UFA Update
December 31, 2011

The UFA annual Spring meeting will be held February 14-16 in Juneau. Meetings are open to current paid members.
Support UFA by joining - see http://www.ufa-fish.org/members.htm

Support the Alaska Fishing Industry Relief Mission (AFIRM) Japan Fund: WWW.AKJAPANHELP.ORG 
To donate by credit card through PayPal CLICK HERE

Contents:
1. IUU Fishing addressed in DC: Murkowski Warns Oceans Caucus of the “Great Consequences” Of Illegal Fishing
2. The Fight Against Pirate Fishing  (Matt Tinnning/Huffington Post)
3. Bon Appétit seeking fisherfolk for new ‘Fish To Fork’ program:
4. The fourth Alaska Young Fishermen's Summit -Juneau February 13 - 14
5. CFAB Reduces Interest Rate two percentage points
6. Steller sea lion case now in hands of judge
7. Board of Fisheries PWS and Upper Copper River/Upper Susitna Finfish – summary
8. Taku River Task Force schedules first meeting
9. Northern Southeast sea otter numbers up 4 percent
10. China top market for Alaska exports
11. Gov. Parnell Criticizes Genetically Engineered Salmon
12. Begich Chairs Hearing on Environmental Risks of Frankenfish
13. Canada Holds Hearings on Suspected Virus in Salmon
14. Murkowski concerned about preliminary halibut numbers
15. Homer News Editorial: Protect halibut, relationships while seeking solutions
16. Committed to halibut plan, council gives relief to Southeast
17. State fisheries excluded from federal plan over commercial objections
18. Council takes aim at absentee ownership in crab fishery
19. Health of pollock stock debated, quota set
20. Items from the NPFMC December meeting:
21. NOAA Improving Community Profiles for the North Pacific Fisheries
22. Acidification Study: Severe tissue damage in Atlantic cod larvae
23. Simon Fraser U. hosts salmon scientists
24.  Laine Welch's Fish Radio –topics from this week
25. AK Sea Grant: Fuel-Saving Measures for Fishing Industry Vessels
26. IPHC 2012 Annual Meeting, Jan 24 – 27, Anchorage Hilton
27. Deadline for comment Jan. 6 on DEC Triennial Review of Water Quality Standards
28. Comment deadline Jan 10, 2012 on National MPA Center
29. Comment deadline January 9, 2012 on 5-year OCS PEIS
30. Deadline Jan 20 for nominations to USDA Native American Farmers and Ranchers
31. Comment by Jan 23 on Proposed 2012 and 2013 Groundfish Harvest Specs
32. Comment deadline Jan 23 on Amendment 93 Chinook bycatch in GOA Pollock
33. Comment by Jan. 20 on GOA Pollock Chinook Salmon Bycatch Amendment 93
34. Comment deadline Feb 7 on ESA definition of “Significant Portion of Its Range”
35. Comment deadline Feb. 8 on 5-year OCS Leasing Program
36. Deadline Feb 13 for USFS Planning Rule Implementation Committee
37. Comment deadline Feb 13 on Arctic Oil & Gas Draft EIS
38. Comment by Feb 21 on EPA Draft Vessel General Permit and Small Vessel GP
39. NMFS posts Amendment 83 GOA Groundfish regs & correction
40. USFS issues internal directive on Invasive Species management
41. US Forest Service Takes Action to Confront the Threat of Invasive Species.
42. House Approves Ballast Water Bill
43. NMFS posts IFQ cost recovery fee for halibut and sablefish – 1.6%
44. NMFS Final Rule on GOA Groundfish Amendment 88 Rockfish Pilot Program
45. Alaska Marine Science Symposium January 16-20, Anchorage
46. Alaska Pollock Certified Sustainable
47. ASMI Great Alaska Seafood Cook-Off! - May 14, 2012, Anchorage, AK
48. Sign up for ASMI weekly Marketing Updates:
49. Alaska Seafood Logo Decals – Vessel Size –available free from ASMI


1. IUU Fishing addressed in DC: Murkowski Warns Oceans Caucus of the “Great Consequences” Of Illegal Fishing
Discusses “Extraordinarily Important” Legislation with Colleagues, Alaskan Panelists

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Lisa Murkowski, Co-Chair of the Senate Oceans Caucus today took part in a briefing on Capitol Hill with Senators Dan Inouye (D-HI), Co-Chair Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Mark Begich to discuss the global problem of illegal, unreported, or unregulated fishing commonly referred to as IUU or pirate fishing.

“When we have illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing that goes on, we can see great consequences when we do not have the rules in place and when we do not have a level of enforcement,” Murkowski said.

Sen. Murkowski is a lead co-sponsor of the Pirate Fishing Elimination Act, legislation associated with a NOAA/Dept. of State upcoming treaty to require stronger controls on vessels carrying fish into the world’s ports. This bill would also demand strict enforcement including denial of port access for vessels listed for IUU fishing...

