UFA Update
January 15, 2011

Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube users –take a look for SeaAlliance and sign up and spread the word on their posts in support of sustainable fisheries.

The next UFA Board meeting is February 15-17 in Juneau. Meetings are open to UFA members. To support UFA by becoming a member see http://www.ufa-fish.org/members.htm

Contents
1. Alaska Fish Game Commissioner Campbell dispels ANB critics
2. Chuitna Coal Mine Public Hearing Jan 19: Designation of Lands Unsuitable for Coal Mining
3. Halibut Charter Skippers at Sea Over a License to Fish
4. Coast Guard recommends new safety rules for fishing boats, scrap Alt Compliance
5. Governor’s Bill Paves Way for Susitna Dam Project
6. Conference on Endangered Species Act issues in Alaska – Feb 24, Anchorage
7. NPFMC & Advisory committees meet Jan 31-Feb 8 in Seattle
8. Fisheries Scientists Seek Economic Data on Southeast Alaska Fisheries
9. Tuna Fight Muddies Waters Over Damage From BP Spill
10. Governor Parnell Outlines Strategy to Fight Federal Overreach
11.  Laine Welch's Fish Radio –topics from this week
12. Federal Subsistence Board meeting January 18-20, Anchorage, to Review fisheries Proposals and Develop Approach to Tribal Consultation
13. Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage Jan 17- 21…
14. Final rule posted on IUU & High Seas Driftnet Protection Act
15. BSAI Steller sea lion protection measures  - Comment extended to Feb 28

Repeat items – still timely:
16. Comment Deadline February 11 on ESA Delisting of Eastern Population Steller Sea Lion
17. Deadline Feb 25 for Commercial Troller payment for king salmon offset
18. IPHC Eighty-seventh Annual Meeting - January 24-28, 2011
19. DNR 2011 Aquatic Farm Application Opening:  Jan 1 – May 2, 2011
20. Comment by February 10 on nominations for National System of Marine Protected Areas
21. Online Survey - NOAA Weather Observation Systems in Alaska
22. Global Food Alaska - Conference and Showcase June 8-10, 2011


1. Alaska Fish Game Commissioner Campbell dispels ANB critics
By JONATHAN GRASS / Juneau Empire
JUNEAU, Alaska - Alaska Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Cora Campbell met with Native leaders last week to discuss her position on various issues, and to attempt to ease concerns about her age and experience which were raised when she was appointed last month.
Campbell met with the Alaska Native Brotherhood Executive and Subsistence committees and outlined some goals for the next several years.
Campbell discussed how she saw her department running, an overview of subsistence responsibilities, ways of increasing trust between the department and constituents, state and federal land management issues, creating sustainable legacy economies and the growing sea otter population in Southeast Alaska…
http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/011111/loc_768407368.shtml

Note: Cora's paid work for UFA was to carry out the Subsistence Management Information program. The program was policy neutral, with the purpose of informing and encouraging public participation in the Federal Subsistence Management process.  The work is still online, archived at www.subsistmgtinfo.org  .  A column by Craig Medred,  published in 2001 or 2002, was very positive about the program but I do not find it archived online.   -MV


2. Chuitna Coal Mine Public Hearing Jan 19: Designation of Lands Unsuitable for Coal Mining
On January 22, 2010, the Trustees for Alaska, on behalf of local citizens and a conservation group, filed a petition to designate portions the Chuit River Watershed as unsuitable for surface coal mining operations pursuant to AS 27.21.260 and 11AAC 90.705(a). The petition requests that anadromous water bodies and their associated riparian areas within the Chuit River Watershed be designated unsuitable for surface coal mining. Copies of the petition are available for review at the Anchorage office of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Division of Mining, Land and Water, or online at http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/mining/coal/index.htm .

