Senate Committee on Energy & Resources Issues Press Release on Revised SEALASKA Lands Bill

The press release issued today, July 1st by the Senate Energy & Resource Committee outlines some of the proposed changes to the Sealaska Lands Bill.  Please view the press release on the Senate committee site for details.

Link to press release

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Personal Use Red & Blue King Crab Permits in Area 11-A

Over 500 personal use red and blue king crab permits were issued for Area 11-A (Juneau/Backside of Douglas) before the start of the season.

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ADFG Announces Personal Use Red & Blue King Crab Fishery

ADFG announced the personal use Red & Blue king crab fishery for 2010 in three news releases.  The season will open for the majority of Southeast Alaska on July 1st except 5 areas will be closed and District 11-A in Juneau will have a modified season.  The five areas that will be closed are:  1.) Endicott & Tracey Arm; 2.) Pybus Bay; 3.) Port Fredrick; 4.) Seymour Canal; and 5.) Excursion Inlet.

The District 11-A (Backside of Douglas/Juneau) saw a slightly improved stock status in the 2010 survey so a modified season will open from 12:01 am July 1st to 9:00 pm July 5th with the following restrictions: 1.) summer seasonal limit of 2 crab per household; 2.) daily bag and possession limit of 2 crab per permit; 3.) Only 1 pot per permit/vessel; and 4.) harvest ticket/record must be returned by August 1st.

Please read ADFG news releases for all the details and area descriptions.

ADFG News Releases

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Summer Troll Opening Targeting 78,180 Chinook

The summer troll fishery first king opening July 1st will target 78,180 Chinook.  The fishery will be managed in-season but the expectation is that the fishery will last 6-10 days.  For all the details, see the ADFG News Release.

Summer Troll Fishery News Release

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State of Alaska Dept of Health issues a warning against eating crab viscera

The State of Alaska issued a health alert about PSP possibly being present in dungeness crab VISCERA (not the meat) after the death of Haines gillnetter Mike Saunders from symptoms of PSP poisoning.  Links to the Health Alert and news articles.

State of Alaska DEC Alert

6/22/10 Juneau Empire Story (short)

Juneau Empire Story

MSNBC News Article

Follow up Juneau Empire Article – DEC finds low levels of PSP

Mike Saunders was a longtime Haines gillnetter,  a gillnet representative on the NSRAA Board and President of Lynn Canal Gillnetters Association.  Our condolences to Mike’s family.

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Cotten and Fields appointed to NPFMC

The Secretary of Commerce announced appointments to the regional fishery advisory councils.  The Governor of Alaska had nominated four names for consideration with Duncan Fields of Kodiak and James Hubbard of Seward as the preferred candidates and Sam Cotton and Matt Moir as alternates and the Secretary of Commerce reappointed Sam Cotton and Duncan Fields for three year terms. 

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Taku Watershed Land Use Planning

The following are the draft Atlin-Taku Watershed Planning documents and maps out for review.

Proposal Cover Letter

Draft Atlin Taku Land Use Plan

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Coast Guard Reauthorization Act

The House passed HR 3619 on October 23, 2009 and the Senate passed their version on May 7, 2010.  The legislation will now go to a conference committee to reconcile the differences.  As of June 1st the Conference committee members had not yet been announced.  We have heard that Senator Cantwell favors the fishing vessel safety provisions enacted by the House.  This contains some of the same provisions that we objected to several years ago.  Classing or safety compliance programs for vessels over 50 feet by 2020.  Mandatory training for all commercial fishing vessel operators and possibly some requirements for crew.  Mandatory coast guard courtesy exams every two years.  Below is a pdf file of the comments that we are submitting to our Congressional Delegation and the conference committee when appointed.  There are other items in the legislation that we don’t make a mention of but that might affect us in the future.  These include:  1) The Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating shall assess and report to Congress on the feasibility of efforts to mitigate the threat of small boat attack in security zones of major ports, including specifically the use of TRANSPONDERS or RADIO FREQUENCY IDENTIFICATION devices to track small boats. 2.) Vessel Traffic Risk Assessment for Cook Inlet. 3.) Report on the improvements to reduce Human error and near miss incidents for oil spills.

SEAFA Comments

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-3619 Link to HR 3619

After receiving feedback from fishermen we have sent additional comments to the staff working on reconciling the two bill requesting that an exemption be given to those fishermen who currently have a buoyant apparatus to continue to be allowed to use it due to the cost of purchasing the equipment and the additional cost they would have to replace it.

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NFPMC Observer Program Analysis Now Available

The initial review analysis for restructuring the observer program is now posted on the Council webpage.  All the alternatives include the sablefish and halibut fisheries.  Letters to the NPFMC on the analysis are due by June 1st or you can attend the NPFMC meeting in Sitka and testify in person.  We are still reading through the analysis.  It looks likely that halibut and sablefish fishermen will be charged a 1% ex vessel value to pay for the program and in addition the processor would be liable for another 1% fee.

Observer Program Analysis

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No Commercial Gillnet Fishery on the Taku Yet!

ADFG on Thursday issued a news release that the first in-season projection of the Taku had been completed and that there would not be a gillnet fishery scheduled.  They will continue to monitor the fishery and will open the fishery if the in-season projections become high enough for a manageable fishery to be conducted. The full ADFG press release is at:

http://documents.cf1.adfg.state.ak.us/AdfgDocument.po?DOCUMENT=22154

 Terminal Harvest area press releases can be viewed at:

http://documents.cf1.adfg.state.ak.us/SubtopicContents.po?ERA=Current&TOPIC=01&SUBTOPIC=ter this includes Deep  Inlet, Anita Bay and Neets Bay.  For more information for trolling of chum salmon at Neets Bay please review the information on the SSRAA website at: http://www.ssraa.org/nbmngplan.htm

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