Harbor Fee Costs

Kate Golden a reporter at the Juneau Empire wrote an article on the Juneau Harbor system today (3/18/08).  In her article she published the costs for various harbours around Southeast Alaska for a 40 ft boat.  So how does your harbour stack up compared to the others.

 The annual moorage fee for a 40-foot boat costs $1,687 in Juneau, $1,280 in Petersburg, $1,040 in Ketchikan, $960 in Sitka, $720 in Hoonah, $640 in Haines, $600 in Wrangell, $480 in Skagway and $410 in Pelican.

http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/031808/loc_258951066.shtml

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ADFG Spring Troll Meetings

Petersburg . . . The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced the following schedule for the commercial troll public meetings to be held in towns around Southeast Alaska: Town Date Location Time Petersburg Thursday, April 10 City Council Chambers 10:00 a.m. 

Wrangell Thursday, April 10 Fire Hall 7:00 p.m. 

Ketchikan Monday, April 14 Fish and Game Conference Room 7:00 p.m. 

Craig Tuesday, April 15 City Hall 11:00 a.m. 

Hoonah Wednesday, April 16 U.S. Forest Service Office 10:00 a.m. 

Pelican Wednesday, April 16 City Hall 1:00 p.m. 

Juneau Wednesday, April 16 ADF&G Headquarters Conference Room 6:30 p.m. 

Sitka Thursday, April 17 Harrigan Centennial Hall 7:00 p.m. 

Meeting topics will include, but are not limited to, plans for the 2008 spring and summer troll fisheries, review of the 2007 troll season and the ongoing Pacific Salmon Treaty negotiations. The executive director of the Alaska Trollers Association plans on attending these meetings as well. Anyone with an interest in the troll fishery is welcome to attend these meetings. Plans for a meeting in Yakutat will be announced at a later date.  

 

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Governor Appoints 3 Board of Fish Members

March 12, 2007, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sarah Palin today announced her recommendations to the legislature for three vacancies on the Alaska Board of Fisheries.  Governor Palin is recommending the reappointment of John Jensen, of Petersburg, and Mel Morris, of Kodiak, and the appointment of William Brown, of Juneau, to the board. 

 

“I am pleased to advance the names of these three fine individuals to the legislature for confirmation,” Governor Palin said.  “They will bring unique knowledge, expertise and balance to the process, and I am delighted that they are willing to serve on this important board.” 

 

Jensen is a lifelong resident of Petersburg and a third-generation commercial fisherman who has participated in fisheries since 1965.  He has owned and operated many different commercial fishing vessels and has participated in fisheries in Southeast Alaska, Prince William Sound, Cook Inlet, the Gulf of Alaska, the Alaska Peninsula, Bristol Bay, the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands, and Western Alaska.  Jensen currently serves as vice-chair of the board and is completing his second three-year term. 

 

Morris has been an Alaska resident for more than 50 years and currently resides in Kodiak.  His background includes experience as a fisheries biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, service in the U.S. Army and management of several fish processing companies.  He currently operates M&M Marketing.  Morris currently serves as chair of the board and is completing his second three-year term. 

 

Brown is a lifelong angler who has traveled extensively to experience new fishing opportunities.  He received a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Colorado and spent many years as a professor of economics, most recently at the University of Alaska Southeast.  Brown owns and operates a reel repair business. 

 

The seven members of the Alaska Board of Fisheries are appointed by the Governor to conserve and develop the fishery resources of the state.  The board sets seasons, bag limits, methods and means for the state’s subsistence, commercial, sport, guided sport and personal-use fisheries, and it sets policy and direction for the management of the state’s fishery resources.  The board is charged with making allocative decisions, while the Department of Fish and Game is responsible for management based on those decisions.  All appointees are subject to legislative confirmation. 

