UFA Update

December 30, 2009

We wish all a warm New Year’s celebration, and a successful 2010.


Table of Contents
1. Court: One halibut a day in Southeast (for SE charter customers)
2. Halibut Commission calls for more cuts to Southeast halibut fleet
3. IPHC Annual meeting Jan 26-29, Seattle
4. State Requests Extension of Federal Subsistence Review Deadline
to Allow More Alaskans to Participate
5. Governor Parnell Appoints Alaskans to Subsistence Advisory Councils
6. NPFMC Items from the December meeting:
7. Board of Fisheries posts summary of actions -Bristol Bay finfish meetings Dec 1-8.
8. Comment Deadline January 12 on AYK Finfish Proposals for Jan 26-31 meeting
9. Interest high, buying low in state's fishing permit sales
10. Bristol Bay Native Corp. opposes Pebble Mine
11. U.S. Ocean Policy Task Force: Interim Framework for Effective Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning – comment deadline February 12, 2010.
12. HR 4363 Offshore Aquaculture Act introduced in House Resources
Capps unveils marine farming regulations
13. ADN Review: 'Sea Change' documentary visually beautiful, but fragile
14. Glaciers an important marine food source
15. Fisheries and Aquaculture Face Multiple Risks from Climate Change
16. To Save the Planet, Save the Seas - NY Time Op-Ed by Dan Laffoley
17. Salmon Roe Ranks among Richest Omega-3 Foods
18. ASMI reminder on Vitamin D – How To Get It When The Sun Goes Down –from salmon
19. ASMI Salmon Market Bulletin –December 2009:
20. AFDF Symphony of Seafood calls for entries for new products contest
21. Exxon decides not to appeal $70M in costs from punitive damages settlement
22. Tug’s accident raises questions
23. Governor Indignant at Oil Spills in Prince William Sound, Prudhoe Bay
24. CCA pushes Ballot Initiative to ban gill nets in Oregon
25. Coast Guard delivers 20,000 pounds of fish to Kotzebue
26. Norwegian speakers:  Let wild salmon die – farmed salmon more important?
27. Catch Shares Improve Consistency, Not Health, Of Fisheries
28. Op Ed - The Times They Are a-Changin' - by Nils Stolpe
29.  Laine Welch's Fish Radio –topics from this week
30. USCG Safety Alert: Unapproved EPIRB Battery Replacements
31. Alternate Compliance and Safety Agreement Program Implementation for H&G
32. Comment deadline January 25 for U.S. Navy Gulf of Alaska Training Activities 33. Comment deadline February 16 on salmon bycatch EIS
34. Forest Service and ADF&G Seek Concurrence to Protect Fish Habitat and Passage
35. USDA Forest Service launches collaborative process for new planning rule
36. NMFS posts MMPA List of Fisheries for 2010
37. NMFS posts IFQ cost recovery standard prices
38. Comment deadline January 4 on 2010-2011 BSAI groundfish specifications
39. Comment by January 6 on Council regulation, procedures & disclosure changes
40. Comment deadline February 1 on Cook Inlet Beluga Whale Critical Habitat
41. Comment by March 1 on Cook Inlet Beluga economic value mail survey
42. Comment Deadline March 11 on National Standard 2 regarding science
43. Council Coordination Committee meets January 13-14, Washington DC


1. Court:1 halibut a day in Southeast (for SE charter customers)
By Margaret Bauman, Alaska Journal of Commerce
Halibut charter operators in Southeast Alaska were defeated in a court battle to reinstate a two-fish-a-day rule for their fishery, and are now weighing their options for appealing the Nov. 23 federal court decision…
Linda Behnken, director of the Alaska Longline Fishermen's Association and board chair for the Halibut Coalition, hailed the decision as a real benefit to protecting the halibut resource from overharvesting.
Behnken noted that the allowable harvest of halibut by the longline fleet has been cut by 53 percent over the last three years to keep the resource sustainable.
"The charter fleet exceeded its guideline harvest level by over 100 percent in 2008 and the charter harvest has continued to grow," Behnken said. "This decision establishes that all sectors need to share in conserving the resource, to ensure sustainable harvests for everyone in the future."
 http://www.alaskajournal.com/stories/120409/
loc_img1_002.shtml

