing companies, and to identify specific measures that might address these issues. NMFS is requesting public comment regarding the potential implementation of changes to the current prohibitions against using the FFP to finance the cost of new vessel construction and a vessel refurbishing project that materially increases an existing vessel's harvesting capacity…

NMFS generally does not want to finance the cost of new fishing vessels or reconstruction of existing vessels that materially increase harvesting. NMFS believes it can entertain financing these costs only for vessels participating in limited access fisheries. Where catch limits control the annual harvest, replacement or improvement of vessels does not increase the total catch…
Federal Register Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and comment request: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-15173


55. Comment deadline September 29 on NEPA Procedures for MSA Fishery Actions
Notice Of Availability Of Draft Revised And Updated National Environmental Policy Act (Nepa) Procedures For Magnuson Stevens Act Fishery Management Actions; Request For Comments.
…The purpose of this notice is to notify the public that on February 19, 2013, NMFS issued an internal policy pertaining to complying with NEPA in the context of Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA) fishery management actions. This policy, entitled “National Environmental Policy Act Compliance for Council-Initiated Fishery Management Actions under the Magnuson-Stevens Act” (the policy) clarifies roles and responsibilities of NMFS and the Regional Fishery Management Councils (Council or FMCs), explains timing and procedural linkages, provides guidance on documentation needs, and fosters partnerships and cooperation between NMFS and FMCs on NEPA compliance.

NMFS consulted with the Councils and with the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) on proposed revisions to the 2013 NMFS NEPA policy directive, and based on those consultations NMFS now proposes to use this policy as a basis for issuing revised and updated NEPA procedures for MSA actions in the form of a line-office supplement to NOAA Administrative Order (NAO) 216-6...
NMFS will accept written comments on the draft revised NEPA procedures until September 29, 2014…
Federal Register notice June 30: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-15270

&&&&&

NMFS withdraws proposed rule for Fishery Management NEPA Compliance
NMFS withdraws a proposed rule that would have established new regulations pertaining to compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in the context of fishery management actions developed pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA). Instead of going forward with a final rule directly resulting from the 2008 proposed rule, NMFS issued an internal policy on February 19, 2013. This policy, entitled “National Environmental Policy Act Compliance for Council-Initiated Fishery Management Actions under the Magnuson-Stevens Act” clarifies roles and responsibilities of NMFS and the Regional Fishery Management Councils (Councils), explains timing and procedural linkages, provides guidance on documentation needs, and fosters partnerships and cooperation between NMFS and Councils on NEPA compliance.

On June 30, 2014, NMFS published a Federal Register notice of availability of the draft revised and updated NEPA procedures for MSA actions and requested public comments, with a 90-day public comment period…

Federal Register notice July 14: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-16426


56. USCG Public Workshop on IMO Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters – Aug 14, Seattle
The Coast Guard will hold a public workshop in Seattle, WA on topics related to the development of a mandatory code for ships operating in polar waters (Polar Code) by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Various topics will be discussed including application and certification under the Polar Code; and regulations for hull design, equipment, operations, and environmental protection. This workshop is intended to be an interactive exchange of information between policymakers, industry experts, and interested members of the public…
The public workshop will be held on Thursday, August 14, 2014 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Pacific Time. This workshop is open to the public. Please note that the workshop has a limited number of seats and may close early if all business is finished…

Federal Register notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-15457


Environmental

57. Judge lets state intervene in Pebble case
Fairbanks News-Miner
JUNEAU, Alaska - The state is now party to a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over its involvement with the proposed Pebble Mine.
A federal judge granted the state's request to intervene as a plaintiff in the case brought by the group behind the project, Pebble Limited Partnership. The deposit is on state land…
http://www.newsminer.com/news/alaska_news/judge-lets-state-
intervene-in-pebble-case/article_e1bd5056-ffac-11e3-9c31-0017a
43b2370.html


58. Alaska tribes to back EPA in Pebble Mine case
By Timothy Cama - 07/03/14 – The Hill

A coalition of Alaska Native tribes will intervene to support the Environmental Protection Agency in a lawsuit that challenges its authority to halt a major copper and gold mine near Bristol Bay.
The United Tribes of Bristol Bay originally asked the EPA to block the permit for the proposed Pebble Mine using its authority under section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act. They announced Thursday that they will continue to fight against the project by joining Pebble’s lawsuit against the EPA for initiating the permit veto process before an application was filed.
Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell (R) recently decided to join the lawsuit on Pebble’s behalf..
http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/211287-alaska-tribes
-to-back-epa-in-pebble-mine-case


59. BBNC Education Foundation Divests Pebble Mine Gift Shares
ANCHORAGE - 

The Bristol Bay Native Corp.'s Education Foundation is no longer an investor in the contentious Pebble Mine project, after deciding to sell stock which it had received as a gift.
On April 5, the foundation received nine million shares as a donation, when Rio Tinto parted ways with Northern Dynasty Minerals, owner of the Pebble Partnership. Foundation officials announced on Friday that they have sold those shares, generating $6.48 million. The foundation says the money will be deposited into an endowment and used to support scholarship programs.
While BBNC has been against the Pebble project from the beginning, foundation officials say they've never taken a position on Pebble.
“The decision to sell the shares really came about because we are a non-profit organization. This particular gift represented a very large-share, concentrated position and didn't meet our investment policy,” said Greta Goto, the foundation's executive director…
http://www.ktuu.com/news/news/bbnc-subsidiary-divests-pebble-mine
-gift-shares/26522504


60. BB-RSDA Updates Fishermen on the Fight to Stop the Pebble Mine
By Mike Mason , KLDG radio Dillingham

The most controversial and talked about issue in the Bristol Bay region for well over a decade has been the proposed Pebble Mine. Many organizations have come out in opposition to the mine including several fishing groups. One of those groups is the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, which represents the over 18-hundred Bristol Bay driftnet permit holders. KDLG's Mike Mason reports.
Audio online at:
http://kdlg.org/post/bb-rsda-updates-fishermen-fight-stop-pebble-mine

Bristol Bay RSDA home page: http://www.bbrsda.com/


61. Mining News: Miners regroup in 2014 field season
Alaska sector follows global trend of downsizing budgets, goals as industry scrambles to reposition for new economic environment
By Curt Freeman For Mining News

…So where can companies find a developed market jurisdiction (lower risk) where the chances of discovering high quality projects are still high? Thought you would never ask! This is where Alaska has a nearly unique role to play in this shifting global market. Alaska is unquestionably under-explored and well-endowed with a wide array of high quality mineral deposits. This combination of attributes increases the chances that an exploration discovery will be made and also increasing the chances that a new discovery will lead to development and profitable production. Equally important, Alaska’s political and business risks are well understood and are not subject to drastic or recurrent modification at the whim of cash-starved governments. With commodity prices soft and equity markets for mining companies in the tank, there has never been a better time to invest in a place like Alaska…
Read more on a variety of projects around the state at:
http://www.petroleumnews.com/pntruncate/349019596.shtml


62. Northern Dynasty accepts more mining claims near Pebble
In May, an agreement was finalized transferring 199 state mining claims on the Big Chunk "Super Project" site from Liberty Star Uranium & Metals to Northern Dynasty, the sole owner of the Pebble Mine project north of Iliamna.

Along with 95 mineral claims transferred in 2010, Northern Dynasty now owns 294 claims on the Big Chunk copper and gold deposit, which lies a few miles north of Pebble.
The transfer settles a 2010 cash loan from Northern Dynasty which Liberty Star was never able to repay.
http://www.thebristolbaytimes.com/article/1423northern_dynasty
_accepts_more_mining_claims


63. Dillingham to Murkowski: No Pebble Mine
Bristol Bay Times, June 6th

Following a day's worth of what were described as friendly and productive private meetings around town, Sen. Lisa Murkowski encountered a much chillier crowd at a town hall meeting last Thursday night in Dillingham.

To the full house packed inside the elementary school gym, Murkowski quipped, "Well I can see there's either nothing going on around town, or there's nothing more important."
For most of the more than 200 in attendance, the latter was true. They had come to tell Murkowski, "whose name we learned to spell four years ago," of their great concerns with Senate Bill 2156, which she co-sponsored. That bill, also known as the Regulatory Fairness Act of 2014, would "weaken the Clean Water Act," said Tom Tilden, a chief with the Curyung tribe…
http://www.thebristolbaytimes.com/article/1423dillingham_to_
murkowski_no_pebble_mine


64. BC Mines: Updated Feasibility Study for Brucejack Unuk River Project Confirms Positive Economics
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - June 19, 2014) - Pretium Resources Inc. (TSX:PVG)(NYSE:PVG) ("Pretivm") is pleased to announce the results of an updated National Instrument 43-101-compliant Feasibility Study completed by Tetra Tech for the Brucejack Project ("Brucejack" or the "Project") in northern British Columbia. The report, which includes updated metals prices, currency exchange rate, and costs, confirms the positive economics for a high-grade gold underground mine at Brucejack…

Press release:
http://www.pretivm.com/news/news-details/2014/Pretium-
Resources-Inc-Updated-Feasibility-Study-for-Brucejack-Project-
Confirms-Positive-Economics/default.aspx

Project details:
http://www.pretivm.com/projects/brucejack/overview/default.aspx


65. Comment deadline July 16 on recertification of Cook Inlet RCAC
The Coast Guard announces the availability of, and seeks comments on, the application for recertification submitted by the Cook Inlet Regional Citizen's Advisory Council (CIRCAC) for September 1, 2014, through August 31, 2015…

Public comments on CIRCAC's recertification application must reach the Seventeenth Coast Guard District on or before July 16, 2014.
Federal Register notice:  https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-13928
CIRCAC home page: http://www.circac.org/


66. USCG Final Rule on double hull tankers – two tug escorts required
The Coast Guard is finalizing the escort requirements for double hull tankers over 5,000 gross tons transporting oil in bulk on the waters of Prince William Sound, Alaska (PWS). This final rule mandates two tug escorts for these tankers…

Federal Register Notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-13809


67. Comment Deadline July 16 on USFWS Classroom Guidelines for Preventing the Introduction and Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announces the availability of the Classroom Guidelines for Preventing the Introduction and Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS). These voluntary guidelines are intended to be used by agencies and organizations to develop materials that inform educators and students about the risks of spreading aquatic invasive species, and to limit their spread via the disposal of unwanted live educational specimens (animals, plants, and microorganisms) into local waters, including release into drains or flushing down toilets…

Federal Register notice:  https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-14013
Aquatice Nuisance Species Task Force page: http://anstaskforce.gov/documents.php


68. Garbage-patch tale as flimsy as a single-use plastic bag
Debra J. Saunders, SFGate.com

A new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences could mean bad news for environmental doomsayers. Forget all those warnings about the million tons of plastic debris floating in the ocean. Ignore the photos that you think show the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Andrés Cózar of the University of Cadiz in Spain is the man who once extrapolated the 1 million-ton estimate. Since then, however, he has led research that collected samples at 141 ocean sites. Cózar's new estimate: 7,000 to 35,000 tons of plastic are floating in the ocean.
Cózar's team didn't find country-size islands of plastic bags strangling baby birds and sea turtles. It found "micro plastics." What people think of as a dump doesn't look like floating junk. Instead, ocean current "convergence zones" are swirling with flecks of plastic - like a snow globe half a minute after shaking - and with considerably less plastic trash than expected.
Not that plastic in the ocean is a good thing, but it's looking to be less of a peril to the planet than once suggested…
http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/saunders/article/Pacific-garbage
-patch-tale-as-flimsy-as-a-5596400.php


69. Chugach National Forest initiates Land Management Plan revision
SUMMARY: The Chugach National Forest, located in Southcentral Alaska, is initiating the development of a land management plan revision (forest plan). An Assessment will be posted to our Web site around September 1, 2014. We are inviting the public to help us further develop the ‘‘need for change’’ and a proposed action for the land management plan revision.
DATES: The Assessment report for the revision of the Chugach NF’s land management plan will be posted on the following Web site at www.fs.usda.gov/chugach  around September 1, 2014.
Public meetings associated with the continued development of the ‘‘need for change’’ and a proposed action will be announced on the Web site cited above.
It is anticipated that the Notice of Intent to prepare an environmental impact statement (which will accompany the land management planrevision for the Chugach NF), will be published in the Federal Register around March 1, 2015…
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-07-09/pdf/2014-15768.pdf



Hatchery & Aquaculture

70. Iron, steel in hatcheries may distort magnetic 'map sense' of steelhead (& Chinook)
Date: June 3, 2014…Source: Oregon State University
Summary: Exposure to iron pipes and steel rebar, such as the materials found in most hatcheries, affects the navigation ability of young steelhead trout by altering the important magnetic 'map sense' they need for migration. "The better fish navigate, the higher their survival rate," said a researcher. "When their magnetic field is altered, the fish get confused."
Read report at:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140603194009.htm


71. Third Annual Juneau Haa–Aani OysterFest - July 19, 2014 2pm to 8pm
This celebration of Alaska-grown oysters takes place downtown from 2pm to 8pm in the Sealaska Plaza. Tickets ($12/half-dozen or $20/dozen) can be purchased on-site. We will have music, outside food this year, contests, a beer garden, and a whole host of sauces to go on the oyster prepared by local restaurants…
From listing at: http://www.traveljuneau.com/events/#sthash.HibOCPUB.dpuf
Background info from previous events at: http://www.sealaska.com/object/io_1339518291249.html



Subsistence

72. Herring search spans millennia
By Mary Catharine Martin, Juneau Empire
Southeast Alaska’s Pacific herring populations seem to be on the rebound, but even in fisheries regarded as healthy, some contend herring are significantly depleted from historical levels indicated by archaeological records and cultural memory…

Madonna Moss, the lead archeologist studying Alaska’s herring, is doing research that spans the northwest coast. Herring, she said at a presentation this spring at the Sealaska Heritage Institute, were once “much more widespread geographically than is indicated by the commercial fishery today.”

… Moss hopes her research can be used to inform and adjust fishing policy, but Alaska Department of Fish and Game scientists have said that would be difficult.
ADF&G Juneau area management biologist David Harris said the department would have a hard time turning oral histories and archaeological records into a management tool…
…Steve Reifenstuhl, Executive Director of the Southeast Herring Conservation Alliance, which represents herring fishermen, expressed exasperation with the Sitka Tribe’s position and with the idea of using archaeological data about abundance to inform policy.

Reifenstuhl said herring abundance in Sitka Sound has increased 20-fold since the 1970s, when the Alaska Department of Fish and Game began managing it, from around 5,000 tons to between 80,000 and 90,000 tons.

 “We’ve got to manage based on what is currently there, not what happened 100 years ago, or 1,000 years ago,” he said. “You could say the same thing about humans. There were a lot less 10,000 years ago … It’s not reality in terms of what we can do in today’s age…
http://juneauempire.com/outdoors/2014-07-11/herring
-search-spans-millennia


73. Herring return to Auke Bay
By Mary Catharine Martin, Juneau Empire

At the end of June, herring returned to Auke Bay to spawn in significant numbers for the first time in more than 20 years — and though the ultimate success of the eggs remains to be seen, it’s a promising sign for those working to increase herring’s abundance in Lynn Canal and Southeast Alaska…
http://www.capitalcityweekly.com/stories/070914/new_
1211542963.shtml


74. Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission Comes to Bethel to Talk Co-Management
by Ben Matheson, KYUK, June 11, 2014

 As this summer’s king salmon closure stretches on, village councils around the Y-K Delta are considering resolutions to establish a commission for tribal co-management of fish.
Native leaders from the Pacific Northwest who have done just that will be at a fish summit Thursday and Friday hosted by Yupiit Nation.
Mike Williams of Akiak is Chief of the Yupiit Nation.

He says the meeting comes as people struggle with empty fish racks.
“Many of the elders are in tears because they have not seen a king and I think that is very sad,” said Williams.
The Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission was founded as a result of the emotionally charged “Fish Wars” in the 60s ad 70s.
The “Fish Wars” spurred a court case about broken fishing treaties.
Led, until recently, by the late Billy Frank Junior, the group assists 20 tribes in western Washington with scientific and logistic support for co-management. Williams says they have had success with tribal co-management.
“They’re going to be here to have a thoughtful conversation on how we can unite instead of what I see here with disunity and frustration,” said Williams.
The meeting takes place at the ONC multipurpose building in Bethel Thursday and Friday.
http://kyuk.org/northwest-indian-fisheries-commission-
comes-to-bethel-to-talk-co-management/


75. Interior Proposes Reform of Federal Acknowledgment Regulations
Proposed rule would address “broken” process

Washington, D.C. — Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today announced publication of proposed regulations that would reform the 35-year old process by which the Department of the Interior officially recognizes Indian tribes. Federal acknowledgment establishes the U.S. Government as the trustee for Tribal lands and resources and makes Tribal members and governments eligible for federal budget assistance and program services…


76. Comment deadline extended to July 31 on Native land trusts – removal of Alaska Exemption
…extension of the comment deadline through July 31: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-15312
This proposed rule would delete a provision in the Department of the Interior's land-into-trust regulations that excludes from the scope of the regulations, with one exception, land acquisitions in trust in the State of Alaska…

Comments on this rule must be received by the extended due date of July 31, 2014…
Bureau of Indian Affairs page: http://bia.gov/WhoWeAre/AS-IA/Consultation/index.htm
Earlier Federal Register notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-09818
Regulations.gov Docket folder:
http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=BIA-2014-0002

UFA Comments on Bureau of Indian Affairs proposed rule to remove the Alaska
   exemption regarding Native land trusts (June 30, 2014): http://www.ufa-fish.org/doc/UFA%20Comments%20re%20B
IA%20AK%20Land%20Trusts%20063014.pdf


77. NIOSH New Product Spotlight: Live to be Salty
Falling overboard is the second leading cause of death among commercial fishermen, nationwide. And the reason for that? Not wearing a personal flotation device (PFD). In fact, none of the 191 fishermen who died in the U.S. between 2000 and 2013 were wearing a PFD when they drowned.

Live to be Salty  is a multi-media health communication intervention developed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and our partners in an effort to reduce drownings, by promoting the use of PFDs on board commercial fishing vessels.

Visit Live to be Salty  to learn about the comfortable PFD options currently available for use by commercial fishermen:
http://www.livetobesalty.org/

CDC/NIOSH Commercial Fishing Safety home page: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/fishing/


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



79. Laine Welch’s Fish Radio  - Items from this week:
“Revolutionary” unmanned gliders tracking ocean acidity in PWS
Salmon updates; Why All Alaskans should care about fish prices
Catch of The Season Serves up Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon
Crabs can hear!
Fish fireworks! Credit: onewdesign.com
July 4th tribute to the seafood industry!
These items and more, online at http://www.alaskafishradio.com/


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 ufa@ufa-fish.org

UFA Update:
Alaska State Elections Information & Preview
July 1, 2014

VOTE WHILE YOU FISH!

Important 2014 Alaska Election Dates:
Voter and polling place lookup: https://webapp.state.ak.us/electionsLookup/JSP/VoterLookupMain.jsp  
*** Polls are open Election Day from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ***
July 20 – Last day to register to vote for the August 19th primary election. 
Aug 4 - Early and absentee in-person voting begins at many locations throughout Alaska.
Aug 4 - Civilian voters may begin to apply for absentee ballots by electronic transmission.
Aug 9 - Last day to submit your absentee ballot application by mail for the Primary Election.
Aug 18 – Last day to submit your absentee ballot application electronically for the Primary Election.
August 19 - PRIMARY ELECTION DAY
Aug 19 - Deadline for absentee by-mail ballots to be postmarked.
Aug 19 - 8:00 p.m. Alaska Standard Time, deadline for electronic transmission absentee ballots to be received.
Oct 5 - Last day to register to vote for the November 4th General Election. 
Oct 20 - Early voting and in-person absentee, special needs and by-electronic transmission voting begins.
Oct 25 - Last day to submit your absentee ballot application by mail for the General Election.
Nov 3 - Last day to submit your absentee ballot application electronically for the General Election.
November 4GENERAL ELECTION DAY

To vote for candidates in a primary, you must either be registered in that party, or Undeclared, or Non Partisan.  For Election, Early & Absentee Voting Info, scroll further down this message.

Thanks to former Representative, Senator, & Special Assistant for Fisheries Alan Austerman of Kodiak. UFA member groups and the seafood industry wished to thank Representative Austerman for all that you have done for Alaska’s fisheries in your different roles spanning two decades. We are all better off due to your efforts!

UFA also wishes to thank Representative Peggy Wilson (Wrangell) and Representative Lindsey Holmes (Anchorage) for their years of service to Alaska. Both of these legislators worked hard and always left their door open to discuss fisheries issues.

From the Executive Director:

United Fishermen of Alaska’s Motto – I Vote Fish!
Representing Alaska’s largest private sector employer, commercial fishermen, crew and processing workforce voters make up a decisive constituency in state elections. Although our independent and competitive personalities guarantee we won’t agree on every issue, the votes of the seafood industry amount to a major force in Alaska politics.

While UFA works hard to represent the seafood industry collectively, we can all multiply our political power by becoming informed about the issues and the candidates and by voting.  

