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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NPFMC staff posts Draft Halibut Motion

The Council staff has posted a draft motion on the Halibut catch sharing plan

http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc/current_issues/halibut_issues/HalibutCSPmotion1008.pdf

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Cook Inlet Task Force Meeting on BuyBacks and Marketing & Sustainability

JOINT COOK INLET SALMON TASK FORCE

Oct 09 Thursday Anch Lio Conf Rm 10:00 AM

– Teleconference –

– BRUCE TWOMLEY with ADF&G, Commercial

Fisheries Entry Commission

Briefing on buy back programs and

potential Cook Inlet buy back program

– RAY RIUTTA with Alaska Seafood Marketing

Institute

Briefing on sustainability and management

practices in marketing salmon

– Testimony  by invitation only–

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Appointments to the Pacific Salmon Commission Panels Press Release

Governor Palin Makes Pacific Salmon Commission Panel Appointments 

October 6, 2008, Anchorage, Alaska – Governor Sarah Palin today announced her nominations and appointments to two panels that support the Pacific Salmon Commission, established by a 1985 U.S.-Canada treaty on managing salmon originating in Southeast Alaska/Northern British Columbia rivers. 

 

Pacific Salmon Commission – Transboundary Panel 

 

Governor Palin nominated Dale Kelley, and re-nominated James Becker, Rod Brown, Arnold Enge and Gary Gray and to the Pacific Salmon Commission’s Transboundary Panel. 

The Transboundary Panel supports the Pacific Salmon Treaty, signed by Alaska and Canada in 1985 to protect salmon stocks, by providing information and recommendations to the Pacific Salmon Commission on management of in-river and terminal fisheries for salmon originating in the Alsek, Taku, and Stikine Rivers in Southeast Alaska and Northern British Columbia.  The governor’s nominations are subject to final appointment by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. 

 

Kelley, of Juneau, has served as executive director of the Alaska Trollers Association since 1989.  She has also served on the board of United Fishermen of Alaska, and as a commissioner to the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission. Additionally, she was an alternate member of the Pacific Salmon Commission’s Northern Panel for three years. 

 

Becker, of Douglas, has been a commercial fisherman for more than 35 years and is a lifetime resident of the Juneau area.  He is a board member of United Southeast Alaska Gillnetters Association and the Juneau Chamber of Commerce.  Becker was first appointed to the panel in 2000. 

 

Brown, of Wrangell, is a retired biology, marine biology, math and photography teacher.  He fished commercially during the summers and is an avid sport fisherman who has lived in Wrangell since 1969.  He was first appointed to the panel in 2005. 

 

Enge is a longtime Petersburg resident who gillnets for salmon and herring and fishes halibut.  He serves as vice-chair of the Petersburg Fish and Game Advisory Committee.  Enge was first appointed to the panel in 2000. 

 

Gray, of Yakutat, operates a lodge and provides guide services for hunters and fishermen in the Yakutat area.  He fished as a commercial setnetter for 15 years and serves as a member of the Yakutat Fish and Game Advisory Committee.  Gray was first appointed to the panel in 2006. 

 

Pacific Salmon Commission – Northern Panel 

 

Governor Palin reappointed Gordy Williams and Brian Frenette to the Pacific Salmon Commission’s Northern Panel.  The panel provides technical and regulatory advice to the Pacific Salmon Commission. 

 

Williams, of Juneau, is a special assistant to Fish and Game Commissioner Denby Lloyd.  He was reappointed to serve as Alaska’s representative to the panel for fish management.  

 

Frenette, of Juneau, is Southeast regional supervisor for the state Division of Sport Fish.  He was reappointed to serve as Alaska’s alternate to the panel. 

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Council Recommends Catch Sharing Plan for Halibut

Saturday evening the NPFMC voted 10 to 1 to pass a catch sharing plan. Friday afternoon the State of Alaska offered the first motion on the halibut charter issue.  This motion had no set allocation between the commercial and charter sectors.  It did have a framework where at various level of abundance the charter fleet would fish under a one fish bag limit, two fish bag limit with one under 32″ and a two fish bag limit with no leasing of IFQ’s.  This proposal allowed a range of charter harvest from 12% to 30% depending upon the level of abundance in 2C and 11.8% to 30% in 3A.  The Council allowed the motion to sit overnight, while they took staff reports on 3A management measures to allow the public a chance to review, understand and offer to council members their opinions on a one to one basis.  

The final motion ended up being a catch sharing plan that has a clear allocation between sectors.  The charter fleet allocation is a fixed percentage of 15.1% in 2C except when the combined commercial and charter catch limit is below 5 million pounds when the allocation goes to 17.3%.  In 3A the allocation is 14% except when the combined commercial and charter catch limit is below 10 million pounds when the allocation goes to 15.4%.  The allocation acknowledges that management measures and projections of harvest in the charter fleet are imprecise therefore up to a 3.5% variance may occur and that overtime the variances should balance out.  The allocation is what will be used in IPHC’s calculations for determining the commercial catch limits.  The State of Alaska approach of predetermining set management measures that IPHC and NMFS will abide by at various levels of abundance as determined by the combined commercial and charter catch limit although these differ then the State’s original motion. Leasing was added as an amendment to the motion which passed with a split vote of 8 to 3 and became part of the main motion which passed the Council.

NPFMC Official draft motion:  NPFMC Motion on CSP

State of Alaska Original motion:  State Motion CSP

State of Alaska charts for motion 2C:  2C Graphs

State of Alaska charts for motion 3A:  3A Graphs

The NPFMC on Sunday morning took public testimony on the 3A management measures and took no action.

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Tulsequah Chief Mine Update

Redcorp provided the following update on the Tulsequah Chief Mine

 September continues to be a busy month on the Tulsequah Project.   Construction of the road is continuing with the priority of completing the remaining causeway and remaining 1 km of road.          
Earlier this month Ampex Mining of Whitehorse, underground contractors, arrived on site and began removing the old water and air pipes as well as  the track used during the operations in the 1950′s. This underground work is being done to prepare for modern mining which will use bigger piping and a trackless operation. 
The first of the Procon Mining & Tunneling equipment arrived on site by barge.  Water treatment plant supplies have also arrived as well as two of the 8 generators that will be used to power the mine.  Upon completion of the road and setup of the water treatment plant we will commence moving historic waste rock to the new disposal sites, one of the first steps to cleaning up the site and continuing the development of the mine.
Fabrication and assembly of the Air Cushion Barge is well underway with frame and hull fabrication at 60% complete.
 

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