Panelists at the briefing included Dr. Jane Lubchenco, NOAA Administrator, Arni Thomson of the United Fisherman of Alaska, Trident Seafood Corporation’s Joe Plesha and State Department officials who shared their expertise on the issue.
http://www.akbizmag.com/Alaska-Business-Monthly/December-
2011/Murkowski-Warns-Oceans-Caucus-of-the-Great-Consequ
ences-Of-Illegal-Fishing/

&&
New Bill Aims to Restrict Pirate Fishing
By Alexandra Gutierrez, KUCB
http://kucb.org/post/new-bill-aims-restrict-pirate-fishing
&

NOAA: Legislation will protect U.S. fishermen from unfair competition
http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/stories/iuu/

Find the Pirate Fishing Elimination Act – S.1980 by bill search at:
http://thomas.loc.gov/home/thomas.php


2. The Fight Against Pirate Fishing  (Matt Tinnning/Huffington Post)
Whether it's the rise of International Talk Like a Pirate Day or the enduring popularity of Gasparilla, pirates occupy a glamorous place in the public imagination. But for many American fishermen, the word is becoming synonymous with lower revenues, lost jobs and environmental destruction.
Just ask Arni Thompson, president of the United Fishermen of Alaska. Arni was on Capitol Hill last week to talk about the devastating impact that pirate fishing -- the term increasingly used to describe illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing activity -- has on the fishermen he represents. His volumes of research and economic analysis left those he met in Congress aghast.

Take, for example, Alaska's famed crab fishermen. They operate under the North Pacific's system of Annual Catch Limits based on the best available science -- a model that has provided a template of sustainable fisheries management for the entire nation. The process limits the amount they harvest in any given year; but it also ensures that their livelihoods--and the interests of crab-loving seafood aficionados everywhere -- will be sustained into the future...
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matt-tinning/fishing-sustainable-
jobs_b_1156294.html?ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false#sb=1
945495,b=facebook


3. Bon Appétit seeking fisherfolk for new ‘Fish To Fork’ program:
(Except most of you, with On-board self-processors ineligible, distance limits, &tc.)
 The Bon Appétit restaurant management company is looking for fishermen to become part of its new program called “Fish to Fork.”  The program outlines what it finds “local” and “small-scale” to mean for both wild and farmed seafood and elevates certain overlooked species that have both great flavor and robust supplies. It aims to better connect consumers with their local fishermen. Among the guidelines:

** Traceability: Seafood suppliers must present a reliable system of traceability from the farm or the boat to Bon Appétit kitchens;

** Size: Boats must be individually owned and operated, and not process the seafood on board. Aquaculture operations will be limited to those grossing less than $5 million per year per species. Small-scale fishing and aquaculture operations that practice integrated multi-species fishing or aquaculture will be emphasized;

** Distance: Boats should travel no more than 100 miles out to sea per trip. Distribution distance for wild fish or aquacultured products is limited to 500 miles by truck from dock or farm to Bon Appétit kitchens;

** Species Preferences: Low-on-the-food-chain species (such as sardines, oysters); species whose edible portion could be better utilized (such as scallops, much of which gets discarded by U.S. processors); less-widely eaten larger species (Seafood Watch “green”- or “yellow”-rated) that can substitute for one of the “Top Ten” species, such as tuna, whose popularity is endangering the species.

     Bon Appétit is also designating 14 of its chefs in different areas of the country as “piscators.” Like the Farm to Fork foragers, their role will be to locate and develop purchasing relationships with local fisherfolk and fish farmers who meet the criteria and who will then serve clusters of cafes. Similarly, Fish to Fork will also channel Bon Appétit Management Company’s supply-chain clout toward helping hundreds more small, environmentally responsible producers, creating local jobs and healthier communities. Any fisherfolk interested in this program should email Chris Lenza at Chris.Lenza@cafebonappetit.com; 480-245-6917. Read more about the program: www.bamco.com/sustainable-food-service/fish-to-fork .


4. The fourth Alaska Young Fishermen's Summit will be in Juneau February 13 - 14, 2012. This leadership training has drawn over 200 young harvesters from all over the state to learn about fishing business skills, markets, the regulatory and legislative processes, and fisheries management and science. Attendees network with peers as well as established fishing leaders. We look forward to another great summit!

Online registration is now open.


5. CFAB Reduces Interest Rate two percentage points
Alaska Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank’ Board of Directors at its November 17, 2011 meeting approved Management's recommendation to lower CFAB's base  rate* by 2% effective January 1, 2012.  This 2% reduction will be applied automatically to all open loans effective January 1, 2012.
http://www.cfabalaska.com/News%20and%20Views.htm


6. Steller sea lion case now in hands of judge

By Andrew Jensen, Alaska Journal of Commerce
The fate of wide-ranging fishing closures in the western Aleutian Islands is now in the hands of a federal judge after a Dec. 21 hearing in U.S. Alaska District Court.