Halibut Coalition home page: http://www.halibutcoalition.org/


2. Halibut Commission calls for more cuts to Southeast halibut fleet
By Margaret Bauman, Alaska Journal of Commerce
Commissioners of the International Pacific Halibut Commission will consider in late January cutting the 2010 quota for the commercial setline halibut fleet by 26 percent, an overall 65 percent reduction since 2006, because of a decline in the fishery's biomass.
http://www.alaskajournal.com/stories/122409/
loc_26_001.shtml

IPHC Staff Preliminary Catch Limit Recommendations for 2010
http://www.iphc.washington.edu/halcom/newsrel
/2009/nr20091208.htm


3. IPHC Annual meeting Jan 26-29, Seattle
The Eighty-sixth Annual Meeting of the International Pacific Halibut Commission will be held from Tuesday, January 26 through Friday, January 29, 2010 at the Seattle Marriott Waterfront…
http://www.iphc.washington.edu/halcom/
pubs/annmeet/IPHCAM.htm


2009 Halibut Landing Report No. 10:  http://www.iphc.washington.edu/halcom/n
ewsrel/2009/nr20091203.htm

International Pacific Halibut Commission home page: http://www.iphc.washington.edu/halcom/


4. State Requests Extension of Federal Subsistence Review Deadline
to Allow More Alaskans to Participate
(JUNEAU) - The Alaska Department of Fish and Game requested an extension today of the deadline for comments to the Department of the Interior (DOI) on the Federal Subsistence Program Review. The request for additional time is based on the significant importance of the review to Alaskans.

“We believe that providing little more than a month before the holidays is not sufficient.”  said Denby Lloyd, ADF&G Commissioner. Although a DOI website to submit comments went online November 12, and Interior is requesting comments before the holidays, Lloyd explained that department staff has received numerous complaints from the public that there is not enough time to prepare comments…
http://www.adfg.state.ak.us/news/2009/12-04-09_nr.php

Previous item: Secretary Seeks Input for Review of Federal Subsistence Program
http://www.doi.gov/subsistencereview  


5. Governor Parnell Appoints Alaskans to Subsistence Advisory Councils
December 14, 2009, Anchorage, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell today announced appointments to state-federal subsistence advisory councils for the seven national parks and monuments created by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA).


6. NPFMC Items from the December meeting:
GOA Pcod Sector Split motion: http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc/
current_issues/pcod/GOApcodsplit_motion1209.pdf

Salmon Bycatch Data Collection motion: http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc/current_issues/bycatch
/SalmonBycatchDataCollectionMotion1209.pdf

BSAI Salmon Bycatch motion; http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc/current_issues/bycatch
/SalmonBycatchMotion1209.pdf

Outreach Plan for EA/RIR/IRFA on Non-Chinook Salmon Bycatch in the Bering Sea Pollock Fishery:
http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc/current_issues
/RuralOutreach/ChumOutreach1209.pdf
 

Final Council specs for 2010/2011: http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/
npfmc/CouncilSpecs1209.pdf
 

December Newsletter: http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc/
newsletters/NEWS1209.pdf

NPFMC Home page: http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc/


7. Board of Fisheries posts summary of actions -Bristol Bay finfish meetings Dec 1-8.
http://www.boards.adfg.state.ak.us/fishinfo/meetsum
/2009-2010/Dec09-summ.pdf


8. Comment Deadline January 12 on AYK Finfish Proposals for Jan 26-31 meeting
See meeting notice, proposals, agenda, roadmap & ADFG comments for this meeting on the BOF calendar at http://www.boards.adfg.state.ak.us/fishinfo/meetinfo/fcal.php
Comment instructions are at the bottom of the meeting calendar page.


9. Interest high, buying low in state's fishing permit sales
LAINE WELCH – Alaska Journal of Commerce
KODIAK -- Sales of fishing permits and catch shares is a good way to gauge how confident people feel about the economy, and brokers say the past year has been a mixed bag in their business.

