Meeting Minister Bennett and Salmon Reports

28 Aug

On Wednesday in Juneau, I met with Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines, along with other officials from British Columbia, our Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott with other Alaska officials, and selected representatives of southeast tribes, environmental groups and fishing organizations. I asked Minister Bennett how our fishing fleet would be financially compensated if we suffered financial losses from real or perceived water quality contamination from BC’s projects. He said, “I don’t know”. Currently, if an instance happens, it will likely go to court. He’ll be looking around the world to see if there are any existing models to guide them as they figure out how to answer the compensation question. B.C’s Chris Hamilton described the process as it is: A potential polluter puts up a bond to make good on damages. Hamilton is working to expand this to build a regime of need and capacity to use to respond to our concerns. Another big take-away from the meeting is that Mallott intends to take Alaska’s transboundary concerns to the next level (federal) through Secretary Kerry. It’s important to engage our federal government for this international issue and if something tragic does occur with our waters, our governments will be more prepared to act.

More meeting details are in these press releases: http://gov.alaska.gov/Walker/press-room/full-press-release.html?pr=7249

http://www.salmonbeyondborders.org/press-releases

This week’s trip to Alaska by BC officials is unique and well publicized: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/b-c-mine-s-minister-bill-bennett-responds-to-alaskan-criticism-1.3203360

http://www.kfsk.org/2015/08/25/b-c-minister-tulsequah-mine-leak-should-be-fixed/

DIPAC Salmon Report: “The summer chum season is over. Cost recovery and eggtake are complete and we are now waiting on the coho to return. The sockeye at Snettisham are looking weaker than forecast. We will complete broodstock collection today and start the waiting period for eggtake which will start at the end of September” –from their website. Harvest update as of two days ago, Aug 25 http://dipac.net/2015_harvest_season_update.htm

AK Salmon Report: Alaska Salmon Harvest and Market Update report (McDowell Group for ASMI –Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute) The Seafood Analyst says, “this season ranks as the 6th largest salmon harvest on record (as of 8/15) and it appears likely 2015 will end up being the second-largest harvest ever (behind 2013 and ahead of 2005). Lots of salmon to be marketed!” Although the attached says it’s for internal distribution only, we were given permission to send it out.

THANK YOU for your support! THANKS for the comments and photos –they are great –keep them coming!

-Cynthia Wallesz

Cynthia Wallesz
Executive Director
United Southeast Alaska Gillnetters
PO Box 2196
Petersburg, AK 99833

(208) 995-7400 (cell)
ph(253) 237-3099 Google Voice
http://www.akgillnet.org/
usag.alaska@gmail.com