Corkline-News for Southeast Gillnetters, June 3, 2014

7 Jun


Top Stories:  NSRAA update…Cruise ship tracklines the same for 2014…Silver Bay impacts… Coast Guard uses new vessel warning signal in Southeast Alaska


Live to Be Salty. When you live to be an old salt, you’ve heard it all. “If you fall in you’ll die of hypothermia anyway.” “PFDs get tangled in lines and nets and pull you in.” “PFDs restrict my movement.” Awww, whale whiz. Modern PFDs are designed to stay out of your way and keep you alive. Wearing a PFD will extend your survival time in the water and give your crew a fair shot at fishing you out of the drink. So stop spewin’ crap and start wearin’ your PFD.  More

Cruiseship Tracklines.  The tracklines used in Lynn Canal and Stephens Passage in 2013 will be used again in 2014.  Discussions were held about making a minor adjust met but in the end the pilots decided to make no changes this year.  Feedback on how this works is appreciated.  Tracklines are here

Gastineau Channel Tender Operations.  We have received some complaints about cruise ship wakes while gillnetters are off loading in Gastineau Channel near DuPont.  If tendering operations are in progress, you are encouraged to respond to cruise ship “SECURITE” calls and let them know what is going on.

Coast Guard Commercial Fishing Industry Vessel Checklist Generator   give yourself a checkup before the season starts.  Contact Scott Wilwert for a free exam here in Southeast by the Coast Guard:  (907) 463-2248 or anthony.s.wilwert (at)

USCG – unprepared safety equipment (5/16).  The US Coast Guard issued a Safety Alert stating that some SABRE Emergency Escape Breath Devices (EEBDs)/Emergency Life Support Apparatus (ELSA) were found to be in an unprepared status. Masters with such devices on their vessels should ensure that the “Quick Fire” functionality on each of these devices is in its “Primed” state. Alert 06-14  Courtesy Bryant’s Maritime Blog

USCG – slips, trips, and falls (5/16).  The US Coast Guard issued a Safety Alert reminding owners and operators of small passenger vessels to be alert to the risk of slips, trips, and falls on their vessels and to take measures to mitigate those risks. Alert 07-14  Courtesy Bryant’s Maritime Blog

Safety Zone.  The Error Chain Gang (5/20).   I bet you have too much chain onboard. Boats can have anchor chain, chain for pennants and stoppers, chain for bridles and chain for a good catenary when you’ve got a long tow on the wire.

But there is one chain that every boat has onboard. That’s the error chain. Each link in the error chain is an event that contributes to an accident. They can be called contributing factors. An investigation after the accident will find them. The error chain can be just a single link where just one mistake can end in disaster or it can be many links where things all have to line up perfectly for the accident to happen.  More

USAG Insurance Requirements.  Vessels participating in the USAG program are required to have a smoke detector, bilge alarm, and an automatic oil stove cutoff.  Automatic stove cutoffs are available at a discounted USAG price from Mark Grant at Seattle Marine 206-285-5010 or 800-426-2783.    They have different sizes based on the size of your flue (the temperature sensors clamp to your stove pipe).  Thanks to Norm Hughes (aka Surf Fisheries Supply) for working with SEAMAR to get the discount.

Welcome New Business Members Kito’s Kave and the Java Hus in Petersburg.


BOF Email Subscription Lists  -SIGN UP.  The Board of Fisheries will begin distributing notices for meetings, regulatory changes, proposals, and call for proposals electronically for the upcoming 2014-2015 meeting cycle. Receipt of hard copies will be available only upon request. All users are asked to sign up to continue receiving the information.

Spring 2014 NSRAA Report by USAG Board member Dan Pardee (F/V SENTRY)

Deep Inlet Forecast: 1,170,000 Chums.  Range: 464,000 to 1,790,000

Due to excess DIPAC cost recovery money- NSRAA is requesting $2.5 million to cover CR needs at Deep Inlet and Hidden Falls.  This translates into $2.5 million more dollars in fish in the water for all three gear groups to target and harvest.  DIPAC did fund NSRAA CR at $2.5 million.  Basically, it means more money in our pockets!

Deep Inlet Schedule:

June 1-21: Chinook Management

Rotation: GN 2:1 SN

Gillnet fish on Monday, Tuesday and again on Thursday, Friday.

