United Southeast Alaska Gillnetter’s Association

Corkline-News for Southeast Gillnetters, June 3, 2014

NEWS

Top Stories:  NSRAA update…Cruise ship tracklines the same for 2014…Silver Bay impacts… Coast Guard uses new vessel warning signal in Southeast Alaska

SAFETY

Live to Be Salty. When you live to be an old salt, you’ve heard it all. “If you fall in you’ll die of hypothermia anyway.” “PFDs get tangled in lines and nets and pull you in.” “PFDs restrict my movement.” Awww, whale whiz. Modern PFDs are designed to stay out of your way and keep you alive. Wearing a PFD will extend your survival time in the water and give your crew a fair shot at fishing you out of the drink. So stop spewin’ crap and start wearin’ your PFD.  More

Cruiseship Tracklines.  The tracklines used in Lynn Canal and Stephens Passage in 2013 will be used again in 2014.  Discussions were held about making a minor adjust met but in the end the pilots decided to make no changes this year.  Feedback on how this works is appreciated.  Tracklines are here

Gastineau Channel Tender Operations.  We have received some complaints about cruise ship wakes while gillnetters are off loading in Gastineau Channel near DuPont.  If tendering operations are in progress, you are encouraged to respond to cruise ship “SECURITE” calls and let them know what is going on.

Coast Guard Commercial Fishing Industry Vessel Checklist Generator   give yourself a checkup before the season starts.  Contact Scott Wilwert for a free exam here in Southeast by the Coast Guard:  (907) 463-2248 or anthony.s.wilwert (at) uscg.mil

USCG – unprepared safety equipment (5/16).  The US Coast Guard issued a Safety Alert stating that some SABRE Emergency Escape Breath Devices (EEBDs)/Emergency Life Support Apparatus (ELSA) were found to be in an unprepared status. Masters with such devices on their vessels should ensure that the “Quick Fire” functionality on each of these devices is in its “Primed” state. Alert 06-14  Courtesy Bryant’s Maritime Blog

USCG – slips, trips, and falls (5/16).  The US Coast Guard issued a Safety Alert reminding owners and operators of small passenger vessels to be alert to the risk of slips, trips, and falls on their vessels and to take measures to mitigate those risks. Alert 07-14  Courtesy Bryant’s Maritime Blog

Safety Zone.  The Error Chain Gang (5/20).   I bet you have too much chain onboard. Boats can have anchor chain, chain for pennants and stoppers, chain for bridles and chain for a good catenary when you’ve got a long tow on the wire.

But there is one chain that every boat has onboard. That’s the error chain. Each link in the error chain is an event that contributes to an accident. They can be called contributing factors. An investigation after the accident will find them. The error chain can be just a single link where just one mistake can end in disaster or it can be many links where things all have to line up perfectly for the accident to happen.  More

USAG Insurance Requirements.  Vessels participating in the USAG program are required to have a smoke detector, bilge alarm, and an automatic oil stove cutoff.  Automatic stove cutoffs are available at a discounted USAG price from Mark Grant at Seattle Marine 206-285-5010 or 800-426-2783.    They have different sizes based on the size of your flue (the temperature sensors clamp to your stove pipe).  Thanks to Norm Hughes (aka Surf Fisheries Supply) for working with SEAMAR to get the discount.

Welcome New Business Members Kito’s Kave and the Java Hus in Petersburg.

STATE

BOF Email Subscription Lists  -SIGN UP.  The Board of Fisheries will begin distributing notices for meetings, regulatory changes, proposals, and call for proposals electronically for the upcoming 2014-2015 meeting cycle. Receipt of hard copies will be available only upon request. All users are asked to sign up to continue receiving the information.

Spring 2014 NSRAA Report by USAG Board member Dan Pardee (F/V SENTRY)

Deep Inlet Forecast: 1,170,000 Chums.  Range: 464,000 to 1,790,000

Due to excess DIPAC cost recovery money- NSRAA is requesting $2.5 million to cover CR needs at Deep Inlet and Hidden Falls.  This translates into $2.5 million more dollars in fish in the water for all three gear groups to target and harvest.  DIPAC did fund NSRAA CR at $2.5 million.  Basically, it means more money in our pockets!

Deep Inlet Schedule:

June 1-21: Chinook Management

Rotation: GN 2:1 SN

Gillnet fish on Monday, Tuesday and again on Thursday, Friday.

Mesh Restriction prior to 6/21 minimum mesh size of 6”

June 22-July 26: Chum Management

Rotation: GN 1:1 SN

Gillnet fish on 6/23 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday thru 7/23

NO mesh restrictions.

July 27-September 27: Chum Management

Rotation: GN 45hr:45hr SN

Gillnet fish on 7/28 Monday, Tuesday and Saturday’s thru 9/27

NO mesh restrictions.

