Gov Palin Announces appointment to CFAB

Governor Palin appointed Chris McDowell to the Alaska Commercial Fishing and Agricultural Bank Board of Directors (CFAB).  The governor appoints two of the seven-member CFAB, which manages the assets of and selects officers to the bank. CFAB was created to address limitations to the access to credit by resident Alaska commercial seafood harvesters, processors and farmers.  In 2000, CFAB’s statute was amended to expand its lending authority to include tourism- and resource-based industries. 

McDowell, of Juneau, has been the lead Seafood Industry Project Manager of the Salmon Market Information Service since 1998 and is widely acknowledged as one of Alaska’s leading experts on world salmon markets.  He is a lifetime Alaska resident and has been a vessel owner and permit-holder in three Alaska commercial salmon fisheries for more than 20 years. 

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Legislation introduced with possible Fuel Subsidies

H.R. 2133 was introduced in the House by Representative Allen of Maine.  Here is the section on commercial fishing: 

`SEC. 45O. TEMPORARY CREDIT FOR SMALL BUSINESSES, FARMERS, AND FISHERMEN TO OFFSET HIGH FUEL COSTS.  

`(a) Allowance of Credit- In the case of an eligible taxpayer, the excessive fuel cost credit determined under this section is an amount equal to the excessive fuel cost paid or incurred by the taxpayer during the taxable year for any creditable fuel used in any trade or business of the taxpayer. `(b) Excessive Fuel Cost- For purposes of this section– 

`(1) IN GENERAL- The term `excessive fuel cost’ means, with respect to any creditable fuel, the excess (if any) of– `(A) the amount paid or incurred by the taxpayer for such fuel, over 

`(B) the adjusted base price for such fuel. `(2) ADJUSTED BASE PRICE- 

`(A) IN GENERAL- The term `adjusted base price’ means, with respect to any creditable fuel, the amount determined by the Secretary to be the applicable Labor Day 2004 price for such fuel adjusted for inflation. `(B) APPLICABLE PRICE- The applicable Labor Day 2004 price for any fuel is the average price for such fuel for the region in which the taxpayer purchased such fuel (as determined using data of the Energy Information Agency of the Department of Energy). 

`(C) INFLATION ADJUSTMENT- The inflation adjustment shall be determined under the principles of section 1(f); except that, the Secretary shall use estimates of the monthly Consumer Price Index (as defined in such section) where possible to more closely reflect current inflation. `(c) Eligible Taxpayer- For purposes of this section– 

`(1) IN GENERAL- The term `eligible taxpayer’ means any person engaged in a trade or business if– `(A) such trade or business is– 

`(i) a farming business (as defined in section 263A(e)(4)), or `(ii) commercial fishing (as defined in section 3 of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1802)), or 

`(B) such person is a small business. `(2) SMALL BUSINESS- The term `small business’ means a trade or business that employs an annual average of not more than 50 employees. 

`(3) CREDITABLE FUEL- The term `creditable fuel’ means– `(A) gasoline, 

`(B) diesel fuel, `(C) heating oil, and 

`(D) natural gas. `(d) Adjustment of Standard Mileage Rate- An eligible taxpayer may elect, in lieu of the credit under this section, a standard mileage allowance under section 162 equal to 60 cents for each mile traveled during the period described in subsection (e). The Secretary shall modify the standard mileage rate under the preceding sentence to the extent that 60 cents does not accurately reflect that value of the credit under this section. 

`(e) Application of Section- This section shall apply to fuels purchased during the 2-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this section.’. (b) Credit To Be Part of General Business Credit- Subsection (b) of section 38 of such Code is amended by striking `plus’ at the end of paragraph (30), by striking the period at the end of paragraph (31) and inserting `, plus’, and by adding at the end the following new paragraph: 

`(32) in the case of an eligible taxpayer (as defined in section 45O(c)), the excessive fuel cost credit determined under section 45O(a).’. (c) Clerical Amendment- The table of sections for subpart D of part IV of subchapter A of chapter 1 of such Code is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 45N the following new item: 

`Sec. 45O. Temporary credit for small businesses, farmers, and fishermen to offset high fuel costs’. (d) Effective Date- The amendments made by this section shall apply to taxable years ending after the date of the enactment of this Act. 

