Corkline-News for Southeast Gillnetters, December 21, 2014

22 Dec

Support the businesses that support you:

Seattle Marine & Fishing Supply Seattle
Schmolck Mechanical Contractors Inc Ketchikan, Juneau
Sitka Sound Seafoods, Sitka
Sourdough Bar & Liquor, Ketchikan
Stikine Inn, Wrangell
Surf Fisheries Supply (Momoi net sales for SEAMAR, Norm Hughes)
Haines.  (907) 723-4848
ST JUDE (Tender)
Taku Oil (Crowley), Juneau
TOWEGO (Tender)
The Trading Union, Petersburg
Trident Seafoods, Petersburg

Read and Heed.  Implementation of New Requirements for Commercial Fishing Vessels (12/1).    Mandatory examinations and survival craft requirements

What:  Puget Sound USAG Port Meeting

When:  Saturday, January 3, 2015, 10:00AM to noon.

Where: Nordby Conference Room, Fishermen’s Terminal, Seattle

USAG Board Members Max Worhatch (President)  and BJ King will provide an update on the February Board of Fisheries, gillnet task force, federal subsistence, deep draft traffic lanes in Lynn Canal/Stephens Passage, USAG insurance program, and answer your questions.  Open to all S03A permit holders, crew, and significant others.  BJ King is the local contact–(206) 910-4773 cell.  If interested in running for the position of Chapter Presidnet, please contact me ASAP.

The Alaska Fisheries Report (12/18) Coming up this week, President Barack Obama issued an historic executive order Tuesday that excludes the outer continental shelf of Bristol Bay from oil and gas exploration, thereby protecting vital seafood habitat. Also: How salmon may respond to climate change and a summary of the board of fisheries recent meeting in Cordova, coming up, on the Alaska Fisheries Report. We had help from APRN’s Liz Ruskin in Washington D.C., KDLG’s Dave Bendinger in Dillingham, KCHU’s Marcia Lynn in Valdez and CoastAlaska’s Ed Schoenfeld


SSRAA Report by Chris Guggenbickler (F/V MARANTHA, Wrangell) 12/17/14.  Just finished 3 Days of meetings in Ketchikan.  We conducted committee meetings of planning, finance, marketing and board development prior to Wednesday’s full board meeting.  

We passed motions to apply for permitting for a SHA in Carroll Inlet to release up to 600K Chinook and to move 400K Chinook of the new Deer Mountain production to this site if permitted. 

We passed a motion to move the Burnett Inlet summer coho release to Whitman.  This will allow us to collect summer chum broodstock at Burnett in 2017/18 without returning summer coho.  This entails moving 185-230K summer coho to Whitman and returning adults will be used for broodstock, the summer coho release from Neck Lake will remain unchanged.  I know the summer coho at Burnett has been a benefit to a portion of our fleet, but this exchange of species should not be a value loss to our gear group.  If you recall from the RPT report, there is an increase of 6 Million summer chum to be released from Burnett this spring.

Besides the summer coho at Burnett there is currently capacity for 23M summer chum (to Anita) 6M summer chum (Burnett) and 6M fall chum (Burnett),  by moving the coho we will have water to increase our chum rearing by up to 52M more!  Last year we passed and applied for loans to build the cement foundation for this improvement.  This meeting we passed a motion to build the building to bring this facility to full production.

The marketing committee recommended and the full board passed a motion that the Neets Bay cost recovery would be bid in one block for one year, then we disbanded the marketing committee and gave the GM discretion to handle future cost recovery bid issues.


Mitch Eide and Leif Dobszinsky won the two seine seats, Mitch resigned and the next vote getter Jim Castle was appointed

Tom Sims was reelected for power troll

Craig Ring for hand troll

Dave Klepser for gillnet

We thanked Rudy Franulovich and John Peckham for their many years of service and dedication to SSRAA……their history and participation will be missed.

Also retiring is Susan Doherty as R&E manager for SSRAA.  I know many of you have called Susan over the years and got the “scoop” on returns, her absence will also leave a void that will be hard to fill.

We will also be advertising for a new General Manager as John Burke is expected to retire in the near future as well.  Chris Guggenbickler

Southeast by the (updated) numbersChamber presentation includes cruise ship, fish totals; metal prices and more (12/19).  Armed with informative graphics and a handful of jokes, Rain Coast Data owner Meilani Schijvens updated Juneau Chamber of Commerce members on Southeast by the Numbers, an economic publication Schijvens produced for Southeast Conference.  ~~~~

Seafood industry numbers were record-breaking in 2013, and Southeast Alaska benefited.

The region led the state’s salmon fisheries in everything but sockeye, though halibut and black cod (sablefish) counted for a disproportionately high value.