NSRAA Future Production Projects

1)    Gunnuk Creek and SE Cove near Kake:  It is highly likely that NSRAA will assume “ownership” of the permitted capacity of 55 million chums and will manage this project in the future after a default on debt by Kake and Gunnuk Creek Hatchery.  We could see good chum salmon returns to SE Cove as early as 4-5 years from now.  These fish are hidden falls stock and thus would return during June and July and could benefit the gillnet fleet by taking pressure off the district 15-C Amalga fishery.

2)    Crawfish Bay on the outside coast of Baranof Island is another potential release site that has received some blessings from ADF&G, NSRAA is applying for the necessary permits.  This has the potential of another 55 million chums; it is still in early stages of permitting and getting the “go ahead” from the USFS and other Federal agencies.  The timeline is uncertain as with all things involving Federal decisions.  NSRAA will actively continue to pursue this project.  These fish would be returning in August and could help to split up the troll fleet in Eastern Channel during the month of August.

Good luck & best wishes to our gillnet fleet this summer, see you on the water!  Dan Pardee

District 11/15/DIPAC  Forecasts.  On May 21, Juneau and Haines gillnetters had a joint teleconference with ADFG (Scott Forbes, Randy Bachman, and Dave Harris) and Eric Prestegard (DIPAC) to discuss the 2014 season.  Presentations from the teleconference are attached.

Small hatchery king release on schedule in Petersburg (5/30).  Some 200-thousand young Crystal Lake Hatchery king salmon are scheduled to be released Friday, May 30 into Frederick Sound near Petersburg.

The fish were held in a temporary rearing pen near the mouth of City Creek three miles outside of downtown Petersburg, for the past month and a half. That’s in the hope that some of the kings will return to spawn at that spot several years from now.  More

Bulldog reporter Tkacz dies at 61 (5/30).  Bob Tkacz may not have always been well-liked, but he was always respected, according to those who knew the longtime reporter.

Tkacz was found dead Tuesday evening in his Fourth Street office in Juneau. He was 61.

Lt. David Campbell with the Juneau Police Department reported there were no immediate signs of foul play and nothing that indicated he died of unnatural causes; there were indications of medical issues, but no further details could be shared.  More

Chieftain Metals Forced by Ontario Securities Commission to Correct 2013 Annual Information Form and Retract Corporate Presentation (6/2). On April 28, 2014, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) notified investors on its Refilings and Errors List that Chieftain Metals Corp. was non-compliant in its mineral project disclosure. On the same day, Chieftain Metals issued a corrected Annual Information Form noting that the report had been revised “in connection with a continuous disclosure review by the Ontario Securities Commission.”

“Chieftain has a history of selective and self-serving public statements, some based on pie-in-the-sky predictions, that do not provide a complete and accurate picture of the proposed Tulsequah Chief mine to potential investors,” said Chris Zimmer of Rivers Without Borders. “The Tulsequah Chief project has serious risks and uncertainties such as opposition by the Taku River Tlingit First Nation, high levels of contaminants in the copper ore, unresolved problems with concentrate sales, potentially expensive long-term environmental liabilities, and ongoing violations of its waste discharge permit and the Canadian federal Fisheries Act. We applaud the OSC for forcing Chieftain to comply with disclosure laws and provide more accurate information.”  More

 FEDERAL

Coast Guard uses new vessel warning signal in Southeast Alaska (5/29).  Boats that get a little too close to cruise ships and ferries in Southeast Alaska this summer might get to see and hear a new warning signal used by the U.S. Coast Guard.

The signal is fired from a 12 gauge shotgun and will be used when boaters do not respond to a Coast Guard vessel’s lights, sirens or radio.

Ensign Dwight Schaffer, assistant chief of enforcement with the Coast Guard in Juneau, says the signal looks and sounds like a firework. “It’s a bright orange flash with a loud bang. It’s definitely bright and it’s significant in volume so it’s definitely a good tool to get the boater’s attention.”  More

RISK MANAGEMENT Adequate vessel insurance protects owner financially (5/16). Fishing vessel owners need to protect themselves financially by engaging in risk management that takes into consideration a number of issues that could cost them millions of dollars in lawsuits, says insurance company executive Chris Trainer.