The State of Alaska, a coalition of fishing industry groups and Aleut Enterprises squared off against National Marine Fisheries Service, Oceana and Greenpeace to contest the validity of the rule issued Dec. 13, 2010, that shut down fishing for Atka mackerel and Pacific Cod over large swaths of the Aleutian chain.

After taking two hours of oral arguments for summary judgment, Judge Timothy Burgess gave no indication of when he may issue a ruling other than to tell the parties, “I’ll let you know as soon as I can.”

Read more: http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-
Commerce/AJOC-January-1-2012/Steller-sea-lion-case-now-in-
hands-of-judge/#ixzz1i2nYTZFL


7. Board of Fisheries PWS and Upper Copper River/Upper Susitna Finfish – meeting summary
http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=lib.forcedownload
&filepath=/static/regulations/regprocess/fisheriesboard/pdfs/2011
-2012/pws/&filename=summ-of-action-pws.pdf&contenttype=
application/pdf

Upcoming Board of Fisheries meetings:

Southeast and Yakutat Crab, Shrimp, Miscellaneous Shellfish
- January 15-21, 2012

Comment Deadline: December 30, 2011 - 5:00PM

Southeast and Yakutat Finfish - February 24-March 4, 2012

Comment Deadline: February 9, 2012 - 5:00PM

Statewide Dungeness Crab, Shrimp, Miscellandous Shellfish
- March 20-23, 2012

Comment Deadline: March 5, 2012 - 5:00PM

BOF meeting info page:
http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fisheriesboard.meetinginfo


8. Taku River Task Force schedules first meeting
by Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO radio Juneau
After a three month delay, the Taku River Fact-Finding Task Force will meet next week for the first time. The task force was created in September by Juneau’s legislative delegation to gather facts about the river and possible impacts of Tulsequah Chief Mine redevelopment on the Canadian side of the Taku River watershed.

The Taku River is the most abundant salmon-producer in Southeast Alaska.

Scheduling difficulties prevented task force members from meeting with Fish and Game, Natural Resources, and other agency experts until January 5th, about three weeks after a report to Juneau legislators was due...
KTOO Audiohttp://www.ktoonews.org/2011/12/29/taku-river-t
ask-force-schedules-first-meeting/

For a snapshot of the value of Juneau based fisheries see UFA Commercial Fishing and Processing Fact Sheet for Juneau, at:  http://www.ufa-fish.org/cff.htm


9. Northern Southeast sea otter numbers up 4 percent
by Ed Schoenfeld, KTOO Radio Juneau
Will Ware goes subsistence fishing in Sumner Strait, south of Petersburg. But the administrator of the town’s tribal government says he finds fewer shellfish there these days...
“When you get onto the reefs you’re seeing that it’s just shell-laden all over the rocks and beaches. There’s gumboot shells everywhere, shrimp shells. It’s almost like a devastating sight to see on some of these islands and rocks,” he says...
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other agencies have been surveying Southeast
waters to determine the extent of otter growth...
http://www.ktoonews.org/2011/12/22/sea-otter-numbers-4-
percent-up-in-northern-southeast/

&&
Sea otters get their cut from Southeast fisheries
By LAINE WELCH ADN FISHERIES
Sea otters are taking a big bite out of valuable commercial fisheries in Southeast Alaska, and they've been doing it for decades. A second report by the McDowell Group of Juneau updates the financial hit otters have inflicted on the region's fisheries since 2005.
Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2011/12/10/2212778/
sea-otters-get-their-cut-from.html#storylink=cpy


http://www.adn.com/2011/12/10/2212778/sea-otters-get
-their-cut-from.html

McDowell Group report: - Sea Otter Impacts on Commercial Fisheries in Southeast Alaska:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/74857876/MCDOWELL-GROUP-
2011-Sea-Otter-Impacts-Report

Support Alaskan artisans as well as local commercial, subsistence and personal use fishermen by purchasing handmade items  of sea otter:

Ralph Strickland, Petersburg, AK... trstrickland@gci.net  ...Phone: (907) 518-0308

 Peter Williams, Sitka, Alaska... dancingmudpuddle@hotmail.com 
www.seaotterfur.com/buy-sea-otter-fur-products 

 Christy Ruby, Craig, Alaska.... crdesigns@ak.net  ... (907) 254-2232
www.indigenousalaska.com/ 

 Diana Riedel, Cordova, Alaska... dianariedel@hotmail.com... (907) 253-5364
www.dineegafurs.com/dineega_products

Thanks to Petersburg Vessel Owners Assn...


10. China top market for Alaska exports
By Tim Bradner, Alaska Journal of Commerce

China will emerge as Alaska’s top export customer for 2011 when final trade statistics are counted for the last two months of the year, state officials say...
Susan Bell, State Commissioner of Commerce said China’s domestic consumption of seafood is increasing, and this includes higher-value products.

