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17th District Notice to Mariners (12/28)
USCG 2011 Videos of the Year (12/29)
Astoria, Ore. — The U.S. Coast Guard announced last week the release of its Top 10 video compilation for 2011, highlighting the year’s most compelling cases from the work done every day by America’s Coast Guard.
Two videos from Pacific Northwest units, Air Station Astoria, Ore., and Cutter Henry Blake, homeported in Everett, Wash., were selected to participate in the “Coast Guard 2011 Video of the Year” contest.
The Coast Guard invites the public to participate in the 2011 Video of the Year contest by voting for their favorite video. The contest began Dec. 22, with voting open through Jan. 13, 2012. People may vote for their favorite videos each day of the contest by choosing “Like” on the Coast Guard’s Facebook page or on the Coast Guard’s YouTube 2011 Videos of the Year playlist. More
Opinion: Petition to restore Alaska Coastal Management Plan (12/27). By David Otness. Living at the pace we do in modern life (yes, even in quiet little Cordova), there is a lot that slips by on the radar when we get preoccupied with priorities inside our personal spheres.
Perhaps the lapsing of the three decades extant Alaska Coastal Zone Management Plan in July of 2011 seems inconsequential to many because of its apparently-unfelt absence nearly six months later.
Nothing could be further from the truth, unfortunately. More
Taku River Task Force schedules first meeting (12/29). 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.
Facilitator Kevin Ritchie says the first two meetings will chart the course of the task force. No formal deadline has been set for the report. More
2012 Taku River King Salmon Forecast (12/30). Sitka. . . The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced today the following information concerning the preseason forecast for king salmon returning to the Taku River in 2012.
The 2012 pre-season terminal run forecast for large Taku River king salmon is 48,036 fish. The resulting U.S. Allowable Catch (AC) is 6,703 large Taku Kings. An AC of this size allows for limited directed commercial fisheries to occur in District 11 beginning in May. Taking into consideration recent trends in forecasts and forecast confidence intervals, department management of this fishery will be conservative. It is likely that both time and area will be significantly restricted. Once inseason Taku River king salmon stock assessment data is available the department will respond accordingly. A news release announcing specific opening times and areas will be released in mid-April, 2012. Link
Value of farmed fish eco-labels questioned (12/28). The majority of eco-labels awarded to farmed fish fail to deliver the promised environmental benefit, according to results of a study released by researchers at the University of Victoria.
Most of the industry and government certifications for finfish aquaculture products offer only a negligible benefit to the environment when compared with conventionally farmed fish, according to the analysis.
“From a consumer point of view, there is a perception that [an eco-labelled] product offers a significant improvement in performance over the conventional product,” said lead author John Volpe, a UVic marine ecologist. “On the whole, the benefits associated with those claims are quite modest.” More
Group seeks Alaska chefs to enter seafood cook-off (12/30). ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute is calling for professional chefs from around the state enter a seafood preparation contest.
The Great Alaska Seafood Cook-Off is scheduled for May 14 in Anchorage and will involve six winning chefs chosen by a panel of judges from entries submitted.
Organizers say the call for entries began Thursday and runs through April 1.
The winner of the May event will represent Alaska at the Great American Cook-Off in New Orleans next August.
The institute is a nonprofit partnership between the state and the seafood industry. Link
China top market for Alaska exports (12/28). 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.
As of Nov. 1, the value of Alaska exports to the Asian giant had reached $1.3 billion, a 52.5 percent increase over the same 10-month, January-October period for 2010, U.S. exports statistics show.
The numbers will change when November and December figures are added but those will not change the overall trend, according to Patricia Eckert, associate director for International Trade in the governor’s office.
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.
Total Alaska exports are likely to pass the $5 billion mark for 2011 assuming the trend holds. As of Nov. 1 total export values totaled $4.73 billion, according to the U.S. data. ~~~~
Japan’s purchases of other commodities from Alaska, such as seafood and timber, both showed increases. Japan imported $527.3 million in seafood for the January-through-November period compared with $464.83 million in seafood for the same period of 2010.~~~~More
Video of the Week: Review of 2011 – Japan Disaster, Industry Corruption, and outlook for 2012 (12/29)
AK: Crab Bait Radio (12/30). This week on AK… A seine skipper soothes his sensitive skiffman…(don’t try to say that fast!)
Alaska is famous for its rough and tumble fishing industry. Some say you’ve gotta be tough to make it as a commercial salmon seiner. But that’s not always the case. Crab Bait Radio witnessed another side of seining last summer.
That was a little comedy from Crab Bait Radio – which is produced by Matt Lichtenstein and Joe Viechnicki at KFSK in Petersburg. KFSK Audio
Canada wraps up 3-day commission on salmon virus (1/1). Recently, Canada reopened a commission set up to investigate the collapse of a sockeye salmon run in British Columbia’s Fraser River in 2009. The Cohen Commission reopened for three days in December to hear testimony about the potential link of Infectious Salmon Anemia virus, or ISAv, to the collapse.
The commission was reacting to several reports of farmed and wild salmon testing positive for the infectious salmon anemia virus. The virus is known to be deadly to Atlantic salmon. British Columbia has an Atlantic salmon farming industry worth millions of dollars. Pacific salmon, like Alaska’s chinook, sockeye and coho, do not express symptoms of the disease.
However, scientists are concerned that the ISAv, an influenza-like virus, could mutate like its cousins avian influenza and swine flu.
The British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture has said that in more than 7,000 tests, the Canadian government has not found a single case of Infectious Salmon Anemia virus or symptoms of the ISA disease. More
Fish Factor by Laine Welch: Snapshot of Alaska seafood industry in ’11 (1/1)
Jan 4. Ketchikan Advisory Committee
Jan 5. Wrangell Advisory Committee
Jan 9. Craig Advisory Committee
Jan 17-19. Federal Subsistence Board (Wildlife), Anchorage
Jan 24. AMSEA F/V Drill Instructor Course, Sitka
Feb 4. AMSEA F/V Drill Instructor Course, Petersburg
Feb 7-8. AMSEA F/V Drill Instructor Course, Petersburg
Feb 9-10. AMSEA F/V Drill Instructor Course, Petersburg
Feb 9. Comment deadline for SE finfish BOF proposals
Feb 13-14. Young Fishermen’s Summit, Juneau
Feb 15. AMSEA F/V Drill Instructor Course, Juneau
Feb 15-17. UFA Board Meeting, JACC, Juneau
Feb 18. Deadline for applications for Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Councils
Feb 23. AMSEA F/V Drill Instructor Course, Sitka
Feb 24-Mar 4. BOF. Southeast and Yakutat Finfish (including salmon, herring, and groundfish), Ketchikan Proposals (PDF 740 kB) Corrections