Speaking at a forum on risk management at the recent Comfish 2014 commercial fisheries trade show in Kodiak, Trainer, chief executive officer of the Chinook Insurance Group in Seattle, cited a number of examples of millions of dollars in claims awarded due to injury and death of fish harvesters, and pollution incidents.  More

My Turn: Tongass prepares to enter new logging era (5/23)Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack recently announced that the U.S. Forest Service will amend the Tongass Land Management Plan, also called the Forest Plan, the document that guides the work we do as an agency on the Tongass National Forest. After extensive public meetings and comments last year, the Forest Service determined that an amendment to the Forest Plan is needed to accomplish the transition within the next 10 to 15 years to a timber sale program on the Tongass that is based primarily on young-growth management while maintaining a viable timber industry.  More

MARKETING

Silver Bay Seafood’s will have an impact on the Bristol Bay Sockeye Fishery This Season (5/31).  A well-known fisheries journalist believes that Silver Bay Seafood’s will have a dramatic impact on the upcoming salmon fishery in Bristol Bay. KDLG’s Mike Mason has the story.  KDLG  Audio  John Sackton Video (5/29) 2min 58 sec

US salmon prices appear poised for a summer freefall (5/21).  The seasonal fall in salmon prices is likely to kick in despite the strong salmon prices this winter, based on stable supply and expanding demand.  Video

Ocean Beauty eyes plant upgrades on back of tax credit expansion (5/19).  Alaskan salmon and herring processors are poised for potentially game-changing upgrades in coming years thanks to a new bill passed last month.

The Senate Bill 71, passed last month, opens up new opportunities for canned sockeye, byproducts and herring, by expanding eligibility to the salmon product development tax credit.

For the first time, processing plant investments into value-added herring products will now qualify for the credit.  More

ASMI launches grassroots marketing campaign targeting the ‘uber athlete’ (5/23).  The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) is in the midst of launching a $1.2 million special post-Lenten Alaska canned salmon retail promotion project at the request of the industry, in light of the huge influx of canned pink salmon last year.

“It was the large harvest that happened last year [that prompted this],” Larry Andrews, ASMI retail specialist, told Undercurrent News. “The salmon processors came in and asked us ‘what can you do?’”

The campaign, leading with the bold slogan “Our product may not be pretty, but sometimes staying healthy isn’t”, targets both current and traditional users of canned pink salmon as well as a specially-selected new user category — the uber athlete.  More

Why Won’t the Government Let You Eat Superfish? (5/22).  Prince Edward Island is Anne of Green Gables country, a pastoral wonderland on the east coast of Canada. It is a Technicolor quilt of clapboard houses and potato fields where each year thousands of tourists buy straw hats with Anne’s two red braids sewn into them. It does not look like the kind of place where a risky experiment might be taking place. But that changes when, on a wintry March morning, you arrive at the AquaBounty Technologies (ABTX:LN) facility on Fortune Bay. A chain link fence surrounds the perimeter, and signs warn would-be trespassers that they are being watched by eight motion-activated video cameras. This fish hatchery is like no other.  More

Canned salmon demand explodes in South Korea (5/22).  Canned salmon demand is growing fast in South Korea and is competing hard for share with tuna, said an executive from Silla, speaking at the Tuna 2014 conference.

Kwang-Se Lee, executive director of the South Korean fishing and processing company, said the canned salmon category has gone from practically nothing to $10 million in around six months.

Lee said the canned salmon category is expected to grow to $30m this year.  More

SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY

Abstract.  A whale alarm fails to deter migrating humpback whales: an empirical test (5/30)Cetacean entanglements in fishing gear cost governments, fishermen and stakeholders millions of dollars a year, and often result in serious injury or death of the entangled animal. Entanglements have been implicated in preventing the recovery of some large whale populations. Acoustic deterrents on fishing nets are widely used to reduce incidental capture of dolphins and porpoises, but there is little evidence as to whether they effectively deter large whales.  More

ADFG.  Scientists Up their Ability to Track Salmon through DNA ‘Fin-Printing’ (5/29)

CALENDAR.
2014

Jun 13.  Comments due on federal fish subsistence proposals

Aug 18.  BOF ACR’s due

Aug 19.  Alaska Primary Election

Sep 23-25.  UFA Board Meeting, Anchorage

2015

Feb 23-Mar3.   BOF SE Finfish, Sitka

Posted 1 month, 2 weeks ago at 7:40 am.

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Corkline-News for Southeast Gillnetters, April 24, 2014

NEWS

Top Stories:  Federal subsistence proposals out for review… BC mine impacts discussed…Legislature pops out a few fish bills…Rep Seaton proposes to repeal CFEC; & transfer Functions to ADFG…Superior Court hears arguments over proposed commercial setnet fishing ban.

Obituary.  Jerry Wollen (F/V LITTLE RIP)

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Jerry P. Wollen On April 4, 2014, former Tumwater resident, Jerry P. Wollen 56, went out with a bang, just the way he would have wanted to, paddle boarding off the coast of Hawaii. He is survived by his loving family; his wife, Glorianne; mother, Ruth (Hugh) Middleton; brother, Randy (Pam) Wollen; daughters, Erica (Brian) Hansen and April Wollen; grandsons, Gunnar, Giovanni, and Gabriel. Jerry’s final resting place will be on the beach he loved, near the home he shared with his wife Glo, in Petersburg, Alaska. His family invites you to come together in love to remember the life of their son, father, grandfather, husband, and friend Saturday, April 26, 2014, 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., at the South Sound Church, 1416 26th Ave. NE Olympia.