Mesh Restriction prior to 6/21 minimum mesh size of 6”

June 22-July 26: Chum Management

Rotation: GN 1:1 SN

Gillnet fish on 6/23 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday thru 7/23

NO mesh restrictions.

July 27-September 27: Chum Management

Rotation: GN 45hr:45hr SN

Gillnet fish on 7/28 Monday, Tuesday and Saturday’s thru 9/27

NO mesh restrictions.

NSRAA Future Production Projects

1)    Gunnuk Creek and SE Cove near Kake:  It is highly likely that NSRAA will assume “ownership” of the permitted capacity of 55 million chums and will manage this project in the future after a default on debt by Kake and Gunnuk Creek Hatchery.  We could see good chum salmon returns to SE Cove as early as 4-5 years from now.  These fish are hidden falls stock and thus would return during June and July and could benefit the gillnet fleet by taking pressure off the district 15-C Amalga fishery.

2)    Crawfish Bay on the outside coast of Baranof Island is another potential release site that has received some blessings from ADF&G, NSRAA is applying for the necessary permits.  This has the potential of another 55 million chums; it is still in early stages of permitting and getting the “go ahead” from the USFS and other Federal agencies.  The timeline is uncertain as with all things involving Federal decisions.  NSRAA will actively continue to pursue this project.  These fish would be returning in August and could help to split up the troll fleet in Eastern Channel during the month of August.

Good luck & best wishes to our gillnet fleet this summer, see you on the water!  Dan Pardee

District 11/15/DIPAC  Forecasts.  On May 21, Juneau and Haines gillnetters had a joint teleconference with ADFG (Scott Forbes, Randy Bachman, and Dave Harris) and Eric Prestegard (DIPAC) to discuss the 2014 season.  Presentations from the teleconference are attached.

Small hatchery king release on schedule in Petersburg (5/30).  Some 200-thousand young Crystal Lake Hatchery king salmon are scheduled to be released Friday, May 30 into Frederick Sound near Petersburg.

The fish were held in a temporary rearing pen near the mouth of City Creek three miles outside of downtown Petersburg, for the past month and a half. That’s in the hope that some of the kings will return to spawn at that spot several years from now.  More

Bulldog reporter Tkacz dies at 61 (5/30).  Bob Tkacz may not have always been well-liked, but he was always respected, according to those who knew the longtime reporter.

Tkacz was found dead Tuesday evening in his Fourth Street office in Juneau. He was 61.

Lt. David Campbell with the Juneau Police Department reported there were no immediate signs of foul play and nothing that indicated he died of unnatural causes; there were indications of medical issues, but no further details could be shared.  More

Chieftain Metals Forced by Ontario Securities Commission to Correct 2013 Annual Information Form and Retract Corporate Presentation (6/2). On April 28, 2014, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) notified investors on its Refilings and Errors List that Chieftain Metals Corp. was non-compliant in its mineral project disclosure. On the same day, Chieftain Metals issued a corrected Annual Information Form noting that the report had been revised “in connection with a continuous disclosure review by the Ontario Securities Commission.”

“Chieftain has a history of selective and self-serving public statements, some based on pie-in-the-sky predictions, that do not provide a complete and accurate picture of the proposed Tulsequah Chief mine to potential investors,” said Chris Zimmer of Rivers Without Borders. “The Tulsequah Chief project has serious risks and uncertainties such as opposition by the Taku River Tlingit First Nation, high levels of contaminants in the copper ore, unresolved problems with concentrate sales, potentially expensive long-term environmental liabilities, and ongoing violations of its waste discharge permit and the Canadian federal Fisheries Act. We applaud the OSC for forcing Chieftain to comply with disclosure laws and provide more accurate information.”  More


Coast Guard uses new vessel warning signal in Southeast Alaska (5/29).  Boats that get a little too close to cruise ships and ferries in Southeast Alaska this summer might get to see and hear a new warning signal used by the U.S. Coast Guard.

The signal is fired from a 12 gauge shotgun and will be used when boaters do not respond to a Coast Guard vessel’s lights, sirens or radio.

Ensign Dwight Schaffer, assistant chief of enforcement with the Coast Guard in Juneau, says the signal looks and sounds like a firework. “It’s a bright orange flash with a loud bang. It’s definitely bright and it’s significant in volume so it’s definitely a good tool to get the boater’s attention.”  More

RISK MANAGEMENT Adequate vessel insurance protects owner financially (5/16). Fishing vessel owners need to protect themselves financially by engaging in risk management that takes into consideration a number of issues that could cost them millions of dollars in lawsuits, says insurance company executive Chris Trainer.