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Habitat Move Back to ADFG Underway

the following email from Commissioner of Fish and Game was posted on the internet and thought I would post it on this site, to provide an update of what is happening on the move of habitat division back to ADFG.

From: Lloyd, Denby S (DFG)
Sent: Thursday, April 24, 2008 3:57 PM
To: DFG.All.Staff; DNR OHMP

Subject: Update on the Habitat Move
Folks:
I wanted to provide you all an update regarding the move of Habitat Division (OHMP-DNR) back to ADF&G:
1.) The main organizational components of the new Habitat Division have been formulated. The structure includes 3 new Regional Supervisor positions: in Juneau, Anchorage, and Fairbanks. These positions will be posted on Workplace Alaska this week and all qualified ADF&G and OHMP staff are encouraged to apply. Kerry Howard, Al Ott, and Charlie Swanton will be the hiring team for these regional supervisor slots.

2.) While the new Regional Supervisors are learning their jobs, the other 4 existing OHMP Area Offices (Palmer, Soldotna, Petersburg, and Prince of Wales) will continue to report to the OHMP Operations Manager (who will be reclassified to an ADF&G Deputy Director). Eventually these Area Managers will report to their geographic regional supervisors, as is the model elsewhere within ADF&G.

3.) Although Executive Order 114 doesn’t go into effect until July 1st, the OHMP Anchorage office will physically move to Raspberry Road on May 23rd. Plans are also underway to move the Juneau OHMP offices to Douglas and Headquarters offices of ADF&G. Thanks to all Divisions for their assistance and cooperation in finding space for ADF&G’s new employees.

4.) Seven Sport Fish Region V permitting staff will be joining the new Habitat Division. Over the last 4 years, these staff have made great progress in enhancing the management of legislatively-designated Special Areas. I would like to see that enhancement continue when Habitat assumes the special area duties. For the first time, Habitat will have two staff dedicated to Special Area planning and I’ve requested that the Divisions of Habitat and Wildlife Conservation staff work closely together to ensure coordinated management of these areas. Special area permitting will be done by Habitat biologists, by geographic area, which is how the former Habitat Division historically operated at ADF&G.
Now that the organizational and logistical aspects of the Habitat move are in play, it is time to focus upon developing a vision, mission statement, core services, and guiding principles on how the reconstituted Habitat Division will best help the department provide opportunities for resource development while conserving Alaska’s fish and wildlife.
As I have said before, I am excited to have Habitat return to ADF&G. I thank all of you for your continued assistance. And, I want to share my appreciation of Kerry Howard, Ken Taylor, and Tom Brookover for their efforts and forbearance; they’ve been working hard to make this transition smooth and effective.
If you have questions or concerns about the move, please feel free to contact Kerry, Ken, or Tom.
Best, DL.
Denby S. Lloyd
Commissioner
Alaska Department of Fish and Game
P.O. Box 115526
Juneau, AK 99811-5526
907-465-4719

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Official Board of Fish Teleconference Summary

ALASKA BOARD OF FISHERIES

Teleconference

Southeast King Salmon Sport Fishery

April 28, 2008

Summary of Actions

The Alaska Board of Fisheries (board) met by teleconference on April 28, 2008 to consider possible emergency regulations regarding sport fishing for king salmon fishing in Southeast Alaska.  Six of seven board members were in attendance (Morris absent).  Public listen-only sites were available in Ketchikan, Petersburg, Sitka, and Juneau. 

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game recently announced a 48 percent reduction in the Southeast Alaska king salmon harvest quota for the 2008 season.  The board considered possible adjustments to the sport fishing regulations beyond those announced by the department in a April 9, 2008 Emergency Order, including modifying the date of a salmon derby, allowing for in-season adjustment to regulations, and modifying the number of allowable lines for charter boats. 

The board adopted a finding of emergency based on the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety, or general welfare as provided for in Alaska Statute 44.62.250.