"It's been the slowest year I've ever had, but with the most phone time ever. There's a lot of interest, but not a lot of movement," said Olivia Olsen at Alaskan Quota and Permits in Petersburg. "A lot of guys want to buy and they had the money, but the world situation and some declining fish stocks didn't give them a lot of confidence."

Mike Painter at the Permit Master in Anacortes, Wash., agreed, but added the tide seems to be turning…
http://www.alaskajournal.com/stories/122409/fis
_10_001.shtml


10. Bristol Bay Native Corp. opposes Pebble Mine
ANCHORAGE - The Bristol Bay Native Corp. is opposing the development of the Pebble copper and gold prospect in Southwest Alaska.
The corporation's board voted Friday to oppose the mine, as well as offshore oil and gas leasing in the Bering Sea. The board cited the "unquantifiable impacts the project could have on the natural resources of the Bristol Bay region."
"Maintaining a neutral stance on the Pebble Mine project is no longer in the best interest of the corporation or to the values of cultural and economic sustainability to which we hold ourselves," said Bristol Bay board chairman Joseph Chythlook in a press release…
http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/121409/sta
_535641806.shtml


11. U.S. Ocean Policy Task Force: Interim Framework for Effective Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning – comment deadline February 12, 2010.
On December 14, 2009, President Obama’s Ocean Policy Task Force released its Interim Framework for Effective Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning  (Interim Framework) for a 60-day public review and comment period.  With competing interests in the ocean, our coasts and the Great Lakes, the Interim Framework offers a comprehensive, integrated approach to planning and managing uses and activities.  Under the Framework, coastal and marine spatial planning would be regional in scope, developed cooperatively among Federal, State, tribal, local authorities, and regional governance structures, with substantial stakeholder and public input.

The Interim Framework includes a number of important provisions that would significantly overhaul the Federal Government’s approach to coastal and marine planning, including:

- A New Approach to How We Use and Protect the Ocean, Coast, and Great Lakes.

- Moves us Away From Sector-by-Sector and Statute-by-Statute Decision-Making.

- Brings Federal, State, and Tribal Partners Together in an Unprecedented Manner to Jointly Plan for the Future. 

- Places Science-Based Information at the Heart of Decision-Making. 

- Emphasizes Stakeholder and Public Participation.

CEQ Ocean Policy Task Force announcement:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ceq/initiatives
/oceans/interim-framework


Interim Report: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files
/microsites/091209-Interim-CMSP-Framework-Task-Force.pdf

To submit comments see: http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/
eop/ceq/initiatives/oceans/interim-framework/submit

Federal Register Notice: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/E9-30071.htm


12. HR 4363 Offshore Aquaculture Act introduced in House Resources
Capps unveils marine farming regulations
By ERIC LINDBERG —Santa Barbara Daily Sound -  Dec. 18, 2009
Farming fish and other seafood in federal waters may soon be possible if legislation introduced this week by Congresswoman Lois Capps is approved.
The National Sustainable Offshore Aquaculture Act of 2009 would establish the first legal regulations for marine farming in waters at least three miles off the coast of the United States. Capps said she plans to develop a regulatory framework that balances environmental considerations with potential economic gains.
http://www.thedailysound.com/121809aquaculture

Representative Capps’ Press release: http://capps.house.gov/2009/
12/capps-introduces-comprehensive-sustainable-offshore-
aquaculture-legislation.shtml

For information and bill text see http://thomas.loc.gov/ , enter HR 4353 and select search by Bill Number.