“We really saw this when we accompanied Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute people to the China Seafood Expo in late October. We saw snow crab, Pacific cod and sole from Alaska as well as other products like sea cucumbers and geoduck,” Bell said.

http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/
AJOC-January-1-2012/China-top-market-for-Alaska-exports/


11. Gov. Parnell Criticizes Genetically Engineered Salmon
December 15, 2011, Anchorage, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell again expressed his strong concerns regarding AquaBounty’s application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market genetically engineered salmon. This fish would be the first food from a transgenic animal application approved by the FDA.
http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell/press-room/full-
press-release.html?pr=5992


12. Begich Chairs Hearing on Environmental Risks of Frankenfish
Threats to wild fish stocks, ecosystems highlighted at hearing
In his ongoing efforts to discourage the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from approving genetically-engineered (GE) fish, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich today chaired a hearing of the Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard on the environmental risks of what Begich calls “Frankenfish.”
http://begich.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases?
ID=9c482005-f47f-468b-a685-ea563144c593


13. Canada Holds Hearings on Suspected Virus in Salmon
By WILLIAM YARDLEY, NY Times, December 15, 2011
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — The fate of wild salmon is a sensitive topic in the Pacific Northwest and arguments often end up in court in the United States, whether over threats to endangered fish by hydroelectric dams or sea lions swallowing them along their migration routes.
But on Thursday, a new and particularly bitter dispute began playing out in a very different kind of judicial venue across the Canadian border: a provincial Supreme Court justice held a hearing into questions of whether a potentially lethal virus had been detected in wild Pacific salmon — and whether the Canadian government was responding adequately...
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/16/science/canada-begins-
hearings-on-infectious-salmon-anemia-virus.html

&&&
Salmon virus has been in B.C. since 1985: scientists
http://www.ctvbc.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20111215
/bc_salmon_virus_since_1985_111215/20111215/?hub=
BritishColumbiaHome


14. Murkowski concerned about preliminary halibut numbers
Alaska U. S. Senator Lisa Murkowski says she's disappointed to hear that further reductions in the catch of halibut in Alaska are likely.

The International Pacific Halibut Commission suggested during a briefing this week that potentially drastic model changes may be needed that would spur steeper reductions.

Whether the changes are incorporated this year or in future years, Murkowski says the discussion creates more uncertainty for the commercial fishing industry, sport charter businesses and the state's fishing communities.

She says they have already taken a serious economic hit from reduced harvest levels and changing management measures.

The senator is also concerned about the manner in which commission staff presented its findings and data..
http://www.kinyradio.com/juneaunews/latest_juneau_news.html


15. Homer News EDITORIAL: Protect halibut, relationships while seeking solutions
Homer is fortunate. While fish wars have bitterly divided other Alaska communities, Homer’s commercial fishing and sport charter fleets have been able to avoid most of the acrimony that’s found in other fishing towns...
The news puts Homer at crossroads. As a community, we can whine and wring our hands about the unfairness of it all, we can play the blame game or we can make some decisions that move us in new directions...
http://homernews.com/stories/120711/oped_
lphor.shtml#.Tv4Ee1a8DBI

For UFA Community Fishing and Fact Sheet for Homer, see:  http://www.ufa-fish.org/cff.htm


16. Committed to halibut plan, council gives relief to Southeast
Andrew Jensen, AK Journal of Commerce
With potentially drastic harvest cuts on the horizon in 2013, the battle over the declining halibut resource continued at the latest meeting of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.
 Over the better part of two days at the Anchorage Hilton Dec. 11 and 12, the council once again revisited the contentious issue of halibut management between commercial and charter sectors that remains unresolved more than 18 years after the first stakeholder workgroup was formed.
The results were a mixed bag for charter and commercial halibut users, with everyone getting something from the council decisions.
Read more: http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-
Commerce/AJOC-December-18-2011/Committed-to-halibut-
plan-council-gives-relief-to-Southeast/#ixzz1i2qZkKyl


17. State fisheries excluded from federal plan over commercial objections
By Andrew Jensen, Alaska Journal of Commerce

With the Magnuson-Stevens Act up for reauthorization in 2012, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council is still getting caught up on the requirements added to the law in 2007.

At its recent meeting in Anchorage, the council checked one of the final boxes to bring each fishery management plan, or FMP, into compliance with the 2007 revised MSA.

The council, which has deferred management of salmon to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game since 1979 and hasn’t reviewed the salmon FMP since 1990, officially excluded the Cook Inlet, Prince William Sound and Alaska Peninsula salmon fisheries from the FMP with a unanimous vote.

The Southeast Alaska salmon troll fishery will remain in the FMP with state management to provide a nexus for meeting requirements of the federal Endangered Species Act and the international Pacific Salmon Treaty...