- See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/theolympian/obituary.aspx?n=jerry-p-wollen&pid=170723747#sthash.tD38szBv.dpuf

Obituary.  Davis C. Barrett (4/18).  Davis C. Barrett, 1949-2014 Davis Corwin Barrett, 64, died in his Port Townsend WA home April 12, 2014. Barrett was a leading Alaska purse seiner for some 30 years, usually fishing with his three daughters – Allison, Hannah and Ilsa, now in their 20s – and his wife of 30 years, Adrienne Ely. More

FEDERAL

Federal Subsistence Fish Proposals.  Comments are due on federal subsistence proposals by June 13.  Southeast Alaska Area proposals are:

 ·         Salmon.  Allow the use of bow and arrow to take salmon

·         Salmon.  Revise Stikine River subsistence fishery annual limits with roll over penalty

·         for exceeding harvest limits, revise permit recording requirement, and institute daily hours.

·         Salmon.  Revise Stikine River subsistence fishery annual limits with roll over penalty

·         for exceeding harvest limits, revise permit recording requirement, and institute daily hours.

·         Sockeye Salmon.  Prohibit the use of seines and gill nets on the Klawock River during the  months of July and August.

·         Steelhead.  Require immediate recording of harvested steelhead in POW fisheries for

·         spring and winter seasons

·         Herring.  Close Makhnati Island herring fishery to commercial fishing

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

Senate draft of fisheries act begins circulating (4/17).  The newest version of the Magnuson-Stevens Act out for discussion adds subsistence users and Tribal governments to the fisheries management law and has the potential to create new Community Development Quota in the Arctic, but it has not yet been made widely available to the public for review.  More

PFDs Save Three (4/17).  Over the course of two summers, Shannon Ford attended two funerals, both for salmon fishermen who went into the water and drowned. That isn’t unusual for Alaska’s salmon fishermen: 47 salmon fishermen perished between 2000 and 2012 in man-overboard accidents.

Ford — who runs a setnet operation on Bristol Bay from her aluminum skiff, Paul Revere — and her two crewmen, Don Ward and Tyler Schuldt, could have bumped that number up to 50 on the night of June 26, 2010, when the Paul Revere, having hung up a setnet line, was swamped by a wave, then flipped over on top of Ford, Ward and Schuldt.  More

NIOSH Video Highlights the Use of Personal Flotation Devices in Cold Water Survival in Alaska (4/2).  The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has just released a new safety video that recounts the 2010 sinking of the salmon setnet skiff Paul Revere in Alaskan waters and how the crew survived through the use of personal flotation devices (PFDs). The crew attributes their survival to the use of inflatable PFDs that kept them above the waves without expending energy.

The new video, Paul Revere: A Story of Survival in Bristol Bay, includes interviews with the skiff’s skipper, Shannon Ford, and her crewman, Don Ward, where they recount the events of 2010 that led to their being thrown into the cold waters of Bristol Bay, Alaska while setting their fishing gear for the upcoming season. Shannon and her crew survived over 2 hours in the water, much longer than most people think is possible in Alaska.  More

Radar Blind (3/27)The Transportation Safety Board of Canada recently released a report on the collision of the 90-foot Canadian trawler Viking Storm and the 40-foot longliner Maverick about 30 miles off La Push, Wash., on Sept. 28, 2012. One crewman on the Maverick drowned when the boat sank within minutes of the collision. The Viking Storm rescued the Maverick’s remaining three crewmen.

As is often the case, this accident was the result of a cascade of problems: The Maverick was drifting with the crew asleep and no one in the wheelhouse; in limited visibility, the crewman in the Viking Storm’s wheelhouse left to get something to eat; the Viking Storm, besides running with its navigation lights on, also was using its high-pressure sodium lights. The lights blinded a crewman on the Maverick who had gotten up to use the head, so he couldn’t react to take evasive action as the Viking storm closed in on the Maverick in near-zero visibility.  More

Two rescued as troller goes aground in heavy surf (4/22).  Two crewmen were rescued safely after their troller ran aground in heavy seas in Sitka Sound early this morning (Mon 4-21-14).

The 52-foot steel-hulled troller Mirage radioed a distress call at about 3:30 AM. The boat had gone aground on the southern shore of Low Island, in surf and strong winds.

