Dept of Revenue proposed changes to fishery business Regulations

The Dept of Revenue is accepting comments on draft proposed regulation changes to the Fishery Business regulations. There are changes in 17 different sections. Comments must be received no later than November 10, 2011. Electronic comments can be submitted to janis.hale@alaska.gov
15 AAC 75.300 definition section is being repealed and readopted to add or clarify definitions of depreciable tangible personal property, lienable value, market value, person, predominantly, processing, quality, related person, taxpayer and weight of raw salmon.

DOR Proposed changes Oct 2011

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ISA (Infectious Salmon Anemia) Found in Wild Sockeye in Canada

WASHINGTON, D.C. – During a long session that went into the early morning hours, the U.S. Senate approved a bipartisan amendment authored by Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) that calls for an investigation and rapid response plan to prevent the spread of a potentially deadly salmon virus. The virus, which was recently found for the first time in Pacific wild salmon, may pose a threat to the Pacific Northwest salmon fishing industry and the coastal economies that rely on it. The virus does not pose a threat to human health.

The bipartisan amendment was backed by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mark Begich (D-AK), Patty Murray (D-WA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).
The amendment, introduced October 19th to the pending appropriations bill (H.R. 2112), calls on the National Aquatic Animal Health Task Force to evaluate the risk the virus could have on wild salmon off West Coast and Alaskan waters, and to develop a plan to address this emerging threat. The minibus appropriations bill – including Cantwell’s accepted amendment – is scheduled for a final vote in the Senate during the week of October 31st.

“We thought it was very important that this amendment pass tonight because scientists are calling it a disease emergency. That is, that the Pacific Northwest wild salmon might be threatened by a virus that hasalready decimated fish farm salmon from around the world,” Cantwell said on the Senate floor. Watch a video of her delivering her remarks here. “We cannot risk having this impact the Pacific Northwest wild salmon.”

“It’s tens of thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars as it relates to our economy. …We need an action plan immediately and we need to make sure that we are formulating a rapid response to what to do if we do detect that this virus is spreading with the potential impact that we’ve seen in other areas.”

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Gillnet Observer Program Workshops

There will be workshops about the gillnet observer program on Nov. 14th in Petersburg and Nov 15th in Wrangell. A letter will be going to all permit holders with the details. The intent is still to implement the observer program in Districts 6 & 8 in 2012 using leased boats as remote platforms to observe from. The intent will be to observe approx. 7-1/2 % of the boat days in the district.

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Halibut Catch Share Plan

At this meeting, NMFS informed the Council that it would need to revisit its proposed Area 2C/3A halibut catch sharing plan (CSP), citing policy and technical issues which compromise their ability to proceed to a final rule. Specifically, NMFS requested additional Council input on the following three concerns, along with other technical issues that may be identified by NMFS after further review:
(1) Evaluation of the management implications at lower levels of abundance;
(2) Economic impacts of the CSP under all potential combined catch
levels; and,
(3) Methods for calculating the average weight for guided angler fish (GAF) that may be leased from commercial IFQ operators, and the specific means for tracking and reporting GAF.

NMFS also strongly encouraged the Council to schedule time at the December 2011 Council meeting to provide guidance to the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) for actions on the specific allocation and management measures appropriate for the charter halibut fisheries in Southeast and Southcentral Alaska for 2012. The IPHC meets in Anchorage in January 2012 to set fishing levels and management measures for halibut along the Pacific Coast.

The Council also requested that NMFS provide additional detail in December regarding perceived deficiencies in the CSP, so that the Council can discuss an appropriate course of action, including the process and timing to address the concerns identified by NMFS. For December 2011, the Council also had previously scheduled 1) a review of the ADF&G estimates of sport halibut data for 2010; 2) review committee recommendations to consider alternative management measures under Tier 1 of the charter halibut CSP.

NMFS Press Release on CSP

ADFG halibut CSP comments to NMFS Sept 21 2011

IPHC CSP Comments

SEAFA CSP comments on Proposed Rule 9.21.11

HC CSP PR Comments 21Sep2011

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Board of Fish Proposal Book Posted Online

The Board of Fish Proposal Book has been posted online at http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/regulations/regprocess/fisheriesboard/pdfs/2011-2012/2011_2012prop_book.pdf

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Halibut Catch Sharing Plan finally Released as a Proposed Rule

The long awaited halibut catch sharing plan proposed rule will be in the federal register July 22 with a 45 day comment period which ends September 6th.

The link to the NOAA press release and draft rule is: http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/newsreleases/2011/halibutstock072111.htm

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Chatham Blackcod Quota for 2011 Annouced

The Chatham blackcod overall quota limits decreased by 16% from 2011. The annual harvest objective is 1,046,873 round pounds. There are currently 83 permits issued for this fishery 4 less than last year; therefore the individual equal quota share will be 10,602 round pounds. Fishery opens on August 15th at 8:00 am and closes at 12:00 noon on November 15th. The news release that is attached contains much more information. Of note is based on logbook data, the guided charter fishery had a decrement of 3% removed from the total allowable catch before determining the commercial catch and the other removals equaled 2.5%. Previously before documentation of what was taken as required at the last SE Board of Fish meeting a total of 3% was taken off the top for all removals.

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2nd Special Session Fails to Save ACMP

The Alaska Coastal Management Program (ACMP) is closed with no chance to revive the program.

The Alaska Coastal Management Program (ACMP) is closed with no chance to revive the program. The Legislature failed to pass in the third attempt to save the program after calling themselved into session that lasted two days. The Senate passed SB 45 and the House of Representatives failed the measure after the Governor stated he would veto any legislation passed and testimony in front of the House Finance committee by Governor’s office stated that the program was closed down, office space let go, files stored, most employees already found another job and that they failed to apply to the federal government for the funding and it was too late to salvage the program.

The ACMP importance is the ability to require federal agencies to meet stricter State regulations/requirements on a federal project in federal waters or land. Without the program the State of Alaska can comment on a permitting process the same as any citizen of the United States.

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Yakutat Commercial, Subsistence and Set Gillnet Announcement

The Alaska Dept of Fish and Game announced a meeting today today to discuss the Situk-Ahrnklin Inlet Subsistence and commercial gillnet salmon fisheries on May 10 at 7:00 pm in the Yakutat High School auditorium.

The preseason projection for Chinook salmon through the Situk weir is very low. According to the Situk management plan this low projection has serious implications for both subsistence and commercial salmon harvest in the Situk-Ahrnklin Inlet fisheries. The meeting is being called to discuss options to allow for subsistence and commercial harvest of sockeye salmon while establishing conservation measures for Chinook salmon. The Situk-Ahrnklin Inlet fisheries are of vital concern to the community of Yakutat, and the public is urged to attend this meeting.

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ADFG Commissioner Confirmed by Legislature

Cora Campbell was confirmed on a 59 to 0 vote as ADFG Commissioner by the Legislature in a Joint session on April 8th confirming Governor appointees.

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