The board adopted an emergency regulation to apply to the 2008 season that would 1) allow retention of king salmon 28 inches or greater in length during the period of July 15-Sept. 30 by resident anglers, and 2) allow charter boats to use up to six lines in May and June.  In addition from July 15 through September 30 nonresidents may only retain king salmon 48 inches or greater in length.

The board noted that a key consideration from a resident fishing perspective was that prohibiting the retention of king salmon 28-inches or greater after August 1 for residents would essentially close an important fishing opportunity.  The action taken was intended by the board to allow for continued sport fishing opportunity for king salmon in marine waters for unguided sport anglers, consistent with board finding #1993-142-FB.  It was understood that a week-long reduction in non-resident fishing would make up the difference to allow an additional two months of resident fishing time in terms of conservation savings. 

The board also noted that a key consideration from a charter fleet perspective was avoiding a reduction in the number of lines allowed per vessel from six down to four, particularly during the months of May and June.  It was understood by the board that an additional week of non-resident fishing restriction in July would make up the difference in conservation savings that could be achieved by a reduction in the number of lines to four. 

The board addressed the allocation criteria, the sustainable salmon fisheries policy, and discussed costs to the public.  The board clarified its intent to delegate to the Commissioner the authority to adopt the emergency regulation permanently.  The emergency regulation will sunset on September 30, 2008.

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Board of Fish Tweaks Southeast Sport Fish King Salmon Management Plan

The Board of Fish met today by teleconference to discuss issues raised by implementing for the first time management measures listed in the management plan for abundance index less than 1.1.  The Board of Fish passed a motion for an emergency regulation:

1.) that maintains 6 lines or the number of paying clients on board for charter operators;

2.) The resident restriction in August thru September for 48″ or larger only kings was removed; and in return

3.) the restriction on non-residents keeping fish under 48″ was moved earlier to July 15th instead of August 1st.

The savings from moving the non-resident restriction of 48″ or larger for kings kept to July 15th makes up for the estimated changes on line limits and removing the restriction from residents.

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Board of Fish meets by Teleconference on SE King Salmon sport fish management plan

The Board of Fish will meet by Teleconference Monday, April 28th at 9:00 am to discuss three issues raised by joint petition for consideration in regards to the Southeast sport fish king salmon managment plan.  This includes changing the dates that the inside area are open for the Golden North King salmon Derby which has changed dates since the plan was developed, consider the four fish line regulation and to determine if the ability exists to judge in season the approximate harvest and possibly relax regulations if it doesn’t look like they will reach their allocation by the end of the year. 

for additional information, an agenda and ADFG issues paper on these three items:

http://www.boards.adfg.state.ak.us/fishinfo/meetinfo/fcal.php

The teleconference will be listen only – no public testimony will be taken but you can listen in to the teleconference from the Ketchikan, Petersburg, Sitka or Juneau ADFG offices.


 

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Icicle Seafoods Purchases Smoki Foods and Subsidiaries

Icicle Seafoods reached an agreement to acquire Smoki Foods, a processor of fresh and frozen seafood, along with its subsidiaries, American Gold Seafoods, the only US owned and operated salmon farming company, and Cypress Island Seafoods, a processing plant in Blaine, Washington.

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Gillnet King Salmon Opening Announced in District 8

Wrangell. . . The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced today the first opening of the 

Southeast Alaska drift gillnet fishery beginning Monday, May 5, 2008. This opening is directed at returns of Stikine River king salmon and will occur in the following areas: 

District 8: will be open from 8:00 a.m., Monday, May 5 through 8:00 a.m., Wednesday, May 7 with the following restrictions: Stikine River: waters off the Stikine River will be closed north and west of a line from Babbler Point to Hour Point, and north and east of a line from Point Highfield to the southern end of Liesnoi Island to the southern end of Greys Island to the small island near the eastern entrance of Blind Slough to the nearest point of Mitkof Island, and south and east of a line from the prominent point of Mitkof Island nearest Coney Island to the northern end of Coney Island to a point 500 yards north of Jap Creek on the mainland shore. Beacon Point/Point Frederick Area: waters of Frederick Sound will be closed west of a line from the District 10 boundary one nautical mile off the Kupreanof Island shoreline to Sukoi Island Light to Point Frederick. Bear Creek (Eastern Mitkof Island): waters of Frederick Sound will be closed south of 56 42.91’ N. lat., and west of 132 41.38’ W. long. Wrangell Harbor Area: waters off the Stikine River will be closed within one-quarter mile of the shoreline on the western side of Wrangell Island north of the latitude of Cemetery Point. 