Schijvens estimated 2014 numbers will be lower, in part due to the two-year schedule for pink salmon. That means 2015 is expected to be a good year.

Seafood is a big deal in Southeast, Schijvens said, it makes up 11 percent of all regional employment and 9 percent of all jobs.

The record catch in 2013 (which, adjusted for inflation might trail behind 2011 slightly) comes with increased manufacturing jobs in the region. Regional processors saw 300 million pounds worth of the fish, with a wholesale value of $624 million in 2013.  More

Lyons: First winner of Di-Pech Fisheries Tech Scholarship (12/14).  Jim Seeland, an Assistant Professor at University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) in the Fisheries Technologies Program, talks about their partnership with Douglas Island Pink and Chum, Inc. (DIPAC) to award an annual $3000 scholarship to a student who shoews promise in the field.

Alexandra Lyons is the first winner of the Di-Pech Fisheries Tech Scholarship. Lyons talks about how studying fishery tech has shaped her professional ambitions.  KCAW Audio

Regional team recommends new hatchery king release for Kake (12/17).  The small Southeast village of Kake could see a hatchery run of king salmon in the future.
The Sitka-based Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association applied for a permit change for a new remote release of up to 200,000 Chinook at Gunnuk Creek in Kake. 

Alaska Sea Grant Fishlines (December).


White House – Coast Guard Authorization Act signed into law (12/18).  The White House issued a statement [located at ] saying that President Obama signed into law a number of bills, including S. 2444 [located at ], the “Howard Coble Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2014,” which authorizes fiscal year 2015 appropriations and amends laws related to the Coast Guard; authorizes fiscal year 2015 appropriations for the Federal Maritime Commission; and amends various other maritime-related provisions of law.  Courtesy  Bryant’s Maritime Blog

Longtime House Fisheries Staff Member  Dave Whaley to Retire (12/16).  It is with distinct sadness that we at Saving Seafood report that longtime House of Representatives staff member Dave Whaley has announced his retirement “due to a restructuring of the House Committee on Natural Resources.”

According to Dave’s e-mail to friends and colleagues this evening, decisions regarding the new committee structure will be finalized once the new Congress is sworn in, but tentative plans are for all ocean-related issues to be folded into the current Water and Power Subcommittee.  The new Subcommittee will be the Water, Power and Oceans Subcommittee.   Questions about how the Magnuson-Stevens Act reauthorization will be handled by the Committee should be directed to Todd Ungerecht, who will be staying on with the Committee as the Deputy Staff Director.   More  PERSONAL NOTE:  Dave has been a stalwart worker on behalf of the Alaska seafood industry and deserves our thanks for a job well done!

Sullivan Delighted with U.S. Senate Committee Assignments (12/15).  The Republicans in the U.S. Senate today announced their committee assignments for the next two years. Alaska’s Dan Sullivan will come in with the lowest seniority of the 100 senators, primarily because he’s never held elected office before. But it doesn’t seem to have hurt him on the committee score.

Sullivan will serve on Armed Services, Veterans Affairs, Commerce, and Environment & Public Works, and he says he can hardly pick a favorite.

“Well look, I’m pleased with all of them,” he said. “These were actually the four committees that I requested.”

It’s through committees that senators can shape legislation, and their assignments define their sphere of influence. The Commerce Committee is of particular interest to Alaska because it oversees fisheries, as well as the Coast Guard and civil aviation. Alaska’s Ted Stevens chaired the panel near the end of his career.  More

Empire Editorial: Defend the Coast Guard (12/16).  The U.S. Coast Guard rescues Alaskans. Now, it’s the one that may need rescuing.

On Nov. 25, 2002, President George W. Bush signed the Homeland Security Act, creating the largest reorganization of the U.S. government since the creation of the Department of Defense. As part of the Homeland Security Act, authority over the U.S. Coast Guard was transferred from the Department of Transportation to the Department of Homeland Security.

Twelve years on, we can safely say that this move has been a mistake.  More


The need for A Global Seafood Sustainability Benchmark (12/16).  There are a huge number of seafood related ecolabels, and the differences among them are creating consumer confusion. Just as retailers faced a multiplicity of food safety certifications in the late 1990’s, so they face a multiplicity of seafood certifications today. The retail community came together and benchmarked food safety certifications, providing certainty, a level playing field, and cost reductions. As a result, retailers no longer have to compete over food safety. Today, a similar initiative is underway with sustainability ecolabel and certification schemes. We look at the positive benefit of this plan in an interview with Lahsen Ababouch, of FAO. Video (3:57)