SMR captain Don Kluting describes sea conditions at Low Island Monday morning as “a bit sporty.” Crew members left the Mirage on foot, once the tide ebbed. (SMR photo/Don Kluting)

Don Kluting coordinates Sitka’s Mountain Rescue team, which also conducts maritime operations.

Kluting says he and three other team members left the harbor in darkness, and used night-vision goggles and a global positioning system to navigate the six miles out to Low Island, where they arrived at daybreak. The team was prepared for the worst.  More

FCC – maritime radio equipment (4/11).  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seeks comment regarding a proposed amendment to rules and requirements for technologies used to locate and rescue distressed ships and individuals in distress at sea or on land by providing better and more accurate data to rescue personnel. Among other things, the proposal would require EPIRBs and similar devices to be capable of broadcasting position data when activated. Comments should be submitted by 2 June. 79 Fed. Reg. 18249  Courtesy Bryant’s Maritime Blog

STATE

Pacific Seafood Processors Association.  Celebrating Our 100th Anniversary – 1914-2014 (4/23).  In 2014 Pacific Seafood Processors Association (PSPA) celebrates 100 years of service. The association’s membership includes both seafood producers and associate members involved in supporting the seafood industry. PSPA has been through two world wars, a great depression, the change from wind to diesel powered vessels, a great recession, and untold predictions of the demise of the world we live in. Through all of this we have maintained a written record of our history and activity from our first organizational meetings in 1914, to our February Board meeting in Juneau, Alaska.  More

Legislature confirms fish board incumbents (4/18).  Three incumbent members of Alaska’s Board of Fisheries were unanimously confirmed after a Chugiak representative withdraw his objection to the two commercial fishers on the board.

Rep. Bill Stoltze, R-Chugiak, said he objected to the confirmation of Sue Jeffrey, board member from Kodiak, and John Jensen, of Petersburg, because he had heard that someone was going to object to the third appointee — sportfishing guide Reed Morisky of Fairbanks.  More

HB386.  Repeal CFEC; Transfer Functions to ADFGThis bill was introduced 4/16 and heard in the House Fisheries Committee 4/17.  The sponsor’s intent is to kick off a discussion in view of past and future cuts to the ADFG budget; no action will be taken before the Legislature adjourns.

Video HFSH Hearing (4/17)
HB 386
HB 386 Sponsor Statement.pdf
Annual report data on CFEC adjudications.pdf
Annual report data on CFEC adjudications.pdf
Changes in the distribution of Alaska’s Commercial Fisheries Entry Permits.pdf
Annual report data on CFEC adjudications.pdf
2012 CFEC annual report excerpt.pdf

Legislature Votes to Help Commercial Fishing & AG Bank Diversify (4/20)The 28th Alaska Legislature today passed a bill by Rep. Eric Feige to give the Alaska Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank (CFAB) more opportunity to help Alaska businesses. House Bill 121 carries five key provisions that Feige, R-Chickaloon, said will strengthen the bank, and thus strengthen the economy and small businesses.  More

Opinion.  Positively un-Alaskan ban on Cook Inlet setnetters must not go before voters (4/4).  As lifelong Alaskans, we have always been proud to be able to live here, work here and provide a lifestyle for our children that they could someday provide for their children, too.  We work hard and have tried to teach our kids the same work ethic while enjoying the beauty, bounty and renewable resources of our state.

My family represents three generations of setnetters in Cook Inlet. Our story is like so many other Alaskans — harvesting our renewable, natural resources while trying to meet our financial responsibilities. The recently proposed setnetter ban initiative would put us — and 500 other Alaskan families just like ours — immediately out of work. The group behind the proposal, the Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance, is seeking to ban all setnetters in urban areas, which means my family and hundreds of others stand to lose our lifestyle and core identity, not to mention means of financial support.  More

Superior Court hears arguments over proposed commercial setnet fishing ban (4/22).  A group looking to ban commercial setnet fishing in urban Alaska took its challenge to state Superior Court Tuesday, hoping a judge will overturn a decision by the lieutenant governor to not let a voter initiative head to the ballot.

Matt Singer, representing the Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance, argued that the state’s refusal to allow the initiative to go to voters was fundamentally flawed because Alaska voters have long made decisions related to protecting fish and game. The state disagrees, saying the initiative is unconstitutional because it involves resource allocation, a matter reserved solely to legislative bodies. It also contends that the initiative would wipe out an entire fishery, and that just asking people to switch gear is more complicated than it may appear.  More

Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance (AFCA) Makes Strong Case In Superior Court To Allow Urban Set Net Ban Initiative on 2016 Primary Ballot (4/22)

KTUU (4/22)

Commercial groups rip board during Cook Inlet ‘fish week’ (4/8).  The ethics, expertise and ability of the Board of Fisheries members were questioned during an unusual three-day hearing on Cook Inlet salmon issues held by the Senate Resources Committee in the last week of March.

