Canada closes down recreational halibut harvest in-season

It was reported in the news that Canada is closing the recreational halibut harvest as of October 31st, 2 months earlier than scheduled.  The recreational harvest allocation started at just over 1 million pounds (12% of the Canadian allocation goes to the recreational sector (guided & unguided)) and in a one season arrangement an additional 150,000 lbs were leased to the recreational sector.  The estimated recreational harvest is 1.45 million pounds.  In the news article Sue Farlinger, regional director of Fisheries Management for Dept of Fisheries stated that since each country expects the other to stick to it’s TAC and is held accountable, “We need to respond responsibly when the fishing plan is not functioning as it was intended to.”

The full article in Globeandmail.com is located at:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20081027.BCHUME27/TPStory/Environment

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Deputy Director of Commercial Fisheries Announced

Sue Aspelund, who has been working as a special assistant to the Commissioner of Fish & Game was appointed to the vacant Deputy Director of Commercial Fisheries position and will transition into the position by November 17th. 

Sue has worked the last five years as a Special Assistant to the Commissioner providing policy advice on a variety of marine fisheries issues including Gulf of Alaska groundfish, halibut, and the Magnuson-Stevens Act. She has also overseen the Southeast Sustainable Salmon Fund (SSSF), which was renamed the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund (PCSRF), which was renamed the Alaska Sustainable Salmon Fund (AKSSF) – are you getting dizzy?  Prior to working for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Sue was Executive Director for the Cordova District Fishermen United (CDFU) and she was a set gillnet fisherman in Bristol Bay and longtime member of the local Fish and Game Advisory Committee.    

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IPHC SE Meeting Presentations

IPHC just had meetings last week in Petersburg, Sitka and Juneau.  The powerpoint presentation that they used during the meetings is now available on their website at: http://www.iphc.washington.edu/halcom/meetings/workshop2008/regional2Cmeetings.pdf

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Exxon Payments May Be Delayed as much as 18 Months

Sea Hawks Seafoods of Valdez (now defunct) has filed in court to have the disbursement allocation scheme approved by the the court system in 1996 thrown out.  They have filed to have the allocation changed to match the Supreme Court decision that the size of punitive damage awards must be comparable porportionately to the size of compensatory damage awards already paid to the plaintiffs.  If the court system accepts this lawsuit, it could delay payment up to an additional 18 months.

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IPHC Halibut Apportionment Information Meetings Scheduled in Southeast Alaska

Bruce Leaman of IPHC will be visiting Petersburg, Juneau and Sitka to provide additional information on the biomass apportionment.  For additional information please visit the IPHC website http://www.iphc.washington.edu and click on the Biomass Apportionment Workshop 2008 link.

Petersburg Monday October 20th @10:00 am in the Petersburg City Council Chambers

Juneau, Tuesday October 21st at 6:30 pm at DIPAC Visitors Center

Sitka, (don’t know time and place yet)

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Comment Period Open On Exempting Dinglebar Fishery from VMS Requirements

There is a Proposed rule to exempt fishermen using dinglebar fishing gear in federal waters of the GOA from the requirement to carry a vessel monitoring system. Comment period is open through November 3, 2008

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Nominations Open for Northern & Southern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Boards

The SSRAA board is accepting nomination for the Board of Directors through October 20th.  Available seats include 2 seine seats; 1 gillnet seat; 1 power troll seat and 1 hand troll seat.  To nominate a candidate please call SSRAA at 907-225-9605   Terms are three years each.

The NSRAA board is accepting nominations for the Board of Directors by 5:00 pm of the first day of the fall NSRAA Board Meeting November 19th.  They must be hand delivered or received in the office by then.  Terms are for three years each and the following seats expire in March of ’09:  Rural troll seat; At-large gillnet seat; Sitka power troll seat; Juneau gillnet seat; SE Resident Seine and a crew member seat.

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Federal Legislation Submitted in Senate

S. 3608 was introduced in the Senate on September 26th by Cantwell, Murkowski, Murray, Wyden, Boxer, Feinstein, Smith and Stevens.  The legislation is titled To establish a Salmon Stronghold Partnership program to protect wild Pacific salmon and for other purposes.

The purposes of this Act are – -

(1) To expand Federal support for the protection and restoration of the healthiest remaining salmon strongholds in North America to sustain core centers of salmon abundance, productivity, and diversity in order to prevent decline of salmon populations –

     (A) in the States of Washington, Idaho, Oregon and California, by focusing on cooperative, incentive-based efforts to protect the roughly 20 percent of salmon habitat that supports approximately 2/3 of salmon abundance; and

     (B) IN the State of Alaska, a regional stronghold that produces over 1/3 of all Pacific salmon, by increasing resources available to public and private organizations working cooperatively to protect regional core centers of salmon abundance and diversity;

(2) to obtain long-term funding for implementation of salmon stronghold strategies, including the bundling and delivery of incentive-based conservation measures;

(3) to promote economic co-benefits associated with healthy and restored salmon stronghold habitat, including flood protection, recreation, water quanity and quality, climate benefits, and other ecosystem services; and

(4) to accelerate as applicable the implementation of recovery plans for salmon populations listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) within salmon strongholds.

Salmon stronghold is defined in the Act as:  The term ‘salmon stronghold’ means all or part of a watershed that meets biological criteria for abundance, productivity, diversity (life history and run timing), habitat quality, or other biological attributes important to sustaining viable populations throughout the salmon range.

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Alaska Pacific Bank Sends Letter Clarifying Position

Alaska Pacific Bank wrote a letter to Sue Salveson clarifying that the Bank does not have any official position on halibut issues and that the intent of this letter is to register their neutrality on the subject and that their name not be used in any fashion as they have customers on both sides of the issue.  The letter says the bank’s name was added to the form letter when a junior officer signed the letter personally supporting a two fish bag limit during the comment period on the proposed rule for a two fish bag limit. 

Letter from President of Alaska Pacific Bank:  Alaska Pacific Bank Letter to Sue Salveson 10.2.08

Form letter originally sent:   Form Letter on proposed rule

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ASMI Committees

The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute is currently seeking Alaska Seafood Industry members interested in serving on an ASMI committee. Please email or mail a letter of interest and resume to ASMI’s Executive Director, Ray Riutta by October 15, 2008.  You can email Ray at rriutta@alaskaseafood.org or mail letters and resumes to 311 N. Franklin St., Suite 200, Juneau, AK 99801.  Please cc Lynn Coffee (lcoffee@alaskasefood.org) on your correspondence.

ASMI has four species committees and four operational committees.  Currently there are 5 available seats and 17 members whose terms are expiring this year.

Salmon Committee: 4 seats up for re-appointment

Halibut-Sablefish Committee – 1 available seat

Whitefish Committee – 2 available seats, one seat up for re-appointment

Shellfish Committee – 2 seats up for re-appointment

Retail Marketing Committee – 1 available seat, 2 seats up for re-appointment

Foodservice Marketing Committee – 3 seats up for re-appointment

International Marketing Committee – 1 available seat, 3 seats up for re-appointment

Seafood Technical Committee – 2 seats up for re-appointment. 

If you have questions please contact Lynn Coffee at (907) 465-5560.

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