Can GSSI Help Prevent Seafood Trade Barriers (12/16).  The growth of ecolabel certificaitions, which started out as a good response to a particular problem, have the potential to create market limiting trade barriers without the establishment of an internationally accepted benchmark system as to what constitutes a standard that meets the FAO ecolabeling guidelines. The GSSI project is designed to address this by recognizing all label schemes equally that meet its FAO standard requirements.  Video (3:31)

McDowell.  Fall 2014 Sockeye Market Report (12/16).  Prepared by The McDowell Group to supplement their written report contracted by the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, this video will be of interest to Bristol Bay fishermen, seafood writers, seafood industry decision makers and other Bristol Bay fishery stakeholders. Please note: This video does not contain an audio track.  Video

NY Times.  Ask Well: What Fish Is Safe to Eat?  A reader asks whether farmed fish is better than no fish.   Video


Tulsequah mine study outlines Taku River barging (12/17).  Chieftain Metals Corp. has released new details on its plan to barge supplies and minerals to and from the Tulsequah Chief Mine, up the Taku River south of Juneau.

Chieftain is trying to re-open the long closed zinc, copper and gold mine in British Columbia. The company filed an updated feasibility study with Canadian financial regulators earlier this month. It says the Taku is likely to be impassable about 23 percent of the time during the proposed barging season from May to September. Another 23 percent of the time, barges will need a tug to help navigate the river.  More/KTOO Audio

Haines.  Local fishermen debate merits of possible mine (12/4).  A Canadian company is exploring copper and zinc deposits at the Palmer Project site north of Haines. It’s not even a proposed mine yet – but it’s is already dividing the community of Haines. One group having a hard time forming consensus on the issue is the commercial fishing fleet in the Northern Lynn Canal.

Vancouver-based Constantine Metal Resources has found promising deposits at the Palmer site in the last few years and joined forces with a Japanese investing company.

The site is about 40 miles north of Haines, near the Canadian border and the Klehini River, which drains into the Chilkat River. The recent developments have people in Haines staking out positions on whether a future mining operation would benefit or hurt the community.  More/KHNS Audio

Canada OKs KSM mine’s environmental plans (12/19).  A controversial mine near Southeast Alaska’s border has won approval from Canada’s federal government. That worries critics, who say the development could pollute salmon-bearing rivers.

The Kerr-Sulphurets-Mitchell project’s environmental protection plan got the OK from Canada’s Ministry of the Environment.

The project, known as the KSM, is in northwest British Columbia, northeast of Ketchikan and east of Wrangell.

Brent Murphy, of mine owner Seabridge Gold, says the federal action is an important step.

“It means that the project can proceed. We’ve received both the provincial and federal Canadian governments’ approvals. Essentially, it’s an approval in principle and now we move forward in the permitting phase,” he says.

He says the project has about 100 of the 150 permits it needs. It’s also seeking investors to develop the proposed $5.3 billion mine.  More/KTOO Audio

Canada approves world’s largest copper-gold project (12/19).  Canada’s minister of the environment on Friday gave the green light to Seabridge Gold’s KSM project in British Columbia, the world’s largest undeveloped gold-copper project by reserves.

The joint harmonized federal and provincial environmental assessment process took nearly seven-years and KSM is only the second metal mine in five years to receive approval by Canada and BC.

Since 2006, Seabridge has spent more than $176 million in exploration, engineering and environmental work to bring the project this far.  More

Massive B.C. gold mine near Alaska border gets environmental approval (12/19/14)

Mining News: Miner eyes year-end startup at Red Chris (12/21/14).  Northern B.C. copper-gold mine plugs into grid, mill testing gets under way; startup requires First Nation, provincial approvals.  The nearly operational Red Chris Mine is plugged into the electrical grid, and Imperial Metals Corp. is readying all the components for operations in anticipation of final approvals from the local Tahltan First Nation and Government of British Columbia.

By the end of October, the final leg of the power line that connects Red Chris to the affordable and clean power delivered by the 287-kilovolt Northwest Transmission Line was complete. This milestone is allowing Imperial Metals to test all the major electrical components with the goal of a startup at the copper-gold mine by the end of 2014.

“With power now at the Red Chris mine, we expect crushing operations to begin in November and the grinding and flotation circuits to begin operating in December,” Imperial Metals said in its third-quarter financials released Nov. 14.  More

Mount Polley mine owner given OK to repair tailings pond (12/18/14).   VICTORIA — B.C.’s chief inspector of mines is allowing the owner of the Mount Polley mine to start repairs on the tailings pond that breached, sending a surge of mine waste and water into nearby lakes and rivers.

The Ministry of Energy and Mines says the approval only allows the company to fix the breach and doesn’t allow Imperial Metals Corp to restart its ore-processing operation.

The government says the repair work will ensure that the increased water flow from melting snow this spring won’t result in further environmental or human-health impacts.

