Corkline-News for Southeast Gillnetters, April 24, 2014

28 Apr


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.

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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 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

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


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


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: 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


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


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  which have renewed their USAG Membership for 2013 or 2014 and encourage other support sector businesses to do the same


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 (425) 775-1410 XT 145 work and he will get you a quote.


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


Feb 23-Mar3.   BOF SE Finfish, Sitka