UFA Update
March 22, 2010

Note to members: 
I was on “injured reserve” from late January through February. The UFA Board met February 23-26 in Juneau. We appreciate the efforts of committee chairs and your group and at-large board representatives who organized documents and topics and produced a very productive meeting.  There were many motions passed on a wide variety of topics, and we have been very busy communicating positions on many topics in the time since. 
We will send a summary of our actions to paid members shortly.

Health Care billthe house passed HR 4872 which amends HR 3590 as passed by the Senate.  We are still digging to understand whether the Senate provisions remain intact for fishing organizations to act as navigator entities to help organize fishermen to obtain coverage through the exchanges, and other provisions important for small business and self-employed individuals.
An analysis for small businesses from the California perspective is online at http://laborcenter.berkeley.edu/healthcare/reform_impact_
small_business10.pdf
.   

See also item #1 for an opportunity for fishing family businesses to obtain group coverage through the State Chamber.

BOF names needed - Time is running out for applicants to submit their resumes for consideration for appointment to the Alaska Board of Fisheries. Contact the Governor’s office of Boards and Commissions at (907) 586-3500.


Table of Contents
1. ASCC & The Foraker Group to offer health benefits 
2. Comment by April 7 on EPA Vessel Discharge - Draft report to Congress
3. State fills empty cruise panel seats
4. Parnell Makes Nominations for Fishery Council
5. Governor Parnell Fights for Alaska Tourism
6. Canada FOI - Sea lice data to be made public
7. Reminder – New Coast Guard Boarding Ladder requirement in effect
8. Chuitna coal project plans to mine through salmon stream
9. Meeting with NOAA chief leaves fishing representatives, politicians frustrated
10. Obama Admin Jumps to Squelch Rumors of U.S. Fishing Ban
11. Board of Fisheries defines Subsistence Way of Life, keeps Chitina P.U.
12. Alaska subsistence regulations reviewed
13. Deadline March 24 is the to Submit Proposals to Change Federal Subsistence
Fishing Regulations
14.  Laine Welch's Fish Radio –topics from this week
15. Alaska Salmon Enhancement Program 2009 Annual Report.
16. State of the Salmon conference: May 4–7, 2010, Portland, OR.
17. Commercial Fishermen's Festival, September 18 - 19, 2010
18. "Energy Use in Fisheries: Improving Efficiency and Technological Innovations from a Global Perspective," November 14-17, 2010, in Seattle, WA.


1. ASCC & The Foraker Group to offer health benefits 
Alaska State Chamber members now have option to purchase a plan aimed at helping employees live healthier lifestyles

The Alaska State Chamber of Commerce recently joined with The Foraker Group to offer a health benefit plan designed to reduce health care costs, while providing incentives to employees to engage in healthier lifestyles.

According to Foraker President and CEO Dennis McMillian, The Foraker Group Benefit Plan has been available to Partners of that organization for over a year.  This new collaboration with the ASCC brings the plan to its members and in some cases makes health insurance available for those who could not previously purchase it for employees.

"We are very pleased with this collaboration," McMillian said.  "It brings more organizations into the group which ultimately will make this a more affordable plan for everyone."

Health Insurance Brochure. (http://www.alaskachamber.com/content/images/stories/
Benefit_plan_for_Chamber.pdf
)

The Foraker Group Benefit Plan Broker List. (for info & rates):
http://www.forakergroup.org/documents_fg/Foraker%
20Brokers%2005-09.pdf

UFA supports the Alaska State Chamber and we encourage individual fishing business owners to join and be active in your local Chamber, and in the State Chamber.


2. Comment by April 7 on EPA Vessel Discharge - Draft report to Congress
Draft Report to Congress: Study of Discharges Incidental to Normal Operation of Commercial Fishing Vessels and Other Non-Recreational Vessels Less than 79 Feet…

The Agency is accepting comments until April 7, 2010. In addition to generally requesting comment on all aspects of the draft report, EPA is specifically requesting comments for seven questions listed in that Federal Register Notice . You may submit comments by visiting www.regulations.gov and following the instructions on screen, by emailing ow-docket@epa.gov , Attention to either Docket ID No. OW-2009-0828 or Docket ID No.OW-2009-0208, or by mail to Water Docket Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode: 2822T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460, Attention to either Docket ID No. OW-2009-0828 or Docket ID No.OW-2009-0208. If you submit your comments by mail, please include a total of two copies in addition to the original.

Federal Register Notice (text) March 8, 2010:
http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/2010-4828.htm

Download the entire Draft Report to Congress (PDF) (573 pp, 8.1MB)
http://www.epa.gov/npdes/pubs/vessels_rtc_report.pdf

Links to the whole report or by sections are online at:
http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/vessels/reportcongress.cfm  

Executive Summary: http://www.epa.gov/npdes/pubs/vessels
_rtc_exec_summary.pdf

EPA Vessel Discharge home page for history of this issue, and info on general permit for vessels over 79 feet:
http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/home.cfm?program_id=350

Recreational vessels received an exemption through an act of Congress.