House Resources home page: http://resourcescommittee.house.gov/


13. ADN Review: 'Sea Change' documentary visually beautiful, but fragile
"A Sea Change" is about ocean acidification -- the proposition that man-made carbon emissions wind up in the ocean, lowering the pH level, stressing out the shelled critters who inhabit the bottom of the food chain, eventually sending starvation up the line until we get a world without salmon, pollock or humpback whales...
The bigger disappointment is that statements are not challenged, counter-arguments are not noted and sourcing is often absent. This is the producer's prerogative, but it dilutes the film's value as education and blunts its power to persuade…
http://www.adn.com/life/arts/story/1052191.html

UFA hosted a presentation on current Ocean Acidification research in the North Pacific by Dr. Richard Feely at our Pacific Marine Expo meeting day.
Dr. Feely’s Powerpoint presentation to UFA is online (27 meg download pdf at: http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/co2/mar/Feely_
UnitedFishermen_Nov09_mac.pdf


14. Glaciers an important marine food source
Study helps scientists understand the role of glaciers as they recede
By Kim Marquis | JUNEAU EMPIRE
A study done on Juneau's glaciers shows that the hulking blocks of ice produce high-quality food for the organisms that live in downstream rivers and the ocean.

The information will help scientists better understand marine food chains as glaciers continue to shrink, said researcher Eran Hood, a University of Alaska Southeast associate professor who led the study…
http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/122409
/loc_539293675.shtml

JUNEAU, Alaska, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- Melting glacial ice in the Gulf of Alaska affects the marine food chain from microbes to the fish that feed on them, scientists said.

The organic matter of the gulf's watersheds is "remarkably" biologically active and is likely to decrease as glacial ice melts and the biomass is not replenished, said Rick Edwards, an aquatic ecologist with the Pacific Northwest Station in Juneau, Alaska.

 http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2009/12/28/
Melting-glacial-ice-harms-food-chain/UPI-46081262028938/


15. Fisheries and Aquaculture Face Multiple Risks from Climate Change
ScienceDaily (Dec. 22, 2009) — A new report, published by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, predicts "an ocean of change" for fishers and fish farmers. It concludes that urgent adaptation measures are required in response to opportunities and threats to food and livelihood provision due to climatic variations.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/
091215170218.htm


16. To Save the Planet, Save the Seas - NY Time Op-Ed by Dan Laffoley
…Few people may realize it, but in addition to producing most of the oxygen we breathe, the ocean absorbs some 25 percent of current annual carbon dioxide emissions. Half the world’s carbon stocks are held in plankton, mangroves, salt marshes and other marine life. So it is at least as important to preserve this ocean life as it is to preserve forests, to secure its role in helping us adapt to and mitigate climate change…
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/27/opinion/
27lafolley.html?_r=1


17. Salmon Roe Ranks among Richest Omega-3 Foods
Study ranks salmon eggs as one of the three roes richest in omega-3s; ounce for ounce, fish eggs outrank even the fattiest fish as sources of omega-3s..
This story and more are online in the current Vital Choices newsletter at:
http://newsletter.vitalchoice.com/index000414220.cfm


18. ASMI reminder on Vitamin D – How To Get It When The Sun Goes Down –from salmon
During the dark winter months, sunlight can be an insufficient source of vitamin D which is vital for the absorption of calcium and phosphorous. Low vitamin D levels have recently been linked to a greater chance of developing diseases including diabetes and heart disease, several cancers and the common cold.
The good news is that there is a delicious and healthy, vitamin D rich food source, that’s also one of American’s top favorite seafoods: Wild Alaska Salmon.
Salmon is one of the highest natural food sources of vitamin D with 360 IU* (International Units) per 3.5 oz.
http://pressroom.alaskaseafood.org/shortest-day-of-the-y
ear-vitamin-d-%e2%80%93-how-to-get-it-when-the-sun-
goes-down/


19. ASMI Salmon Market Bulletin –December 2009:
http://www.alaskaseafood.org/fishingprocessing/
seafoodweb_dec09/index.html


20. AFDF Symphony of Seafood calls for entries for new products contest
Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation announced last week that it will again hold its Alaska Symphony of Seafood new products contest in Seattle. The event will be held on Feb. 3…
Dutch Harbor Fisherman article:
http://www.thedutchharborfisherman.com/article/09
52fisheries_development_group_calls_for_products