For those of you who don’t have the time or inclination to be active in fish politics, voting represents the simplest way to be heard by decision-makers. Find the full list of candidates at the Division of Elections page at: www.elections.alaska.gov/ci_pg_cl_2014_prim.php#district.

2014 is an important election year for Alaska. Along with the majority of the Alaska State Legislature being up for re-election, elections for our Governor, one of our two U.S. senators, and our sole congressman will occur. As always, UFA encourages our members to reach out to candidates and elected officials in order to discuss your concerns and to help educate policy makers about the importance of the seafood industry to your family, your community, and to Alaska. You can find UFA’s helpful community commercial fish facts on our website at www.ufa-fish.org/cff.htm ..

As always, UFA’s door is open to discuss any issues that are on your mind. Please contact us if you would like more information on the candidates running for office, or if you would like to know how to become more involved.

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
Facebook: facebook.com/UnitedFishermenAK
Twitter: twitter.com/UFA_Fish 

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.

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

ELECTION INFO:

State Primary Election August 19- http://www.elections.alaska.gov/ei_general.php
Candidates for political party nominations for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and State House and Senate seats will compete in the primary election for placement on the November general election ballot. To vote in party primary you must registered Undeclared, Non-Partisan or the party of the primary for which you’d like to vote.
http://www.elections.alaska.gov/ei_primary.php

In addition, the one statewide voter initiative will be on the August primary ballot:
Ballot Measure #1 - (13SB21) An Act Relating to the Oil and Gas Production Tax, Interest Rates on Overdue Taxes, and Tax Credit: http://www.elections.alaska.gov/doc/bml/BM1-13SB21-ballot-language.pdf

Division of Elections home page: http://www.elections.alaska.gov/


Deadline July 20 for voter registration to vote in August 19 Primary
If you’ve moved since the last election, you’ll need to re-register 30 days before the primary or general election. Deadline for voter registration for voting in the August 19 Primary is July 20, 2014.
To check on your Alaska voting registration, see https://webapp.state.ak.us/electionsLookup/JSP/VoterLookupMain.jsp
For registering or updating your registration – see  http://www.elections.alaska.gov/vi_vr_how.php
Regional Elections offices contact list: http://www.elections.alaska.gov/csm_contact_reo.php


Vote while you fish - Make Plans Now to Vote in the August 19 Primary!
The state Primary Elections are Tuesday, August 19th.  If you will be fishing, make plans now to vote absentee or vote early

There are four ways to vote absentee: 1) in-person, 2) by mail, 3) by fax or electronic submission, and 4) through a personal representative if you are disabled.  

1. Absentee In-Person & Early Voting:
You may vote absentee in person for 15 days before an election, and on election day (begins August 4). Absentee Early and In-Person Voting Locations will be posted online before the elections, at: http://www.elections.alaska.gov/vi_ea_ev_ip_sites.php
Ballots for all of Alaska’s 40 voting districts are available at regional election offices in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau and Nome and in the state’s six largest airports on election day.

2. Absentee Voting By-Mail: http://www.elections.alaska.gov/vi_bb_by_mail.php
To cast an absentee vote by mail or electronic transmission, an application for absentee ballot must be filed in advance. Applications can be requested and turned in any time up to seven days before an election.
You may apply now for an absentee ballot by mail for the 2014 elections (opened January 1) – deadline is August 9 for ballot request.

3. Absentee voting by Fax and Electronic Transmission: http://www.elections.alaska.gov/vi_bb_by_fax.php
You may apply for an electronic transmission ballot beginning 15 days before each Election Day.  The deadline to receive absentee electronic transmission ballot applications before the primary is August 18.

4. Special Needs Absentee Voting through a personal representative (if you are disabled). Contact your local Alaska Division of Elections for more info - Regional Elections offices contact list: http://www.elections.alaska.gov/csm_contact_reo.php


General Election November 4th http://www.elections.alaska.gov/ei_general.php
This year’s Alaska General Election will feature races for U.S. Senator, U.S. House, Alaska Governor, Lieutenant Governor, State Senate and House. In addition, the General Election will include three ballot initiatives:
Ballot Measure #2 (13PSUM) - An Act to Tax and Regulate the Production, Sale and Use of Marijuana.
Ballot Measure #3 (13MINW) - An Act to Increase Alaska’s Minimum Wage.
Ballot Measure #4 (12BBAY) - An Act Providing for Protection of Bristol Bay Wild Salmon and Waters Within or Flowing Into the Existing 1972 Bristol Bay Fisheries Reserve.
Links to more ballot initiative information for the General Election is online at: http://www.elections.alaska.gov/ei_general_bm.php

Information on voting and registration is similar to the above Primary information. Important deadlines are included below.


Election Calendar - Important Election Dates

Voter and polling place lookup: https://webapp.state.ak.us/electionsLookup/JSP/VoterLookupMain.jsp  
*** Polls are open Election Day from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ***
July 20 – Last day to register to vote for the August 19th primary election. 
Aug 4 - Early and absentee in-person voting begins at many locations throughout Alaska.
Aug 4 - Civilian voters may begin to apply for absentee ballots by electronic transmission.
Aug 9 - Last day to submit your absentee ballot application by mail for the Primary Election.
Aug 18 – Last day to submit your absentee ballot application electronically for the Primary Election.
August 19 - PRIMARY ELECTION DAY
Aug 19 - Deadline for absentee by-mail ballots to be postmarked.
Aug 19 - 8:00 p.m. Alaska Standard Time, deadline for electronic transmission absentee ballots to be received.
Oct 5 - Last day to register to vote for the November 4th General Election. 
Oct 20 - Early voting and in-person absentee, special needs and by-electronic transmission voting begins.
Oct 25 - Last day to submit your absentee ballot application by mail for the General Election.
Nov 3 - Last day to submit your absentee ballot application electronically for the General Election.
November 4GENERAL ELECTION DAY

Division of Elections Calendar: http://www.elections.alaska.gov/doc/forms/H11.pdf


UFA Update Contents

Elections in the News
Governor’s race
1. Empire Editorial: Another election, another frivolous complaint
2. Gubernatorial Challengers Criticize Parnell For Missing Debates
3. Seward resident Brad Snowden runs for governor

U.S. Senate Race:

4.  A good start to debate season: First Senate event sees meaningful contrasts among contenders
5. Tea Party Express might not endorse in Alaska race
6. Outside Money Floods Alaska in Senate Race
7. Senate candidates weigh in on outside money
8. Begich dismisses GOP Senate candidate Sullivan's proposal to curb ad spending
9. Pro-Begich super-PAC goes after GOP Senate candidate Sullivan again on HB 77
10. New attack ad against Senate candidate Sullivan ‘a stretch’
11. Young blasts Begich for taking undeserved credit

U.S. House Race:
12. Don Young's fondness for hunting at game ranches detailed in House Ethics documents
13. Congressional Candidate - Dunbar wins Democrats endorsement for Congress

Legislative Races:
14. After filing deadline, 12 incumbents to run unopposed
15. No primary challengers for Sitka house seat
16. No free ride for Southeast legislative candidates
17. HAT IN THE RACE - McCune files to run for state House
18. Four running for House District 36
19. Alaska Democrats contesting all but one state Senate seat
20. August primary ballot set
21. McGuire withdraws from lieutenant governor race just before filing deadline
22. Aug. 19 primary important; get ready for it now
23. Few running for Y-K state seats
24. As Festival Season Kicks Off, So Does Campaign Season
25. Feds say state election officials wrong on Native language rules

Lieutenant Governor’s race:
20. August primary ballot set
21. McGuire withdraws from lieutenant governor race just before filing deadline

Other Election related news:
22. Aug. 19 primary important; get ready for it now
23. Few running for Y-K state seats
24. As Festival Season Kicks Off, So Does Campaign Season
25. Feds say state election officials wrong on Native language rules



Governor’s race
Seven candidates have filed to run for Governor: 
Four Republicans, three Democrats and one Libertarian will be on Primary ballots, while two others will appear on the November general election. 
Primary: http://www.elections.alaska.gov/ci_pg_cl_2014_prim.php#gov
General: http://www.elections.alaska.gov/ci_pg_cl_2014_genr.php#gov

1. Empire Editorial: Another election, another frivolous complaint
Juneau Empire, June 29
Apparently, defending your good name is an ethics violation — if you’re governor, that is.
There’s not much of a story here, really, other than the state will now waste time, resources and money on a frivolous complaint that came about because the running mate to one of Parnell’s challengers thought he saw an opportunity to slam the governor but failed in knowing the facts first…
http://juneauempire.com/opinion/2014-06-29/empire-editorial-another-election-another-frivolous-complaint#.U7G5wEBBrFw


2. Gubernatorial Challengers Criticize Parnell For Missing Debates
By Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN - Juneau | June 10, 2014
Since April, gubernatorial challengers Byron Mallott and Bill Walker have gone after incumbent Sean Parnell for skipping debates. They hit that point again on Monday, at a candidate forum hosted by the National Congress of American Indians…
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2014/06/10/gubernatorial-challengers-criticize-parnell-for-missing-debates/


3. Seward resident Brad Snowden runs for governor
Longtime Seward resident Brad Snowden, former owner of Hotel Seward, has announced plans to challenge Gov. Sean Parnell in the Republican Party primary Aug. 19. Snowden said he will run for governor during citizen's comments at the Seward City Council meeting May 27. Snowden humbly asked for local help and support, without which he said he had no hope of winning
http://www.thesewardphoenixlog.com/story/2014/06/05/local/seward-resident-runs-for-governor/2714.html

U.S. Senate Race:
Four Republicans, two Democrats, three Libertarians, and two Alaska Independence Party candidates will appear on August 19 Primary election party ballots. To vote in a party primary you must be registered with that party, or undeclared or Non-Partisan. Two non-affiliated candidates will appear on the November 4 general election ballot.


4.  A good start to debate season: First Senate event sees meaningful contrasts among contenders

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner Editorial

Thursday’s debate between Republican hopefuls for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Mark Begich was a meaningful kickoff to the body of the primary campaign that will be decided Aug. 19. As Alaskans are well aware, the race already has been underway for some time, but with the primary election now less than two months away, it’s clear that candidates Mead Treadwell, Dan Sullivan and Joe Miller are beginning to press harder. That pressure is being applied both to what the candidates see as the failings of Sen. Begich and to one another — after all, only one will survive to continue their campaign in the general election.

To that end, attendees at the debate Thursday evening at East Anchorage High School saw the candidates draw some of the sharpest contrasts yet made between themselves and their opponents. Some of those contrasts will be useful for voters who have yet to make up their minds, while others appeared to be pre-tested gotcha lines and red meat meant more to appeal to the party base than to set realistic goals…

http://www.newsminer.com/opinion/editorials/a-good-start-to-debate-season-first-senate-event-sees/article_8fe12a64-ff61-11e3-b3b9-001a4bcf6878.html



Rivals take aim at Sullivan in first Alaska primary debate

Alaska Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell (R) and 2010 Senate nominee Joe Miller (R) ganged up on former Alaska Department of Natural Resources head Dan Sullivan (R) in their first Senate primary debate…
http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/senate-races/210808-rivals-take-aim-at-sullivan-in-first-alaska-primary-debate


5. Tea Party Express might not endorse in Alaska race

JUNEAU, Alaska - A national tea party group that heavily backed Republican Joe Miller's campaign four years ago has not decided whether to endorse anyone in this year's Republican U.S. Senate primary.
Sal Russo, co-founder and chief strategist for the Tea Party Express, told The Associated Press on Monday that the philosophical contrast between the candidates is "not as dramatic" as it was in 2010.
"They're all pretty much running on a conservative platform," he said…
http://www.newsminer.com/news/politics/tea-party-express-might-not-endorse-in-alaska-race/article_6443c322-00af-11e4-a293-001a4bcf6878.html


6. Outside Money Floods Alaska in Senate Race

NY Times: ANCHORAGE — A big part of being an Alaskan is harboring a suspicion of all things Lower 48. It’s an inclination that runs so deep that locals have a proper noun to describe everywhere else — Outside.
So, naturally, there is quite a bit of alarm here over the state’s newest political distinction. Alaska has unwillingly become a giant receptacle for money from “super PACs” and other out-of-state groups fighting over control of the United States Senate.

In no other state have so many ads about a Senate race run so far; in no place else has more money been spent to book commercial time through Election Day. More than $20 million worth of ads have been reserved so far — the bulk of the money coming from Washington-based outfits like Karl Rove’s American Crossroads, which wants to elect a Republican, and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which is defending Senator Mark Begich, one of the most targeted first-term Democrats.

Five months before the November election, that sum would be extraordinary in any state. It is all the more staggering considering it will be spent to reach only about 490,000 registered voters…
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/08/us/politics/outside-money-floods-alaska-in-senate-race.html?_r=0
&&&

New ad buys in Senate race
Anchorage Daily News
JUNEAU, Alaska — Two third-party spending groups this week announced dropping more than $900,000 for ads in the Alaska U.S. Senate race.
http://www.adn.com/2014/06/27/3537312/new-ad-buys-in-senate-race.html
&&&
Crossroads books $20M in TV ads for 6 Senate races
Fairbanks News Miner
http://www.newsminer.com/opinion/editorials/a-good-start-to-debate-season-first-senate-event-sees/article_8fe12a64-ff61-11e3-b3b9-001a4bcf6878.html


7. Senate candidates weigh in on outside money
By BECKY BOHRER, Associated Press | June 1, 2014

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — This year's U.S. Senate race in Alaska is the first major race here in the super PAC era. Independent expenditure groups, which can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money, and other outside groups are running ads or reserving air time ahead of the Aug. 19 primary.

In the lead-up to this year's elections, The Associated Press will publish an occasional list featuring the positions of the highest-profile Alaska U.S. Senate candidates on different issues. The subject this time is the outside money being spent on the race…
http://www.chron.com/news/article/Senate-candidates-weigh-in-on-outside-money-5520725.php


8. Begich dismisses GOP Senate candidate Sullivan's proposal to curb ad spending
Democratic Sen. Mark Begich and one of the Republicans vying to replace him traded barbs Tuesday over a proposal to mute the influence of Outside super PACs in the remaining months of the campaign…
Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2014/06/10/3510471/gop-senate-candidate-sullivan.html?sp=/99/188/#storylink=cpy


9. Pro-Begich super-PAC goes after GOP Senate candidate Sullivan again on HB 77
This is the second ad Put Alaska First has made featuring HB 77. The first featured a moose hunter. This one feautres the well known former Democratic lawmaker Sam Cotten…
http://amandacoyne.com/politics/pro-begich-super-pac-goes-after-gop-senate-candidate-sullivan-again-on-hb-77/


10. New attack ad against Senate candidate Sullivan ‘a stretch’
Posted on May 19, 2014     
   
As expected, GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan’s role in the controversial bill HB 77 is the subject of a new attack ad by Put Alaska First, the pro-Begich super-PAC. Sullivan, as DNR commissioner, was one of the authors of the bill. Had it passed last legislative session, it would have revised Alaska’s water and permitting process to benefit mining and other commercial interests and would have given the DNR commissioner substantially more authority to issue permits on public lands. And while it’s true that Alaska’s permitting system is notoriously arduous, it’s also true that some in Alaska like it that way. The bill was killed amid public outcry. That said, there is nothing in the bill that related directly to hunting, said Deputy Director of DNR Wyn Menefree. He called the tie between the bill and moose hunting, “a stretch.”
http://amandacoyne.com/politics/new-attack-ad-against-senate-candidate-sullivan-a-stretch/


11. Young blasts Begich for taking undeserved credit
Posted on June 10, 2014… http://amandacoyne.com/2014/06/

U.S. House Race:
Four Republicans, two Democrats, and one Libertarian will be on party ballots in the primary, with no additional non-party candidates in the general election...
Primary candidates: http://www.elections.alaska.gov/ci_pg_cl_2014_prim.php#usr


12. Don Young's fondness for hunting at game ranches detailed in House Ethics documents
Anchorage Daily News, June 25

With trophy heads and pelts lining the walls, Rep. Don Young's Washington office may leave visitors thinking they are in the presence of a master hunter…

While Young may be familiar with the bog-slogging and bug-swatting Alaska experience in home-state hunts for moose and caribou, that's not the description of Young's hunting trips contained in the House Ethics report that rebuked him last week…
http://www.adn.com/2014/06/25/3534430/don-youngs-fondness-for-gift-hunts.html


13. Congressional Candidate - Dunbar wins Democrats endorsement for Congress
by - Margaret Bauman, Cordova Times

Candidate takes aim with a bolt action 12-gauge shotgun at Ryan budget bill that Young voted for…
Alaska Democrats holding their 2014 state convention in Nome have unanimously endorsed Forrest Dunbar, who grew up in Cordova and Eagle, Alaska, for Congress.
Dunbar, 29, will face incumbent Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, in the general election in November. Young was re-elected in 2012 to his 21st term as Alaska's only member of the U.S House of Representatives.

Dunbar, who is currently a judge advocate in the Alaska Army National Guard, received the endorsement during the mid-May convention.
The Alaska born candidate has worked as a commercial fisherman and wildland firefighter, and interned for former Sen. Frank Murkowski, R-Alaska…
http://www.thecordovatimes.com/article/1421congressional-candidate-dunbar-wins-democrats


Legislative Races:

14. After filing deadline, 12 incumbents to run unopposed
By Tim Bradner, Alaska Journal of Commerce…Published: 2014.06.05 12:42 PM
Alaskans love to complain about their politicians, but when push comes to shove, at election time, there aren’t a lot of people willing to step up to replace them.

Four state senators and eight state House members, the bulk of them Democrats, have no opponents in either the primary or general elections, although there may be two unaffiliated candidates approved for the general election in one House race and one Senate race…
In the governor’s race, it still mainly seems a contest between incumbent Gov. Sean Parnell, a Republican, and his Democratic challenger, Byron Mallott, an Alaska Native leader. Former Valdez Mayor Bill Walker is also in the race as an independent and will appear on the November ballot.
Among the filing for legislative races, what’s interesting is how many incumbents are unopposed or virtually unopposed, and that most of them are Democrats.

In the state House, eight incumbents for 40 seats up for grabs have no opponents in primary or general elections. They include seven Democrats and one Republican.

In the 20-member Senate, three Democratic state senators and one Republican senator have no opponents in either election, although a “nonaffiliated” (or independent) candidate will oppose the Republican senator in November general election…
http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/June-Issue-2-2014/After-filing-deadline-12-incumbents-to-run-unopposed/

Unopposed Legislative Candidates courtesy of UFA:
Dan Saddler (R-House 13)
Andy Josephson (D-House 17)
Chris Tuck (D-House 23)
Paul Seaton (R-House 31)
Bryce Edgmon (D-House 37)
Bob Herron (D-House 38)
Neal Foster (D-House 39)
Berta Gardner (D-Senate I)
Lyman Hoffman (D-Senate S)
Donny Olson (D-Senate T)
In addition, Lynn Gattis (R-House 7), Harriet Drummond (D-House 18), and Peter Micciche (R-Senate O) may face non party opposition in the general election, subject to verification of nominating petition signatures.

Division of Elections candidates lists for Primary and general election: http://www.elections.alaska.gov/ci_pg_cl.php


Other News from key fishing districts races:

15. No primary challengers for Sitka house seat
by Joe Viechnicki, KFSK
A Sitka Democrat and a Petersburg Republican will face off in November for a seat in the Alaska House representing central Southeast. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins of Sitka would be returning for a second term, while Steven Samuelson of Petersburg is hoping his third try at a house seat is successful…
http://www.kcaw.org/2014/06/09/no-primary-challengers-for-central-southeast-house-seat/

House 35 is the top Comfish House District with over 2300 CFEC permit holders registered to vote, according to our records…


16. No free ride for Southeast legislative candidates
By Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska News…

This year’s candidate tally is higher than that of at least the past two elections. And in those races, several incumbents faced no challengers.
Sitka Senator Bert Stedman, who’s not on the ballot this year, says there’s a good reason no one’s running unopposed.

   “I would think it’s (because it’s) the first election after redistricting has been totally settled. Then we’ve got the referendum on Senate Bill 21. I think that will lead to some good dialog and discussion,” he says…
http://www.ktoo.org/2014/06/03/free-ride-southeast-legislative-candidates/


17. HAT IN THE RACE - McCune files to run for state House
President of United Fishermen of Alaska and Cordova District Fishermen United has filed as a Democrat in the race for Alaska House…
http://www.thecordovatimes.com/article/1422hat-in-the-race-mccune-files-to-run-for-state

House 32, Previously held by Alan Austerman is the state’s 2nd top fishing district according to our records.


18. Four running for House District 36
by Maria Dudzak, KRBD

…Three candidates will vie for the Republican nomination on the August primary ballot; all are from Ketchikan – Borough Assembly Member Agnes Moran, Ketchikan Visitor’s Bureau CEO Patti Mackey and Chere Klein, former aid to Representative Peggy Wilson of Wrangell. Wilson decided not to run for reelection.