Pursuant to 11 AAC 90.709, the Department of Natural Resources will hold a hearing on January 19, 2011 at the Challenger Learning Center located in Kenai Alaska (9711 Kenai Spur Hwy. Kenai, AK 99611). The hearing will begin at 6pm…

Public Notice:
http://notes4.state.ak.us/pn/pubnotic.nsf/019f6cab525ebf3f
89256dd0006b1b22/9af6c289ebfb474b892577fc00700c01
?OpenDocument

Alaska DNR Chuitna Large Mines home page: http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/mining/largemine/chuitna/index.htm


3. Halibut Charter Skippers at Sea Over a License to Fish
Federal Officials Curb Permits to Alaska's Chartered Halibut Fleet to Stop Overfishing, but Some Boat Operators Fear Ruin
By JIM CARLTON

A federal move to ground at least a third of Alaska's chartered halibut-fishing fleet is under fire from officials in the rapidly growing industry, who say the plan will deal a blow to the state's already struggling tourism sector.

Jack Roskind is feeling the cutback at first hand. The 42-year-old skipper of a 28-foot charter boat, The Patriot Express, was recently denied a halibut charter permit under new federal rules going into effect in Alaska next month that fisheries officials say are needed to ease pressure on commercial fisherman and protect the dwindling supply of halibut in the region…
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405274870430740
4576079940703104156.html


4. Coast Guard recommends new safety rules for fishing boats, scrap Alt Compliance
Alaska Ranger: Coast Guard report says poor maintenance may have led to flooding; 5 died.
SEATTLE -- A Coast Guard probe of the 2008 sinking of a fishing vessel in the Bering Sea that killed five people concludes that the vessel's owner failed to properly maintain its structural condition.

However, the report released Wednesday also is highly critical of rules in place at the time covering older fishing boats and how such vessels were being brought into compliance with safety regulations…

The board made 36 recommendations, many technical in nature. However, it was especially critical of the "Alternate Compliance and Safety Agreement," a voluntary process aimed at bringing older boats such as the 35-year-old Alaska Ranger into compliance with more stringent safety regulations.

The board recommended the program be scrapped…

The Coast Guard only had about 18 months to put the program into effect, said board member Cmdr. Christopher J. Woodley, and those assigned to it were overwhelmed by trying to cover a fleet of 64 vessels. Since then, he said, the program has been given more staff and resources, and deals with a smaller fleet…
http://www.adn.com/2011/01/12/1645501/
coast-guard-issues-safety-rules.html

USCG Press Release: http://www.uscgalaska.com/go/doc/780/474403/
USCG report: http://homeport.uscg.mil/cgi-bin/st/portal/
uscg_docs/MyCG/Editorial/20110111/AR%20redacted%20small_2.
pdf?id=c99cc14058647632aaeb3e83750429b1240bb4dc

If 64 vessels is overwhelming, take note that there were 900 commercial fishing vessels between 50 and 79 feet registered in Alaska in 2010. Those that fish in federal waters will be subject to Alternate Compliance safety programs yet to be established by region and fishery, according to a 2010 act of congress.  We will also see mandatory dockside exams and safety training. If you are not already supporting a fishing organization that represents your fleet, you should join up now in anticipation of the massive undertaking that lies ahead.  It is clear that Senator Murkowski’s ranking member seat on the Coast Guard appropriations committee is a key to future fishing.


5. Governor’s Bill Paves Way for Susitna Dam Project
January 14, 2011, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell today transmitted legislation that would authorize the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) to move forward on pursuing a large hydroelectric project to supply much-needed energy to Interior and Southcentral Alaska.
 “Alaska must invest now to create new opportunities for economic development and jobs for Alaskans,” Governor Parnell said. “A Susitna Dam hydroelectric project will not only provide an important supply of energy for Alaskan homes and businesses, it will create jobs for Alaskans.”
http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell/press-room/
full-press-release.html?pr=5618


6. Conference on Endangered Species Act issues in Alaska – Feb 24, Anchorage
We have assembled an all-star faculty of federal and state regulators, leading private practitioners, and representatives from environmental organizations. Our diverse ensemble of industry experts will address the latest developments in the listing process, updates on new listings and critical habitat, and implications for project development throughout Alaska…
Intended Audience: Attorneys, industry executives, governmental officials, environmental consultants, tribal representatives and professionals involved with endangered species issues..
What: Endangered Species Act (ESA) - Impacts on Alaska Seminar
When: February 24, 2011
Where: Anchorage, AK (Dena'ina Civic & Convention Center)

View the program agenda
:http://www.lawseminars.com/detail.php?SeminarCode=11ESAAK