AFDF Symphony of Seafood home page: http://www.symphonyofseafood.com/


21. Exxon decides not to appeal $70M in costs from punitive damages settlement
Exxon will pay out money it had previously set aside for punitive damages, stated a news release posted Dec. 15 on the Exxon Qualified Settlement Fund Web site…
http://www.thecordovatimes.com/article/0952exxon
_decides_not_to_appeal


22. Tug’s accident raises questions
• Advisory council wants to know how spill prevention strategy failed
by Naomi Klouda, Homer Tribune
The final drawing down of tanks aboard a tug boat that spilled an estimated 33,500 gallons of diesel fuel after hitting Bligh Reef on Dec. 23 was expected to be completed by Tuesday. However, officials say they have not yet determined what caused the grounding on Alaska’s well-marked navigational hazard…
 http://homertribune.com/2009/12/tug%E2%80%
99s-accident-raises-questions/

For more info, the PWSRCAC web page on the Tanker Escort System is online at http://www.pwsrcac.org/projects/MaritimeOps/escort.html


23. Governor Indignant at Oil Spills in Prince William Sound, Prudhoe Bay
December 24, 2009, Juneau, Alaska – Following the oil industry's third significant spill at Prudhoe Bay in one month and yesterday’s spill in Prince William Sound, Governor Sean Parnell today called executives at both BP Exploration and Alyeska Pipeline Service Company to express his deep concern.

“Frankly, when I saw so many spills in such a short time I was indignant that these spills would occur,” Governor Parnell said. “The spills harm both Alaska's environment and Alaska’s reputation for responsible resource development. I let the companies know this was not acceptable.”

http://www.gov.state.ak.us/archive.php?id=5208&type=1


24. CCA pushes Ballot Initiative to ban gill nets in Oregon
PORTLAND – Coastal Conservation Association is launching a ballot initiative …
The Protect Our Salmon Act would ban the use of gill nets and tangle nets in Oregon waters, including the Columbia River.

The press release had some technical difficulties but is linked from  the CCA PNW homepage at: http://ccapnw.org/home

CCAPNW Briefing Document on Oregon Gillnet Ban “Protect our Salmon” ballot initiative:
http://centralpt.com/upload/502/POSA/10583_2009-
POSABriefingDocumentwebsite.pdf


25. Coast Guard delivers 20,000 pounds of fish to Kotzebue
KOTZEBUE, Alaska - A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak HC-130 Hercules aircraft crew delivers 20,000 pounds of silver salmon fillets to Kotzebue Dec. 28, 2009.
The Coast Guard delivered the fish for a humanitarian effort which will feed 11 villages and more than 1.000 families in the area.
District 17 Press release: http://www.uscgalaska.com/go/doc/
780/436735/

Seashare home page: http://www.seashare.org/


26. Attn Norwegian speakers:  Let wild salmon die – farmed salmon more important?
Quotes as translated with Google:
- Let the wild salmon to die out if it is necessary to farm, say two mayors who are tired of the researchers massive criticism against the industry.
- I think farming is more important than taking care of the wild salmon if you can not do both, "said Mayor Helge Njåstad in Austevoll (FRP) to TV 2
http://www.tv2nyhetene.no/innenriks/velger-oppdrett
-foran-villaks-3045428.html

(from what I’ve seen from automated Japanese translators these quotes may need verification -MV)


27. Catch Shares Improve Consistency, Not Health, Of Fisheries
Catch share programs result in more consistent and predictable fisheries but do not necessarily improve ecological conditions, according to a new study published online this week by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Lenfest Ocean Program Press Release:
http://www.lenfestocean.org/publications/NR%20Catch%
20Shares%20Essington%20final.pdf

Report summary:
http://www.lenfestocean.org/publications/Lenfest%20RS%
20Catch%20Shares%20FINAL.pdf


28. Op Ed - The Times They Are a-Changin' - by Nils Stolpe
 Fishermen have finally concluded that it’s time for long overdue changes, and that the place to go is Congress.
It’s been a long time coming, but it appears as if a critical number of fishermen have finally reached the conclusion that the way things are heading, there’s not going to be an acceptable fishing future for any of us, that it’s time for some long overdue changes, and that the place to effect those changes is in Congress…
http://www.savingseafood.org/columns/the-times-they-
are-a-changin-by-nils-stolpe-2.html