The amendment plan was reviewed by several groups, including government, the Williams Lake Indian Band, the Cariboo Regional District, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the community of Likely — the town closest to the spill.  More

Major Tribal Organizations Push U.S. State Department to Act on Transboundary Mine Concern (12/17).  WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA and JUNEAU, ALASKA–(Marketwired – Dec 16, 2014) -The largest tribal organizations in the Lower 48 and Alaska are backing efforts to protect key salmon rivers in Alaska/British Columbia (B.C.) threatened by large-scale mining developments in Canada.

The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN), and the Alaska Native Brotherhood & Alaska Native Sisterhood have recently passed resolutions calling for the U.S. State Department to use its authority under the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty and engage with Canada to protect threatened transboundary rivers.  More

Shuswap First Nations push mining guidelines (12/16/14).  A new mining policy issued by four Shuswap bands could bring more certainty for companies wanting to develop new mines in the region.

Or it could add a layer of bureaucracy that sends investment out of B.C., similar to the 1990s, when NDP anti-mining policies scared mining and exploration companies away from B.C.   More


Fisheries degrees become more accessible to rural Alaskans (12/12).  With a just a phone line and Internet access, a student anywhere in Alaska can now earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in fisheries at the University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.

The school offers the only Bachelor of Arts degree in fisheries in North America and this year adopted two new concentrations within the degree program that will provide students a more focused undergraduate experience. Incoming students will now select a concentration in either rural and community development or business and social sciences.  More

Rising Air, Sea Temperatures are Impacting Fisheries (12/17).    A global warming report released today by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says Arctic air temperatures are continuing to rise at twice the rate of global air temperatures, triggering dramatic changes in the Arctic.

“Arctic warming is setting off changes that affect people and the environment in this fragile region, and has broader effects beyond the Arctic on global security, trade, and climate,” said Craig McLean, acting assistant administrator for the NOAA Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. McLean’s comment came during a news conference at the American Geophysical Union fall meeting in San Francisco.  More

Alaska fish adjust to climate change by following the food (12/19).  Not all species may suffer from climate change. A new analysis shows that Dolly Varden, a species of char common in southeast Alaska, adjust their migrations so they can keep feasting on a key food source – salmon eggs – even as shifts in climate altered the timing of salmon spawning.

The resiliency of species to climate change may depend on how well they adapt to climate-driven changes in their food and habitat, such as altered growth of plants they feed on. A mismatch in timing between predators and the availability of prey could cause some species to lose access to food. But others such as Dolly Varden that successfully adjust to shifts in climate and prey offer a climate change story with a happy ending, according to the study published in Freshwater Biology. ~~~

But salmon migrations are shifting as the climate warms. Previous research by the University of Alaska and NOAA Fisheries’ Alaska Fisheries Science Center in southeast Alaska’s Auke Creek has shown that pink and coho salmon now migrate to their spawning grounds 10 to 17 days earlier while sockeye salmon migrate eight days earlier.  More

Warming reveals more ore opportunities (12/16).  Researchers who have been able to study frozen mammoths and Stone Age mummies thanks to retreating glaciers aren’t the only scientists who have benefited from the otherwise negative impacts of global warming.

Melting ice has also made it easier for geologists in B.C. to prove known mineral deposits through exploratory drilling that could not have taken place 40 or 50 years ago.

Gwenn Flowers, Canada research chair of glaciology at Simon Fraser University, said there were 30,000 square kilometres of  glacial ice in B.C. in the 1980s, which represented 20% of the non-polar ice in Canada, and 4% globally.

Ten per cent of that ice has melted since the mid-1980s, she said. In recent decades, some glaciers have retreated as much as two kilometres. The Red Mountain underground gold mine near Stewart is one of a handful of new mines being proposed for deposits that only became viable in recent decades, thanks to retreating glaciers.  More

Drifting pole nudges Fairbanks closer to magnetic north (12/21).  FAIRBANKS — It might be time for Alaskans to start turning the compass a bit less to account for planet Earth’s wandering magnetic poles.
A five-year update to a magnetic model released Monday shows the north magnetic pole is continuing its inconsistent drift westward toward Siberia. The model, calculated by the U.S. and British governments, is used for technology such as military fighter jets and consumer smartphones. 



Jan 7.  Comments due BOF Southeast and Yakutat Crab, Shrimp, and Misc. Shellfish

Jan 23.  Applications due for federal subsistence RAC’s

Feb 9.  Comments due BOF Southeast and Yakutat Finfish 

Feb 17-19.  UFA Board, Juneau

Feb 23-Mar 3.   BOF SE Finfish, Sitka

Mar 11-12.  NSRAA Board, Sitka

Mar 13.  SSRAA Board, Ketchikan