3. State fills empty cruise panel seats
Auke Bay ecologist chosen to replace Cohen in NGO slot
By Kim Marquis | JUNEAU EMPIRE
An Auke Bay marine ecologist has been chosen to serve on the state's Cruise Ship Wastewater Science Advisory Panel.
Michelle Ridgway fills the panel's legislatively mandated non-governmental organization (NGO) seat, vacated when Gershon Cohen was removed from the panel at the industry's request.
http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/032110/loc_
593516420.shtml

DEC Wastewater Science Advisory Panel home page: http://www.dec.state.ak.us/water/cruise_ships/Science
Panel/panelmembers.html

Feb 1, 2010 Meeting summary and documents:
http://www.dec.state.ak.us/water/cruise_ships/Science
Panel/meeting02012010.html


4. Parnell Makes Nominations for Fishery Council
March 15, 2010, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell forwarded his nominations of Duncan Fields of Kodiak and James Hubbard of Seward for consideration by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce for seats on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC). The governor also forwarded Sam Cotten of Eagle River and Matt Moir of Kodiak as alternate nominees…
http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell/press-room/full-press-
release.html?pr=5294

There is some opposition from many who feel that the Council should have an equal proportion of recreational fishermen -  Address letters of support to:
The Honorable Gary Locke, Secretary
U.S. Department of Commerce
1401 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20230


5. Governor Parnell Fights for Alaska Tourism
March 19, 2010, Anchorage, Alaska – Recognizing the significant impact the decline in cruise ship travel has had on Alaska, Governor Sean Parnell continues to advocate for increased tourism opportunities and economic growth for Alaska. The governor is aggressively seeking to bring more tourist dollars to Alaska with a comprehensive strategy to reduce taxes, increase tourism marketing and increase regulatory flexibility. In exchange, the state will require more cruise ship deployments to Alaska.
http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell/press-room/full-press-
release.html?pr=5301

&
Governor Parnell Meets with Cruise Executives
http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell/press-room/full-press-
release.html?pr=5296


6. Canada FOI - Sea lice data to be made public
After a four-year battle an environmental organization has won access to data collected by the British Columbia government on sea lice infestations in salmon farms.
In a ruling released today (March 1) the Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner of B.C. orders the release of information gathered during fish farm health audits…
The government has 30 days to release the data.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-
columbia/sea-lice-data-to-be-made-public/article1485972/


7. Reminder – New Coast Guard Boarding Ladder requirement in effect
If your vessel has a freeboard (distance between top rail of the gunwale and the water) over 4 feet you are now required to provide a USCG approved boarding ladder…
http://www.aleutianseast.org/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC
&SEC=%7BA36962B9-090F-48C8-8372-28FFDCFA7AE5%7D


8. Chuitna coal project plans to mine through salmon stream
ADN COMPASS: Other points of view, By Judy Heilman
Under the state's large mine permitting system, there's no law that prohibits mining through a salmon stream. So, few Alaskans probably know PacRim's proposed Chuitna coal strip mine in Upper Cook Inlet plans to be the first major strip mine project in Alaska's history to completely remove the streambed and permanently take out the "root" of 11 miles of vibrant salmon streams. I want every Alaskan to understand -- and to speak out about -- the horrible precedent that could be set right here in Cook Inlet…
http://www.adn.com/2010/03/22/1194926/chuitna-
coal-project-plans-to.html

Alaskans Ask Governor to Decide: Salmon or Coal?
Proposed Chuitna coal mine in Cook Inlet would mine through salmon streams…
Cook Inlet Keeper Chuitna page: http://www.inletkeeper.org/energy/Chuitna90813.htm

DNR Chuitna Coal Project home page: http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/mining/largemine/chuitna/index.htm

If you are in Juneau, drop by the Silverbow at noon on Tuesday March 23 for an informational presentation by Terry Jorgensen, whose set site is in the path of the proposed mine’s coal conveyor.


9. Meeting with NOAA chief leaves fishing representatives, politicians frustrated
BOSTON — NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco promised flexibility and accountability Monday in an unusual meeting with Massachusetts elected officials and representatives of the fishing industry.
But it was what she didn't say that had officials most concerned that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was staying on course to impose extremely limited catch shares along with a cooperative system called sector management…
http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?
AID=/20100323/NEWS/3230312/-1/NEWS06

Congressional panel wades into 'catch share' debate – (Gloucester Times on March 16 House hearing)
A congressional subcommittee has called for the first public airing before federal lawmakers of the Obama administration's nationwide push for the kind of "catch share" fisheries management that's due for a May 1 launch in New England.
http://www.gloucestertimes.com/punews/local_story_
069224540.html?keyword=secondarystory

House Resources: 'Subcommittee On Insular Affairs, Oceans And Wildlife Oversight Hearing On "Catch Shares As A Management Option: Criteria For Ensuring Success"', http://resourcescommittee.house.gov/index.php?option=
com_jcalpro&Itemid=54&extmode=view&extid=337


