Corkline-News for Southeast Gillnetters (10/23/12)

23 Oct

Please take a moment to thank these businesses which have renewed their USAG Membership for 2012 and encourage other support sector businesses to do the same:

  • Alaska Glacier Seafoods
  • Icy Strait Seafoods
  • Taku Oil
  • E.C. Phillips & Son
  • Madison Lumber & Supply
  • Milner, Howard, Palmer, and Johnson PC Cpas
  • Murray Pacific Supply
  • Schmolck Mechanical Contractors Inc
  • Sourdough Bar & Liquor
  • Harbor Way Parts
  • Icicle Seafoods
  • Petersburg Rexall Drug
  • Piston & Rudder Services Inc
  • Seattle Marine & Fishing Supply
  • Tender:  KARLUK
  • Tender:  ST JUDE
  • Tender:  TOWEGO
  • Trident Seafoods
  • Sitka Sound Seafoods (North Pacific Seafoods)
  • Stikine Inn

USAG Dues.  Have you been waiting to pay your 2012 dues until the end of the season?  If so, it’s time to send your check for $250 to USAG, PO Box 20538, Juneau, AK 99802.   If you want to pay your 2013 dues now the membership will be $300; this is the 1st increase in many years.  Don’t forget, dues must be current to participate in the USAG fleet insurance program.


Oct 11.  USAG Board
Oct 13DIPAC Board, Juneau
Oct 16.  Mandatory dockside exams required for fishing vessels operating outside the 3NM limit
Oct 26.  SSRAA Board Meeting, Ketchikan
Oct 31.  USAG and DIPAC meeting with Haines gillnetters, City Council chambers, Noon-2PM
Nov 13Proposals due for Joint Board of Fisheries and Game (Advisory committees and subsistence)
Nov 13-14.  NSRAA Board Meeting, Sitka  Preliminary Agenda
Nov 28-30.  ASMI All Hands, Seattle
Nov 30Joint BOF/BOG proposals due on changes to local fish and game advisory committees, advisory committee closures, and subsistence uses
Dec 3.  USAG Annual Meeting, Juneau (DIPAC)
Dec 4.  Gillnet Task Force, Juneau ADFG Commissioner’s Conference Room, 1PM till done (@7PM)
Dec 5RPT, Juneau
Dec 6.  Seine Task Force, Juneau ADFG Commissioner’s Conference Room,
Dec 8.  DIPAC Board, Juneau



Coast Guard Cutter Chandeleur arrives in Juneau (10/5).

Before coming to Alaska, the Chandeleur underwent a significant modernization and maintenance period at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore, Md, which included the replacement of hull plating, tanks, piping, and electrical wiring; renewal of decks; rehabilitation of berthing spaces, and installation of new prototype equipment such as switchboards and generator sets.  More  Note: Homeport will be Ketchikan.

USCG.  Commercial fishing Vessel Advisory Committee Meeting (10/12).  The Commercial Fishing Safety Advisory Committee (CFSAC), sponsored by the US Coast Guard, will meet in Washington, DC on 30-31 October to discuss various issues relating to safety in the commercial fishing industry. 77 Fed. Reg. 62248  Written comments should be submitted by October 25.

900 EVOS Plaintiffs Still Owed $1-Million (9/26).  There is about $1-million dollars sitting in a trust account waiting for its owners to claim it. You might be one of them. The Exxon Qualified Settlement Fund is looking for about 900 people who still have money owed to them from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill settlement.

Dave Oesting is the court appointed lead council for the plaintiffs in the case. He says there is just one more push to find these folks.  More/KMXT Audio

Stikine subsistence proposal advances (9/27).  A regional panel says Stikine River subsistence sockeye harvests should no longer be limited. The Southeast Alaska Regional Advisory Council voted Wednesday (Sept. 26th) to remove the fishery’s 600-sockeye guideline harvest level.

The Stikine subsistence fishery began eight years ago, when fewer than 250 fish were caught. Last year, the harvest rose to the highest level ever, just under 1,700.

Advisory Council Coordinator Robert Larson says more than tripling the old harvest level makes sense.