Read more: http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-
Commerce/AJOC-December-25-2011/State-fisheries-excluded-
from-federal-plan-over-commercial-objections/#ixzz1i2pfEW9L


18. Council takes aim at absentee ownership in crab fishery
By Andrew Jensen, Alaska Journal of Commerce
Buying into the Bering Sea crab fishery will take boots on deck or a stake in some steel under requirements now being contemplated by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.
The thorny issue of crew compensation in the Bering Sea crab fishery put a divide between Alaska and Pacific Northwest members on full display Dec. 10 at the Anchorage Hilton as a 6-5 vote advanced potential rules for active participation to buy harvest shares...

Read more: http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-
Commerce/AJOC-December-18-2011/Council-takes-aim-at-
absentee-ownership-in-crab-fishery/#ixzz1i2pwjwEt


19. Health of pollock stock debated, quota set
By Andrew Jensen, Alaska Journal of Commerce
Whether the pollock stock in the Bering Sea is as healthy as the quota was a source of debate at the North Pacific Fishery Management Council after several skippers and the largest seafood company in the state asked for a conservative approach for the 2012 season.

The council settled on a total allowable catch, or TAC, of 1.2 million metric tons for 2012, a slight decrease from the 1.25 million metric tons in 2011. The pollock fleet was unable to harvest the full quota in 2011, finishing the season about 54,000 metric tons short.

Read more: http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/
AJOC-December-18-2011/Health-of-pollock-stock-debated-quota
-set/#ixzz1i2qO2LOv


20. Items from the NPFMC December meeting:
Newsletter 12/11

And more, online at the NPFMC home page: http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc/


21. NOAA Improving Community Profiles for the North Pacific Fisheries

To provide baseline information about a large number of Alaskan fishing communities to fisheries managers, the Alaska Fisheries Science Center’s (AFSC) Economic and Social Sciences Research Program (ESSRP) compiled existing information about, and published the Community Profiles for North Pacific Fisheries – Alaska (referred to as the Community Profiles from here on) in 2005 (Sepez et al. 2005). The Community Profiles have been widely used as the basis for fisheries management plans, social and economic impact assessments of proposed fishing regulations, and numerous discussions by natural resource agencies. However, it has become clear that the Community Profiles need to be updated with current information about communities’ dependence on fishing and additional categories of information that would be integral in determining the social and economic impacts of fishing regulations on local communities....   4 megabyte download:
http://www.afsc.noaa.gov/Publications/AFSC-TM/NOAA-TM
-AFSC-230.pdf

For UFA Alaska Community Fishing Facts sheets see http://www.ufa-fish.org/cff.htm .


22. Study: Severe tissue damage in Atlantic cod larvae under increasing ocean acidification
Ocean acidification, caused by increasing atmospheric concentrations of CO2 (refs 1, 2, 3), is one of the most critical anthropogenicthreats to marine life. Changes in seawater carbonate chemistry have the potential to disturb calcification, acid–base regulation, blood circulation and respiration, as well as the nervous system of marine organisms, leading to long-term effects such as reduced growth rates and reproduction...
Here we show detrimental effects of ocean acidification on the development of a mass-spawning fish species of high commercial importance...
 http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v2/n1/full/
nclimate1324.html


23. Simon Fraser U. hosts salmon scientists
A think tank of national and international scientists was held at SFU Nov 30-Dec 1 to explore:
• What pathogens and diseases are impacting wild Pacific salmon populations?
• What do we know, what do we not know, and what do we need to know right now?
• What should we consider in terms of interacting stressors, cumulative impacts and diseases?
• How do we manage for uncertainty and the protection of wild salmon?

To view the think tank consensus statement and recommendations from the convenors, visit: www.sfu.ca/cstudies/science/salmon.php


24.  Laine Welch's Fish Radio –topics from this week
12/26/11 Cod fishermen get surprise Christmas opener‏‏‏
12/23/11 Under sea medical miracles
12/22/11 Training future fishing leaders
12/21/11 Wanted: Fish stories from AK
12/20/11 Fish in Gov’s budget‏‏
All are online at http://www.marineconservationalliance.org/?page_id=846


25. AK Sea Grant: Fuel-Saving Measures for Fishing Industry Vessels
By Terry Johnson
http://seagrant.uaf.edu/bookstore/pubs/ASG-57.html


26. IPHC 2012 Annual Meeting, Jan 24 – 27, Anchorage Hilton
The Eighty-eighth Annual Meeting of the International Pacific Halibut Commission will be held from Tuesday, January 24 through Friday, January 27, 2012. The sessions will be held at the Hilton Anchorage...
http://www.iphc.int/meetings-and-events/20/29-annual-
meeting.html


27. Deadline for comment January 6 on DEC Triennial Review of Water Quality Standards
Every three years, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) conducts a comprehensive review of the Water Quality Standards (WQS) in 18 AAC 70. This review helps to keep the pollution limits for Alaska's waters up to date by integrating the latest science, technology, policy, and federal requirements into how the State regulates water quality.
2011-2013 Triennial Review
ADEC is starting the next triennial review on December 4, 2011. The following documents are available on the Triennial Review for 2011-2013:
Public Notice
Current Issues
Fact Sheets for:

DEC Triennial Review page:
http://www.dec.state.ak.us/water/wqsar/trireview/index.htm


28. Comment deadline Jan 10, 2012 on National MPA Center
SUMMARY: On May 26, 2000, President Clinton signed Executive Order (EO) 13158, directing federal agencies (led by NOAA and DOI) to establish a comprehensive national system of MPAs serving multiple conservation and management goals. To this end, the EO directs NOAA to establish a National Marine Protected Area Center (``MPA Center'') within NOAA (Sec. 4(e)) to carry out several provisions in cooperation with the Department of the Interior. Over the past decade, the MPA Center has conducted a variety  of efforts to establish and support the growing national system through targeted science, information resources, coordination and policy development.

    An external review of the MPA Center is needed to maximize its effectiveness and transparency and to ensure that the MPA Center is conducting high quality work of significant value to NOAA and the nation. To this end, the MPA Center is seeking external feedback, including public comment on the program's approach to balancing
competing priorities.

    All comments received in response to this request will be summarized and provided to an expert review panel scheduled to convene in late January, 2012.

DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before January 10, 2012.
Federal Register Notice:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-12-01/
html/2011-30700.htm

National MPA Center home page: http://www.mpa.gov/


29. Comment deadline January 9, 2012 on 5-year OCS PEIS – Cook Inlet, Beaufort, Chukchi... Public hearings in AK December 5 – 13.
...Persons interested in reviewing the OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012-2017 Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, OCS EIS/EA BOEM 2011-001 can locate it on the Internet at http://www.boem.gov/5-year/2012-2017
Federal Register Notice:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-11-10/html/
2011-29152.htm


30. Deadline Jan 20 for nominations to USDA Native American Farmers and Ranchers
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is announcing the
establishment of the Council for Native American Farming and Ranching
(Council). The purpose of the Council is to provide recommendations to
the Secretary on how to eliminate barriers to Native American
participation in Farm Service Agency (FSA) farm loan programs and other
farm programs. The Council will discuss issues related to the
participation of Native American farmers and ranchers in USDA farm loan
programs and transmit recommendations concerning any changes to FSA
regulations or internal guidance or other measures..

Federal Register Notice:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-12-06/html/2011-31235.htm


31. Comment by Jan 23 on Proposed 2012 and 2013 Groundfish Harvest Specs
SUMMARY: NMFS proposes 2012 and 2013 harvest specifications, apportionments, and Pacific halibut prohibited species catch limits for the groundfish fishery of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to establish harvest limits for groundfish during the 2012 and 2013 fishing years and to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska...

DATES: Comments must be received by January 23, 2012.
Federal Register: GOA Groundfish
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-12-22/html/2011-32848.htm
&&
Proposed 2012 and 2013 Harvest Specifications for BSAI Groundfish
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-12-27/html/2011-33169.htm

&&
Final 2011 and 2012 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-12-29/html/2011-33448.htm


32. Comment deadline Jan 23 on Amendment 93 Chinook bycatch in GOA Pollock fishery
Federal Register notice:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-11-23/html/2011-30267.htm

NPFMC Chinook salmon bycatch home page:
http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc/bycatch-controls/BS
ChinookBycatch.html


33. Comment by Jan. 20 on GOA Pollock Chinook Salmon Bycatch Amendment 93
SUMMARY: NMFS proposes regulations to implement Amendment 93 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP). The proposed regulations would apply exclusively to the directed pollock trawl fisheries in the Central and Western Reporting Areas of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) (Central and Western GOA). If approved, Amendment 93 would establish separate prohibited species catch (PSC) limits in the Central and Western GOA for Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), which would cause NMFS to close the directed pollock fishery in the Central or Western regulatory areas of the Gulf of Alaska, if the applicable limit is reached. This action also would require retention of salmon by all vessels in the Central and Western GOA pollock fisheries until the catch is delivered to a processing facility where an observer is provided the opportunity to count the number of salmon and to collect scientific data or biological samples from the salmon. Amendment 93 would increase observer coverage on vessels less than 60 feet (18.3 m) length overall that participate in the directed pollock fishery in the Central or Western regulatory areas of the GOA by January 2013, unless the restructured North Pacific Groundfish Observer Program is in place by this time...

DATES: Written comments must be received no later than 5 p.m. Alaska local time (A.l.t.) January 30, 2012...

Federal Register Notice:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-12-14/html/
2011-31973.htm


34. Comment deadline Feb 7 on ESA definition of “Significant Portion of Its Range”
Summary: We, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (collectively, the Services), announce a draft 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 notice is to provide a draft interpretation and application of ``significant portion of its range'' that reflects a permissible reading of the law and its legislative history and minimizes undesirable policy outcomes, while fulfilling the conservation purposes of the Act. We seek public comments on this draft policy. It is our intent to publish a final policy that will provide a consistent standard for interpretation of the phrase and its role in listing determinations that will be accorded deference by the federal courts.