Speaking at a forum on risk management at the recent Comfish 2014 commercial fisheries trade show in Kodiak, Trainer, chief executive officer of the Chinook Insurance Group in Seattle, cited a number of examples of millions of dollars in claims awarded due to injury and death of fish harvesters, and pollution incidents.  More

My Turn: Tongass prepares to enter new logging era (5/23)Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack recently announced that the U.S. Forest Service will amend the Tongass Land Management Plan, also called the Forest Plan, the document that guides the work we do as an agency on the Tongass National Forest. After extensive public meetings and comments last year, the Forest Service determined that an amendment to the Forest Plan is needed to accomplish the transition within the next 10 to 15 years to a timber sale program on the Tongass that is based primarily on young-growth management while maintaining a viable timber industry.  More


Silver Bay Seafood’s will have an impact on the Bristol Bay Sockeye Fishery This Season (5/31).  A well-known fisheries journalist believes that Silver Bay Seafood’s will have a dramatic impact on the upcoming salmon fishery in Bristol Bay. KDLG’s Mike Mason has the story.  KDLG  Audio  John Sackton Video (5/29) 2min 58 sec

US salmon prices appear poised for a summer freefall (5/21).  The seasonal fall in salmon prices is likely to kick in despite the strong salmon prices this winter, based on stable supply and expanding demand.  Video

Ocean Beauty eyes plant upgrades on back of tax credit expansion (5/19).  Alaskan salmon and herring processors are poised for potentially game-changing upgrades in coming years thanks to a new bill passed last month.

The Senate Bill 71, passed last month, opens up new opportunities for canned sockeye, byproducts and herring, by expanding eligibility to the salmon product development tax credit.

For the first time, processing plant investments into value-added herring products will now qualify for the credit.  More

ASMI launches grassroots marketing campaign targeting the ‘uber athlete’ (5/23).  The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) is in the midst of launching a $1.2 million special post-Lenten Alaska canned salmon retail promotion project at the request of the industry, in light of the huge influx of canned pink salmon last year.

“It was the large harvest that happened last year [that prompted this],” Larry Andrews, ASMI retail specialist, told Undercurrent News. “The salmon processors came in and asked us ‘what can you do?’”

The campaign, leading with the bold slogan “Our product may not be pretty, but sometimes staying healthy isn’t”, targets both current and traditional users of canned pink salmon as well as a specially-selected new user category — the uber athlete.  More

Why Won’t the Government Let You Eat Superfish? (5/22).  Prince Edward Island is Anne of Green Gables country, a pastoral wonderland on the east coast of Canada. It is a Technicolor quilt of clapboard houses and potato fields where each year thousands of tourists buy straw hats with Anne’s two red braids sewn into them. It does not look like the kind of place where a risky experiment might be taking place. But that changes when, on a wintry March morning, you arrive at the AquaBounty Technologies (ABTX:LN) facility on Fortune Bay. A chain link fence surrounds the perimeter, and signs warn would-be trespassers that they are being watched by eight motion-activated video cameras. This fish hatchery is like no other.  More

Canned salmon demand explodes in South Korea (5/22).  Canned salmon demand is growing fast in South Korea and is competing hard for share with tuna, said an executive from Silla, speaking at the Tuna 2014 conference.

Kwang-Se Lee, executive director of the South Korean fishing and processing company, said the canned salmon category has gone from practically nothing to $10 million in around six months.

Lee said the canned salmon category is expected to grow to $30m this year.  More


Abstract.  A whale alarm fails to deter migrating humpback whales: an empirical test (5/30)Cetacean entanglements in fishing gear cost governments, fishermen and stakeholders millions of dollars a year, and often result in serious injury or death of the entangled animal. Entanglements have been implicated in preventing the recovery of some large whale populations. Acoustic deterrents on fishing nets are widely used to reduce incidental capture of dolphins and porpoises, but there is little evidence as to whether they effectively deter large whales.  More

ADFG.  Scientists Up their Ability to Track Salmon through DNA ‘Fin-Printing’ (5/29)


Jun 13.  Comments due on federal fish subsistence proposals

Aug 18.  BOF ACR’s due

Aug 19.  Alaska Primary Election

Sep 23-25.  UFA Board Meeting, Anchorage


Feb 23-Mar3.   BOF SE Finfish, Sitka