“The stocks in the Stikine River are generally healthy. We’re looking at an average return of 185,000 fish. Our harvest, if we caught 2,000 fish, it would be a little more than 1 percent of that,” he says. More/CoastAlaska Radio


ADFG.  2012 Alaska Chinook Salmon Symposium (Oct 22-23)
Symposium Documents  (Presentation PowerPoints will be posted later)

·      Symposium Invitational Letter to the Stakeholders (PDF 370 kB)

·      Alaska Chinook Salmon Symposium Agenda (PDF 154 kB)

·      Cover Letter – Gap Analysis (PDF 300 kB)

·      2012 Chinook Gap Analysis (PDF 169 kB)

Jet boats on Chilkat prompt complaint (9/23).  Lynn Canal Conservation has filed a complaint with the Alaska Department of Natural Resources Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation on what they contend are jet boat violations in no wake zone on the Chilkat River.

The Haines-based organization based its complaint on 27 photos taken of Chilkat River Adventures jet boats over approximately a month during July and August. The photos show what Lynn Canal Conservation said are “medium to large size wakes” in the no wake zone through the Sheep Canyon Lake Access Channel.

Sheep Canyon’s no wake zone was created to minimize erosion and to minimize impacts to spawning and rearing habitat, according to a DNR stipulations report.

Lynn Canal’s complaint calls into questions River Adventures permit to operate in the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve.  More

Compass: Alaska Department of Fish and Game fails to protect Chilkat salmon habitat (10/12).  This summer Haines celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve. Our mayor helped plan a float through the heart of the preserve that ended with a ceremony and celebration in Klukwan, the original protectors of the eagle gathering area known as the Council Grounds. While the governor and other dignitaries were no shows, it was locals who wanted to see an area that is predominately experienced by thousands of cruise ship passengers each summer. The preserve is the centerpiece for Haines’ tourist-based economy.   More

CFEC considers changes in resident/non-resident permit fees (10/11).  Comments are due by 5 p.m. on Oct. 29 on proposed Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission changes to regulations on reduced permit fees and on resident/non-resident permit fees.

CFEC has proposed to adopt regulation changes in Title 20, Chapter 05 of the Alaska Administrative Code dealing with miscellaneous regulations.  More    Draft Regs

Petersburg Commission OK’s bunkhouse plan (10/12).  Ocean Beauty Seafood’s can move forward with plans to replace a deteriorating bunkhouse at its Petersburg plant. After a detailed discussion this week, the local Planning commission approved a conditional permit for the company to set up several container van housing units at the site instead. Matt Lichtenstein reports.  More/KFSK Audio

Ocean Beauty housing containers at Scow Bay. Photo courtesy City of Petersburg

Petersburg’s can pack winners not far off the mark (10/9).  This year’s winner of Petersburg’s annual contest to guess the town’s salmon can pack count was not too far off the mark.

The Canned Salmon Classic awards cash prizes for the guess closest to the actual number of one pound cans of salmon packed in Petersburg’s canneries. Icicle Seafoods was the only participating processor this year since Ocean Beauty did not operate its Petersburg plant in 2012.

This year’s can pack was 8,243,248 cans. The winning guess came from Petersburg resident Mary Ann Rainey while second place went to Susan Shey.   Link

Alaska fishing giant Winther passes (10/15).  John Winther, a Petersburg resident and a major figure in Alaska’s commercial fishing industry, has died, friends tell Deckboss. He had been seriously ill for some time.

Winther was an owner of Prowler Fisheries, and served on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council during the 1980s.  Link

Fishing Vessel Energy Audit Pilot Project – Helping You Save Money! (9/28).  As a part of a continuing efforts to reduce energy consumption and costs for Alaskans, the State of Alaska appropriated $250,000 to AFDF to implement a fishing vessel energy audit pilot project.  AFDF will be collaboratively working with the University of Alaska’s Marine Advisory Program (MAP) and a stakeholder Steering Committee in order to be successful in developing a useful tool for the industry.

The pilot project will be conducted over the next 2-3 years, with first year primarily focused on the design of the project and the second year focused on conducting the audits.  Throughout the project, AFDF and MAP will also be conducting outreach with the industry regarding the audits and results.  A baseline energy use survey will also be conducted in order to help determine if energy use is going down, and if so, by how much.