DATES: We will consider comments and information we receive from all
interested parties on or before February 7, 2012...

Federal Register: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-12-09/
html/2011-31782.htm


35. Comment deadline Feb. 8 on 5-year OCS Leasing Program
Federal Register notice:
 http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-11-10/html/2011
-29151.htm


36. Deadline Feb 13 for USFS Planning Rule Implementation Committee
The Secretary of Agriculture intends to establish the National
Advisory Committee for Implementation of the National Forest System
Land Management Planning Rule (Committee)...
Written nominations must be received by February 13, 2012...

This Committee will be comprised of not more than 21 members who
provide balanced and broad representation within each of the following
three categories of interests:
...Commercial or recreational hunting and fishing interests...
 (and many other categories that you may fit)

Federal Register Notice:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-12-29/html/
2011-33535.htm

Planning Rule home page: http://www.fs.usda.gov/planningrule


37. Comment deadline Feb 13 on Arctic Oil & Gas Draft EIS
SUMMARY: NMFS announces the availability of the ``Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Effects of Oil and Gas Activities in the Arctic Ocean.'' Publication of this notice begins the official public comment period for this DEIS. The purpose of the DEIS is to evaluate, in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the potential direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts of implementing the alternative approaches for authorizing the take of marine mammals incidental to oil and gas exploration activities in the Arctic Ocean pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA)...
DATES: All comments and written statements must be received no later than Monday, February 13, 2012...
Information on this project can also be found on the Protected Resources Web page at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/eis/arctic.htm ...

Federal Register Notice:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-12-30/html/
2011-33195.htm


38. Comment by Feb 21 on EPA Draft Vessel General Permit and Small Vessel GP
EPA Regions... are publishing for comment a draft NPDES Vessel General Permit (VGP) that would authorize discharges incidental to the normal operation of non-military and non-recreational vessels greater than or equal to 79 feet in length. If finalized, this draft VGP would replace the current VGP, which was issued in December 2008 and expires on December 19, 2013. EPA is also proposing a draft NPDES Small Vessel General Permit (sVGP) to authorize discharges incidental to the normal operation of non-military and non-recreational vessels less than 79 feet in length. EPA is proposing the sVGP to authorize discharges from vessels less than 79 feet in length, because the P.L. 110-299 moratorium (subsequently extended by P.L. 111-215) expires on December 18, 2013. These laws generally provide that no NPDES permits shall be required for incidental discharges (except discharges of ballast water) from vessels less than 79 feet and commercial fishing vessels. EPA is soliciting comment on today's draft VGP and draft sVGP.
DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before February 21, 2012.

Federal Register: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-12-08/pdf/
2011-31576.pdf

For Draft 2013 Vessel General Permit and Small Vessel General Permit and other relevant info see: EPA Vessel Discharge home page: 
http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/home.cfm?program_id=350


39. NMFS posts Amendment 83 GOA Groundfish regs & correction
NMFS publishes regulations to implement Amendment 83 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). Amendment 83 allocates Western and Central GOA Pacific cod total allowable catch (TAC) limits among various gear and operational sectors. Sector allocations limit the amount of Western and Central GOA
Pacific cod that each sector is authorized to harvest. This action reduces competition among sectors and supports stability in the Pacific cod fishery. This rule limits access to the Federal Pacific cod TAC fisheries prosecuted in State of Alaska waters, commonly known as the parallel fishery, adjacent to the Western and Central GOA. This action is intended to promote community participation and provide incentives for new entrants in the jig sector...
Federal Register Notice (Dec 1)
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-12-01/html/2011-30861.htm

Correction regarding parallel fishery (Dec 30):
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-12-29/html/2011-33452.htm


40. USFS issues internal directive on Invasive Species management
The Forest Service has finalized the development of an internal directive to Forest Service Manual (FSM) 2900 for invasive species management. This final invasive species management directive will provide foundational comprehensive guidance for the management of invasive species on aquatic and terrestrial areas of the National Forest System (NFS)...
Federal Register Notice:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-12-05/html/2011-31090.htm


41. US Forest Service Takes Action to Confront the Threat of Invasive Species. On 12/5 the U.S. Forest Service announced that the publication of its first ever national-level direction on the management of invasive species across aquatic and terrestrial areas of the National Forest System. “Invasive species cost the American public an estimated $138 billion each year. They deplete water supplies, destroy recreation opportunities and damage landscapes across the country,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “We are taking this bold approach to better protect our nation’s forest and water resources from the threat of invasive species.”While the Forest Service has long had a Forest Service Invasive Species Program, this policy adds new requirements for agency-wide integration of invasive species prevention, early detection and rapid response, control, restoration, and collaborative activities across all National Forest System lands. “The integrated nature of this new approach will make the Forest Service able to more effectively manage invasive species in the context of environmental issues such as adaptation to climate change, increasing wildfire risk, watershed restoration, 13
fragmentation of habitats, loss of biodiversity, and human health concerns,” said USDA Undersecretary Harris Sherman. “At the same time, we will be engaging the public, including participation by Tribes, in these programs and benefits.”
The proposed policy was published on June 3 in the Federal Register for a 60-day public comment period. The final policy published in the Federal Register reflects the consideration of comments received from a wide variety of stakeholders in the public and private sectors, including non-government organizations, state and local government agencies, private individuals, and other Federal government agencies. To see the final policy go to http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-12-05/pdf/2011-31090.pdf.