The Department of Fish and Game was criticized by the City of Kenai, among others, for its management of the Peninsula’s personal use sockeye fishery and for ignoring damage to spawning beds and other critical habitat from dipnetters moving up the Kenai and Kasilof rivers to escape the crowds.

Committee Chair Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage, called the hearings held March 24, 26 and 28 the “Cook Inlet Salmon Dialogue.” The hearings included the perspective of 12 stakeholder groups in the state’s most hotly contested fisheries, followed by an ADFG review of Inlet stocks and the dizzying, overlapping plans to manage them.  More

Les Palmer: Fish board politics (4/10).  I get an anxious feeling whenever state legislators talk about fishing, so I’ve been anxious lately.

Most recently, it happened during “Fish Week,”when user-groups and state agencies were invited to educate the Senate Resources Committee about Cook Inlet fisheries. On the surface, it seemed like a good idea. Then again, a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

I worry about what Legislators might do to the Alaska Board of Fisheries. This 7-member board develops fishery-management policy, makes allocative decisions and sets seasons, bag limits and methods and means for the state’s sport, guided sport, personal-use and commercial fisheries. It make the rules, so it’s an easy target for criticism.  More

US Supreme Court rejects state appeal in long-running Katie John subsistence case (3/31).  The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up a long-running dispute over management of Alaska’s waterways.

The decision effectively upholds a lower court’s decision in what’s become popularly known as the “Katie John case.” This continues the federal government control’s over hunting and fishing on navigable state-owned waters adjacent to federal land.

The decision, a blow to the state and a victory for the Alaska Federation of Natives, upholds a 2013 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The state of Alaska had petitioned the high court, seeking review.  More
AFN Applauds Supreme Court Decision On Katie John Case (3/21)

Opinion.  State needs to accept Supreme Court’s subsistence decision (4/6).  As reported earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court has made a decision. It has declined the state of Alaska’s appeal in regard to the Katie John case concerning management of Alaska Native subsistence hunting and fishing rights.

Yet the lawmakers of our great state vow continued opposition to this provision that protects rural subsistence rights. I would like to submit my own appeal to Gov. Parnell and those in our Legislature with common sense. I request that you reconsider this ongoing opposition. It needs to stop. We must put an end to decades of litigation. Accept this decision by the Supreme Court and begin work on reconciliation. All parties must come to the table for the benefit of the population of the entire state. Too much money is being squandered in the court system.  More

Southeast Alaska King Salmon All Gear Harvest Quota Jumps to 439,400 fish (4/2).  The allowable harvest of Chinook salmon covered under provisions of the Pacific Salmon Treaty will be 439,400 fish this year, up from 176,000 fish in 2013 and 266,800 fish in 2012.

The quota was announced April 1 by state of Alaska fisheries biologists at Sitka.

Most Chinook salmon produced in Alaska hatcheries are harvested in addition to the annual all-gear harvest quota.  More

Compass: Alaska can no longer claim highest environmental safeguards (4/9).  ”Alaska has some of the most stringent environmental standards in the world.” This is what you hear from state politicians in defense against EPA’s involvement in the Pebble Mine issue. It is also a statement posted on several resource industry web pages. This is not surprising because it is a claim that’s been around for a while. It may in fact have been partially true in the 1990s, when Alaska had a strong Division of Habitat and a robust coastal management program. Now this claim just simply gets said because if you say it often enough, people begin to believe it’s true.  More

Managers, stakeholders prep for another mixed salmon year (4/4)Fishery managers are preparing for the 2014 salmon runs, and forecasts call for a mixed outlook this summer.

On the Yukon River, another year of poor king salmon returns is expected and will likely mean more conservative management measures, while Bristol Bay fishers can expect similar management to 2013 with a forecast of 26.6 million sockeyes.

Southeast Alaska, however, is a bright spot, with a larger allotment of treaty-managed king salmon available than in past years.  More

ADFG.  Special Publication 14-10.  Run Forecasts and Harvest Projections for 2014 Alaska Salmon Fisheries and Review of the 2013 Season (April 2014)

Alaska salmon forecast down 47% (4/22). Prices are expected to be strong at the start of the wild Alaska salmon season, which kicks off with the Copper River run in mid-May.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s recent 2014 salmon forecast projects an overall decrease in the commercial salmon harvest of a stunning 47 percent. The projected drop in total commercial salmon is primarily attributed to pink salmon, which is in an off year for the run.