10. Obama Admin Jumps to Squelch Rumors of U.S. Fishing Ban
The Obama administration is trying to dash rumors that it planned to ban recreational fishing in marine waters and the Great Lakes in the wake of a series of Internet posts warning that such a prohibition was imminent…
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration chief Jane Lubchenco told a House panel yesterday that her agency had no plans to halt fishing. And National Marine Fisheries Service chief Eric Schwaab released a statement last night saying NOAA "is committed to adopting policies that will ensure that current and future generations have the opportunity to enjoy the great tradition of recreational fishing."
http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2010/03/11/11greenwire
-obama-admin-jumps-to-squelch-rumors-of-us-fish-65275.html

We are alarmed that the administration did not rule out such a ban on commercial fishing.


11. Board of Fisheries defines Subsistence Way of Life, keeps Chitina P.U.
results – coming soon..
The Board of fisheries voted 6-0 to adopt a definition of “subsistence way of life” and also by the same vote to turn down a proposal to reclassify the Chitina Dipnet fishery from Personal use to “subsistence”.

The summary of the actions from the March 16-21 meeting will be posted soon at:
http://www.boards.adfg.state.ak.us/fishinfo/meetinfo
/fcal.php
  (scroll to near the bottom for this meeting)


12. Alaska subsistence regulations reviewed
Juneau Empire
ANCHORAGE - The Interior Department said it's taking longer than expected to review management of subsistence hunting and fishing in Alaska.

After weeks of visiting villages, federal officials met Thursday in Anchorage with leaders of 10 regional subsistence councils. The Anchorage Daily News reported the councils want more local decision-making and less bureaucracy by state and federal regulators.

The Interior Department's director of Alaska affairs, Kim Elton, said it's not ready to recommend changes. It had expected to make recommendations this week…
http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/011810/reg
_550978460.shtml

Office of Subsistence management: http://alaska.fws.gov/asm/index.cfml

Department of the Interior Review of Federal Subsistence link is at
http://www.doi.gov/whatwedo/subsistencereview/


13. Deadline March 24 is the to Submit Proposals to Change Federal Subsistence
Fishing Regulations

The Federal Subsistence Board is accepting proposals through March 24,
2010 to change subsistence fishing regulations on Federal public lands and
waters in Alaska for the 2011-2013 regulatory years.

The Board will consider proposals to change Federal subsistence fishing
seasons, harvest limits, methods of harvest, and customary and traditional
use determinations.

You can view the news release archive or issues
of importance in Subsistence at: http://alaska.fws.gov/asm/home.html


14.  Laine Welch's Fish Radio –topics from this week
Friday 3/19/10  - Seafood trends, reax from Boston Seafood Show
Thursday 3/18/10  - Kodiak kids get local fish on school menus 
Wednesday3/17/10  - St. Patrick’s Day fish tribute
Tuesday 3/16/10  - Mood is optimistic at Boston Seafood Show
Monday 3/15/10  - Halibut hit by bad weather Listen Online at: http://www.marineconservationalliance.org/fishradio.htm


15. Alaska Salmon Enhancement Program 2009 Annual Report. Fishery Management Report
No. 10-05. White, B. 2010.
The 3 megabyte pdf file is online at:
http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/FedAidPDFs/FMR10-05.pdf


16. State of the Salmon conference: May 4–7, 2010, Portland, OR.
Hilton Portland, OR
Registration begins Fall 2009
www.stateofthesalmon.org


17. Commercial Fishermen's Festival, September 18 - 19, 2010
Port of Astoria, Pier 1
Celebrity Fishermen — Captain Phil Harris and Captains Andy and Jonathan Hilstrand, and the return of the crew from F/V Wizard of “Deadliest Catch” fame along with the strong interest from several other “Deadliest Catch” stars and the return of Jay Browning’s “AxeMen” crew for the much anticipated re-match of the popular Tug-of-War competition.  See the fan video at http://www.commercialfishermensfestival.com/


18. "Energy Use in Fisheries: Improving Efficiency and Technological Innovations from a Global Perspective," November 14-17, 2010, in Seattle, WA.
This symposium will address both the direct and indirect effects of global energy costs on the seafood harvesting, processing, and marketing sectors. The desired outcomes will include a set of alternative strategies to reduce the carbon footprint of commercial and recreational fishing fleets, the associated financial gain to these industry participants, examples of the government’s role in reducing its imprint, and a set of metrics to measure the level of energy reduction or improved environmental efficacy of different fuel types used by fishing fleets.  This is an important and timely issue for the future of United States and world fisheries.
http://www.energyfish.nmfs.noaa.gov/


UFA dues for Alaska commercial fishing permit holders are $150 and we also welcome crew/supporter nonvoting members at $50 per year.
To support UFA see http://www.ufa-fish.org/members.htm