The winner of that race will face longtime educator Dan Ortiz who is running as an Independent. Ortiz is retiring from the Ketchikan School District at the end of this school year…
http://www.krbd.org/2014/06/03/four-from-ketchikan-running-for-house-district-36/


19. Alaska Democrats contesting all but one state Senate seat
Two more Democratic candidates for Alaska Senate were posted late to the official primary election list of the Alaska Division of Elections.

The two, Mikse Willoya-Marx, in Senate District E (Wasilla), and Robert Henrichs, Senate District P (Coastal), show that Democrats are contesting 13 of 14 Senate seats up for election in 2014. Republicans are contesting 11 seats.

Willoya-Marx will face incumbent Mike Dunleavy, R-Wasilla, in November. Henrichs, from Cordova, is challenging incumbent Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak.
http://www.adn.com/2014/06/03/3499885/alaska-democrats-contesting-all.html

(Senate District E currently held by Senator Mike Dunleavy is 7th among Alaska’s 20 Senate Districts in number of CFEC permit holder registered voters)


Lieutenant Governor’s race:
Two Republicans, two democrats and one Libertarian will compete on party ballots in the primary: http://www.elections.alaska.gov/ci_pg_cl_2014_prim.php#ltgov

20. August primary ballot set
Now that the deadline to file for state office passed Monday, 11 Kenai Peninsula residents will be on the August primary ballot.

Kenai Peninsula Borough Assemblyman Kelly Wolf is running for Lieutenant Governor, a position made vacant when Mead Treadwell announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate. Wolf, a Republican, currently represents the Kalifornsky Beach District on the borough assembly, and his term expires in 2015.

Wolf said he has invested the last 18 years working with Youth Restoration corps, a non-profit organization that gets kids involved in community projects throughout Alaska.
“As Lt. Governor, I wish to use this experience to continue helping our youth, elderly, disabled and our veterans because as Alaskans we are big hearted and helpful of one another,” he said.
Wolf is one of two Republicans running for Lt. Governor. Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan is the other candidate. A third, Lesil McGuire, R-Anchorage, withdrew her candidacy…
http://peninsulaclarion.com/news/2014-06-03/august-primary-ballot-set


21. McGuire withdraws from lieutenant governor race just before filing deadline
Alaska Sen. Lesil McGuire said Monday she's withdrawing from the Republican primary for lieutenant governor, citing concerns about how the race would interfere with her family life.

Shortly before the 5 p.m. filing deadline for the August primary election, McGuire, R-Anchorage, left the Republican field to the other leading contender, Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan.

One other prominent Republican who has frequently been mentioned as a candidate for lieutenant governor, Senate President Charlie Huggins, said Monday he wasn't interested in the job and wouldn't file…
Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2014/06/02/3498565/mcguire-withdraws-from-lieutenant.html#storylink=cpy

Alaska Dispatch: McGuire withdraws from race, contenders emerge for state seats: http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20140602/mcguire-withdraws-race-contenders-emerge-state-seats


Other Election related news:

22. Aug. 19 primary important; get ready for it now
Homer News, June 18, 2014 - 4:06pm

Not only does summer in Alaska go by at lightning speed, but with most Alaskans trying to cram a year’s worth of work and outdoor fun into 15 weeks, give or take a week or two, it’s understandable if things get dropped or forgotten.

Here’s one thing all Alaskans need to put on their list as too important to miss: the Aug. 19 primary election…
http://homernews.com/homer-opinion/editorial/2014-06-18/aug-19-primary-important-get-ready-for-it-now


23. Few running for Y-K state seats
Tundra Drums, June 19, 2014

Few choices for the Alaska Legislature face voters in the August primary or the November general election. However, the primary will include plenty of party nomination choices for federal and state offices, and a vote on Ballot Measure 21 to decide whether to keepor reject Alaska current oil tax structure.
http://www.thetundradrums.com/story/2014/06/19/politics/few-running-for-y-k-state-seats/1443.html


24. As Festival Season Kicks Off, So Does Campaign Season
Alexandra Gutierrez/APRN

Now that the filing deadline has passed, campaign season in Alaska has started in earnest. That means a lot of TV ads, a lot of yard signs, and a lot of glad-handing. For the next few months, politicians are going to be swarming fairs and festivals in an effort to win voters. The Colony Days parade held in Palmer this weekend was the first stop on the circuit…
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2014/06/09/as-festival-season-kicks-off-so-does-campaign-season/

25. Feds say state election officials wrong on Native language rules
By Richard Mauer, Anchorage Daily News

A federal judge on Wednesday overruled state election officials and said the constitutional right to vote requires Alaska to translate all election materials into Native languages for voters with limited English skills.

Siding with village plaintiffs in a voting rights lawsuit against Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and three other Alaska election officials, U.S. District Judge Sharon Gleason ruled that as a matter of law, the state is obligated to match all English materials -- including pamphlets, instructions, registration materials and ballots -- with Yup'ik, Cup'ik and Gwich'in translations…
http://www.adn.com/2014/06/04/3502213/feds-say-state-election-officials.html


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

To support UFA by joining or renewing your membership, visit
http://www.ufa-fish.org/members.htm

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


UFA Update

May 30, 2014

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.

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

UFA farewell:
We honor the passing of Albert Ball, Sr
“Albert moved to Alaska in 1931 at the age of 16, joining his uncle in Aleknagik. He worked as a trapper and commercial fisherman. His career as a salmon fisherman lasted 82 years, with only one missed season. He established a fishing operation at Ekuk that now includes four generations of family members.”

Fisherman, merchant & legislator Carl Moses Remembered for ‘Full Career’ of Public Service
KUCB Unalaska:
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2014/05/02/former-aleutians-
state-rep-carl-moses-dies/

Obituary:
http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/adn/obituary.aspx?pid=
170939052

Governor Parnell Remembers Bob Tkacz:
“Sandy and I were sad to hear that Bob Tkacz had passed away earlier this week. As a longtime member of the Capitol press corps, his absence will be felt by many. Bob’s persistence and understanding of Alaska government and issues will be missed. We extend our condolences to Bob’s family and friends, as well as his colleagues in the press.”
http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell/press-room/full-press-release
.html?pr=6847

UFA appreciates the effort and dedication that Bob applied to getting the facts correct on complicated fisheries issues, and his longtime personal efforts as an unofficial ambassador to Pacific Rim countries for Alaska seafood.

From the Director

As the summer fishing season approaches, we would like to take this opportunity to remind our members that 2014 is an important election year in Alaska. Along with the majority of the Alaska State Legislature being up for re-election this year, elections for our Governor, one of our two U.S. senators, and our sole congressman will occur. As always, UFA encourages our members to reach out to candidates and elected officials in order to discuss your concerns and to help educate policy makers about the importance of the seafood industry to your family, your community, and to Alaska. As always, you can find UFA’s helpful community commercial fish facts on our website at http://www.ufa-fish.org/cff.htm.

Alaska is a big state; running for office is an expensive and time-consuming job. We highly encourage UFA members to consider holding fundraisers or donating to candidates that you believe will fairly represent you. Words are important, and actions can speak volumes. Show your support by donating, planting signs, and taking the time to talk to candidates. Find the full list of candidates at the Division of Elections page at http://www.elections.alaska.gov/ci_pg
_cl_2014_prim.php#district
.

Have a safe and successful fishing season, please feel free to contact us to discuss the issues that are important to you.

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
Facebook: facebook.com/UnitedFishermenAK
Twitter: twitter.com/UFA_Fish 

CONTENTS
State
1. Hat In The Race – (UFA President) McCune files to run for state House
2. Gov. Parnell signs $12.8B budget, made no line-item vetoes
3. Legislature added $107 million to operating budget, revised numbers show
4. Funny River Fire Update 5/30 - 193,243 acres with 46% containment
5. Tyonek fire 100% contained
6. Harvest Mounting - Copper River harvest climbs to over 505,777 salmon
7. Flood of red salmon gives Chitina dipnetters bonus fish, extra fishing days
8. Weak Kenai king runs force fishing guides to adapt
9. Commercial fishing groups, feds, testify on Cook Inlet salmon management
10. Early breakup on Yukon River could mean early king run
11. Warm water lures salmon back to Alaska rivers: 
12. New Fisheries Might Be Headed to Unalaska with new Steller EIS
13. NOAA posts final EIS on impacts of Steller sea lion protection measures on Aleutian Island fisheries
14. River turbine to be tested at rural Alaska village (Kvichak River)
15. Ketchikan students learn sea skills
16. Vigor Industrial announces new merger…
17. NIOSH “Live to be Salty” campaign to increase PFD usage on fishing vessels
18. Treadwell: Alaska's Fisheries Need Real Help from D.C., Not Meddling
19. State Primary Election August 19 – deadline June 2 for candidates, July 20 for voter registration
20. BOF-NPFMC Joint Protocol Committee Managers meet, tackle state waters Gulf issues
Federal
21. Begich and Ostebo Bring Arctic Updates, Answers to Unalaska
22. Arctic May Not Be That Busy, GAO Report Says
23. $9.6 million in Fishery Disaster Funds Coming to Y-K Region
24. China lifts ban on U.S. West Coast shellfish
25. Coast Guard offers dockside exams in Bristol Bay June 9-13 (Egegik) & 9-20 (Dillingham & King Salmon)
26. House Resources Committee Moves Bill Updating MSA – Young amends
27. Administration opposes Coast Guard bill
28. Fisheries of the U.S. - Economics and Status of Stocks Released
29. NOAA: Alaska fish worth $1.7B in 2012
30. FISH FACTOR: Commercial sector dwarfs sport impact; gear contest underway
31. Dr. Richard W. Spinrad named NOAA's chief scientist
32. Comment deadline July 7 on NOAA Halibut Catch Sharing Plan information collection
33. NPFMC Meeting June 2 – 10, Nome
34. Bering Sea fishery management needs to change for halibut users across Alaska
35. Deadline August 31 for WWF Smart Gear Competition
36. Comment deadline July 11 on USFWS/NOAA ESA “Destruction or Adverse Modification” regs.
37. Comment deadline July 11 on ESA Procedures and Critical Habitat designation criteria
38. Comment Deadline July 11 on ESA Critical Habitat Exclusions
39. Fifteen to review Tongass management plan
40. USFS Notice of Intent to Amend Tongass Forest Plan
41. Deadline July 7 for USDA Rural Energy for America grants, July 31 for loans…
42. Comment deadline July 7 on BSAI Groundfish Amendment 100 and GOA Amendment 91 re Grenadier regs
43. Comment deadline June 13 on BSAI Groundfish Amendment 100 and GOA Amendment 91 re Grenadier reporting
44. USFWS opens 5-year review on ESA Short-tailed Albatross…New info sought by July 7
45. Comment deadline July 7 on USFS BMPs for water quality protection on Nat’l Forests
Hatchery & mariculture
46. Kake hatchery slated for closure
47. Half-shell hopes - Kake pins hopes on oyster farming
48. Alaska Farmers & Shellfish Growers Eligible for USDA  Cost of Transportation Help
49. Plans underway to restore burned hatchery
Environmental
50. NOAA-led researchers discover ocean acidity is dissolving shells of tiny snails off the U.S. West Coast
51. Research Center to Monitor Acid Levels
52. Pebble cites EPA emails in claim assessment was biased
53. IG to investigate EPA Bristol Bay process; Pebble blasts assessment
54. Canadian mine projects pose concerns for fisheries
55. CBS 60 Minutes - Salmon farms of the future in three parts
56. Project to restore herring, starting with Sitka
57. Timber, roads and death –Edna Bay seeks incorporation
58. EPA final Rule on Fish Kills at Plants Angers Environmentalists
59. Comment deadline July 14 on EPA draft Water Quality criteria for human health
Subsistence
60. Inter-Tribal Fish Commissions to Meet in Bethel and St. Marys
61. Yupiit Nation: Alaska Natives should have say in salmon management
62. Alaska Natives hopeful about BIA move to allow tribal land trusts
63. Comment deadline June 30 on BIA proposed rule re Tribal land trusts
64. Bill Encourages Tribes to Work With State on Jurisdiction
And more…
65. Alaska Sea Grant Fishlines - May Newsletter
66. Free Injury Prevention Workshop for Commercial Fishermen – Juneau June 4
67. Laine Welch’s Fish Radio  - Items from this week

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


1. Hat In The Race – (UFA President) McCune files to run for state House
President of United Fishermen of Alaska and Cordova District Fishermen United has filed as a Democrat in the race for Alaska House
http://www.thecordovatimes.com/article/1422hat-in-the-race
-mccune-files-to-run-for-state

We will send more information on candidates for Alaska’s elections soon after the filing deadline June 2.


2. Gov. Parnell signs $12.8B budget, made no line-item vetoes
By Matt Buxton, Fairbanks News-Miner
FAIRBANKS — During his years in office, Gov. Sean Parnell often found things he didn’t find agreeable in the budgets passed by the Legislature. Whether it was $6 million for upgrades to the Noel Wien Library in 2011 or $1.2 million from pre-kindergarten grants in 2012, he’s found places to apply his line-item veto.
But this year, Parnell announced that he’ll be leaving the budget intact, thanking the cooperation of a “functioning Legislature” for staying within his requested budget.
The budget bill, passed a year after Republicans swept control of both bodies in the Legislature, totals $12.8 billion this year. Parnell said lawmakers were “wise stewards” of public money, reducing unrestricted general fund spending from $7 billion last year to $5.9 billion this year…
http://www.newsminer.com/news/local_news/gov-parnell-signs
-b-budget-made-no-line-item-vetoes/article_0ece9168-e702-11
e3-b6b5-0017a43b2370.html


3. Legislature added $107 million to operating budget, revised numbers show
FAIRBANKS -- When Alaska legislators approved the state operating budget a month ago, they made a point of saying they’d reached a goal of cutting the governor’s spending plan by about $50 million, or 2.2 percent.
As often happens, however, those statements came before the full budget picture was clear…
http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20140524/legislature-
added-107-million-operating-budget-revised-numbers-show


4. Funny River Fire Update 5/30 - 193,243 acres with 46% containment
Fire crews again took advantage of the cool and moist conditions as they continued to “mop-up” (extinguish all burning material) up to 300’ from the firelines. Yesterday, very light precipitation was reported over most of the fire area. Up to .02” of rain fell in the west end of the fire. Winds gusted to 40 mph on the east and northeast sides of the fire igniting unburned islands of vegetation interior to the containment lines later in the day. Today, there will be periods of rain, with east to southeast winds 8 to 16mph with gusts of 25 to 35mph near Kenai River Canyon.

Crews will continue to “mop –up” on the west side of the fire in the Kasilof and Sterling Highway areas (up to 500’ from firelines) and in the Funny River Road area. Containment lines on the north side of Torpedo Lake and north side of the Kenai River will be improved and strengthened. Hotshot crews will also continue building fireline south of the fuel break in the Browns Lake area. Fire containment is now 46 percent, with 759 firefighters working to keep the fire away from populated areas.
Several consecutive days of heavier rain are still needed to alter the overall fire activity. Residents can expect to see smoke from inside the perimeter of the fire into the summer.

Alaska Interagency Incident Management – Funny River Fire page for latest updates:
http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3878/


5. Tyonek fire 100% contained
By Anne Hillman, KSKA - Anchorage | May 28, 2014 - 12:11 pm

The Tyonek Fire is now considered 100% contained. It burned about 1,900 acres. Most of the crews and resources are now being used on the Funny River Fire instead, though some personnel and equipment will stay behind to make sure the fire stays under control.
No one was injured in this fire. However, fire officials say locals should pay attention to standing trees that burned and may topple in strong winds. The fire started on May 19 and burned between Tyonek and Beluga villages.
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2014/05/28/tyonek-fire-100-contained/


6. Harvest Mounting - Copper River harvest climbs to over 505,777 salmon
Fifth opener 36 hours scheduled to start on May 29

Harvests are starting to pick up in the Copper River fishery, keeping processors busy, and in the words of Michael Clutter, plant manager for Ocean Beauty Seafoods in Cordova, "we are pretty happy with it."

By mid-day on May 28, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's Cordova office had tallied up an estimated harvest of 148,900 sockeye, 1,190 king and 1,950 chum salmon for the fourth period opener. That brings the season total to 480,400 red, 4,407 Chinook and 20,970 chum, biologists at Cordova said.
- See more at: http://www.thecordovatimes.com/article/1422harvest-
mounting-copper-river-harvest-climbs#sthash.GXnigWbU.dpuf


7. Flood of red salmon gives Chitina dipnetters bonus fish, extra fishing days
http://www.adn.com/2014/05/30/3493993/flood-of-red-salmon-
gives-chitina.html?sp=/99/188/


8. Weak Kenai king runs force fishing guides to adapt
By Craig Medred

Warmer-than-usual water temperatures lured the salmon of Alaska back a little early this year, but no one was fishing for them on the fabled Kenai River in May. Few of the first salmon to return to that stream -- the big kings, or chinooks, for which the Kenai became famous -- are expected, and for that reason the season is closed…
After years of bounty, Alaska seems to be on the wrong side of what scientists call the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, a shift in water conditions in the North Pacific. Historically, a "warm regime" benefited Alaska salmon while Northwest salmon struggled. A "cold regime" benefits Northwest salmon while Alaska salmon suffer…
http://www.adn.com/2014/05/22/3482374/weak-kenai-king
-runs-force-fishing.html?sp=/99/100/&ihp=1


9. Commercial fishing groups, feds, testify on Cook Inlet salmon management
ANCHORAGE — A federal judge heard oral argument yesterday in the lawsuit regarding whether or not Cook Inlet should be in a federal salmon management plan.
Alaska has managed its own salmon since statehood, and neither party is questioning that. But the United Cook Inlet Drift Association and Cook Inlet Fishermen’s Fund, who brought the lawsuit forward in February 2013, want federal oversight of salmon management — and believes that is what congress has intended in its regulations of fish in federal waters…
http://peninsulaclarion.com/news/2014-05-27/commercial
-fishing-groups-feds-testify-on-salmon-management


10. Early breakup on Yukon River could mean early king run
By Tim Mowry , Fairbanks News-Miner

FAIRBANKS — With breakup on the lower Yukon River arriving two weeks early, fisheries managers are wondering if the king salmon will show up early, too.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is scrambling to get staff in place at the mouth of the river as soon as possible to catch the beginning of the run, which typically doesn’t show up until the last week in May.
http://www.newsminer.com/news/local_news/early-breakup
-on-yukon-river-could-mean-early-king-run/article_cab66d10
-df23-11e3-8c44-001a4bcf6878.html


11. Warm water lures salmon back to Alaska rivers: 
King and sockeye salmon appear to be returning to Alaska's Copper River about a week ahead of schedule as Gulf of Alaska temperatures remain unusually warm, according to officials with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game…
http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20140526/ak-beat-warm
-water-draws-salmon-back-alaska-rivers

ADF&G 2014 Inseason Alaska Commercial Salmon Summary
http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=commercialbyfishery
salmon.bluesheetsummary


12. New Fisheries Might Be Headed to Unalaska with new Steller EIS
Next year will likely bring new fisheries to the western Aleutian Islands, now that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has issued itsfinal report on the way commercial fishing affects an endangered population of Steller sea lions.
The agency came out in favor of allowing more fishing in its environmental
impact statement, or EIS, on Friday morning…
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2014/05/26/new-fisheries-might-be-
headed-to-unalaska/


13. NOAA posts final EIS on impacts of Steller sea lion protection measures on Aleutian Island fisheries
NOAA Fisheries Alaska Region today announced release of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for Steller sea lion protection measures for groundfish fisheries in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area. The proposed action addresses two needs: to protect endangered Steller sea lions, and to minimize economic impacts on the groundfish fisheries in the Aleutian Islands, to the extent practicable…

NOAA press release: https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/newsreleases/2014/
sslpmeis052314.htm

Final EIS page: https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/Sustainablefisheries/sslpm/
eis/default.htm


14. River turbine to be tested at rural Alaska village (Kvichak River)
By DAN JOLING, Associated Press

A company that hopes to build underwater river turbines as a clean power alternative to diesel in Alaska villages has unveiled a prototype due to be tested in July.
Ocean Renewable Power Co., based in Portland, Maine, showed off its RivGen Power System on Wednesday in Anchorage. The device built with backing from the Alaska Energy Authority and the Denali Commission will be installed in July on the bottom of the Kvichak River to generate power for Igiugig, a community of 50 about 250 miles southwest of Anchorage…

The company has permits to operate the turbine through September. A crucial part of its review will be how well it hooks into the village power grid and its effects on fish. At least three underwater cameras will monitor fish movements in the crystal-clear Kvichak River, which flows from Lake Minchumina at the village.
Alaska Journal of Commerce:
http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce
/Breaking-News-2013/River-turbine-to-be-tested-at-rural-A
laska-village/


15. Ketchikan students learn sea skills
KETCHIKAN, Alaska — The Ketchikan School District's 45-foot training boat Jack Cotant is getting a workout during the spring, but a recent trip to Petersburg was a new adventure.