29.  Laine Welch's Fish Radio –topics from this week
Wednesday 12/30/09 Call for entries in Symphony of Seafood contest‏
Tuesday 12/29/09 “New rules” proposed at IPHC annual meeting 
Monday 12/28/09 Holiday oysters = aphrodisiac!
Friday 12/25/09 Christmas miracles from the sea
Thursday 12/24/09 Whales and fish quotas‏

Listen Online at: http://www.marineconservationalliance.org/
fishradio.htm


30. USCG Safety Alert: Unapproved EPIRB Battery Replacements
Fishing vessel safety staff in the Coast Guard’s Seventh District has received at least three reports in the past few months regarding unapproved replacements of 406 EPIRB batteries by servicing companies having no association with the EPIRB manufacturer. These unauthorized battery installations would likely result in a failure of this critical item of lifesaving equipment, and as such are not in compliance with the operational readiness requirements of 46 CFR.
http://homeport.uscg.mil/cgi-bin/st/portal/uscg_docs/
MyCG/Editorial/20091130/0809.pdf?id=
089d972bd1f885fec4fd41997ef272101d05aafa


31. Alternate Compliance and Safety Agreement Program Implementation for H&G
The ACSA Implementation Guide for the "Head and Gut" Fleet has been published.  &
The Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Digest was revised and updated in 2008.  It is available for viewing and/or downloading.  Select "Fishing Vessel Homeport" at the left, and when in "Homeport" go to the "References & Publications" topic group.  It will appear as the first item.

See links on fishsafe homepage at: http://www.fishsafe.info/


32. Comment deadline January 25 for U.S. Navy Gulf of Alaska Training Activities EIS -  -Public meetings scheduled for Jan 7 – 12 in Kodiak, Anchorage, Homer, Juneau & Cordova

…the Department of the Navy (Navy) has prepared and filed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency a Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement (EIS/OEIS) for public release on December 11, 2009. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is a Cooperating Agency for the EIS/OEIS.

    The Draft EIS/OEIS evaluates the potential environmental effects of the Proposed Action from Navy training activities conducted in the Gulf of Alaska and Alaska's inland training areas, collectively referred to as the Alaska Training Areas (ATA). The Draft EIS/OEIS addresses ongoing and proposed military training activities, as well as proposed force structure changes and the introduction of new weapons and systems to the Fleet. The Proposed Action serves to achieve and maintain Fleet readiness using the ATA to support and conduct current, emerging, and future training activities. A Notice of Intent for this Draft EIS/OEIS was published in the Federal Register on March 17, 2008 (73 FR 14237).

    The Navy will conduct five public hearings to receive oral and written comments on the Draft EIS/OEIS. Federal, State, and local agencies, elected officials, and other interested individuals and organizations are invited to be present or represented at the public hearings. This notice announces the dates and locations of the public hearings for this Draft EIS/OEIS.

    An open house session will precede the scheduled public hearing at each of the locations listed below, and will allow individuals to review the information presented in the Draft EIS/OEIS. Navy representatives will be available during the open house sessions to clarify information related to the Draft EIS/OEIS.

   Dates and Addresses: Five public hearings will be held in Alaska to receive oral and written comments on the Draft EIS/OEIS. All meetings will start with an open house session from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., followed by a presentation and formal public comment period from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Public hearings will be held on the following dates and at the following locations:

Public hearings will be held on the following dates and at the 
following locations:
1. Thursday, January 7, 2010, at Kodiak High School Cafet
eria, 722 Mill Bay Road, Kodiak, Alaska;
2. Friday, January 8, 2010, at Fairview Recreation Center
MainGymnasium, 1121 E. 10th Avenue, Anchorage, Alaska;
3. Saturday, January 9, 2010, at West Homer Elem
entary School Gymnasium, 995 Soundview Avenue, Homer, Alaska; 4. Monday, January 11, 2010, at Juneau Arts and Cultu
re Center Main Hall, 350 Whittier Street, Juneau, Alaska; 5. Tuesday, February JANUARY 12, 2010, at Orca Adventure Lodge
Meeting Room & Cafe, 2500 Orca Road, Cordova, Alaska.