“We are coming off an unexpectedly huge pink salmon year and then getting into a normal year. We had a record-setting pink salmon season last year, with some 90 million harvested in Prince William Sound alone,” Eric Volk, fisheries scientist for ADF&G, told Seafood Source.  More

My Turn: No guarantees with KSM mine (4/11). Three of the most productive salmon rivers in Southeast Alaska are the Taku, Stikine and Unuk. All three rivers support significant commercial, sport and subsistence rivers and are three of the top four producers of king salmon in Southeast. All three are transboundary rivers.

Alaska works hard to protect these fisheries and the jobs they create. But, since the headwaters and significant portions of these three rivers are in British Columbia, we must also ensure B.C. takes similar care to protect water quality and fish habitat.  More

Juneau Empire.  Kerr-Sulpurets-Mitchell Mine Series.
Anti-KSM groups seek federal help (3/27)
A river runs through it, and that’s the problem (4/4)

KSM part III: ‘A perfect storm’ for mining push? (4/11)

Southeast tribes meet in Craig about Canadian mines (3/20)Southeast Alaska tribal leaders meet March 25th and 26th to discuss Canadian mines that could impact regional fisheries.

The Summit on Headwater Transboundary Development was called by the Organized Village of Kasaan, where Richard Peterson is tribal president.  CoastAlaska Radio

MARKETING

Chum market tight but steady (4/10).  Alaskan chum salmon prices have risen “perhaps 20% over the last three months”, a supplier of wild Alaskan salmon told Undercurrent News.

Four to six pound headed and gutted (H&G) fish are selling for around $1.35, while six to nine pound fish are selling for $1.45, FOB Seattle.  More

Should NOAA Certify Seafood as Sustainable?  The topic of seafood certification has come up at many meetings of the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (MAFAC) over the past decade, and their previous guidance has informed the agency’s current policy[i].  Due to stakeholder requests and increasing public interest, in mid-2012, NOAA Fisheries asked MAFAC to explore the creation of a NOAA certification mark or other acknowledgement that could certify sustainability of domestic wild-caught and aquaculture fishery products.  MAFAC agreed and organized a working group to investigate the topic and develop a recommendation.  Your assessment of MAFAC’s recommendation is welcome.  Send comments by e-mail to: nmfspolicy@noaa.gov by April 30, 2014 More

Alaskan Firm Recruiting Local Workers for Salmon Season (4/4).  A resurgence in commercial and residential construction is helping breathe new life in the Central Coast job market.  ~~~~

“We are recruiting for seafood processors to work for our summer salmon season in Alaska”, says Kara Silsbee of Icicle Seafoods Inc.

Silsbee is part of a nationwide recruitment drive by Icicle Seafoods Inc. to hire 1,200 people to come up and work in Alaskan fish cannery and processing plants during the upcoming salmon and herring season.

The starting pay is $7.75 an hour or minimum wage in Alaska.

“Its 16 hours a day, seven days a week during peak production”, Silsbee says, “there is a lot of overtime and in Alaska we pay overtime after 8 hours in a day.”  Move/Video

Pre-Ordering is Key to Harvester’s Direct Marketing Plan (4/9).  A wild salmon harvester intent on increasing direct marketing opportunities for commercial fishermen in Southeast Alaska is promoting his fledging business on Internet social media, attracting thousands of dollars in pre-paid seafood orders.

His plan, says Craig Kasberg, of Juneau, Alaska, is to direct market wild salmon captured in gillnet fisheries, and to provide opportunity for other harvesters to do the same through his facility, Alaska Seafood Source, which will send certified sustainable Alaska caught crab, salmon and halibut directly to the customer’s front door, using reusable packaging materials.  More

ASMI Reports
2014 ASMI Annual Report
Alaska Seafood Export Market Analysis: The Philippines

SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY

In some of Alaska’s most pristine parks, fish show traces of banned pesticides (4/13).  Traces of pesticides that were likely never used in Alaska and have – in some cases – long been outlawed are showing up in some Alaska fish, new research shows.

A study led by the National Park Service found “historic-use” contaminants in fish at three Alaska parks famous for their wilderness qualities and reputations of being pristine and protected: Lake Clark National Park, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Katmai National Park.  More

FDA approves irradiation for shellfish to prevent food poisoning outbreaks (4/11).  The Food and Drug Administration announced Friday that it will allow processors to irradiate shellfish to kill harmful pathogens.

The agency said the approval, based on a petition from the National Fisheries Institute, follows a food safety assessment that determined that the process poses no adverse health risks and does not destroy nutrients.

The rule applies to raw, frozen, cooked, partially cooked, shelled or dried crustaceans. It also covers cooked or ready-to-cook crustaceans processed with spices or small amounts of other food ingredients.  More

Fish with elevated mercury found in parts of Alaska, the West (4/17)Federal scientists have found elevated amounts of mercury in fish caught in remote areas of national parks in Alaska and the West, according to a study released Wednesday.