Maritime teacher Rick Collins, ocean science teacher Julie Landwehr and Director of Distance Education and online teacher Mark Woodward took eight students from Kayhi on a multi-day trip to Petersburg and back, leaving Ketchikan on April 23 and returning April 27…

Eight students from Kayhi went north on the Jack Cotant. Upon arrival, four flew home and four returned on the boat. The crew welcomed two maritime students from Petersburg for the return to Ketchikan.

Collins said he was surprised other communities around the state don't have designated maritime programs, and especially in Petersburg where "they have a huge fishing fleet, and they're very much about maritime and the water. I think it would be a natural fit for them."
Anchorage Daily News:
http://www.adn.com/2014/05/25/3485345/ketchikan-
students-learn-sea-skills.html


16. Vigor Industrial announces new merger…
Vigor Industrial, which operates the Ketchikan Shipyard, announced Wednesday that it has merged with Oregon Ironworks.
Oregon Ironworks, with its facilities in Oregon and Washington, fabricates equipment for various industries including marine, hydroelectric, bridges and commercial construction. Under the terms of the merger, Oregon Ironworks will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Vigor Industrial…
http://www.krbd.org/2014/05/21/vigor-industrial-announces
-new-merger/


17. NIOSH “Live to be Salty” campaign to increase PFD usage on fishing vessels
When you live to be an old salt, you’ve heard it all. “If you fall in you’ll die of hypothermia anyway.” “PFDs get tangled in lines and nets and pull you in.” “PFDs restrict my movement.” Awww, whale whiz. Modern PFDs are designed to stay out of your way and keep you alive. Wearing a PFD will extend your survival time in the water and give your crew a fair shot at fishing you out of the drink. So stop spewin’ crap and start wearin’ your PFD.
http://www.livetobesalty.org/ & Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/livetobesalty


18. Treadwell: Alaska's Fisheries Need Real Help from D.C., Not Meddling
Anchorage Daily News Compass by Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell – May 19, 2014…
Since my two GOP competitors for the U.S. Senate are skipping the Kodiak debate on fisheries, here’s what they’ll miss: my 40-year experience in the fight for Alaska’s fisheries has equipped me to take on Washington, D.C., to keep our fish abundant, our decision-making local, and our fishery industry vibrant…
Every statewide election, Kodiak’s Chamber of Commerce sponsors the major debate focused on fisheries. Slated for May 23 during Crab Festival, it was to air on APRN. One of my Republican competitors said he had another commitment. The other did not respond.

I’m going to Kodiak and will visit with fishing families there and throughout Alaska. Fisheries are a resource and a way of life that must be protected…
http://www.adn.com/2014/05/19/3476611/compass-alaskas
-fisheries-need.html?sp=/99/328/#storylink=cpy


19. State Primary Election August 19 – deadline June 2 for candidates, July 20 for voter registration
Deadline for filing for candidacy – June 2.

The deadline to file paperwork to become a candidate for a statewide or legislative office is 5:00pm on June 2, 2014. For information about becoming a candidate, visit http://www.elections.alaska.gov/ci_pg.php or contact the Division of Elections.
Deadline for voter registration for voting in Primary: July 20, 2014
August 19 Primary Election information: http://www.elections.alaska.gov/ei_primary.php
Division of Elections: http://www.elections.alaska.gov/
Regional Elections offices contact list: http://www.elections.alaska.gov/csm_contact_reo.php


20. BOF-NPFMC Joint Protocol Committee Managers meet, tackle state waters Gulf issues
By Molly Dischner, Alaska Journal of Commerce

State and federal regulators met May 21 to discuss how to coordinate their efforts and create complimentary management in the changing Gulf of Alaska fisheries.
Members of the Alaska Board of Fisheries and the North Pacific Fishery Management Council gathered in Anchorage at their annual joint protocol meeting to discuss the issues of mutual concern, including how to address changes coming for the Gulf of Alaska groundfish fisheries.
http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce
/June-Issue-1-2014/Managers-meet-tackle-state-waters-Gulf-
issues/

BOF Meeting page: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fisheriesboard.meetingi
nfo&date=05-21-2014&meeting=jointprotocol

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


21. Begich and Ostebo Bring Arctic Updates, Answers to Unalaska
By Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB Unalaska, Tuesday, May 27 2014

United States Senator Mark Begich and Coast Guard Rear Admiral Thomas Ostebo jumped off for a quick tour of Cold Bay and Unalaska. It was Begich's first visit to Unalaska -- and he told constituents at a public meeting that the timing was right.

"Shell got good word on Friday -– or Thursday -- that they are going to finish their EIS," Begich said. "The federal government will be. Which is very important, because that kind of dictates what they’re going to do next. And that means more than likely, they’re going to be moving forward hopefully next summer in larger project development."
… In an interview, Ostebo said that the Coast Guard will eventually need to increase its presence in Unalaska. If a cargo ship experienced a spill or grounding on the Northern Sea Route -- which cuts through melting ice above Russia -- Unalaska would serve as a jumping-off point for emergency response.
But its days as a long-term storage facility for pirate fishing vessels are likely over, according to Ostebo…
http://kucb.org/news/article/begich-and-ostebo-bring-arctic-
updates-answers-to-unalaska/


22. Arctic May Not Be That Busy, GAO Report Says
By Liz Ruskin, APRN | May 7, 2014 - 6:05 pm

As the ice goes out in the Arctic, many people predict more ships will be drawn through the Bering Straits to take advantage of a shortcut between Asia and Europe. But, a recent government report suggests less ice may not mean more ships…
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2014/05/07/arctic-may-not-be
-that-busy-report-says-2/

Government Accountability Office report:

Arctic Issues: Better Direction and Management of Voluntary Recommendations Could Enhance U.S. Arctic Council Participation
GAO-14-435: Published: May 16, 2014. Publicly Released: May 19, 2014.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-435


23. $9.6 million in Fishery Disaster Funds Coming to Y-K Region
Federal officials and 11 groups have settled on how to split $20.8 million in federal fishery disaster funds for recent poor king salmon runs. The Yukon-Kuskokwim Region will get $9.6 million while Cook Inlet gets $11.1 million.

Julie Speegle is a spokesperson for the National Marine Fisheries Service in Alaska.
“Funds can be used for activities that restore the fishery or prevent a similar failure in the future, or assist the fishing communities affected by the fishing disasters,” said Speegle.

Four groups are now putting together spending plans for the Y-K region. Those include the Association of Village Council Presidents, the Tanana Chiefs Conference, the Yukon Delta Fisheries Development Association and Bering Sea Fisherman’s Association.
Speegle says she expects the plans to go through several approval steps before funds are released sometime this fall. The money is in response to the poor Chinook salmon runs on the Yukon in 2010 through 2012 and on the Kuskokwim in 2011 and 2012…
http://kyuk.org/9-6-million-in-fishery-disaster-funds-coming-
to-y-k-region/
 


24. China lifts ban on U.S. West Coast shellfish
China has lifted the import ban on geoduck clams and other shellfish from the US west coast imposed back in December, reports China Daily USA.
On May 23, China made public its decision to lift the ban on imports of live seafood including clams, oysters, mussels and scallops from Alaska, California, Oregon and Washington State.

No timetable has been set for the readmission of US geoducks to China, though…
http://www.undercurrentnews.com/2014/05/27/china-lifts
-shellfish-import-ban-from-us-west-coast/


25. Coast Guard offers dockside exams in Bristol Bay June 9-13 (Egegik) & 9-20 (Dillingham & King Salmon)
The summer salmon fishing season is about to get underway in Bristol Bay, and one federal agency wants to make sure boats are ready. The Coast Guard says it will offer dockside examinations of commercial fishing vessels in Dillingham and King Salmon from June 9-20. Examinations also will be available in Egegik from June 9-13…

Fairbanks News-Miner: http://www.newsminer.com/news/alaska_news/coast
-guard-offers-dockside-exams-in-bristol-bay/article_f92da506-d
c3e-11e3-a344-001a4bcf6878.html


26. House Resources Committee Moves Bill Updating MSA – Young amends
The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee today moved a bill to update the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the primary fisheries law in federal waters. Alaska Congressman Don Young amended the bill to allow subsistence fishermen a voice on the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council.

Fish like halibut and pollock are caught at sea, but Young says inland fishermen should also have a say in how they’re managed.
“All I want is for them to have a voice, the same voice that the commercial and sport fisheries have, so they have utilization for a living source of food,” Young said.
Nominees for the North Pacific Council can be qualified based on their commercial or recreational fishing expertise. The law doesn’t mention subsistence users, and Young says they’re being short-changed on the Council…

His amendment would require the Alaska governor to consult with subsistence users before nominating North Pacific Council members…
Current law says membership on the management councils should be “balanced” between different types of fishermen, commercial and recreational. Young’s amendment doesn’t change the balancing requirement to give any weight to subsistence…

APRN: http://www.alaskapublic.org/2014/05/29/committee-
moves-bill-updating-magnuson-stevens-act/


27. Administration opposes Coast Guard bill
By Pamela Glass, Workboat.com

The Obama administration is urging the Senate to reject a House-passed Coast Guard Authorization Bill, saying the legislation would weaken federal marine safety programs and increase costs to the Coast Guard.

In an April 17 letter to Sen. Jay Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, Brian de Vallance, acting assistant secretary for legislative affairs at the Department of Homeland Security, said the administration “strongly opposes” the House bill and urges the Senate to delete many aspects of that proposal.

“The bill would sharply increase the cost of shipping emergency food aid, potentially denying relief to more than 2 million persons in need annually,” he wrote. “Additionally, it would degrade federal marine safety regimes, increase risks within the maritime operational environment, and both increase the Coast Guard’s operating costs and prevent the service from realizing planned savings.”

Also, the letter said, the bill fails to include other Coast Guard legislative initiatives that are “critical to the Coast Guard’s response capacity.”

De Vallance says the Senate should strike the following provisions from the bill:

…• A permanent exemption for small commercial vessels of less than 75 feet in length from having to obtain permits from the Clean Water Act to discharge substances that are incidental to their normal operations. “The administration believes that discharges from small commercial vessels and fishing vessels pose the risk of an adverse cumulative effect on the waters of the United States.”

Workboat 5/8/14: http://www.workboat.com/Online-Features/2014/Administration
-opposes-Coast-Guard-bill/?utm_source=NewsLinks&utm_medium=
Email&utm_campaign=InformzNews


28. Fisheries of the U.S. - Economics and Status of Stocks Released
Two new NOAA reports show strong economic gains from fishing, continued improvement in fish stocks
U.S. commercial and recreational saltwater fishing generated more than $199 billion in sales in 2012, a gain of seven percent over the previous year, with the economic impact of fishing jobs increasing three percent from 2011 to 2012, according to a new NOAA Fisheries economics report.
Further, two more fish stocks were rebuilt to target levels in 2013, bringing the number of rebuilt U.S. marine fish stocks to 34 since 2000, according to another NOAA Fisheries report also released today.

Taken together, the two reports, Fisheries Economics of the United States 2012 and the Status of U.S. Fisheries 2013, show positive trends in the steady rebuilding of the country's federally managed fisheries off our coasts, and the important role fisheries contribute to the United States economy.

NOAA Fisheries of the United States page:
http://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/commercial-fisheries/fus/fus12/

NOAA Press release: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/mediacenter/2014/04/28
__04__statusofstockspressrelease.html


29. NOAA: Alaska fish worth $1.7B in 2012
By Molly Dischner, Alaska Journal of Commerce
Published: 2014.05.08 03:40 PM

Led by salmon and pollock landings, North Pacific fishers earned more than $1.7 billion from the commercial harvest of 5.3 billion pounds of fish in 2012.
In 2012, salmon landings were worth $441 million, pollock was worth $343 million, crab was worth $275 million and Pacific cod was worth $191 million, according to the National Marine Fisheries Service report titled “Fisheries Economics of the United States 2012.”
Alaska’s harvest represents more than half of the seafood commercially harvested in the United States and about a third of the value. In 2012, the total commercial take in America was about 9.6 billion pounds, worth about $5.1 billion…


30. FISH FACTOR: Commercial sector dwarfs sport impact; gear contest underway
By Laine Welch, Fish Factor/For the Alaska Journal of Commerce

The debate over which sector – commercial or recreational fishing — provides the bigger economic punch can finally be put to rest.
The annual “Fisheries Economics of the United States” report by the Department of Commerce shows once and for all that in terms of values, jobs, sales and incomes, the marine commercial sector far outscores saltwater recreational fishing.

A breakdown of the extensive report by market analyst John Sackton shows that in 2012, commercial fishing had $140 billion in sales compared to $58 billion for sport fishing.

And for the value contributed to the national economy, commercial fishing added nearly $60 billion, double the recreational sector.
In terms of jobs, the seafood industry employed 1.27 million people compared to 381,000 for sports anglers…
http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/
May-Issue-3-2014/FISH-FACTOR-Commercial-sector-dwarfs-
sport-impact-gear-contest-underway/


31. Dr. Richard W. Spinrad named NOAA's chief scientist
(May 9) the Obama Administration named Dr. Richard W. Spinrad as NOAA's Chief Scientist.  An internationally recognized scientist and executive with more than 30 years of experience, Dr. Spinrad will be the senior scientist for the agency, driving policy and program direction for science and technology priorities. Until this appointment, Dr. Spinrad served as vice president for research at Oregon State University (OSU) in Corvallis, Oregon, and from 2005 until 2010, was the head of NOAA's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research and the head of the National Ocean Service.

NOAA press release http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2014/20140509_
spinrad.html


32. Comment deadline July 7 on NOAA Halibut Catch Sharing Plan information collection
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…
Written comments must be submitted on or before July 7, 2014…
This request is for a new information collection.

Numerous management measures have recently been proposed or implemented that affect recreational charter boat fishing for Pacific halibut off Alaska, including the adoption of a Halibut Catch Sharing Plan (78 FR 75843, December 12, 2013) in International Pacific Halibut Commission Regulatory Areas 2C and 3A that alters the way Pacific halibut is allocated between the guided sport (i.e., the charter sector) and the commercial halibut fishery…
To help inform potential future policy discussions about the CSP, NMFS Alaska Fisheries Science Center plans to conduct a survey that will collect information on general attitudes toward the CSP and the GAF leasing program from Area 2C and Area 3A charter boat businesses (CHP holders), and ask them to indicate their preferences for hypothetically relaxing specific features of the GAF leasing program that are employed in similar types of programs in both fisheries and non-fisheries contexts…

Federal Register May 8: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-10546
NPFMC Charter Halibut CSP page: http://www.npfmc.org/charter-halibut-catch-sharing-plan/


33. NPFMC Meeting June 2 – 10, Nome
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council will hold the 218th Plenary Session June 2-10, 2014  in Nome, Alaska at the Mini Convention Center, 409 River Street, Nome, AK… The agenda will be continually updated with the associated documents.

Other meetings to be held during the week are:
Scientific and Statistical Committee June 2-4, 2014 – Elementary School – 1057 E. 5th Ave
Advisory Panel June 3-6, 2014 – Old St. Joe’s – 407 Bering Street
Agenda: http://legistar2.granicus.com/npfmc/meetings/2014/6/893
_A_North_Pacific_Council_14-06-02_Meeting_Agenda.pdf

Schedule of events: http://www.npfmc.org/wp-content/PDFdocuments/meetings/
Schedule0614.pdf

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


34. Bering Sea fishery management needs to change for halibut users across Alaska
Alaska Dispatch Op-Ed by Buck Laukitis

OPINION: What happens in the Bering Sea affects all halibut users in Alaska, and the system need to change because it treats halibut as a currency to be spent, but never to be saved.

This year the Magnuson Stevens Act will be reauthorized by Congress. The MSA is the law by which the National Marine Fisheries Service and the North Pacific Fisheries Council manage the federal fisheries off of Alaska. In public hearings, the message that “all is well in Alaska waters” and “no major changes to the law are needed” has been echoed by many groundfish industry lobbyists. Although no one will dispute that the Bering Sea groundfish industry is a behemoth, its financial success is coming at the expense of other users. Halibut fishermen in all areas of the Bering Sea have a catch limit of 3.2 million pounds this year. The estimated bycatch cap in the Bering Sea is almost 8 million pounds…

The council must balance the requirements of National Standard 1, the requirement to achieve optimum yield, and National Standard 9, to minimize bycatch and bycatch mortality to the extent possible…
http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20140522/bering-sea-
fishery-management-needs-change-halibut-users-across-alaska


35. Deadline August 31 for WWF Smart Gear Competition
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is launching the 2014 International Smart Gear Competition, which seeks and supports innovative solutions to address fisheries bycatch, the unintentional catch of fish and other marine species.

The competition begins Saturday and ends August 31, 2014…
For more information, official competition rules, and instructions on how to enter, visit www.smartgear.org


36. Comment deadline July 11 on USFWS/NOAA ESA “Destruction or Adverse Modification” regs.
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (collectively referred to as the “Services” or “we”) propose to amend our regulations, which implements the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). Our regulation establishes the procedural regulations governing interagency cooperation under section 7 of the Act. The Act requires Federal agencies, in consultation with and with the assistance of the Secretaries of the Interior and Commerce, to insure that their actions are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of endangered or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat of such species. In 1986, the Services established a definition for “destruction or adverse modification” (§ 402.02) that was found to be invalid by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth (2001) and Ninth (2004) Circuits. We propose to amend our regulations to replace the invalidated definition with one that is consistent with the Act and the circuit court opinions. Finally, the proposed amendment is part of the Services' response to Section 6 of Executive Order 13563 (January 18, 2011), which directs agencies to analyze their existing regulations and, among other things, modify or streamline them in accordance with what has been learned…
Federal Register Notice (May 12) https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-10503

NOAA & USFWS joint press release:
http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/mediacenter/2014/04/02__05
__esajointpressreleasefws.html

USFWS Improving ESA Implementation page:
http://www.fws.gov/endangered/improving_esa/reg_reform.html


37. Comment deadline July 11 on ESA Procedures and Critical Habitat designation criteria
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (collectively referred to as the “Services” or “we”), propose to amend portions of our regulations, which implements the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). Our regulation clarifies, interprets, and implements portions of the Act concerning the procedures and criteria used for adding species to the Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants and designating and revising critical habitat. Specifically, we propose to amend portions of our regulations that clarify procedures for designating and revising critical habitat. The proposed amendments would make minor edits to the scope and purpose, add and remove some definitions, and clarify the criteria for designating critical habitat…
We will accept comments from all interested parties until July 11, 2014…
Federal register notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-10504


38. Comment Deadline July 11 on ESA Critical Habitat Exclusions
We, the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service, announce a draft policy on exclusions from critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act. This draft policy provides the Services' position on how we consider partnerships and conservation plans, conservation plans permitted under section 10 of the Act, tribal lands, national security and homeland security impacts and military lands, Federal lands, and economic impacts in the exclusion process. This draft policy is meant to complement the amendments to our regulations regarding impact analyses of critical habitat designations and is intended to clarify expectations regarding critical habitat and provide for a credible, predictable, and simplified critical-habitat-exclusion process…
We will accept comments from all interested parties until July 11, 2014.
Federal Register notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-10502


39. Fifteen to review Tongass management plan
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has named 15 people to a committee providing advice on changes in Tongass National Forest management. The main topic is how to transition to second- or young-growth timber harvests.
The committee members are:

  • Jaeleen J. Araujo: Sealaska Attorney; Juneau
  • Wayne K. Benner; City Administrator, Thorne Bay
  • Kirk A. Hardcastle; Commercial Fisherman, Juneau
  • Philip A. Hyatt; Small Mill Owner, Thorne Bay
  • Lynn Jungwirth; The Watershed Research and Training Center, Hayfork, CA
  • Chris Maisch; State Forester, Fairbanks
  • Brian T. McNitt; Alaska Conservation Foundation, Sitka
  • Eric L. Nichols; Alcan Logging, Ketchikan
  • Richard J. Peterson; Executive Director, Tlingit-Haida Central Council, Juneau
  • Keith E. Rush; Conservation Forester, The Nature Conservancy, Juneau
  • Carol M. Rushmore; Municipal Economic Development Director, Wrangell
  • Erin Steinkruger; Tatoosh School, Prince of Wales island and Portland, OR
  • Andrew L. Thoms; Sitka Conservation Society, Sitka, AK
  • Woody Widmark; Sitka Tribe of Alaska, Sitka, AK;
  • Wade Zammit; Sealaska Timber Corp., East Sound, WA

Alternates:

  • Leslie A. Cronk; Ketchikan
  • Jason R. Custer; Alaska Power and Telephone, Ketchikan
  • Robert D. Mills; CEO at Kake Tribal Corpoation, Kake
  • Christopher W. Rose; Sutton,
  • Kathryn A. Troll; Juneau Assembly member, Juneau

http://www.ktoo.org/2014/05/27/fifteen-review-tongass
-management-plan/

USFS Press Release:  http://www.fs.fed.us/news/2014/releases/05/t
ongass.shtml

Tongass Advisory Committee home page: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/tongass/home/?
cid=stelprdb5444388


40. USFS Notice of Intent to Amend Tongass Forest Plan
The Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) that evaluates an amendment to the 2008 Tongass National Forest Plan. The Record of Decision will consider and identify changes, if any, to the current 2008 Forest Plan…

Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received by June 26, 2014. The draft environmental impact statement is expected to be mailed by August 2015, which will begin a 90-day public comment period. Public meetings and subsistence hearings will be scheduled during the 90-day comment period. The Record of Decision is expected to be signed by August 2016…

Additional information is available on the Tongass Forest Plan Internet site at http://www.fs.usda.gov/land/tongass/la
ndmanagement

Federal Register Notice 5/27/14: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-12061

Notice of Intent to Amend Tongass Forest Plan
http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/r10/news-events/
?cid=STELPRD3801588


41. Deadline July 7 for USDA Rural Energy for America grants, July 31 for loans…
This Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) announces the acceptance of applications under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for Fiscal Year 2014 for financial assistance as follows: grants, guaranteed loans, and combined grants and guaranteed loans for the development and construction of renewable energy systems and for energy efficiency improvement projects…
…dates as follows:

For renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement grant applications and combination grant and guaranteed loan applications: July 7, 2014.
For renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement guaranteed loan only applications: On a continuous basis up to July 31, 2014…
The program is designed to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs and consumption and help meet the Nation's critical energy needs…

Federal Register notice May 5: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-10054

REAP home page: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/bcp_reapreseei.html


42. Comment deadline July 7 on BSAI Groundfish Amendment 100 and GOA Amendment 91 re Grenadier regs
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) submitted Amendment 100 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP) and Amendment 91 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA FMP). If approved, these amendments would add grenadiers to the ecosystem component category in the BSAI FMP and GOA FMP. This proposed action is necessary to limit and monitor the incidental catch of grenadiers in the groundfish fisheries…
Comments must be received no later than July 7, 2014…

Federal Register notice May 5: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-10210


43. Comment deadline June 13 on BSAI Groundfish Amendment 100 and GOA Amendment 91 re Grenadier reporting
NMFS proposes regulations to implement Amendment 100 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP) and Amendment 91 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA FMP). This proposed action would add regulations to improve reporting of grenadiers, limit retention of grenadiers, and prevent direct fishing for grenadiers by federally permitted groundfish fishermen and is necessary to limit and monitor the incidental catch of grenadiers in the groundfish fisheries…
Comments must be received no later than June 13, 2014.
Federal Register notice May 13: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-1105


44. USFWS opens 5-year review on ESA Short-tailed Albatross…New info sought by July 7
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, are initiating a 5-year status review under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), of the short-tailed albatross. A 5-year status review is based on the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review; therefore, we are requesting submission of any such information that has become available since the last review for the species…
Dates: To ensure consideration, we are requesting submission of new information no later than July 7, 2014. However, we will continue to accept new information about any listed species at any time…

Federal Register May 5: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-10181
Previous 2009 5-year review: http://ecos.fws.gov/docs/five_year_review/doc2623.pdf
ADFG Short-tailed Albatross page: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=specialstatus.
fedsummary&species=shorttailedalbatross


45. Comment deadline July 7 on USFS BMPs for water quality protection on Nat’l Forests
The Forest Service proposes to revise Forest Service Manual (FSM 2500) and Handbook (FSH 2509.19) directives for best management practices (BMPs) for water quality protection on National Forest System (NFS) lands to establish a National system of BMPs and associated monitoring protocols and require their use on NFS lands in order to meet existing mandates under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972 (Clean Water Act) (92) and corresponding State laws. The National system of BMPs would provide a systematic approach to protect water quality from land and resource management activities taking place on National forests and grasslands and utilize suitable monitoring, and established Regional, State, Tribal, and local BMPs. These proposed revisions would help ensure the consistent use and monitoring of BMPs and provide appropriate analyses for evaluating BMP implementation and effectiveness on a regular basis. Public comment is invited and will be considered in development of the final directives…

Comments must be received by July 7, 2014…
Federal register notice (May 6): https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-10363

USDA Forest Service National Best Management Practices (BMP) Program:
http://www.fs.fed.us/biology/watershed/BMP.html#Direction

Draft National BMP Program Handbook: http://www.fs.fed.us/biology/watershed/Draft_FSH_2509_19.pdf


46. Kake hatchery slated for closure
KAKE, Alaska (AP) — The debt-saddled Gunnuk Creek Hatchery is slated to close, prompting concerns from local leaders and residents about the impact that will have on the town's economy and access to fish.

Kake Mayor Henrich Kadake Sr. said closure will cost about 30 jobs.
The hatchery owed the state nearly $14 million it was denied another loan. That left the hatchery, owned by the Kake Nonprofit Fisheries Corp., unable to operate. It defaulted on its payments and the state foreclosed.

Kadake and hatchery manager John Oliva blame a dam failure above the hatchery in 2000 for much of the trouble the facility found itself in, Capital City Weekly reported…

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Kake-hatchery-slated-for
-closure-5495547.php


47. Half-shell hopes - Kake pins hopes on oyster farming
By Mary Catharine Martin | Capital City Weekly

KAKE - Timber, construction and commercial fisheries are down, the cannery closed decades ago, and the salmon hatchery here is closing next month. The Organized Village of Kake, the Hoonah Indian Association and organizers across Southeast have another hope: oyster farming.

Oysters aren't native to Southeast Alaska, and oyster farming isn't new here, but Alaskan oysters have advantages over those grown in warmer climes, oyster bars are ever popular, and teamwork, say farms' proponents, can help make it a lucrative effort. Other kinds of shellfish farming provide even more opportunities.
The Southeast Soil and Conservation District, a recently created entity that aims to become a clearinghouse for information and opportunities across Southeast Alaska, hosted a workshop on shellfish farming in Kake at the beginning of this month.

Along with the Soil and Water District, representatives from the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program, the Organized Village of Kake, the Hoonah Indian Association and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game attended the workshop. Haa Aaní, Sealaska's rural economic development limited liability company and the creator of OysterFest, is an important backer of the cause…
http://capitalcityweekly.com/stories/051414/new
_1206564746.shtml

Southeast Soil and Water Conservation District home page: http://www.seswcd.org/home


48. Alaska Farmers & Shellfish Growers Eligible for USDA  Cost of Transportation Help
July 21, Alaska farmers can sign up for the US Department of Agriculture’s Reimbursement Transportation Cost Payment Program…
Fish producers are not included in the plan, but oyster farmers in Southeast and Prince William Sound can take advantage of the program…
APRN:
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2014/05/27/alaska-farmers-eligible-
for-usda-transportation-help/
 

USDA  Reimbursement Transportation Cost Payment Program page: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA/newsReleases?area=newsroom&subject
=landing&topic=pfs&newstype=prfactsheet&type=detail&item
=pf_20130709_insup_en_xpo.html

We honor the late Senators Ted Stevens and Daniel Inouye for their work in initiating this program with the intention of including fishermen.


49. Plans underway to restore burned hatchery
The operator of a salmon hatchery near Petersburg says it is moving forward with plans to rebuild the portion of the facility destroyed by fire in March.
The Southern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association operates the state-owned Crystal Lake hatchery.
The association’s operations manager Bret Hiatt told the Greater Ketchikan Chamber Of Commerce Wednesday that the coho salmon release was lost in the fire and so was a large portion of king salmon.

The Ketchikan Daily News says that to compensate for the loss of coho, the operator is holding some of the 2014 release for 2015, when the destroyed fish would have been released.

The association hopes to have a simplified incubation structure completed by fall. Hiatt says the operator hopes to have control of the project…
http://www.ktoo.org/2014/05/27/plans-underway
-restore-burned-hatchery/


50. NOAA-led researchers discover ocean acidity is dissolving shells of tiny snails off the U.S. West Coast
A NOAA-led research team has found the first evidence that acidity of continental shelf waters off the West Coast is dissolving the shells of tiny free-swimming marine snails, called pteropods, which provide food for pink salmon, mackerel and herring, according to a new paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B…
NOAA Press Release April 30:

http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2014/20140430
_oceanacidification.html


51. Research Center to Monitor Acid Levels
By Dan Bross, KUAC - Fairbanks | May 27, 2014 - 6:09 pm
Remotely operated vehicles will be plying Prince William Sound and the Gulf of Alaska this summer, measuring acid levels. The float and glider vehicles are the latest technology deployed through a long running monitoring project overseen by University of Alaska Fairbanks Ocean Acidification Research Center Director Jeremy Mathis…
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2014/05/27/research-center-to-monitor
-acid-levels/


52. Pebble cites EPA emails in claim assessment was biased
By Elwood Brehmer, Alaska Journal of Commerce (5/15)

Pebble mine developers claim they have proof Environmental Protection Agency officials acted with bias and a pre-determined mindset when examining the potential risks a mine could pose to Bristol Bay fisheries.

Documents and email chain records from as far back as 2010, obtained by Pebble Limited Partnership through the Freedom of Information Act, show EPA Region 10 staff in lengthy communications about the prospect of preemptively banning large mines in the Bristol Bay watershed. These communications occurred between staff within the EPA and with agency staff and conservation group members…

Pebble claims additionally that the peer reviews of drafts of the watershed assessment call its scientific validity into question…
AK Journal of Commerce” http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/
May-Issue-3-2014/Pebble-cites-EPA-emails-in-claim-
assessment-was-biased/


53. IG to investigate EPA Bristol Bay process; Pebble blasts assessment
By Elwood Brehmer, Alaska Journal of Commerce (5/8)

The Office of Inspector General for the Environmental Protection Agency asked EPA Region 10 officials for a list of names, documents, dates and spending associated with developing the Bristol Bay watershed assessment when it notified the office May 2 that a review of the assessment process would be conducted at the request of Pebble Limited Partnership and members of Congress.

In February, the EPA said it intended to initiate a seldom-used process to block large-scale surface mining in the Bristol Bay region to protect the region’s robust salmon fishery, using the 1,000-plus page watershed assessment as a basis for its decision…

AK Journal of Commerce: http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska
-Journal-of-Commerce/May-Issue-2-2014/IG-to-investigate-EPA-
Bristol-Bay-process-Pebble-blasts-assessment/


54. Canadian mine projects pose concerns for fisheries
Margaret Bauman, Cordova Times

A mining boom in northwest British Columbia is a matter of growing concern for commercial fish harvesters in Southeast Alaska and the Western Mining Action Network, who worry about adverse affects to clean water and healthy fisheries.

Of particular concern are five Canadian mine projects located in watersheds of key salmon rivers that originate in British Columbia and flow into Southeast Alaska, into the Taku, Stikine and Unuk rivers.

It is, said Chris Zimmer, campaign director of Alaska Rivers Without Borders, in Juneau, a triple whammy for the fish, water and people in the transboundary region, given the major mining boom, weakened Canadian permitting processes and environmental safeguards, and a lack of engagement on these concerns by the state of Alaska and the federal government.
http://www.thecordovatimes.com/article/1420mining-boom
-canadian-mine-projects-pose


55. CBS 60 Minutes - Salmon farms of the future in three parts
May 11, 2014, 6:30 PM|Namgis First Nation Chief Bill Cranmer, environmentalist Alexandra Morton, and salmon farmer Ian Roberts talk about land-based salmon farms, where fish are raised in tanks instead of the ocean…
http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/salmon-farms-of-the-future/
&
Saving the wild salmon
http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/saving-the-wild-salmon/
&
Wild-caught or farmed? The diner’s dilemma:
http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/wild-caught-or-farmed-the-
diners-dilemma/


56. Project to restore herring, starting with Sitka
Before statehood and the advent of scientific management, Southeast Alaska’s herring populations were harvested — and depleted — without much thought for the future. Herring reduction plants were numerous in the region in the early twentieth century, but the industry was short-lived. Many believe the herring population in Sitka Sound now is a fraction of what it was in those days, and wonder if herring stocks — like salmon — can be restored. A recent grant intends to launch that effort…
“Culturally it’s important obviously as a major subsistence resource in the Sitka area but also very important in trade,” says Chuck Smythe, the Director of the history and culture department at Sealaska Heritage Institute.

Smythe says there are places that used to attract herring that don’t anymore. “Some of the oral history suggests that herring just sort of stopped coming and moved to another area.”

He is working with the Sitka Tribe to figure out why they stopped coming, and how the population might be restored throughout Southeast. The Alaska Native Fund granted SHI $15,000 to develop a herring restoration plan in the Sitka vicinity. They chose Sitka because it still attracts heaps of herring. Jeff Feldpausch, STA’s Resource Protection Director, agrees. “Right now Sitka has one of the larger herring stocks in Southeast.” Close to 80,000 tons of herring…

Emily Forman, KCAW Sitka radio: http://www.kcaw.org/2014/04/28/project-to-restore-
herring-starting-with-sitka/

ADFG Commercial Fisheries Herring page: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=
CommercialByFisheryHerring.main


57. Timber, roads and death –Edna Bay seeks incorporation
For four years, Edna Bay residents debated whether or not to incorporate. The council kept working on its problems and continued to encounter hurdles imposed by the state. The Forest Service donated fuel tanks for a depot - but the state wouldn't give the community land to store the tanks. "We went through a tremendous amount of difficulties trying to obtain site control," Poelstra said.

With the state balking, Edna Bay residents signed a petition demanding incorporation and filed it in March 2013.
Eight months after the petition was filed, Edna Bay learned that someone had filed a Respondent's Brief against its incorporation drive. It wasn't anyone who lived in Edna Bay or even owned land there - it was Sealaska Corp., the regional Native corporation for Southeast Alaska…
Capital City Weekly:
http://www.capitalcityweekly.com/stories/052814/
new_1207885193.shtml


58. EPA final Rule on Fish Kills at Plants Angers Environmentalists
The Obama administration issued a scaled-back regulation meant to keep fish from being sucked into the water intakes of factories and power plants, winning support from industry while drawing fire from environmentalists.
The regulation issued yesterday by the Environmental Protection Agency specified a range of options that facility operators can use to reduce the 2 billion fish, crab or shrimp that die each year in water intakes. Environmental advocates said that the agency had punted by leaving decisions with state regulators, and they threatened to sue to force tougher action.
“EPA has promulgated a largely worthless rule,” Steve Fleischli, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s water program, said today…
Bloomberg News:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-20/epa-rule-
on-fish-kills-at-plants-angers-environmentalists.html

EPA Cooling Water Intakes page: http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/lawsguidance/cwa/316b/
Federal Register Notice, pre-publication (PDF) (539 pp, 8.2MB) (May 19, 2014)


59. Comment deadline July 14 on EPA draft Water Quality criteria for human health
EPA is announcing the availability of draft updated national recommended water quality criteria for the protection of human health for the purpose of obtaining public comments. EPA has updated its national recommended water quality criteria for human health for ninety-four chemical pollutants to reflect the latest scientific information and current EPA policies. This draft update is based on EPA's current methodology for deriving human health criteria as described in “Methodology for Deriving Ambient Water Quality Criteria for the Protection of Human Health (2000)” and does not establish new policy. EPA's recommended water quality criteria provide technical information for States and authorized Tribes to establish water quality standards under the Clean Water Act to protect human health…

DATES: The public comment period begins on May 13, 2014 and ends on July 14, 2014. Technical comments should be submitted to the public EPA docket by July 14, 2014.

Federal Register May 13: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-10963
EPA page: http://water.epa.gov/scitech/swguidance/standards/criteria/
current/hhdraft.cfm
.


60. Inter-Tribal Fish Commissions to Meet in Bethel and St. Marys
By Ben Matheson, KYUK - Bethel | May 16, 2014 - 9:49 am

Just weeks before the salmon run begins in earnest, discussions are underway to form two inter-tribal fish commissions, one each for the Kuskokwim and Yukon Rivers.

Myron Naneng is the President of the Association of Village Council Presidents, which is coordinating the formation of the groups.

“What we feel is the state of Alaska has not managed the fisheries for sustained yield because they’re catering more to the commercial fishing interests rather than their own citizen,” said Naneng.

Naneng envisions a co-management structure where tribal leaders work very closely with government biologists. That would involve integrating the knowledge and experience of people who live on the river…
AK Public media report: http://www.alaskapublic.org/2014/05/16/inter-tribal-fish-c
ommissions-to-meet-in-bethel-and-st-marys/


61. Yupiit Nation: Alaska Natives should have say in salmon management
Emotions flared up at a meeting of the Yupiit Nation last week, where members gathered together to create a game plan for the dwindling king salmon run.
"There's a real possibility of civil disobedience," said Yupiit Nation Chair Mike Williams, Sr., in an interview with The Tundra Drums…
http://www.thetundradrums.com/story/2014/05/08/local/yupiit
-nation-alaska-natives-should-have-say-in-salmon-managemen
t/1299.html


62. Alaska Natives hopeful about BIA move to allow tribal land trusts
Last week, Alaska Native tribes learned that the Bureau of Indian Affairs is proposing a rule that would remove a provision prohibiting tribes from taking land into trust in Alaska.

Mike Williams, Sr ., of Akiak, said that the rule could go far in approving the state of Alaska Natives in rural Alaska. By allowing Alaska Natives to put land into trust, they could take steps to empower their communities to deal with the issues of domestic violence, sexual abuse, alcohol abuse and more…

Carl Jack, who is from Kipnuk, said that giving control of land back to Alaska Natives could better position them to take leadership on fish and wildlife management.
http://www.thetundradrums.com/story/2014/05/08/alaska
/alaska-natives-hopeful-about-bia-move-to-allow-tribal-land-
trusts/1308.html


63. Comment deadline June 30 on BIA proposed rule re Tribal land trusts
This proposed rule would delete a provision in the Department of the Interior's land-into-trust regulations that excludes from the scope of the regulations, with one exception, land acquisitions in trust in the State of Alaska…
Comments on this proposed rule must be received by June 30, 2014…
http://bia.gov/WhoWeAre/AS-IA/Consultation/index.htm

Federal Register notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-09818


64. Bill Encourages Tribes to Work With State on Jurisdiction
The sponsor of the Safe Families and Villages Bill, U.S. Senator Mark Begich, said the bill encourages tribes to work with the state of Alaska to develop agreements on tribal court jurisdiction. But he said it also gives tribes a way to take on added responsibilities through an agreement with the federal government…
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2014/05/27/bill-encourages-tribes
-to-work-with-state-on-jurisdiction/


65. Alaska Sea Grant Fishlines - May Newsletter
-Fisheries Bycatch Progress Evident, Say Symposium Presenters
-Kodiak Area Marine Science Symposium Held
-Marine Mammal Conservation in Bristol Bay
http://seagrant.uaf.edu/news/fishlines/2014/may.php


66. Free Injury Prevention Workshop for Commercial Fishermen – Juneau June 4
AMSEA will conduct a free injury prevention workshop in Juneau on Wednesday,
June 4, 2014. The workshop title is "Strains, Sprains and Pains: Ergonomic Injury
Prevention for Commercial Fishermen". Participants will learn about ways to avoid
musculoskeletal problems common in commercial fishing and share ideas on
ergonomic changes that fishermen have made on their vessels. Fishermen may bring a
mat to practice some exercises to "tune up" their bodies before, during and after the
season.
This workshop will be held from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM in Room 133 of the UAS
Technical Center, 1415 Harbor Way. This workshop is free to commercial fishermen.
To register, contact AMSEA at 747-3287.

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


67. Laine Welch’s Fish Radio  - Items from this week:
AK landings vs. harvests vs. values
Salmon markets show steady seasonal variations at wholesale
Frankenfish labeling advances in DC
Crab, shrimp shells used in bio-plastics, car coatings that heal scratches

These items and more, online at http://www.alaskafishradio.com/


 

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 ufa@ufa-fish.org

April 29, 2014

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.

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

We have updated UFA’s Alaska Commercial Fishing and Seafood Processing community fact sheets: http://www.ufa-fish.org/cff.htm

NEW and rejoining UFA business members:

Thank you to Vital Choice wild seafood and organics – now a UFA Ocean Class business member! See their recipes and useful articles on seafood nutrition and benefits and order information at: http://www.vitalchoice.com

Thank you to Petro Marine – rejoining as a UFA Sea Class business member! See their website and locations at: http://www.petromarineservices.com/

Thank you to Madison Lumber and Hardware in Ketchikan – rejoining as a UFA Bay Class business member! See their website and locations at: http://www.madisonlumber.com/main/index.htm

Thank you to Puget Sound Hydraulics – rejoining as a UFA Bay Class business member! See their website and locations at: http://www.pugetsoundhydraulics.com/

Thank you to Resurrection Bay Seafoods – rejoining as a UFA Bay Class business member! See their website and locations at: http://www.pacseafood.com/Default.aspx?page=108

Thank you to Wells Fargo – rejoining as a UFA Bay Class business member! See their website and locations at: www.wellsfargo.com

UFA farewell:
Thanks for the contributions of lifetime fisherman advocate Davis Barrett, 1949-2014.

From the Executive Director:

The 28th Alaska Legislature adjourned on day 95 of the 90 day session. UFA watched a number of bills in 2014; here is a brief rundown of a few of the bills UFA tracked or supported this year.