MAP’s Terry Johnson has been invited to present on the subject of commercial fishing vessel energy efficiency and will provide a project update at the Pacific Marine Expo’s National Fisherman Profitable Harvest Breakfast on November 29, 2012.

AFDF is currently seeking industry representatives to serve on the Steering Committee for the project, as well as vessel owners who would like to have an energy audit conducted. If you are interested in either of these opportunities, please contact AFDF at 907-276-7315.  Link

Mine developers optimistic about prospects (9/26).  The annual Southeast Conference kicked off in Craig this week with a morning dedicated to mining.

Representatives of area mining interests spoke back-to-back to about 200 conference participants.

Two potential mines on Prince of Wales Island remain in development, but both are promising enough that owners intend to submit preliminary economic assessment plans within the next couple of months.

Geologist Randy MacGillivray spoke about the Bokan Mountain rare earth exploration project. He says they’ve taken about 20 tons of material for testing, and have developed a three-dimensional digital model of the underground mine.  More

Chieftain to test water treatment facility (9/28).  Chieftain Metals plans to fire up and test its acid mine drainage water treatment facility at its Tulsequah Chief Mine property within the next few weeks.

“Not for long run,” Chieftain president and CEO Victor Wyprysky said in a telephone interview on Thursday, “but for testing.” The company plans to bring in experts and start up for a week or ten days, he said. “We’re not sitting idly around with nothing being done.”

The Toronto-based mining company announced in June that it would violate its water quality permit by shutting down its water quality facility for financial and engineering reasons.

Wyprysky said that he understands local concerns about the acid mine drainage now leaking into the Taku river system.  More

Retired biologist takes wheel at PVOA (9/21).  The Petersburg Vessel Owners Association has hired a retired fishery scientist as its new Executive Director. Brian Lynch will take over the high-profile position this fall. He’ll replace outgoing director Julianne Curry who served in the post for the past six years. Curry announced her decision to move on last spring.

Lynch retired from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in the summer of 2010 after nearly three decades in state fisheries research and management in Petersburg. He worked extensively on Pacific Salmon Treaty issues and spent his last nine years in the job as the biologist in charge of the region’s troll fishery. He also helped manage herring and dive fisheries.  More/KFSK Audio

Captain John V. O’Shea has joined PSPA as Vice President — Alaska (10/1).  Seattle, WA — Glenn Reed, President of the Pacific Seafood Processors Association, announced today that Captain John V. O’Shea has joined PSPA as Vice President — Alaska.

“ Vince O’Shea has had a long history in fisheries policy issues at both the regional and national levels. He understands Alaskan fisheries and is well known by the industry. We are delighted to have such a wellrespected and experienced executive join our team. He brings great strengths to our efforts to develop sustainable solutions to the wide range of state and federal regulatory issues affecting our members,” said Reed.

Captain O’Shea spent more than 30 years in the U.S. Coast Guard, much of it dealing with fisheries law enforcement policy and operations at the national and regional levels, including the North Pacific. He spent nine years in Alaska, in command of the Ironwood in Kodiak, and later on the senior staff in Juneau, where he was also the Coast Guard designee to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.  More


Salmon-Thirty-Salmon II Painting (10/4).  Alaska Airlines and the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute today unveiled the world’s largest king salmon. Stretching nearly 129 feet, the fish-themed design adorns one of the airline’s Boeing 737-800. The 91,000 pound king will boldy promote the world’s finest seafood as it flies on routes throughout the airlines network which spans from the Hawaiian Islands to Boston.  ASMI/AK Air Video

ASMI.   Alaska Seafood Suppliers Directory – Online Application Are you listed?  Is your listing up to date?

Eco-labels-National Fishermen.  When the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute decided to stand down as its state’s agent for the Marine Stewardship Council last year (effective October this year), my first thought was, “This is good news for the long-term marketability of sustainable seafood.” Alaska is known to pave the way to new horizons, and I believe ASMI’s move to a less expensive third-party sustainability certifier will level the playing field for more and smaller fisheries.