FEDERAL REGISTER CORRECTIONS:
-The EPA Notice of Receipt of 11 Dec 2009 contained an incorrect phone number for Amy Burt. The correct phone number is 360-396-0924.
-In the Notice of Public Hearings published by the Navy on 11 Dec 2009, the month for the Cordova, Alaska public hearing was incorrect. The correct date for the Cordova meeting is January 12, 2010.

Federal Register Notice:
http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/E9-29565.htm

Home page- with links to draft EIS & comment form:
 http://www.gulfofalaskanavyeis.com/

Draft EIS: http://www.gulfofalaskanavyeis.com/
otherresources.aspx#draft

Documents page: http://www.gulfofalaskanavyeis.com/
OtherResources.aspx#Brochures

Comment form online:
http://www.gulfofalaskanavyeis.com/Documents/
GOAwebsiteCommentForm.pdf


33. Comment deadline February 16 on salmon bycatch EIS
NOAA Fisheries has published an environmental impact statement concerning the accidental catch of Chinook salmon in the Bering Sea pollock fishery…

The EIS analyzes five alternatives, including the Council's recommended alternative, that generally involve limits or "caps" on the number of Chinook salmon that may be caught in the Bering Sea pollock fishery. Managers would close all or part of the pollock fishery when a Chinook salmon bycatch cap is reached, even if the entire pollock total allowable catch has not yet been harvested.

Comments on the final EIS will be received until February 16, 2010. After studying public comments on the final document, NOAA will publish a record of decision…
NOAA Press release:
http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/newsreleases/2009/
salmonbycatch121809.htm


34. Forest Service and ADF&G Seek Concurrence to Protect Fish Habitat and Fish Passage
Juneau, Alaska- Alaska Forest Service Regional Forester Denny Bschor signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game that outlines protocols for gaining concurrence in conducting instream activites on the Tongass and Chugach national forests December 18.

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed by ADF&G Commissioner Denby Lloyd December 10. Both agencies have the common goal of protecting fish resources on Alaska's national forests while continuing a long-standing cooperative relationship. The Forest Service and ADF&G's Division of Habitat will work together to reach concurrence on all instream activities and to maintain fish passage in all fish-bearing water bodies on national forests in Alaska. US Forest Service Alaska region Press release: http://www.fs.fed.us/r10/ro/newsroom/releases/
AK_Forest_Service_and_State_ADFG_sign_fish_mou_
121409.shtml

MOU: http://www.fs.fed.us/r10/ro/newsroom/releases
/fisheries_mou.doc

US Forest Service Alaska Region home page: http://www.fs.fed.us/r10/


35. USDA Forest Service launches collaborative process for new planning rule
  WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2009-Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the USDA Forest Service is beginning an open, collaborative process to create and implement a modern planning rule to address current and future needs of the National Forest System, including restoring forests, protecting watersheds, addressing climate change, sustaining local economies, improving collaboration, and working across landscapes. The Forest Service will publish a notice of intent (NOI) in the Federal Register tomorrow, December 18, to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) to develop a new planning rule that will provide a framework for management of national forests and grasslands…
USFS press release:
http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB?
contentidonly=true&contentid=2009/12/0620.xml

Federal Register notice: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/
2009/E9-30174.htm


36. NMFS posts MMPA List of Fisheries for 2010
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) publishes its final List of Fisheries (LOF) for 2010, as required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). The final LOF for 2010 reflects new information on interactions between commercial fisheries and marine
mammals. NMFS must categorize each commercial fishery on the LOF into one of three categories under the MMPA based upon the level of serious injury and mortality of marine mammals that occurs incidental to each fishery. The categorization of a fishery in 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 requirements.
DATES: This final rule is effective January 1, 2010.
Federal Register notice: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/
2009/E9-27431.htm