SB 71 PAYMENT OF FISHERY RESOURCE LANDING TAX by Senator Micciche was amended in the legislative process to include salmon COST RECOVERY FISHERIES and also the SALMON & HERRING PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT TAX CREDIT for a final title of "An Act relating to the fishery resource landing tax and cost recovery fisheries; relating to a product development tax credit for certain salmon and herring products; providing for an effective date by amending the effective date of sec. 3, ch. 57, SLA 2003; and providing for an effective date." The portion of the bill dealing with payment of fisheries resource landing tax will help simplify the timing of tax payments to avoid the burden of unnecessary penalties. This portion of the bill will benefit Alaska’s unique direct seafood marketers as well as many groundfish fishermen throughout the state. The portion of the bill dealing with cost recovery fisheries helps create additional flexibility with regards to Alaska’s salmon hatcheries. With the adoption of SB 71, salmon hatcheries will now be able to collect cost recovery fees from Alaska’s salmon harvesters either on a flat-rate or a percentage basis. The portion of the bill that deals with the salmon and herring product development tax credit will allow for Alaska’s processing sector to receive extended and expanded tax credits for innovation and seafood product development. By adding additional value to Alaska’s salmon and herring products, the seafood industry will provide additional revenue into the general fund in the form of an increase in landing tax contributions. SB 71 will also create incentives for the processing sector to stay ahead of increasingly burdensome EPA regulations by encouraging further development of product forms for seafood waste. The salmon and herring tax credit portion of the bill was incorporated from HB 204 by Representative Alan Austerman and was stalled in Senate Finance prior to the end of session.

UFA was pleased to support both SB 71 and HB 204. See the Senate Majority press release on SB 71 by Senator Micciche here.

SB 159 AIR AMBULANCE SERVICES by Senator Stedman (and also House companion HB 300 by Representative Munoz) addressed air ambulance insurance membership programs that allow Alaskans to pay an annual fee for medevac coverage. Fishermen are often enrolled in these life-saving medical programs, and UFA was pleased to support SB 159.

SB 140 AIDEA: ARCTIC DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM/FUND by Senator McGuire also passed this year, and will allow for Alaska-based loans for commercial fishing and seafood processing operations in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands.  

HB 77 LAND USE/DISP/EXCHANGES; WATER RIGHTS by request of the Governor did not pass this year, and DNR has indicated that they will come back next year with a bill that is less comprehensive. UFA worked diligently with DNR and members of the Senate Resources committee to ensure that our remaining questions were answered and suggestions that we made were incorporated into the latest version of the bill.

HB 71 the ARDORS program was amended to include the continuation of the limited entry program for the Bering Sea hair crab fishery, with the weathervane scallop fishery being stripped out prior to HB 71 passing. The continuation of the vessel-based limited entry program for scallops and hair crab was originally attached to HB 71 in 2013 due to the stand-alone bill HB 156 being stalled by Chairman Seaton in the House Fisheries Committee. In addition to HB 156 being stalled in House Fisheries, the Senate version of the bill SB 54 was also stalled in House Fisheries due to Chairman Seaton after sailing through the Senate side in 2013 on a vote of 18 to 1. HB 71 passed without the scallop limited entry program attached, however the Bering Sea hair crab limited entry program remained attached and that program will continue. This is the first limited entry permit that has been eliminated in the 41 year history of the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission (CFEC) with the scallop limited entry program not being extended in the 2014 Legislative session. Continuation of both the scallop and Bering Sea hair crab limited entry program is a UFA priority, and we are troubled that the scallop limited entry program has been terminated.

Capital and Operating budget items:

Alaska Department of Fish and Game, ADF&G reductions from the 2014 session include:

  • Unrestricted General Fund (UGF): $79,686,900 down from $81,809,300 in 2014 (2.6% reduction).

  • Designated General Fund (DGF): $8,805,300 up from $9,018,700 in 2014 (2.4% increase).

  • Other State Funds (Other): $63,458,800 down from $63,153,000 in 2014 (.5% decrease).

  • Federal Receipts (Fed): $64,008,000 down from $63,713,100 in 2014 (.5% decrease).

Support of the ADF&G budget is one of UFA’s priorities and we were pleased to advocate for minimum reductions to this department that impacts so many Alaskans.

Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, ASMI was reduced from the Governor’s budget by 5% leaving $7.38 million for the program. Support of the ASMI budget is one of UFA’s priorities and we were pleased to advocate for minimum reductions to this agency that the seafood industry fully supports through the Seafood Marketing Assessment tax.

Alaska Marine Safety Education Association, AMSEA was reduced from the Governor’s budget by 25% leaving $147,700 for the program. UFA was pleased to advocate for minimum reductions to this life-saving program.  

The Food to Schools program was fully funded at $3 million, this program is one of UFA’s priorities and we were pleased to support this funding item.

If there are other bills or budget items that you would like more information on, feel free to contact us.

UFA would like to thank the following legislators that are not seeking re-election for their years of dedicated service to Alaska:
Senator Fred Dyson (R- Eagle River)
Senator Hollis French (D – Anchorage)
Representative Alan Austerman (R – Kodiak)
Representative Peggy Wilson (R – Wrangell)

UFA wishes the following legislators the best of luck as they leave the House to run for service in the Senate:
Representative Mia Costello (R- Anchorage)
Representative Bill Stoltze (R – Wasilla)

 

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
Facebook: facebook.com/UnitedFishermenAK
Twitter: twitter.com/UFA_Fish 


Inclusion of an item does not mean that UFA endorses or agrees. UFA update compiled by Mark Vinsel, Executive Administrator.

CONTENTS
1. Governor Signs Air Ambulance Services Bill SB 159
2. Legislators pass fish bills as session end nears
3. House bill proposes adding CFEC to Fish and Game
4. More Alaska schools turn to Alaska-caught fish for lunches
5. Effort to revive parts of controversial permitting bill HB 77 scrapped
6. Court hears oral argument in setnet ban initiative appeal
7. Group Files Amicus Brief in Support of Treadwell in Defending Against So-Called “Conservation” Lawsuit
8. Alaska Jury Finds Hubbards Not Guilty on All Counts in direct-marketer revenue case
9. Juneau Empire Three Part Series on British Columbia Mines
10. Rio Tinto Gives Pebble Mine Stake to Nonprofits
11. Alaskans Win Major Victory to Challenge Coal Strip Mine Permits
12. Murkowski Facilitates Senate Approval of Treaties that Help Alaska’s Fisheries
13. Cook Inlet Aquaculture buys defunct Port Graham Hatchery
14. Coast Guard Blames Kulluk Grounding on Shell Oil's Complacency, Risk Taking
15. BOF Meeting Summary - Statewide King and Tanner Crab (except Southeast / Yakutat) and Supplemental Issues – March 17-21, 2014
16. BOF – NPFMC Joint Protocol Committee to Meet in Anchorage May 21, 2014
17. Marine observer program now in hands of federal judge
18. NPFMC BSAI Crab Plan Team meets May 5-8 in Juneau
19. NPFMC Electronic Monitoring Workgroup meets May 15-16 in Anchorage
20. Murkowski Raises Alaskan Priorities with NOAA Administrator
21. NOAA Fisheries concludes 'no jeopardy' to Steller sea lions from proposed fishery management changes in the Aleutian Islands
22. NOAA Fisheries finds Southeast Alaska Pacific Herring ESA listing not warranted
23. ESA Southern Resident Killer Whale revised critical habitat & sound levels – info sought by June 24
24. Alexander Archipelago wolf listing as "endangered or threatened may be warranted" says USFWS
25. State Wins Tongass Roadless Rule Exemption Case
26. USFWS posts revised Stock Assessment Reports for Alaska Sea Otters & Walrus
27. Marine Mammal Commission meets May 5 – 8 in Washington DC
28. Comment deadline May 7 on Buccaneer Upper Cook Inlet 2014 exploratory drilling MMPA Incidental Take
29. NMFS updated fishing gear identification requirements drops vessel name
30. Comment Deadline May 19 on NMFS FFP & FPP application & forms
31. NMFS posts correction to GOA harvest specifications
32. NOAA releases Arctic Action Plan
33. Murkowski Responds to GAO Arctic Report
Senator: Document Should Serve as “Wake-Up Call”
34. Murkowski to EPA: Alaskans Concerned by “Regulatory Onslaught”
35. Comment deadline July 21 on EPA Clean Water Act Definition of "Waters of the U.S."
36. NOAA Fisheries to develop national policy on recreational fishing
37. NOAA posts Final Rule on Area 2A Charter Halibut Catch Sharing Plan
38. Deadline June 30 for IPHC Merit Scholarship
39. NMFS workshop on At-Sea Scales for C/Ps & motherships – May 16, Seattle
40. NOAA: Crude oil causes developmental abnormalities in large marine fish
41. The Pacific’s Salmon Are Back — Thank Human Ingenuity
42. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science: Climate change, pink salmon, and the nexus between bottom-up and top-down forcing in the subarctic Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea  By Alan Springer and Gus B. van Vliet…
43. Farm salmon pose clear reproductive threat to wild gene pools
44. Engineered salmon may be a tough sell
45. F.D.A. prohibits some omega-3 claims, effective 2016
46. FDA What You Need To Know About Establishment, Maintenance, and Availability of Records-Small Entity Compliance Guide; Availability
47. NIOSH releases Paul Revere: A story of Survival in Bristol Bay.
48. Ray Troll’s Ratfish band promotes rockfish safe release with hit song:
49. Laine Welch Fish Radio – items from this week
50. Comment Period Opens For Cruise Waste Permits - deadline May 23
51. Rural Determination for Federal Subsistence Under Review
52. Comments deadline June 13 on proposed changes to Federal subsistence fisheries regulations
53. US Supreme Court rejects state appeal in long-running Katie John subsistence case
54. Federal Subsistence Board votes to limit Kuskokwim kings to federally qualified users
55. Kuskokwim Dipnet Fishery Emergency Regulation posted
56. Yupiit Nation to host salmon forum – Bethel April 30 – May1
57. Comment deadline May 21 on ADFG Invasive Pike eradication in Soldotna Creek drainage
58. Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force meets May 7-8, Arlington VA.
59. Japanese Tsunami Marine Debris Key Aquatic Invasive Species Watch
60. Report Invasive Species in Alaska – 1-800-INVASIV…
61. Nominations Requested for EVOS Public Advisory Committee – deadline May 15
62. Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) Board Announces Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) Program Improvements
63. MAFAC Comment deadline April 30 on NOAA role in Sustainable Seafood Certification
64. Alaska Sea Grant Fishlines - April  Newsletter
65. AMSEA Drill Conductor, Stability, Ergonomics and others classes schedule online


1. Governor Signs Air Ambulance Services Bill  SB 159
April 23, 2014, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell today signed legislation allowing air ambulance service providers to offer annual membership agreements and ensuring Alaskans are able to subscribe to this service.

“I appreciate Senator Stedman and Representative Cathy Munoz for their work on this legislation that will undoubtedly result in significant reductions in out-of-pocket costs for Alaskans,” Governor Parnell said. “I also thank the men and women, the unsung heroes, behind Alaska’s air ambulance companies that provide life-saving services every day.”

Governor Parnell press release:
http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell/press-room/full-press-release
.html?pr=6802

SB 159 final version: http://www.legis.state.ak.us/PDF/28/Bills/SB0159Z.PDF


2. Legislators pass fish bills as session end nears
By Molly Dischner, Alaska Journal of Commerce
Fishers, processors and the general public will see changes to certain fisheries regulations under bills passed by the Alaska Legislature this session.
In the final days of the 2014 session, lawmakers agreed to extend and expand a fisheries product development tax credit program for processors, change the fisheries landing tax for harvesters, authorize a new source of funding for fisheries infrastructure and alter the existing Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank.
“I think that we did OK with fisheries issues this year,” said Julianne Curry, executive director of United Fishermen of Alaska. “We didn’t really have any big ticket items on the legislative horizon.”
April 20, the Legislature passed a combo bill that included Senate Bill 71 and House Bill 204. Now that is just waiting for Gov. Sean Parnell’s signature…
http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/
April-Issue-4-2014/Legislators-pass-fish-bills-as-session-end-
nears/


3. House bill proposes adding CFEC to Fish and Game
By Bob Tkacz, For the Journal

A bill that would make the Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission a division of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game got an introductory hearing in the Legislature April 19, with the expectation that commercial fishermen and other stakeholders will consider the idea for possible enactment next session.

Before then the Legislature’s Audit Division will “audit” the two agencies to identify overlapping activities, entry commission duties that may not easily be merged into Fish and Game, and possible costs and savings from the consolidation…
http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/April
-Issue-4-2014/House-bill-proposes-adding-CFEC-to-Fish-and-Game/


4. More Alaska schools turn to Alaska-caught fish for lunches
In communities from Unalaska to Dillingham, it's increasingly the case that wild-caught Alaska fish is what's for lunch…
Sitka is the ninth largest seafood port in the United States, yet at the time there was no local seafood on school lunch menus. A grass-roots effort mobilized in the Sitka School District, and now grades two through 12 are served local fish at least twice a month in a program that reaches up to 1,500 students. In the past three years, over 4,000 pounds of fish have been donated to Sitka schools from local seafood processors and fishermen.
Tracy Gagnon is a community sustainability organizer with the Sitka Conservation Society. She said that in three years "we've seen the number of schools interested in serving local seafood increase tenfold."Last week, the Sitka Conservation Society released their "Fish to Schools Resource Guide" and "Stream to Plate Curriculum." Gagnon, one of the principal authors, said the documents function as a how-to for serving fish in schools. "We wanted to support the community and statewide efforts to serve local foods in schools," she said…
http://www.adn.com/2014/03/21/3387149/more-alaska-schools
-turn-to-local.html

Sitka Conservation Society Guide to Serving Local Fish in School Cafeterias
http://sitkawild.org/2014/03/a-guide-to-serving-local-fish-in-school-
cafeterias/

DCCED Nutritional Alaskan Foods in Schools grant program home page:
http://commerce.alaska.gov/dcra/grt/NAFS.htm


5. Effort to revive parts of controversial permitting bill HB 77 scrapped
By Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN - Juneau
An effort to resurrect parts of a dead permitting bill was abandoned on Friday night.
Officials from the Department of Natural Resources had been working with Rep. Cathy Muñoz, a Juneau Republican, to attach land exchange language from House Bill 77 to a separate bill concerning land sales…
http://www.ktoo.org/2014/04/21/effort-revive-parts-controversial
-permitting-bill-scrapped/

Earlier story: With permitting bill dead, some provisions may be resurrected..
http://www.ktoo.org/2014/04/16/permitting-bill-dead-provisions
-may-resurrected/
  


6. Court hears oral argument in setnet ban initiative appeal
By Molly Dischner, Alaska Journal of Commerce
The Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance and the State of Alaska each made a case to an Anchorage Superior Court judge today about why — or why not — a proposed ballot initiative to ban setnetters should be allowed to move forward.

The alliance, or AFCA, filed a ballot initiative petition in November seeking to ask voters whether to ban setnets in urban parts of the state, which would primarily impact Upper Cook Inlet setnetters.
At the heart of the case is a question about whether a ballot measure eliminating setnetting is considered an appropriation under state law, and thus not a question that can be placed on a ballot for the public to decide…

Judge Catherine Easter said at the conclusion of the hearing that she would try to make a written decision in 60 days.
If she rules in favor of AFCA, the group would still have to collect about 35,000 signatures and would be targeting the August 2016 ballot.
Either side could also appeal her decision to the state Supreme Court.
Although the case is focused on Upper Cook Inlet, both sides have cited concerns over the precedent it could set throughout the state.
Singer said that if this initiative were found unconstitutional, it could limit the public’s ability to enact direct legislation, an express public right.
“If this stands, there’s no room for the public to participate in fish and wildlife management,” he said.
Jerry McCune, president of United Fishermen of Alaska and a member of Resources for All Alaskans, a nonprofit that filed an amicus brief in the case supporting and extending the state’s position, said he was concerned about what it could mean if a ballot initiative could be used to change fisheries allocations and appropriate fish from one user group to another.
“What happens here could happen statewide,” he said after the hearing…
http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/Breaking
-News-2013/Court-hears-oral-argument-in-setnet-ban-initiative-a
ppeal/


7. Group Files Amicus Brief in Support of Treadwell in Defending Against So-Called “Conservation” Lawsuit
Resources for All Alaskans has filed an amicus brief in support of the State of Alaska’s decision that the Set Netter Ban initiative cannot proceed to the August 2016 ballot. Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell announced that decision in January based on advice from the Department of Law that it was unconstitutional.  The initiative sponsors are now suing the State in Superior Court.

“Alaska has a time-tested process for managing our resources. Even though some of us may not always agree with the results from that process, it should be open, public, understandable, and based in law,” said Jim Butler, president of Resources for All Alaskans. “Allocating resources by initiative is not only unconstitutional, but it is also bad public policy.  The proposal to ban set netters is particularly destructive because it doesn’t address the real reasons for declining king salmon populations and would instantly destroy 500 small Alaska family businesses and hundreds of other jobs.”

Former Lieutenant Governor Loren Leman, an advisor to Resources for All Alaskans and himself a Cook Inlet set netter whose family has fished near Ninilchik for 100 years, said, “This is yet another of several misguided attempts in recent years to manage resources by initiative.  As valuable as that process is, the writers of our constitution clearly understood the dangers in appropriating State resources that way.  Rather than promoting a divisive initiative that masquerades as a conservation measure, the sponsors should be engaging in constructive solutions to protect our fishing families and our resources.”
http://resourcesforalaska.com/group-files-amicus-brief-in-support
-of-treadwell-decision/

&
New fisheries advocacy group plots strategy in setnet ban initiative fight
By Rashah McChesney, Peninsula Clarion
KENAI — Resources for All Alaskans, a group formed to combat an proposed initiative to ban commercial setnet fishing in certain parts of the state, met in Kenai to talk strategy with several local fishing groups after being dealt a blow when an Alaska Superior Court judge ruled that it could not intervene in a lawsuit over the initiative.
http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/Breaking
-News-2013/New-fisheries-advocacy-group-plots-strategy/

To support the fight against Bob Penney’s effort to shutdown fisheries by initiative see Resources for All Alaskans:  http://www.resourcesforalaska.com/

To follow this case, search Trial Courts at http://www.courtrecords.alaska.gov  , scroll to bottom and search by case number 3AN-14-04558CI . 


8. Alaska Jury Finds Hubbards Not Guilty on All Counts in direct-marketer revenue case
By Rick Smeriglio for Seward City News
At about 8:00 pm on Tuesday the 15, a jury of 12 returned a unanimous verdict of not guilty on all 12 counts against James T. Hubbard and Rhonda K. Anderson-Hubbard, who own J&R Fisheries and operate F/V Kruzof. On the most serious charge of attempted perjury, the jury could not agree that Mr. Hubbard’s actions satisfied all four conditions needed for a guilty verdict. On the misdemeanors of falsifying information on fish tickets, the jurors could not agree that the Hubbards intended to deceive anyone. State of Alaska has not announced whether it will pursue the matter further on appeal.

The morning after the verdict, Mrs. Hubbard said, “I’m heartened by the people [the jurors] who took the time for us.”…
http://sewardcitynews.com/2014/04/jury-finds-hubbards-not-guilty
-on-all-counts/

&
Local jury kills fish case
On April 15, a Seward jury voted for the acquittal of James and Rhonda Hubbard on the few charges that remained after Kenai Superior Court judge Anna Moran threw out much of prosecutor Carole Holley's case. After the raft of dismissals, Holley persisted, padding out the remaining case by splitting it up into even more charges. However, defense attorney Eric Derleth continued to make hash of the proceedings, finally completely invalidating the state's case according to jurors…
http://www.thesewardphoenixlog.com/story/2014/04/24/local/local
-jury-kills-fish-case/2575.html


9. Juneau Empire Three Part Series on British Columbia Mines
Anti-KSM groups seek federal help  (March 27)
Meanwhile, state agencies say there will be no 'significant loss in productivity' due to potential activity at proposed mine
http://juneauempire.com/local/2014-03-27/anti-ksm-groups-
seek-federal-help

KSM Pt. 2: A river runs through it, and that's the problem (April 3)
Seabridge's KSM mine will be as deep as any the world has seen with the potential to critically damage Alaska's downstream resources
http://juneauempire.com/local/2014-03-27/anti-ksm-groups-
seek-federal-help

KSM part III: 'A perfect storm' for mining push? (April 11)
Relaxed regulations in Canada have opened doors for five transboundary mines that concern Southeast Alaskans
http://juneauempire.com/outdoors/2014-04-11/ksm-part-iii-
perfect-storm-mining-push

&
Boost in B.C. Mining has Alaska Fishermen Nervous
By Liz Ruskin, APRN - Washington DC | March 28, 2014 - 5:37 pm
The head of British Columbia’s government has pledged to spur mining development in the western Canadian province, and that has fishermen in Southeast Alaska nervous. A group from Southeast flew to Washington D.C. this week to see how it can raise its voice in Canada…
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2014/03/28/boost-in-b-c-mining-
has-alaska-fishermen-nervous/

Stakeholders letter to Alaska delegation: http://www.aktrollers.org/doc/media/AK%20delegation%
20letter%20FINAL%20March%2021.pdf

Note: the Alaska delegation promptly sent a letter to Secretary of State Kerry in response to fishing groups concerns.  For a copy please contact the UFA office at 907-586-2820 or ufa@ufa-fish.org


10. Rio Tinto Gives Pebble Mine Stake to Nonprofits
By Liz Ruskin, APRN | April 7, 2014 - 7:43 am
The mining conglomerate Rio Tinto announced this morning it is divesting its stake in Northern Dynasty, the owner of the proposed Pebble Mine. Rio said in December it might sell, but in a surprise move, the company says it is donating its 19 percent share to two charities, the Alaska Community Foundation and the Bristol Bay Native Corporation Education Foundation.