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Halibut Charter Issue on the Agenda for NPFMC Meeting

The allocation catch sharing plan/interim plan will be discussed at the NPFMC meeting in April in Anchorage.  The agenda has halibut scheduled in the SSC (Science & Statistical Committee) for Tuesday April 1st, in the Advisory Panel on Thursday April 3rd and at the Council scheduled for 8 hours Saturday and Sunday April 5th & 6th.  We have arranged a reduced hotel rate.  Please call the office if you can go to Anchorage and testify and we can provide the hotel information and advice on when you should be in Anchorage.  Halibut charter issue is not being the first item discussed at the Council meeting this time so therefore can end up being discussed earlier or later than the estimated time provided on the agenda.

The agenda is posted on the Council website and meeting materials will start showing up on the website approximately March 17th.  Comments are due to the NPFMC by March 26th.

http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc/default.htm

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Canada Places Restrictions on Halibut Recreational Fishery

On February 21st Dept of Fisheries and Ocean Canada (DFO) issued a fishery notice on the recreational halibut fishery. DFO delayed the start of the recreational fishery for one month while they picked a solution to reduce their recreational fishery from  a sport harvest in 2007 of 1.55 Mlbs to 1.08Mlbs in 2008. They reduced the harvest for a portion of the season from a two fish bag limit to a one fish bag limit and changed their electronic licensing conditions so that “no person who is not a Canadian resident may fish for or retain halibut under this license in Areas 121, 23 and 123.  For more information, visit the DFO website at: http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/recfish/Tidal/area23_e.htm

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Hobart Bay Herring Fishery Announced

Petersburg…. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced today the following information

concerning the 2008 Hobart Bay-Port Houghton (District 10) herring sac roe gillnet fishery:

No herring were harvested in the Hobart Bay-Port Houghton winter food and bait fishery by the time it

closed on February 28, 2008. By regulation, this means the 462-ton guideline harvest level will be

available for the sac roe gillnet fishery to harvest.

During the past 10 years, herring spawning has started in the Hobart Bay-Port Houghton area as early as

April 19 and as late as May 4. The average date of first spawning during the past 10 years has been April

27. The average date of peak spawning has been April 30. In 2007, spawning started on May 4.

Regulations for this fishery are the same as for the Seymour Canal herring fishery. Buoy stickers issued

for the Hobart Bay-Port Houghton fishery are also valid for the Seymour Canal fishery. The same buoys

should be used for both fisheries. Gillnetters are reminded that permit cards and picture identification

will be required to obtain the buoy stickers. Stickers are available in the Petersburg, Ketchikan and

Juneau offices until Department personnel are present on the fishing grounds. After that, buoy stickers

will only be available on the grounds.

This is the first time a sac roe fishery will occur in the Hobart Bay-Port Houghton area since the spring of

2005.

News releases web site: http://documents.cf1.adfg.state.ak.us/TopicContents.po.

Office Ketchikan Petersburg Wrangell Sitka Juneau Haines Hoonah Yakutat

ADFG 225-5195 772-3801 874-3822 747-6688 465-4250 766-2830 784-3255

AWT 225-5111 772-3983 747-3254 465-4000 945-3620

Herring Hotline 225-6870 747-1009 465-8905

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2007 SABLEFISH TAG RECOVERY INCENTIVE DRAWING WINNERS

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) announced today the winners of the annual Tag

Recovery Incentive Drawing for sablefish tags returned in 2007. The winners are:

1. Dwight Riederer F/V Falcon Enumclaw, WA $1,000

2. Jason Miller F/V Aleutian Spirit Petersburg, AK $500

3. Andy Kittams F/V Sara Dawn Petersburg, AK $500

4. Dick Curran F/V Cherokee Sitka, AK $250

5. John Waale F/V Aleutian Isle Clearlake, WA $250

6. Albert Melnychuck F/V Pacific Viking Fort Langley, BC, CAN $250

All persons who turn in an ADF&G groundfish tag receive a hat or T-shirt and a letter with the release

and recovery information for the sablefish tag(s) they returned. Each ADF&G sablefish tag returned with

valid recovery information (date of recovery and precise latitude and longitude or set number if attached

to a logbook page) was placed into the drawing, and the winning tags were randomly chosen. A total of

708 of the 1,190 ADF&G sablefish tags returned from commercial fisheries qualified for the drawing.