7. NPFMC & Advisory committees meet Jan 31-Feb 8 in Seattle
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and its advisory committees will hold public meetings, January 31-February 8, 2011 at the Renaissance Hotel, 515 Madison Street, South Room, Seattle, WA…
FedReg notice: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2011/2011-521.htm
Agenda: http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc/Agendas/211Agenda.pdf
NPFMC home page: http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc/


8. Fisheries Scientists Seek Economic Data on Southeast Alaska Fisheries
Scientists at NOAA’s Alaska Fisheries Science Center are seeking improved data on that topic by asking a small number of Southeast Alaska fishermen and processors to voluntarily participate in the Southeast Alaska Fisheries Economic Activity Survey…
A small number of fishermen and processors have been randomly selected to receive the survey. Participation in the survey is strictly voluntary. The survey should only take about 20 minutes to complete.

Selected fishermen will receive a questionnaire by mail in late January. Vessel registrants receiving the questionnaire can respond via mail or by logging onto a secure website. A link to the secure website will be provided in the survey packet. Processors in the selected sample will be contacted by phone to arrange for a personal interview…
http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/newsreleases/2011/data011411.htm


9. Tuna Fight Muddies Waters Over Damage From BP Spill
The bluefin tuna is one of the most majestic and prized creatures in the sea. Last week, one caught off Japan sold in Tokyo for $396,000, to be used as sushi.

Now the fish is the subject of a scientific fight that shows how hard it will be to gauge the environmental fallout of the biggest offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

The U.S. government will wrap up public meetings next week on whether to recommend declaring the Atlantic bluefin an endangered species. If the government declared the fish endangered, it would bar fishermen from targeting the fish in U.S. waters. An environmental group filed the request last year, claiming in part that the western-Atlantic stock of the fish, long believed to spawn only in the Gulf of Mexico, would "be devastated" by last year's spill from a blown-out BP PLC well.

Wall St. Journal Jan 12: h
ttp://online.wsj.com/article/SB100014240527487037797
04576073610615364334.html


10. Governor Parnell Outlines Strategy to Fight Federal Overreach
January 6, 2011, Fairbanks, Alaska – In a speech before hundreds attending the Rotary Club of Fairbanks, Governor Sean Parnell today focused on how recent federal restrictions have crippled resource development and blocked jobs for Alaskans. From the offshore drilling moratorium, to ocean zoning, to the effort to lock up the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, the governor outlined numerous ways Washington is encroaching on Alaska’s sovereignty in developing its natural resources…
http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell/press-room/full-
press-release.html?pr=5610


11.  Laine Welch's Fish Radio –topics from this week
1/14/11 Alaska fish taco contest deadline Jan 31
1/13/11 AK salmon outlook: 2011
1/12/11 Kodiak, AK Peninsula gear up for good Tanner fishery
1/11/11 Bristol Bay fishermen get good report cards
1/10/11 Just how high are Alasska crab prices
http://www.marineconservationalliance.org/?page_id=846


12. Federal Subsistence Board meeting January 18-20, Anchorage, to Review fisheries Proposals and Develop Approach to Tribal Consultation
 The Federal Subsistence Board will meet January 18-20 to review proposed changes to Federal subsistence fishing regulations, including proposals to: restrict customary trade in the Yukon River Management Area, restrict drift gillnets in Federal public waters of the Yukon River Districts 4 and 5, and open additional sections of Chignik River to salmon fishing and expand allowable gear. The meeting will be held at the Egan Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage starting at 10:00 a.m. on January 18 and 8:30 a.m. on January 19-20.

The Board will be providing opportunity for Tribal leaders to consult on the proposed subsistence fishing regulations on January 18. The Board will also be meeting with Tribal leaders on January 21 to discuss and develop a Tribal consultation process to incorporate into the Federal Subsistence Management Program. This meeting will be held at the Egan Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage starting at 9:00 a.m. This Tribal consultation meeting is in support of the renewed efforts of the Obama administration to improve government-to-government relations.

For additional information regarding these meetings contact the Office of Subsistence Management at (800) 478-1456 or (907) 786-3888 or by e-mail, subsistence@fws.gov . If you need special accommodations for disabilities or for teleconferencing arrangements, please contact the Office of Subsistence Management by January 12. Meeting materials and additional information on the Federal Subsistence Management Program can be found at http://alaska.fws.gov/asm/home.html .