Researchers for the U.S. Geological Survey and National Park Service said that most fish they caught had acceptable levels of mercury, but 4 percent exceeded healthy levels.

Mercury occurs naturally, but scientists say its presence in national parks, which are supposed to leave wildlife unimpaired for future generations, was cause for concern.  More

Fish consumption advisories fail to cover all types of contaminants (4/17).  A new study suggests that fish consumption advisories for expecting mothers are ineffective in reducing infant exposure to long-lived contaminants like persistent organic pollutants (POPs).

The study, performed by a team of researchers including University of Toronto Scarborough PhD student Matt Binnington and Professor Frank Wania, looks at how different levels of environmental contamination, a mother’s compliance with advisories and the behavior of chemicals in the body influenced exposure in her children.

Their model estimates that women who stop eating fish shortly before or during their pregnancy may only lower their child’s exposure to POPs by 10 to 15 per cent.  More

NatGeo.  From Paper to Digital – The Mobile App Revolution (4/14).  Its 3 a.m. in the morning and Ernest Gutierrez Jr. and his brother Derek, third generation fishermen from the island of St. Thomas, are sorting their catch. With only a few hours left before morning customers arrive, they still have their catch report to fill out –a lengthy paper form required by the Division of Fish and Wildlife used for fisheries management. Once a week, Ernest and Derek carve out time to drive over to the east end of the island to deliver their stack of finished reports.  More

NOAA.  Restoring Fisheries through Habitat Restoration (4/17).  Habitat conservation is one of the best ways to recover commercially and recreationally important fish populations. Restoring degraded fish habitat is the NOAA Restoration Center’s specialty. In our new video, John Catena—the Restoration Center’s manager for the Northeast—explains how fish habitat becomes degraded. He describes how NOAA brings habitat back to its former health, so fish and other wildlife can thrive and reproduce there once again.  Video

Ocean conditions drove recent Columbia River sockeye booms
.
  Sockeye salmon repeatedly surprised the Northwest in recent years by returning to the Columbia River in tremendous numbers that far surpassed all predictions. Now scientists at NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center have teased out an explanation why.

Young sockeye arriving in the ocean feed on creatures lower on the marine food chain than many other salmon, gobbling up tiny zooplankton, while Chinook and coho salmon go after small fish. The scientists suspect this helps sockeye benefit more quickly from improved ocean conditions that nourish the food chain from the bottom up. The result is that far more sockeye may survive their difficult years in the ocean than traditional indicators used for other salmon might suggest.

Sockeye may also benefit more immediately from smaller areas of improved ocean conditions, for much the same reason. More

Heat, hydration, and the ‘occupational athlete’ (4/9). While it’s not a major health concern for residents of Southeast Alaska, it can be something we complain about whenever we travel out of our temperate climate. Heat stress is a serious risk and — as it turns out — unrelated to how much or how little we drink.

A noted exercise physiologist from the lower 48 has been in Alaska this week updating health professionals on the latest research on the subject. He’s also been taking a look at what he calls “occupational athletes,” like commercial fishermen, and trying to find ways his research can apply to their work.  More/KCAW Audio

MISC

Seattle Welcomes Redden Marine Supply — Hook, Line and Sinker (4/9).  When Redden Marine Supply started out in Alaska, Dwight D. Eisenhower was President of the United States. That’s a lot of salmon up the stream. In those 50-plus years, Redden has followed a simple motto: Thrill and delight the customers. This mission worked, and the popular marine supply chain is now opening its fifth retail location — a combined sales and distribution warehouse site on the Lake Washington Ship Canal in Seattle.  More

Please take a moment to thank these businesses  http://www.akgillnet.org/?page_id=191  which have renewed their USAG Membership for 2013 or 2014 and encourage other support sector businesses to do the same

USAG Dues

Haven’t paid your dues yet for 2013?  Drop a check for $300 in the mail today.  Year end notices were mailed around Thanksgiving.

Not a member yet?  Fill out and mail a membership form with your check for $300 to USAG, PO Box 20538, Juneau, AK 99802.   ADFG’s preliminary estimate is that the SE gillnet fleet grossed $29,555,255 in 2013—that means you have a valuable fishery to protect

Don’t forget, dues must be current to participate in the USAG fleet insurance program which has some major improvements this year including better rates and expanded coverage.

If you are not a member of our insurance program, contact John Long, Sea Mountain Insurance  john.long@sea-mountain.com (425) 775-1410 XT 145 work and he will get you a quote.

CALENDAR.
2014

Jun 13.  Comments due on federal fish subsistence proposals
Sep 23-25
.  UFA Board Meeting, Anchorage

2015

Feb 23-Mar3.   BOF SE Finfish, Sitka

Posted 2 months, 4 weeks ago at 6:12 pm.

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