Corkline-News for Southeast Gillnetters, April 30, 2013

1 May

Please take a moment to thank these businesses  http://www.akgillnet.org/?page_id=191  which have renewed their USAG Membership for 2012 or 2013 and encourage other support sector businesses to do the same

USAG Dues.  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 $35,315,218—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.

Save the Date:  Juneau USAG Port Meeting with ADFG and DIPAC, May 15 at DIPAC at 7PM –pre-season forecasts and new cruise ship tracklines.

FEDERAL

Making sense of new Coast Guard regs (4/23).  National Fisherman’s June issue has a story on the pending classification and load line regulations for new commercial fishing boats (page 34). Those regulations are part of a larger group of requirements that started out with the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 and were followed by the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2012.

Fishermen need to pay attention to these regulations, as they will be affected in terms of money and time. For instance, existing boats 79 feet or greater in length that undergo a major conversion will be required to comply with alternate load-line regulations; boats operating outside of three miles will be required to have a complete record of equipment maintenance and drills; boats will be required to have a dockside exam once every five years. (The Coast Guard says only 10 percent of boats have a dockside exam each year.)  More

NMFS.  Interactive Maps of Alaska Fishing Communities.  Alaska Science Center programmers, GIS specialists, and socioeconomic researchers are collaborating to develop a suite of interactive maps showing a range of commercial, recreational, and subsistence data for 195 Alaska fishing-dependent communities.  More

Congress Looking At Sealaska Lands Bill (4/25).  The latest Sealaska land conveyance bill had its first public showing in Congress on Thursday.

The public lands panel of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee heard from two federal agencies about transferring 70,000 acres of the Tongass National Forest to the Sealaska Corporation.  More/APRN Audio

Safety Board investigating fishing trawler’s crash into docked navy ship at CFB Esquimalt yesterday (4/24).  The Transportation Safety Board is conducting interviews today after a Seattle factory fishing trawler being towed into Esquimalt Harbour Tuesday broke away and crashed into a docked warship.

The Transportation Safety Board has deployed a team of investigators to Esquimalt to gather information and assess the incident, the safety board said in a media release.

The safety board is an independent federal agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation transportation occurrences with the purpose of identifying safety issues rather than finding fault or determining civil or criminal liability.

American Seafoods Company is a major seafood company based in Seattle, Washington. The American Dynasty, one of its trawlers, has been in an accident with the HMCS Winnipeg at CFB Esquimalt.  Photograph by: ADRIAN LAM, Times Colonist

At about 8 a.m. yesterday American Seafoods Company’s 272-foot American Dynasty broke away from two tugboats and ran into HMCS Winnipeg, a 440-foot frigate which has served in the Royal Canadian Navy since 1995 and was due back in service this month after undergoing a massive refit and systems upgrade.

No estimates have been released on how much it might cost to repair the ships and the jetty at CFB Esquimalt where Winnipeg was docked.  More  KUCB Story/Audio

STATE

OPINION: Parnell once again rejects salmon habitat protections (4/19).  Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) Commissioner Cora Campbell rejected common sense rules to protect wild Alaskan salmon runs, and refused to allow Alaskans to participate in decisions that harm salmon habitat. The decision highlights yet again the need for our federal agencies to play a more active role protecting Alaska’s magnificent salmon resources.

On March 13th, a group of local Alaskans – including Cook Inletkeeper, the Chuitna Citizens Coalition, United Cook Inlet Drift Association and the Northern District Setnetters Association of Cook Inlet – filed a legal petition under the Alaska Administrative Procedures Act with ADF&G to request clear rules that ban large scale coal strip mining through salmon habitat, and provide Alaskans with public notice when fish habitat permits – also known as “Title 16 permits” – are processed. Over the past month, over 250 Alaskans wrote to Commissioner Campbell asking her to adopt basic rules on habitat protection and public notice. On April 12, Commissioner Campbell rejected the petition in a brief letter opinion.  More

Opinion.  What’s in store for next fish board appointee? (4/19).  A decade ago Ricky Gease wrote the Alaska Board of Fisheries declaring Soldotna too dangerous for a board meeting. The board has not deliberated in Soldotna since then. Recently the Kenai River Sportfish Association has eavesdropped on a UFA board meeting forwarding info to Karl Johnstone, fish board chairman. Most recently KRSA “bombed” legislators in Juneau with e-mails against the re-appointment of Vince Webster.

This machination was driven by the desires of KRSA to have a majority on the board of fish for the 2014 Cook Inlet cycle. In the past KRSA sent a delegation to Bristol Bay to interview past board of fish members/appointees Dr. White and Russell Nelson. Cook Inlet commercial fishermen have not had a rep on the board for 30 years. Now that Vince Webster has been hammered by KRSA, Robin Samuelson has decided to speak out against Bob Penny, KRSA, and their divisive bullying behavior. Back when Coffey, Dersham, and Engle were on the board some called it the Anchorage Board of Sportfish. Cook Inlet commercial fishermen should have a rep on the board for their 2014 regulatory cycle.

For the last decade we have witnessed the media blitz against bullying in school. Now politicians, lawmakers, the board of fish, law enforcement, and many others have decided to lay down and tolerate the bullying behavior of KRSA, an educational 501c3 non-profit with significant and unethical political over-reach.