Meeting documents are at the bottom of the FSB page at
http://alaska.fws.gov/asm/board.cfml


13. Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage Jan 17- 21…
at the Hotel Captain Cook and Egan Center, Anchorage.
http://www.alaskamarinescience.org/

Agenda: http://www.alaskamarinescience.org/documents/2011_
AMSS%20program%20final_web.pdf

Book of Abstracts: http://www.alaskamarinescience.org/documents/
AMSS2011_Abstract%20Book.pdf


14. Final rule posted on IUU & High Seas Driftnet Protection Act
SUMMARY: This final action implements identification and certification procedures to address illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities and bycatch of protected living marine resources (PLMRs) pursuant to the High Seas Driftnet Fishing Moratorium
Protection Act (Moratorium Protection Act). The objectives of these procedures are to promote the sustainability of transboundary and shared fishery stocks and to enhance the conservation and recovery of PLMRs. The final rule is intended to implement existing U.S. statutory authorities to address noncompliance with international fisheries management and conservation agreements, and encourage the use of bycatch reduction methods in international fisheries that are comparable to methods used in U.S. fisheries. Agency actions and recommendations under this rule will be in accordance with U.S. obligations under applicable international trade law, including the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement.

DATES: This final rule is effective on January 12, 2011, except for Sec. Sec.  302.205(b)(2), 300.206, and 300.207, which contain information collection requirements that have not yet been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). A document will be published in the Federal Register announcing the effective dates of these provisions after OMB provides its approval...
http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2011/2011-507.htm


15. BSAI Steller sea lion protection measures  - Comment extended to Feb 28
SUMMARY: NMFS published an interim final rule on December 13, 2010, to implement Steller sea lion protection measures to ensure that the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area groundfish fisheries off Alaska are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the western distinct population segment of Steller sea lions or adversely
modify its designated critical habitat. A notice correcting errors identified in the preamble to the interim final rule and in the regulatory text was published on December 29, 2010. The public comment period for the interim final rule ends on January 12, 2011. NMFS has
decided to extend the public comment period for an additional 45 days, to February 28, 2011, to provide adequate time for various stakeholders and other members of the public to submit comments…
http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2011/2011-531.htm

Previous items: Federal Register Notice: IFR Dec. 13:
http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/2010-31226.htm
Correction notice Dec. 29:
http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/2010-32654.htm 

NOAA Steller Sea Lion home page: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/pinnipeds/
stellersealion.htm

NOAA Alaska Region Steller Sea Lion Home page:
http://www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/p
rotectedresources/stellers/


Repeat items – still timely:

16. Comment Deadline February 11 on ESA Delisting of Eastern Population Steller Sea Lion
http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/2010-31232.htm


17. Deadline Feb 25 for Commercial Troller payment for king salmon offset
http://kfsk.org/modules/local_news/index.php?op=center
Block&syndicated=true&ID=1581

AK DCCED Chinook Salmon Direct Distribution Program page:
http://www.commerce.state.ak.us/dca/Chinook_Salmon.htm


18. IPHC Eighty-seventh Annual Meeting - January 24-28, 2011
Delta Ocean Pointe Resort, Victoria, B.C.
http://www.iphc.int/meetings-and-events.html
 Schedule of sessions:
http://www.iphc.int/meetings-and-events/annual-meeting/
schedule.html


19. DNR 2011 Aquatic Farm Application Opening:  Jan 1 – May 2, 2011
DNR Public Notice:
http://notes3.state.ak.us/pn/pubnotic.nsf/cc52605f7c156e7a
8925672a0060a91b/daaf7690b1cff57b89257807007a8753
?OpenDocument


20. Comment by February 10 on nominations for National System of Marine Protected Areas
http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/2010-32368.htm


21. Online Survey - NOAA Weather Observation Systems in Alaska
SURVEY LINK: http://www.arh.noaa.gov/ob_locations.php


22. Global Food Alaska - Conference and Showcase June 8-10, 2011
www.GlobalFoodAlaska.com    
www.GFC-Connect.com


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 by becoming a member see http://www.ufa-fish.org/members.htm

We encourage you to support UFA Business members  - see list at http://www.ufa-fish.org/bm.htm