37. NMFS posts IFQ cost recovery standard prices
NMFS publishes individual fishing quota (IFQ) standard prices for the IFQ cost recovery program in the halibut and sablefish fisheries of the North Pacific. This action is intended to provide holders of halibut and sablefish IFQ permits with the 2009 standard prices and fee percentage to calculate the required payment for IFQ cost recovery fees due by January 31, 2010…
http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/E9-29463.htm


38. Comment deadline January 4 on 2010-2011 BSAI groundfish specifications
NMFS proposes 2010 and 2011 harvest specifications and prohibited species catch allowances for the groundfish fisheries of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) management area…Comments must be received by January 4, 2010.
 http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/E9-28831.htm


39. Comment by January 6 on Council regulation, procedures & disclosure changes
NMFS proposes changes to the regulations that address the operations and administration of Regional Fishery Management Councils (Councils). The regulatory changes are needed to clarify which Council documents should be available to the public, clarify Council member nomination procedures, clarify financial disclosure requirements for
Council members, and revise the security assurance procedures for nominees to and members of the Councils.

DATES:  Written comments must be received no later than 5 p.m. e.d.t.
on January 6, 2010…
http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/E9-29062.htm


40. Comment deadline February 1 on Cook Inlet Beluga Whale Critical Habitat
...the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), propose to designate critical habitat for the Cook Inlet beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) distinct population segment under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Two areas are proposed, comprising 7,809 square kilometers (3,016 square miles) of marine habitat. We solicit comments from the public on all aspects of the proposal.

DATES: Comments and information regarding this proposed rule must be
received by close of business on February 1, 2010. Requests for public
hearings must be made in writing and received by January 19, 2010.
Federal Register Notice: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/E9-28760.htm
NOAA press release: http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories
2009/20091201_alaskabeluga.html

Previous item:  NOAA Reports Latest Cook Inlet Beluga Population Estimate
http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/newsreleases/2009/
cibeluga100609.htm


41. Comment by March 1 on Cook Inlet Beluga economic value mail survey
…The public benefits associated with the results of protective actions on the Cook Inlet beluga whale, such as population increases, are primarily the result of the non-
consumptive value people attribute to such protection (e.g., active use values associated with being able to view beluga whales and passive use values unrelated to direct human use). Little is known about these values, yet such information is needed for decision makers to more fully understand the trade-offs involved in choosing among potential
protection alternatives and to complement other information available about the costs, benefits, and impacts of protection alternatives.
The National Marine Fisheries Service plans to conduct a pilot survey to test a survey instrument that will be used to collect data for measuring the economic benefits the public receives for providing additional protection, beyond current levels, to the Cook Inlet beluga whale. These preferences are currently not known, but are needed to
assist in the evaluation of alternative measures to further protect and recover the species' population, such as in the evaluation of critical habitat designations…
http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/E9-30924.htm


42. Comment Deadline March 11 on National Standard 2 regarding science
NMFS proposes revisions to the guidelines for National Standard 2 (NS2) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) regarding scientific information. This action is necessary to provide guidance on the use of best scientific information available (BSIA) for the effective conservation and management of the nation's marine living resources. NMFS proposes to modify the existing NS2 guidelines on BSIA and establish new guidelines for scientific peer review to ensure the reliability, credibility, and integrity of the scientific information used in fishery conservation and management measures. Further, NMFS is proposing to add language to the guidelines regarding the role of the Scientific and Statistical Committees (SSCs) of the Regional Fishery Management Councils (Councils), and the relationship of SSCs to the peer review process…
DATES: Written comments must be received by March 11, 2010…
http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/E9-29589.htm


43. Council Coordination Committee meets January 13-14, Washington DC
NMFS will host a meeting of the Council Coordination Committee (CCC), consisting of the Regional Fishery Management Council chairs, vice chairs, and executive directors in January 2010. The intent of this meeting is to discuss issues of relevance to the Councils,
including FY 2010 budget allocations and budgetary planning, the Ocean Policy Task Force, Marine Spatial Planning, the draft Catch Shares Task Force Report, and implementation of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act)…
http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/E9-30694.htm