 

Gillnet Gear Restrictions: The gear allowed will be the standard length and depth (300 fathoms and 60 meshes); from the first Monday in May through the second Saturday in June, the minimum mesh size is 7 inches. Drift gillnet fishermen are asked to notify management biologists, who will be monitoring the fishery, of any incidences of steelhead catch. Gillnetters will be required to record any steelhead that are retained on fish tickets during the five weeks of the directed king salmon gillnet fishery. 

 

King salmon less than 28” that are harvested in the commercial drift gillnet fisheries may be retained and sold as usual. King salmon less than 28″ in length and those of Alaska hatchery origin will not be counted against the Alaskan share of the Pacific Salmon Treaty harvest. Processors should record the numbers of king salmon less than 28” on the fish tickets as well as the numbers of king salmon 28” or greater. Fish and Game samplers working at the processing facilities will identify hatchery-reared king salmon so those fish are not counted against the Alaskan share of the harvest. 

 

Copies of the “2008 Southeast Alaska Drift Gillnet Fishery Management Plan” may be obtained at department area offices and from the department web site: 

http://www.cf.adfg.state.ak.us/region1/finfish/salmon/s1mp.php 

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Lynn Canal Herring ESA Listing Decision Announced

NMFS published on April 11 in the federal register, that the listing of hte Lynn Canal Pacific Herring as a threatened or endangered under the ESA is not warranted because this population does not constitute a species, subspecies or distinct population segment (DPS) under the ESA.  However, the Lynn Canal population is part of a larger DPS of Pacific herring that may warrant listing under the ESA, and, therefore, WE INITIATE A STATUS REVIEW TO EVALUATE THE STATUS OF THE SOUTHEAST ALASKA HERRING POPULATION AS A DPS STOCK TO BE A CANDIDATE SPECIES UNDER THE ESA.

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2008 King Salmon Quota Allocations for Individual Gear Groups

Petersburg. . The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced today that under management provisions of the Pacific Salmon Treaty, the 2008 Southeast Alaska all-gear harvest quota is 170,000 treaty Chinook. This results in a commercial troll fishery pre-season Chinook salmon harvest allocation of 125,410 fish. These abundance-based harvest levels represent a reduction of approximately 48% from the 2007 quota.
The all-gear quota is allocated among commercial and sport fisheries according to management plans established by the Alaska Board of Fisheries. The Chinook salmon allocations specified by gear group are as follows:
ALLOCATION:
Troll 125,410
Purse seine 7,310
Set and drift gillnet 5,930
Sport 31,350
QUOTA: All-gear 170,000
 

Trollers are advised that the catch allocations presented here do not include the majority of Stikine River Chinook salmon that may be harvested in commercial and sport fisheries in District 8. For more information on this issue, please refer to the news release issued out of the Petersburg office on February 1, 2008. The reduction in the all-gear quota and the troll allocation will likely result in reduced fishing time and harvest opportunities for Chinook salmon in the summer troll fishery. However, because we don’t know what the final harvest of non-Alaska hatchery fish (Treaty fish) will be in the winter and spring fisheries, the magnitude of any reduced fishing time will not actually be known until just prior to the first summer season Chinook salmon opening on July 1. The summer troll quota is calculated by subtracting the winter and spring fishery Treaty Chinook salmon harvest (there is no specific total limit on the number of Treaty Chinook salmon that may be harvested in the spring fishery) from the annual troll allocation and 70% of the total summer allocation is targeted in the first summer Chinook salmon opening. In addition, we do not know if the first summer opening will be managed inseason rather than for a fixed number of days and that decision will also be announced just prior to the July 1 opening.

 

 The preseason Chinook salmon all-gear quota and troll allocation represent very significant reductions from the past six years and are the smallest preseason allowable catches since implementation of the 1999 Pacific Salmon Treaty Agreement.
 

 

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