That’s not to say that I believe ecolabels are the answer. Many consumers do not recognize or rely on them. The fishing industry has a clear need for national seafood marketing that focuses on the fact that all wild U.S. seafood is sustainable. (Alaska Sen. Mark Begich introduced a bill in September that would provide funding for just such a purpose.)  More

Testers wanted: Alaska professor making freeze-dried astronaut salmon (10/14).  Among Alaskans, few foods receive as much reverence as the beloved salmon. Now a Kodiak scientist is hoping to take that resource to a place it’s never been before — outer space.

Alex Oliveira, an associate professor in seafood chemistry at the University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences in Kodiak, will bring some of her freeze-dried salmon to Fairbanks this week, and she’s looking for tasters.

Oliveira needs about 150 of them over a three-day period to get a better idea of whether people like her freeze-dried salmon. There will be multiple preparations of the sockeye salmon, donated by Kodiak’s Kitoi Bay Hatchery. A variety of natural spices, from brown sugar to garlic and onion, have been used to flavor the fish. Because of the lack of gravity in space, taste buds can often be suppressed, so some of the flavors — and the level of spicy hotness — have been punched up a bit.  More

ASMI Fishing Families Photo Contest.  The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) would like your help promoting Alaska’s seafood species around the world! We are currently looking for high quality photography showcasing the best of what Alaska has to offer: our people, our beautiful scenery and our seafood! We invite you to enter your personal photography in the ASMI Fishing Families Photo Contest. ASMI plans to award five Grand Prizes in the following categories:

  • Best Family Photo
  • Best Fish Photo
  • Best Scenic or Boat Photo
  • Best Action Photo
  • Best Humor or Historic Photo

Each Grand Prize winner will receive an Apple iPad. In addition, ASMI will award one 1st prize winner in each category an ASMI Dry Bag Duffle and one 2nd prize winner in each category an ASMI sweatshirt.  More

Canned, Roe Salmon Prices Strong; Effect of Farmed Fish on Wild Sales Still Unknown  (9/26).  As Alaska’s commercial salmon harvesting season draws to a close, markets are strong for salmon roe and canned product, while the jury is still out on how farmed fish competition will affect sales of wild salmon.

Chum salmon roe are commanding the highest prices, but roe is also important for pink and sockeye salmon, and that’s good news, says University of Alaska Anchorage fisheries economist Gunnar Knapp.

In contrast, Knapp said in an interview Sept. 25, Japanese markets for frozen sockeye salmon in particular are weak, but not as weak as processors feared they might be before the season. Several processors responded to this concern by canning as much salmon as possible, so they would not have to sell into Japan at lower prices. That also lowered the available volume of frozen sockeye, which helped make the price of frozen sockeye higher than some feared it would be.  More


Salmon fill Auke Creek with shorter, earlier runs (10/22).  Auke Creek salmon are running earlier and for fewer days than 40 years ago, according to decades of research.

University of Alaska Southeast biologist David Tallmon combed through data on sculpin, salmon and salmon relatives at the Auke Creek weir.

He says the temperature at Auke Creek has raised 1.34 degrees Celsius since 1971. Salmon are sensitive to temperature changes.

Tallmon told an Evening at Egan audience Friday that animal species will sometimes move north when their habitat warms, but Alaskans rely on steady local salmon runs.  More

‘Corrosive waters’ emerge as a new threat to climate, fishing (10/4).  HOMER — Kris Holderied, who directs the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Kasitsna Bay Laboratory, says the ocean’s increasing acidity is “the reason fishermen stop me in the grocery store.”

“They say, ‘You’re with the NOAA lab, what are you doing on ocean acidification?’ ” Holderied said. “This is a coastal town that depends on this ocean, and this bay.”

This town in Southcentral Alaska dubs itself the Halibut Fishing Capital of the World. But worries about the changing chemical balance of the ocean and its impact on the fish has made an arcane scientific buzzword common parlance here, along with the phrase “corrosive waters.”

In the past five years, the fact that human-generated carbon emissions are making the ocean more acidic has become an urgent cause of concern to the fishing industry and scientists.  More