42. House Approves Ballast Water Bill.
The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a bill [H.R. 2838, The Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2011] that would set a national policy for cleansing ship ballast water to kill invasive species, while prohibiting states from imposing tougher requirements. The measure that passed the Republican-controlled chamber in November would adopt an international standard [per the International Maritime Organization] limiting the number of live organisms in ballast water. Vessel operators would have to install technology to comply. The shipping industry says an existing patchwork of more than two dozen state and tribal policies is unworkable because vessels move constantly from one jurisdiction to another. New York rules scheduled to take effect in 2013 would be 100 times tougher than the House bill standards. Environmentalists say the House measure isn't strong enough to prevent more invasive species from reaching the Great Lakes, and say they hope to derail it in the Democratic-controlled Senate. (Excerpted from ‘House OKs bill setting national ballast standard’, November 15 in the Wall Street Journal.)

Thanks to the Invasives in a Nutshell newsletter – online at:
http://www.aquaticnuisance.org/newsletters


43. NMFS posts IFQ cost recovery fee for halibut and sablefish – 1.6%
NMFS publishes individual fishing quota (IFQ) standard prices and fee percentage for the IFQ cost recovery program in the halibut and sablefish fisheries of the North Pacific. The fee percentage for 2011 is 1.6%... effective December 12, 2011.
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-12-12/html/
2011-31817.htm


44. NMFS Final Rule on GOA Groundfish Amendment 88 Rockfish Pilot Program
NMFS issues regulations implementing Amendment 88 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA FMP). Amendment 88 is the Central Gulf of Alaska Rockfish Program (Rockfish Program). These regulations allocate exclusive harvest privileges to a specific group of license limitation program license holders who used trawl gear to target Pacific ocean perch, pelagic shelf rockfish, and northern rockfish during particular qualifying years. The Rockfish Program retains the conservation, management, safety, and economic gains realized under the Central Gulf of Alaska Rockfish Pilot Program (Pilot Program) and resolves identified issues in the management and viability of the rockfish fisheries...
Federal Register: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-12-27/html/
2011-32873.htm


45. Alaska Marine Science Symposium January 16-20, Anchorage
Online registration for the 2012 Symposium is open until Friday, January 6th, 2012...
http://www.alaskamarinescience.org/

North Pacific Research Board home page: http://www.nprb.org/


46. Alaska Pollock Certified Sustainable
A positive Certification determination has been awarded for the fishery management of the U.S. Alaska pollock commercial fisheries, against the FAO-based Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) Conformance Criteria1 . Certification determination was given by a Global Trust Certification Committee on December 6th 2011, after a nine months independent assessment of the Alaska pollock commercial fishery. The assessment was performed at the request of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI)...
http://sustainability.alaskaseafood.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/07
/AK-Pollock-Certification-Summary-12-12-2011.pdf

ASMI Pollock Certification home page: h
ttp://sustainability.alaskaseafood.org/pollock-certification


47. ASMI Great Alaska Seafood Cook-Off! - May 14, 2012, Anchorage, AK
Limited Space Available.
Do you think you have what it takes to be the King or Queen of Alaska Seafood?
You can apply to compete in the Great Alaska Seafood Cook Off here.
The winner will represent the state of Alaska at the Great American Seafood Cook-Off in New Orleans, Louisiana.
http://greatalaskaseafoodcookoff.com/


48. Sign up for ASMI weekly Marketing Updates:
http://us2.campaign-archive2.com/home/?u=bcd6d5bec392f12ce7
03f7e00&id=bb976f52af

Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute home page:
http://pressroom.alaskaseafood.org/


49. Alaska Seafood Logo Decals – Vessel Size –available free from ASMI
AK registered commercial fishing vessels can receive the ALASKA SEAFOOD decal -all they have to do is call the ASMI office at 907-465-5560. ASMI also has banners, flags  for boats that do not have space to stick the decals) bumper stickers, window decals.



Inclusion of an item does not mean UFA or any individuals agree, endorse the point of view, or have verified statements presented as facts.

UFA dues for Alaska Individual members are $170 for one year or $300 for two years and are now open to holders of Alaska commercial crew licenses, in addition to CFEC permit holders and IFQ holders.
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