Rio CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques said in a statement the donation would ensure Alaskans will have a say in Pebble’s development.

The foundations didn’t immediately announce what they will do with their minority shares in the project. The director of the Bristol Bay  education fund said in a statement the gift will help the foundation fulfill it’s mission. In the same written statement, BBNC chief executive  Jason Metrokin said the corporation’s opposition to the mine hasn’t changed…
APRN story:
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2014/04/07/rio-tinto-leaves-pebble-
project-donates-stake-to-nonprofits/

Governor Comments on Rio Tinto Decision – Press release:
http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell/press-room/full-press-release.html?
pr=6776

Alaska DNR Large Mines Pebble Mine home page: http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/mining/largemine/pebble/


11. Alaskans Win Major Victory to Challenge Coal Strip Mine Permits
April 25, 2014 by Laine Welch
State’s loser pays attorneys’ fees law violates rights of citizens, must be rewritten
ANCHORAGE – Residents across southcentral Alaska applauded a decision from the Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation (OSM) this week that Alaska’s punitive attorneys’ fees law must be rewritten when it comes to challenges to coal strip mines…

“As Alaskans who must live with the consequences of coal strip mines, we deserve access to the court system and a strong voice in the permitting process,” said Judy Heilman, founding member of the Chuitna Citizens Coalition, a group dedicated to protecting the Chuitna River from PacRim Coal’s proposal to strip mine directly through 25 miles of its tributaries. “This week’s decision protects our right as Alaskans to protect the natural resources we rely on.”

http://www.alaskafishradio.com/alaskans-win-major-victory-to
-challenge-coal-strip-mine-permits/

Alaska DNR Chuitna large mine page: http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/mining/largemine/chuitna/


12. Murkowski Facilitates Senate Approval of Treaties that Help Alaska’s Fisheries
Weeks After Her Testimony Encouraged Committee Action, Senate Approves First Treaties Since 2010
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In the first U.S. Senate approval of international treaties since December of 2010, Senator Lisa Murkowski today lauded two much-needed nautical treaties being approved weeks after she testified on the nation’s need for them before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs: the Port State Measures Agreement and the Convention on the Conservation and Management of High Seas Fisheries Resources in the North Pacific Ocean.
Both of these treaties will protect Alaska’s fishing industry and the state’s economy by dramatically cutting down illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) ‘pirate’ fishing practices – activities that have cost Bering Sea crabbers half a billion dollars since 2000, and approximately $11 million in lost local landing revenues, and negatively impacted the market value of their catch.
Senator Murkowski press release: http://article.wn.com/view/2014/04/04/Murkowski_Facilitates
_Senate_Approval_of_Treaties_that_Help_/


13. Cook Inlet Aquaculture buys defunct Port Graham Hatchery
Facility will supplement pink salmon runs in Cook Inlet
By Rashah McChesney
Peninsula Clarion
Pink salmon fishing in the Lower Cook Inlet could soon be revitalized as the Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association finalized its purchase of the Port Graham Hatchery on Monday after nearly two years of planning, permitting and logistics.

The facility has not been operational since 2007 when low returns of pink salmon and poor prices forced the Port Graham Hatchery Corporation to close. In 2010 the group asked the aquaculture association to assume management of the operation…
http://peninsulaclarion.com/news/2014-04-15/cook-inlet-aquaculture
-buys-defunct-port-graham-hatchery


14. Coast Guard Blames Kulluk Grounding on Shell Oil's Complacency, Risk Taking
A US Coast Guard investigation blames Shell Oil's complacency and risk-taking for an oil rig running aground on a remote Alaskan Island on New Year's Eve 2012.
…"Tow planners did not recognize the risks, nor adequately plan for a towing evolution of such a unique vessel during the height of winter in the Gulf of Alaska."…
http://kuow.org/post/coast-guard-blames-kulluk-grounding-shell-
oils-complacency-risk-taking

&
U.S. Coast Guard releases report of investigation into the grounding of the mobile offshore drilling unit Kulluk
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Coast Guard Thursday released the report of investigation into the circumstances surrounding the grounding of the mobile offshore drilling unit Kulluk on the eastern coast of Sitkalidak Island, Alaska, Dec. 31, 2012.

A series of events contributed to the causal factors that resulted in the grounding of the Kulluk, with the most significant factor being the inadequate assessment and management of risks associated with a complex vessel movement during the winter in the unique and challenging operating environment of Alaska…

The report of investigation may be accessed at  http://goo.gl/CUXz5N

USCG Press Release:
http://www.uscgnews.com/go/doc/4007/2130422/U-S-Coast
-Guard-releases-report-of-investigation-into-the-grounding-of-
the-mobile-offshore-drilling-unit-Kulluk

Direct link to report is
https://homeport.uscg.mil/cgi-bin/st/portal/uscg_docs/MyCG/
Editorial/20140403/KULLUK%20COMPLETE%20REDACTED_2
.pdf?id=fc12d13cc769d1a6dc3704533f38d6cec9f3c733&user
_id=70484e677b3c4245abff23687cf15a69

Begich Statement on Coast Guard Report on Kulluk
 “I appreciate the Coast Guard’s detailed investigation into the Kulluk incident and their solid recommendations for better training and stricter policies and procedures for vessels operating under Arctic conditions.  I remain a strong supporter of responsible development of the Arctic’s resources. Moving forward, it will be of the utmost importance that the strictest standards are adhered to under challenging conditions.  The Coast Guard’s investigation and recommendations here will help guide that development and gives me greater confidence about the role the Arctic will play in Alaska’s future…

Senator Begich Press Release:
http://www.begich.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2014/4/begich
-statement-on-coast-guard-report-on-kulluk


15. BOF Meeting Summary - Statewide King and Tanner Crab (except Southeast / Yakutat) and Supplemental Issues – March 17-21, 2014
Meeting Summary:
http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static-f/regulations/regprocess/fisheries
board/pdfs/2013-2014/statewide/soa_statewide_2014.pdf

BOF Meeting info page:
http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fisheriesboard.meeting
info&date=03-17-2014&meeting=statewide


16. BOF – NPFMC Joint Protocol Committee to Meet in Anchorage May 21, 2014
The Joint Protocol Committee of the Board of Fisheries (BOF) and the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) will meet from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, May 21, 2014, in Anchorage in the Heritage Room at the Clarion Suites Hotel, 1110 8th Street, Anchorage, Alaska.  This committee is made up of three BOF members and three NPFMC members.  No regulatory action will be taken at this meeting.  The meeting primarily offers an opportunity to exchange information. 
Agenda topics include: updates on Council action on Gulf of Alaska trawl bycatch management, update on Board of Fisheries Pollock Workgroup, rollover provisions from state to federal fisheries, brown crab season date changes, proposed changes to groundfish possession and landing requirements, and miscellaneous state/federal issues…

ADFG Public Notice:
 http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View.aspx?id
=172414


17. Marine observer program now in hands of federal judge
By Molly Dischner, Alaska Journal of Commerce
Bycatch accounting in the North Pacific and the costs of the revised marine observer program implemented in 2013 are at the core of a lawsuit now in the hands of an Alaska U.S. District Court judge.
Judge H. Russel Holland heard oral argument from The Boat Company, Fixed Gear Alliance and federal defendants regarding the observer program at an April 16 hearing. At the end of the hearing, Holland said a final decision on the motions for summary judgment would take some time…
http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/April
-Issue-4-2014/Marine-observer-program-now-in-hands-of-federal-
judge/

NPFMC Observer program page: http://www.npfmc.org/observer-
program/


18. NPFMC BSAI Crab Plan Team meets May 5-8 in Juneau
SUMMARY: The North Pacific Fishery Management Council's (NPFMC) Bering Sea Aleutian Islands (BSAI) Crab Plan Team (CPT) will meet in Juneau, AK.
DATES: The meeting will be held May 5-8, 2014, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at the Federal Building, 709 W 9th Street, Room 420, Juneau, AK.
Federal Register meeting notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/
2014-08875

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


19. NPFMC Electronic Monitoring Workgroup meets May 15-16 in Anchorage
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Council) Electronic Monitoring (EM) workgroup will meet in Anchorage, AK.
DATES: The meetings will be held May 15-16, 2014, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the 15th and 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the 16th.
ADDRESSES: The meetings will be held at the Clarion Suites, 1110 W. 8th Avenue, Heritage Room, Anchorage, AK.
Federal Register meeting notice : https://federalregister.gov/a/2
014-09428

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


20. Murkowski Raises Alaskan Priorities with NOAA Administrator
Former Astronaut Gives Senator Picture of Alaska Taken from Outer Space
Senator Lisa Murkowski met with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration head Dr. Kathy Sullivan for the first time since Sullivan was confirmed by the Senate earlier this month. Murkowski took this opportunity to run Dr. Sullivan through a line-up of Alaskan concerns including the Chinese Shellfish ban, electronic monitoring on small fishing boats and the potential of radiation from the Fukushima earthquake and tsunami entering Alaska waters…
Senator Murkowski press release: http://www.murkowski.senate.gov
/public/index.cfm?p=PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=52f4ecad-01
23-4f90-8037-6d4adf62eb89&ContentType_id=b94acc28-404a-4fc6-b143-a9e15bf92da4&Group_id=c01df158-d935-4d7a-895d f694ddf41624&MonthDisplay=3&YearDisplay=2014


21. NOAA Fisheries concludes 'no jeopardy' to Steller sea lions from proposed fishery management changes in the Aleutian Islands

Proposed changes to fishing restrictions in the Aleutian Islands are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the endangered western population of Steller sea lions or adversely modify Steller sea lion critical habitat, according to a biological opinion issued today by NOAA Fisheries under the Endangered Species Act.
The agency estimates that the proposed fishery management changes would relieve roughly two-thirds of the economic burden imposed on Aleutian Islands' fishermen by sea lion protection measures that took effect in 2011. Fishermen could see new regulations in place by January 2015.
…NOAA Fisheries is completing an environmental impact statement on the new fishery management measures, and expects to implement the new regulations in January 2015.

NOAA Press Release: http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/newsreleases/
2014/ssl040214.htm

NOAA Fisheries Steller Sea Lion home page: http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/protectedresources/stellers/

&&&

Murkowski: Steller Sea Lion Decision Validates Push for Science-Based Policy
http://www.akbizmag.com/Alaska-Business-Monthly/April-2014/
Murkowski-Steller-Sea-Lion-Decision-Validates-Push-for-Science-
Based-Policy/


22. NOAA Fisheries finds Southeast Alaska Pacific Herring ESA listing not warranted

NOAA Fisheries has concluded that listing of the Southeast Alaska Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of Pacific herring under the Endangered Species Act is not warranted at this time.
This listing determination decision comes after an extensive status review based on the best scientific and commercial information available…
A copy of the decision is available online at the NOAA Fisheries Alaska Region Southeast Alaska Pacific Herring website.
NOAA's mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and our other social media channels.
To learn more about NOAA Fisheries in Alaska, visit alaskafisheries.noaa.gov or www.afsc.noaa.gov.

NOAA Fisheries press release:
http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/newsreleases/2014/herring04
0114.htm

NOAA Fisheries Southeast AK Herring home page: http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/protectedresources/herring/
default.htm


23. ESA Southern Resident Killer Whale revised critical habitat & sound levels – info sought by June 24
We, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), announce a 90-day finding on a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity to revise the critical habitat designation for the Southern Resident killer whale (Orcinus orca) Distinct Population Segment (DPS) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)…

The petition requests we revise this critical habitat to include inhabited Pacific Ocean marine waters along the West Coast of the United States that constitute essential foraging and wintering areas. Additionally, the petition requests that we adopt protective in-water sound levels as a primary constituent element for both currently designated critical habitat and the proposed revised critical habitat. We find that the petition to revise critical habitat, viewed in the context of information readily available in our files, presents substantial scientific information indicating the petitioned action may be warranted. We are hereby initiating a review of the currently designated critical habitat to determine whether revision is warranted. To ensure a comprehensive review, we are soliciting scientific and commercial information pertaining to this action.

DATES: Scientific and commercial information pertinent to the petitioned action must be received by June 24, 2014.

Federal Register notice:
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/04/25/2014-09483
/listing-endangered-or-threatened-species-90-day-finding-on-a-p
etition-to-revise-the-critical-habitat


24. Alexander Archipelago wolf listing as "endangered or threatened may be warranted" says USFWS
Sitnews story: http://www.sitnews.us/0314News/032914/032914_aa_wolf.html

Federal Register notice: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/
2014/03/31/2014-06791/endangered-and-threatened-wildlife-
and-plants-90-day-finding-on-a-petition-to-list-the-alexander


25. State Wins Tongass Roadless Rule Exemption Case
By MARY KAUFFMAN (SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska
Wednesday the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld the exemption of the Tongass National Forest from the 2001 Roadless Rule. Yesterday''s ruling by the Court could open the door to more logging and road building in the Tongass, the largest national forest in the U.S. and home to approximately 70,000 people living in 32 communities, including Ketchikan…
http://www.sitnews.us/0314News/032714/032714_roadless.html

No. 11-35517, D.C. No. 1:09-cv-00023- JWS OPINION is online at http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/
2014/03/26/11-35517.pdf


26. USFWS posts revised Stock Assessment Reports for Alaska Sea Otters & Walrus
SUMMARY: In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (MMPA), we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce that we have revised our stock assessment report (SAR) for the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) stock and for each of the following northern sea otter (Enhydra lutris kenyoni) stocks in Alaska: Southwest, Southcentral, and Southeast. We now make these four final revised SARs available to the public.

ADDRESSES: Document Availability: You may view the revised SARs at http://www.regulations.gov  under Docket No. FWS-R7-ES-2012-0019. You may also view them in Adobe Acrobat format by navigating to the species information page at http://alaska.fws.gov/fisheries/mmm/reports.htm .

Federal Register notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-08942


27. Marine Mammal Commission meets May 5 – 8 in Washington DC
The Marine Mammal Commission and its Committee of Scientific Advisors on Marine Mammals will meet on Tuesday, 6 May 2014, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Wednesday, 7 May 2014, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Thursday, 8 May 2014, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The Commission and the Committee also will meet in executive session on Monday, 5 May 2014, from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m…
Five themed sessions will reflect the Objectives in the Commission's Strategic Plan for 2015-19: The Changing Arctic; Offshore Energy Development; Marine Mammal Health and Stranding; Impacts on Marine Mammals from Fishing; and Recovery of Marine Mammal Stocks: Next Steps. The third day of the meeting, which will be held on Capitol Hill, will feature introductory
remarks from members of Congress, discussion of the outcome of the five themed sessions, a series of short presentations on the latest technological advances in marine mammal science, and a public comment session…

Federal Register notice (April 11): meeting Announcement: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-08358
Correction April 17 (corrected 2014 not 2013) https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-08817
Correction April 25 (start time on May 8 is 9:00): https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-09510
Marine Mammal Commission home page: http://www.mmc.gov/


28. Comment deadline May 7 on Buccaneer Upper Cook Inlet 2014 exploratory drilling MMPA Incidental Take

NMFS has received an application from Buccaneer Alaska Operation, LLC (Buccaneer) for an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to conducting a multi-well offshore exploratory drilling program in upper Cook Inlet during the 2014 open water season. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an IHA to Buccaneer to incidentally take, by Level B harassment only, marine mammals during the specified activity.
DATES: Comments and information must be received no later than May 7, 2014.
Federal Register notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-07601


29. NMFS updated fishing gear identification requirements drops vessel name

NMFS publishes a regulatory amendment to revise the identification marking requirements for fishing gear marker buoys (buoys) used in Federal waters off Alaska. This final rule eliminates 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 number remains in effect…
Federal Register: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-07467


30. Comment Deadline May 19 on NMFS FFP & FPP application & forms

NMFS proposes to change criteria for submission, approval, surrender, revision, and receipt of a Federal Fisheries Permit (FFP) or Federal Processor Permit (FPP) application form; allow the use of a valid legible copy in place of an original FFP or FPP; remove unnecessary FFP and FPP application form descriptions and contact information from regulation; clarify when an FFP or FPP is required; and make minor modifications to FPP regulations. This action is necessary to reduce industry costs of complying with fishing and processing permit regulations and NMFS' administrative costs of maintaining and updating permit application regulations and forms. This action would provide efficiency, flexibility, and clarity concerning FFP and FPP requirements. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the FMP, and other applicable laws…
Comments must be received no later than May 19, 2014…
Federal Register notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-08600


31. NMFS posts correction to GOA harvest specifications
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is correcting a final rule that published on March 6, 2014, implementing the final 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications and prohibited species catch allowances for the groundfish fishery of the Gulf of Alaska. One table in the document contained errors…
Federal Register notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-08391

NOAA Fisheries 2014 – 2015 Harvest Specifications page
http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sustainablefisheries/specs14_15/


32. NOAA releases Arctic Action Plan
 (SitNews - Ketchikan, Alaska) - NOAA explained how it will concentrate scientific, service, and stewardship efforts in the Arctic when it released its first ever Arctic Vision and Strategy. Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator, made the announcement during a keynote address to the Aspen Institute in Washington on April 16th. However, the plan was released today…

NOAA's Arctic Action Plan
http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/NOAAarcticactionplan2014.pdf

Fact Sheet of the Plan
http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/NOAAarcticactionplanflyer2014.pdf  

Sitnews story online:
http://www.sitnews.us/0414News/042114/042114_arctic_plan.html


33. Murkowski Responds to GAO Arctic Report
Senator: Document Should Serve as “Wake-Up Call”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Lisa Murkowski today responded to the Government Accountability Office’s report on Maritime Infrastructure: Key Issues Related to Commercial Activity in the
U.S. Arctic in the Next Decade
, saying:
… “I thank the GAO for identifying the enormous need we have for mapping and charting our nation’s Arctic waterways. The shocking fact that we have surveyed less than 1% of our critical northern waters should be a wakeup call to decision makers that we must demonstrate vision and act now…
Senator Murkowski press release:
http://www.murkowski.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=PressReleases
&ContentRecord_id=536251ed-3b2b-4d7c-b6e4-ce8839801954&
ContentType_id=b94acc28-404a-4fc6-b143-a9e15bf92da4&Group_
id=c01df158-d935-4d7a-895d-f694ddf41624


34. Murkowski to EPA: Alaskans Concerned by “Regulatory Onslaught”
Senator Says EPA Needs to Better Understand Alaska, Secures Commitments on New Waters Rule
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Lisa Murkowski today questioned Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy about the potential economic impact of several proposed rules, including a recent rulemaking to “clarify” a statutory definition that appears to significantly expand the agency’s control over lands and waters in Alaska.
…Murkowski described EPA’s recent proposal to re-interpret the definition of the term “waters of the United States” as a potential “show-stopper” for responsible development plans across Alaska…
Senator Murkowski press release: http://www.murkowski.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases
?ID=5bc74a67-be79-4202-b6ee-4c50a9794d09

&
ADN Compass: EPA claims too much power under the Clean Water Act
By Sen. Lisa Murkowski, April 24, 2014
What would Alaskans say if a federal agency retroactively vetoed permits for development of Prudhoe Bay, declaring it never should have been allowed on the North Slope?
What would we think if a federal agency unilaterally banned development in the non-wilderness portion of ANWR?
And what if a federal agency halted efforts to reopen the Nikiski LNG terminal, without any right of appeal, because a tiny portion of the property was once considered wetlands?
While these scenarios might have once seemed far-fetched, all of them - and more - will be possible if the dramatic expansion of EPA's power under the Clean Water Act continues unchecked.
http://www.adn.com/2014/04/24/3440354/compass-epa-
claims-too-much-power.html


35. Comment deadline July 21 on EPA Clean Water Act Definition of "Waters of the U.S."
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers jointly released a proposed rule to clarify protection under the Clean Water Act for streams and wetlands that form the foundation of the nation's water resources. Determining Clean Water Act protection for streams and wetlands became confusing and complex following Supreme Court decisions in 2001 and 2006. The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on Monday, April 21, 2014. The public comment period will be open for 91 days and will close on Monday, July 21, 2014…
http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/guidance/wetlands/CWAwaters.cfm


36. NOAA Fisheries to develop national policy on recreational fishing
NOAA Fisheries has announced plans to develop a national recreational fishing policy during its second national Saltwater Recreational Fishing Summit. The policy will broadly guide future actions and better integrate recreational fishing with NOAA Fisheries' mission.
 NOAA Press release: http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2014/
20140402_recfishing.html

&&
NOAA Saltwater Recreational Fishing page: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/management/recreational
/recreational_fishing_initiative.html


37. NOAA posts Final Rule on Area 2A Charter Halibut Catch Sharing Plan
Federal Register notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-07536
NOAA Alaska Sport Halibut page: https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sustainablefisheries/halibut/sport.htm


38. Deadline June 30 for IPHC Merit Scholarship
The International Pacific Halibut Commission funds several Merit Scholarships to support university, technical college, and other post-secondary education. The scholarship fund has been established to assist the further education of Canadian and U.S. students connected to the halibut fishery and its industry. Generally, a single new scholarship valued at $2,000 (US) per year is awarded…
http://www.iphc.int/opportunities/scholarship.html


39. NMFS workshop on At-Sea Scales for C/Ps & motherships – May 16, Seattle
NMFS announces a workshop to solicit input from owners and operators of catcher/processor vessels (C/Ps) and motherships that are required to weigh catch at sea. The workshop concerns proposed changes to equipment and operational requirements for motion compensating scales that weigh catch at sea. These proposed changes would affect the owners and operators of three groups of vessels: trawl C/Ps and motherships permitted to fish for or to receive pollock in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) under the (American Fisheries Act) AFA; trawl C/Ps permitted to fish for groundfish under Amendment 80 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the BSAI or rockfish in the Central Gulf of Alaska; and longline C/Ps with a license limitation program license endorsed for C/P operations that fish for Pacific cod using hook-and-line gear in the Bering Sea or Aleutian Islands areas. The workshop will be divided into three sections, and each section will focus on how the proposed changes will affect the three groups of vessels described above…
The public workshop will be held on Friday, May 16, 2014. The workshop will be divided into three sessions: AFA trawl C/Ps and motherships, 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Pacific daylight savings time; Amendment 80 and Central GOA trawl C/Ps, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Pacific daylight savings time; and Pacific cod longline C/Ps, 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Pacific daylight savings time.
ADDRESSES:

The workshop will be held at the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) Seattle Office, 2320 West Commodore Way, Suite 300, Seattle, WA. Directions to the IPHC are on its Web site at http://www.iphc.int/component/content/article/
135-new-office.html

(IPHC address is 2320 West Commodore Way, Suite 300, Seattle, WA 98199-1287)

Federal Register notice 4/29: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-09732


40. NOAA: Crude oil causes developmental abnormalities in large marine fish
Crude oil from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster causes severe defects in the developing hearts of bluefin and yellowfin tunas, according to a new study by a team of NOAA and academic scientists.

The findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on the 25th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, show how the largest marine oil spill in United States history may have affected tunas and other species that spawned in oiled offshore habitats in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

NOAA Press release: http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2014/20140324
_dwh_fishimpact.html


41. The Pacific’s Salmon Are Back — Thank Human Ingenuity
Geoengineering could turn our long-barren oceans into a bounty.
In 2012, the British Columbia–based Native American Haida tribe launched an effort to restore the salmon fishery that has provided much of their livelihood for centuries. Acting collectively, the Haida voted to form the Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation, financed it with $2.5 million of their own savings, and used it to support the efforts of American scientist-entrepreneur Russ George to demonstrate the feasibility of open-sea mariculture — in this case, the distribution of 120 tons of iron sulfate into the northeast Pacific to stimulate a phytoplankton bloom which in turn would provide ample food for baby salmon.
The verdict is now in on this highly controversial experiment: It worked…
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/376258/pacifics-salmon-are
-back-thank-human-ingenuity-robert-zubrin#
!


42. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science: Climate change, pink salmon, and the nexus between bottom-up and top-down forcing in the subarctic Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea  By Alan Springer and Gus B. van Vliet…

Wild salmon in the North Pacific Ocean, particularly pink salmon, have grown greatly since the mid-1970s apparently due to bottom-up effects of climate change on ocean physics and production processes. Pink salmon spend less than 2 y at sea and most stocks alternate between high and low levels of abundance every other year. In years of high abundance, they now constitute a pelagic consumer front as they return to their spawning rivers, exert top-down control over the open ocean ecosystem by outcompeting other species for shared prey resources, and drive major ecological shifts between years of high and low abundance. Their effect on competing species must be considered in international conservation policies and when developing informed ecosystem-based management strategies…
For study see:
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/03/28/1319089111


43. Farm salmon pose clear reproductive threat to wild gene pools
Farmed salmon show full reproductive potential to invade wild gene pools and should be sterilised - according to new research from the University of East Anglia (UEA).

Findings published today reveal that, while farmed salmon are genetically different to their wild counterparts, they are just as fertile. This is important information because millions of farmed salmon escape into the wild – posing threats to wild gene pools.
Lead Researcher Prof Matt Gage from UEA's school of Biological Sciences said: "Around 95 per cent of all salmon in existence are farmed, and domestication has made them very different to wild populations, each of which is locally adapted to its own river system.
"Farmed salmon grow very fast, are aggressive, and not as clever as wild salmon when it comes to dealing with predators. These domestic traits are good for producing fish for the table, but not for the stability of wild populations.

"The problem is that farmed salmon can escape each year in their millions, getting into wild spawning populations, where they can then reproduce and erode wild gene pools, introducing these negative traits….
http://phys.org/news/2014-03-farm-salmon-pose-reproductive
-threat.html#inlRlv


44. Engineered salmon may be a tough sell
The Obama administration has stalled for more than four years on deciding whether to approve a fast-growing salmon that would be the first genetically modified animal approved for human consumption.

During that time, opponents of the technology have taken advantage of increasing consumer concern about genetically modified foods and have urged several major retailers not to sell it. So far, two of the nation's biggest grocers, Safeway and Kroger, have pledged to keep the salmon off their shelves if it is approved…
http://phys.org/news/2014-04-salmon-tough.html#jCp


45. F.D.A. prohibits some omega-3 claims, effective 2016
WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration is publishing a final rule that prohibits certain nutrient content claims for foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids, the agency said April 25.

The rule prohibits statements on the labels of food products, including dietary supplements, claiming the products are “high” in two kinds of omega-3 fatty acids: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Synonyms such as “rich in” and “excellent source of” also are prohibited…

Another notification for ALA, DHA and EPA came to the F.D.A. in 2004 from Alaska General Seafoods, Ocean Beauty Seafoods, Inc. and Trans-Ocean Products, Inc. The F.D.A. prohibited the nutrient content claims from the three seafood processors.

Baking News story:
http://www.bakingbusiness.com/articles/news_home/Regulatory
/2014/04/FDA_prohibits_some_omega-3_cla.aspx?ID=%7B7AF
B545D-53F7-40FF-822D-43664673B310%7D&cck=1

Federal Register Notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-09492


46. FDA What You Need To Know About Establishment, Maintenance, and Availability of Records-Small Entity Compliance Guide; Availability
From the pdf guidance document:

… Section 414(b) of the FD&C Act directs FDA to issue regulations that establish requirements regarding the establishment and maintenance of records – for not longer than two years – by persons (excluding farms and restaurants) who manufacture, process, pack, transport, distribute, receive, hold, or import food. To implement this provision, the Agency issued a final regulation on the establishment and maintenance of records in 2004 (69 FR 71561, Dec. 9, 2004) and certain parts of the regulations were subsequently corrected in 2005 (70 FR 8726, Feb. 23, 2005). The records that must be kept by these regulations are those that are needed by FDA for inspection, to allow FDA to identify the immediate previous sources and immediate subsequent recipients of food, including its packaging. This, in turn, will help address credible threats of serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals…

Excluded from the Requirement to Establish and Maintain Records, but not the Record Availability Requirements for Existing Records
• Fishing vessels not engaged in processing..

Regulations.gov Docket ID: FDA-2013-N-1421:  http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FDA-2013-N-1421

FDA Guidance page: http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocuments
RegulatoryInformation/FoodDefense/ucm391329.htm

Guidance document: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/GuidanceRegulation/Guidance
DocumentsRegulatoryInformation/FoodDefense/UCM391440.pdf

Federal Register notice: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-07548


47. NIOSH releases Paul Revere: A story of Survival in Bristol Bay.
…the story of Shannon Ford her crew’s survival of a skiff capsizing in Bristol Bay a few years ago. I had the honor to interview both her and Don Ward about their experience and what role their personal flotation devices played in their survival. The video is about 10 minutes long and available on the NIOSH website and NIOSH YouTube channel.
NIOSH home page:
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/video/2014-115/


48. Ray Troll’s Ratfish band promotes rockfish safe release with hit song:
Rockfish Barotrauma MUSIC VIDEO .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2c0CN_1veT0

Is Barotrauma Keeping You Up? Try Getting Down with Recompression
-informational video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiZFghwVOyI

ADFG Rockfish Barotrauma prevention page:
http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fishingSportFishing
Info.rockfishconservation

Thanks to Copper River Regional Seafood Development Association President Mike Mikkelson for the heads up on this item.


49. Laine Welch Fish Radio – items from this week
AK seaweeds are super foods; fight obesity, diabetes
Kodiak Students Connecting with Ocean Science
Setnet ban gets day in Court; Togiak herring price tanks
Strong US dollar means more pricey exports
Kodiak herring going slow, Next up Togiak
Earth Day! What’s trashing our oceans?

These and more, online at http://www.alaskafishradio.com/


50. Comment Period Opens For Cruise Waste Permits - deadline May 23
The Legislature approved new regulations last year for cruise ships to release wastewater into Alaska’s oceans. Since then, the state has developed a permit process based on those regulations. Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation’s Division of Water Director Michelle Hale stopped in Ketchikan this week to talk about the changes.

…The cruise ship defines two different regulatory mixing zones, one for discharge underway and one for discharge at 6 knots or less or stationary,” she said. “Primarily, that 6 knots or less is for stationary vessels, but we kind of had to make a break point. So, if you’re going faster than 6 knots, you get covered under one mixing zone, if you’re going slower, you’re covered under another.”
Hale said some members of the public were concerned that the permits for cruise ships wouldn’t protect the ocean enough. But, she said, her division wrote the permits in a way that treats cruise ships like other wastewater discharge systems.
…More details about the draft cruise ship wastewater permit program is available on the Division of Water’s website. That’s also the place to go to find out how to submit comments. The comment period closes May 23rd.
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2014/04/22/comment-period
-opens-for-cruise-waste-permits/

Alaska DEC online public notice: http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/
View.aspx?id=172127

Alaska DEC Large Commercial Passenger Vessel Wastewater Discharge home page: http://dec.alaska.gov/water/cruise_ships/gp/2014dgp.html


51. Rural Determination for Federal Subsistence Under Review
The Federal Subsistence Board is meeting in Anchorage this week to discuss several topics -- including whether to change the process by which villages are determined to be rural for subsistence purposes.

The board is reviewing public comments submitted over the last year before it decides whether to recommend changes to the process.
Only the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture departments can ultimately alter the rural determination process. Under the current rules, communities with more than 7,000 people would be considered non-rural, unless they possess significant “rural characteristics.”

The towns of Bethel, Sitka, Kodiak and Ketchikan all have populations at or near that number. Many groups, including corporations formed under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and tribes, are asking to increase the threshold to a higher number.
: http://www.ktuu.com/news/news/rural-determination
-for-federal-subsistence-under-review/25505208


52. Comments deadline June 13 on proposed changes to Federal subsistence fisheries regulations
ANCHORAGE -- The Federal Subsistence Board is accepting written comments, through June
13, 2014, on proposed changes to Federal subsistence fisheries regulations. These proposed
changes would affect Federal subsistence open seasons, harvest limits, methods for the taking of
fish and shellfish, and customary and traditional use determinations for the 2015-2017 regulatory
years.

Copies of the proposal book can be found at http://www.doi.gov/subsistence/index.cfm or by
contacting the Office of Subsistence Management at (800) 478-1456 or (907) 786-3888…
In addition to written comments, the public is welcome to provide comments at the Regional Advisory Council meetings in August, September, and October 2014 or at the Federal Subsistence Board meeting in Anchorage in January 2015…

Federal Subsistence Board Press Release: http://www.doi.gov/subsistence/news/fishing/comments-invited-
fisheries-regulations.cfm

2015-2017 Fisheries Proposals (6.2MB):
http://www.doi.gov/subsistence/proposal/current/upload/2015-2017
-Fisheries-Regulatory-Proposals.pdf

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


53. US Supreme Court rejects state appeal in long-running Katie John subsistence case
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up a long-running dispute over management of Alaska’s waterways.The decision effectively upholds a lower court’s decision in what’s become popularly known as the “Katie John case.” This continues the federal government control’s over hunting and fishing on navigable state-owned waters adjacent to federal land.The decision, a blow to the state and a victory for the Alaska Federation of Natives, upholds a 2013 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The state of Alaska had petitioned the high court, seeking review…
http://www.adn.com/2014/03/31/3402229/supreme-court
-declines-to-hear.html

Alaska Dispatch: more detail
http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20140331/three-decades
-katie-john-litigation-ends-supreme-court-declining-review-key-case
 

State 2013 filing: State of Alaska vs. Sally Jewell, Secretary of the United States Department of the Interior et all
http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell_media/resources_files/
petition110413.pdf
 


54. Federal Subsistence Board votes to limit Kuskokwim kings to federally qualified users
By Ben Matheson, KYUK - Bethel

The Federal Subsistence Board Thursday unanimously approved a special action request from the Napaskiak Traditional Council that would limit any available king salmon to federally qualified subsistence users of 32 specific Kuskokwim communities.
In the discussion about limiting the pool of eligible fisherman, the board heard passionate testimony about the need for chinook harvest.

“Through blood, sweat, and tears we feed our families,” said George Guy of Kwethuluk.
They also heard calls for strong conservation measures. Lisa Feyereisen is from Chuathbaluk.
“I want to be able to show my grandchildren what a Chinook salmon looks like,” said Feyereisen.
The action passed by the board doesn’t specifically open up any harvest of kings nor does it shut down fisheries that could incidentally catch kings. All it does it say who will be at the table if the runs comes in stronger than expected…
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2014/04/22/116322/


55. Kuskokwim Dipnet Fishery Emergency Regulation posted
Notice of Adoption of Emergency Regulations of the Alaska Board of Fisheries

On March 21, 2014, the Alaska Board of Fisheries adopted, as emergency regulations, changes in Title 5 of the Alaska Administrative Code dealing with subsistence salmon fishing on the Kuskokwim River in the Kuskokwim Area, including the following:
5 AAC 07.365(d)(2) is changed to give the commissioner of fish and game authority to close the subsistence salmon fishing season on the Kuskokwim River and immediately reopen by emergency order a subsistence salmon fishing season during which a gillnet mesh size and length of a gillnet may be reduced under certain conditions and a person may use a dip net to subsistence fish for salmon.  In addition, any king salmon taken by a dip net must be immediately returned to the water alive.
Online public notice:
http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View
.aspx?id=172290


56. Yupiit Nation to host salmon forum – Bethel April 30 – May1
 The Yupiit Nation Board of Trustees will be hosting a Tribal Forum for 56 Federally Recognized Tribes and fishermen on April 30 and May 1, 2014 at the ONC Multipurpose Building (Old Bowling Alley) in Bethel, Alaska. Both days will start at 8:00 am-9:00 am registration, the meetings start at 9:00 am sharp.

The purpose of the Forum is to review and update our summer fishing proposed plans that are going to have real impact on our traditional and customary way of life. Both the State of Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the decision on the request by Native Village of Napaskiak by the Federal Subsistence Board will be reviewed. We will also have updates on our legal fishing issues in Alaska, and an update on the Katie John decision by the US Supreme Court. As we all know, the Kuskokwim River Management Working Group has been reviewing the escapement numbers of Chinook since 1984 with the Bethel Test Fishery and the existing weirs…
http://www.deltadiscovery.com/story/2014/04/16/in-our-native
-land/yupiit-nation-to-host-salmon-forum/2000.html


57. Comment deadline May 21 on ADFG Invasive Pike eradication in Soldotna Creek drainage
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) has applied to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for a permit to apply pesticide to control invasive northern Pike in the Soldotna Creek drainage area in the Kenai Peninsula.

The following project is proposed and is being reviewed by the appropriate regulatory programs.  DEC requests comments from the public regarding the permit application. Copies of the application are available on-line or upon request.  

PROJECT NAME: Soldotna Creek Drainage Area Northern Pike Control Aquatic Pesticide Use Permit.

WRITTEN COMMENTS: Comments must be received no later than 4:00 p.m. Alaska Standard Time on May 21, 2014. To ensure that your comments are considered in relation to this application, please include the project name at the beginning of your comment. To be considered, comments must be submitted in writing to DEC at the following address:

ADFG online notice:
http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/
View.aspx?id=172235


58. Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force meets May 7-8, Arlington VA.
…the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce a public meeting of the Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) Task Force. The ANS Task Force's purpose is to develop and implement a program for U.S. waters to prevent introduction and dispersal of aquatic invasive species (AIS); to monitor, control, and study such species; and to disseminate related information.

DATES: The ANS Task Force will meet from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 7, through Thursday, May 8, 2014. For security purposes,
registration for the meeting is required. If you wish to attend the meeting, you must register by contacting the ANS Task Force Executive
Secretary (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) no later than May 1, 2014…

ANS Task Force home page: http://www.anstaskforce.gov/default.php
Meeting page: http://www.anstaskforce.gov/Meetings/2014_May/default.php
Draft Agenda: http://www.anstaskforce.gov/Meetings/2014_
May/Draft_agenda_Spring_2014_4_3_14.pdf

Federal Register notice:
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/03/31/2014-06974
/aquatic-nuisance-species-task-force-meeting


59. Japanese Tsunami Marine Debris Key Aquatic Invasive Species Watch
What to watch for and how to report potential invasive species on debris…
http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/species/nonnative/invasive/pdfs/
tsunami_debris_species_watch_osu.pdf


60. Report Invasive Species in Alaska – 1-800-INVASIV
…Your vigilance could help us intercept and prevent the spread of an unwanted biological invader – an invasive species that shouldn’t be here and which could cause serious harm to Alaska’s native fish and wildlife species, and their habitats. Learn more about nonnative species and why your actions to report odd species are so important.

Note the location (maybe even get a GPS coordinate) and, if you can, take a picture. Then report your find to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Invasive Species Program at dfg.dsf.InvasiveSpecies@alaska.gov , or call the Invasive Species Hotline: 1-877-INVASIV (1-877-468-2748).

ADF&G Invasive Species page: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=invasive.main


61. Nominations Requested for EVOS Public Advisory Committee – deadline May 15
The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council is seeking nominations for the Public Advisory Committee to serve a 24 month term from October 2014 through September 2016.  Nominations are due to the Trustee Council Office by Thursday, May 15, 2014.  For more information on the role of the Public Advisory Committee or the nomination process, or copies of documents relating to the Public Advisory Committee or the work of the Trustee Council visit www.evostc.state.ak.us , or contact Cherri Womac at the Trustee Council Office, 907/278-8012…
Online public notice: http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/
View.aspx?id=171714


62. Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) Board Announces Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) Program Improvements
April 25, Juneau, AK – To continue to provide the highest assurance of responsible fisheries management of Alaska’s fisheries, the Board of Directors of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) voted to enhance the Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) Certification program.

“We’ve built a credible third party certification program for our industry and customers, and we are evolving the program. Just as Alaska’s fishery managers and biologists are dedicated to improvements in the fishery management system, we too remain committed to continuous improvement with RFM,” states ASMI Executive Director, Michael Cerne…
http://pressroom.alaskaseafood.org/alaska-seafood-marketing
-institute-asmi-board-announces-responsible-fisheries-management
-rfm-program-improvements/


63. MAFAC Comment deadline April 30 on NOAA role in Sustainable Seafood Certification
…Due to stakeholder requests and increasing public interest, in mid-2012, NOAA Fisheries asked MAFAC to explore the creation of a NOAA certification mark or other acknowledgement that could certify sustainability of domestic wild-caught and aquaculture fishery products.  MAFAC agreed and organized a working group to investigate the topic and develop a recommendation.  Your assessment of MAFAC's recommendation is welcome…

In developing its recommendation over the course of the past year, MAFAC invited external experts to present information on the subject at meetings; solicited public input from producers, buyers, and non-governmental organizations; conducted personal interviews; and engaged in extensive internal deliberations.

MAFAC finalized and delivered its recommendation to NOAA Fisheries in December 2013. The recommendation was supported by a majority of, but not all, MAFAC members.  The Committee included the alternative points of view in their report…
Recommendations & report:
http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/op/Sustainability/Sustainable
_Seafood_Certification.html


64. Alaska Sea Grant Fishlines - April  Newsletter
-New Marine Advisory Agent in Bristol Bay
-Alaskans Learn Do’s and Don’ts of Community Based Monitoring
-Alaska Seafood Processing Leadership Institute
http://seagrant.uaf.edu/news/fishlines/2014/april.php


65. 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 ufa@ufa-fish.org

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
01df158-d935-4d7a-895d-f694ddf41624&MonthDisplay=2&YearDispl
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.
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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/



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