If their expectations are not met in Governor Parnell’s next appointment will KRSA send more e-mails to Juneau; or drones?  Link

Opinion.  KRSA cause conflict in our community (4/29).  By Dwight Kramer.  A recent opinion piece in the Clarion by Ricky Gease, Executive Director for Kenai River Sportfishing Association (KRSA), claimed to enlighten us on two different issues in a “fact based and truthful” manner when in fact they were neither. Instead, he chose the route of misinformation intended to mislead our community into believing their recent lobbying efforts to oust Board of Fisheries (BOF) member, Vince Webster of Naknek, were justified. KRSA’s actions in this regard were sleazy at best and further illustrate how far this organization will go to maintain control over all aspects of fisheries management on the Kenai River and Upper Cook Inlet.  More     KSRM  Reporter Cate Quinn

Alaska Sustainable Salmon Fund (AKSSF) Expert Panel.  The ALASKA SUSTAINABLE SALMON FUND (AKSSF) EXPERT PANEL will meet May 9 from 10am to 4pm at Anchorage Courtyard Marriott, 4901 Spenard Road, Anchorage to assist in development of a call for proposals (CFP) planned for summer 2013 (dates to be determined). The amount of funding available is not yet known and will be announced in a future notice. The Expert Panel reviews and finalizes the AKSSF regional science panels’ recommendations for strategic focus elements and the ranking of high priority objectives for inclusion in the CFP (see www.akssf.org for Science Panel meeting information). Panel meetings are open to the public; if you plan to attend, please contact Terry Tavel at theresa.tavel@alaska.gov or 907-465-6117 at least five days prior to the meeting to ensure we have sufficient seating and materials available. For more information, contact Debbie Maas at (907-465-6134) or email debbie.maas@alaska.gov.

MARKETING

Can Your Smartphone Combat Seafood Fraud? (4/29).  Let’s say it’s Saturday night and you’re out to dinner with your family, a friend, or even better – on a date. You check out the menu and a seafood dish featuring “wild rockfish” really wows you. Just as you’re about to order you begin to rethink your decision.

Questions such as:
“How fresh is this fish?”
“Was this product previously frozen?”
“Is this really rockfish?”
“Is this a sustainable option?”
“The menu says local, but where exactly did this fish come from?”  More

ASMI.  Request for Proposals for Program Evaluation of Marketing Activity (4/19). Proposals due June 7.

 

Compass: Support for Alaska fishermen does good from boat to table (4/19).  Not all seafood is created equal; this is a truth Alaskans know deeply. In Anchorage, we live at the epicenter of the some of the most abundant, diverse and well-managed fisheries on Earth. Many of us don’t rely on restaurants or markets in town to put seafood into our bellies.

Still, we likely end up dining out on some type of seafood during the year and maybe picking up some fish from a store in town. But just where exactly does this seafood come from that you might order or take home? If you ask can they tell you? I’ve had numerous experiences with no good answers, or false answers, to “where did it come from?”   More

It’s Business as Usual for Alaska Salmon at the European Seafood Show (4/24).  On Day two of the European Seafood Exposition, attendance appears to be strong and sales activity has appears to be pretty good despite the EU’s economic turndown. A major theme of this year’s show appears that it is business as usual for salmon buyers following the Alaskan salmon industry’s withdrawal from the MSC program. Meanwhile, the ASC, GAA and GLOBALG.A.P have agreed to streamline their auditing processes that will maximize the level of sustainability of aquaculture certification. As for EMS issues in the shrimp industry, China appears to be having problems with the disease in their farms and buyers appear to be sourcing more shrimp from outside suppliers. However, the issue continues to remain murky.  John Sackton Video

Anchorage Rep. Tarr Seeks Canadian Support on GE Salmon (4/24).  An Anchorage legislator made a trip this week to the far reaches of the Canadian Maritime Province of Prince Edward Island to raise awareness about what she sees as the detrimental affects of genetically-engineered salmon. Representative Garran Tarr, a Democrat from District 17, introduced the “No Frankenfish” resolution that passed the State Legislature this year.

She said she was invited to speak on Prince Edward Island, because Aqua Bounty has a laboratory there which will produce the genetically modified salmon eggs.

“I met with their premier and spoke with him about our concerns, health concerns, the threat to our wild Alaska salmon stock and the potential negative impacts on the fishing industry,” she said. “And he had an open ear; I felt like it was a very productive meeting. I also met with members of their opposition party and shared the same information. We basically asked them to speak out in opposition.”  More/KMXT Audio

ASMI/McDowell Group. Alaska Salmon Value Chain.  This bulletin examines the value chain of Alaska salmon as it is caught, processed, shipped, and sold to consumers. We also provide a comparison of total ex-vessel value and first wholesale value. These analyses are intended to offer perspective on the role of the various sectors that participate in getting Alaska salmon from ‘boat to throat’. While the harvesting sector typically receives most of the attention and mainstream press coverage, it is just one of four important sectors involved in getting Alaska salmon to the end consumer.

We used public data available on ex-vessel and first wholesale values, plus anecdotal and private-research information for this analysis.

Commercial fishermen and salmon packers in the modern era of Alaska’s salmon fishery (post-statehood) have a symbiotic relationship that has existed for over 50 years. The world has changed drastically during that time, but one constant has been the often-lively debate over grounds price versus wholesale price. Regardless of the history between the two stakeholders, each group must earn a sustainable level of profit for the other to remain in business.   More

ASMI Conducts RFM Chain of Custody Certification Workshop (4/24).  The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) is sponsoring a FAO-Based Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) Chain of Custody Certification Group Workshop on May 9th and individual appointments on May 10th in Anchorage, AK. The workshop and appointments are designed for those considering or requiring RFM Chain of Custody Certification.

With the imminent opening of the Alaska salmon season, RFM Chain of Custody Certification may be required immediately in some cases. For those interested in having a temporary certification pending a full audit inspection, the ISO-accredited certification body, Global Trust, will be conducting individual pre-assessment meeting appointments on May 10th. Please contact Cormac O’Sullivan at cormacosullivan@gtcert.com to arrange a pre-assessment appointment.  More