The drawing was held February 28, 2008 at ADF&G’s Juneau office.

The Southeast Groundfish Project has been tagging sablefish since 1979 to obtain information on

sablefish movement, growth and abundance. The tags are bright orange or green in color, approximately

three inches in length, and are located below the first dorsal fin of the fish. Sablefish tagged in the

internal waters of Southeast Alaska have been recovered from as far away as Coos Bay, Oregon and the

Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea.

Information from tagging studies provides an important contribution to the management of sablefish

fisheries. The department appreciates the participation of fishermen and processors in this program.

Additional information on Southeast Regional Groundfish Fisheries can be found on our web site at:

http://www.cf.adfg.state.ak.us/region1/finfish/grndfish/grndhom1.php

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Exxon Case argued before the Supreme Court Today

The link below will take you to a copy of the oral arguments in front of the Supreme Court today.  Interesting reading.  The decision should come out by June.

http://www.supremecourtus.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/07-219.pdf

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Senators Stevens, Murkowski, and Kennedy Champion Fishermen’s Health Care Bill


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) today introduced the Commercial Fishing Industry Health Care Coverage Act with Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.). This bill directs the federal government to work with states to help provide health insurance to commercial fishermen and their families. Congressman Don Young (R-Alaska) is sponsoring the same legislation in the U.S House of Representatives.
Reasonably priced health insurance is difficult for fishermen to obtain because of the seasonal and dangerous nature of their profession.  In addition, most fishermen are self-employed or work for small businesses.  These factors drive up the costs of health insurance premiums.  Surveys conducted in different parts of the country show fishing families are significantly more likely to be uninsured than other Americans. 
The United Fishermen of Alaska (UFA) recently completed a survey, concluding that Alaskan commercial fishermen’s options for both health care delivery and insurance are limited.  UFA estimates that there are thousands of uninsured Alaska fisherman.   Alaska fishermen are more likely to work and live in communities without a hospital, while fewer private insurance companies offer individual or small business medical coverage in Alaska than in other states.
“Alaskans don’t have to watch Deadliest Catch to know that commercial fishing can be perilous,” said Senator Stevens. “But what alarms us is how difficult it is for fishermen to get affordable health care. This legislation addresses this growing problem by allowing fishermen to band together to purchase group coverage, which will give them an opportunity to get the health care they need.”
“This legislation will provide Alaskan fishermen and their families better access to comprehensive health insurance,” said Senator Murkowski.  “As health care becomes more expensive, families may be forced to look to other professions for access to insurance.  It would be a travesty to see the fleet of commercial fishermen dwindle because they simply can’t afford to keep themselves and their families healthy.”
The Commercial Fishing Industry Health Care Coverage Act would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to fund health care grants for commercial fishing states or organizations. The $50 million in funding authorized in this bill could also be used to help offset individual’s health insurance costs. In addition, commercial fishermen and their families who have no health insurance or who are underinsured could qualify for the health insurance programs set forth in this bill.  
The legislation would authorize a series of grant programs. To qualify for these funds, states or organizations must provide matching funds of $1 for every $2 in federal funding. Under the plans, coverage would extend to boat owners, captains, and crew, as well as other individuals performing fishing industry-related work, such as shore-side support company employees, and their families.
·    Research and Program Planning Grants – HHS would provide up to $200,000 annually for up to two years to organizations or states to conduct initial research and planning for development of a qualified health care coverage program within the state.
·    Implementation and Program Administration Grants – Programs that have completed the research and planning phase would be able to apply for initial implementation grants for up to $2 million annually for two years.
·        Administration Grants – Established programs would be eligible for administration grants of up to $3 million a year for up to five years.
·    Continued Administration Grants –  Programs that received administration grants for the full five years of eligibility, could apply for grants of up to $3 million annually for up to five years, if the state they serve  experiences insufficient fish stocks or depressed markets that jeopardize the ability of the program to continue providing affordable health care coverage.

Companion legislation was introduced on the House of Represenatives by Kennedy, Kerry, Frank, Tierney and Delahunt 

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Dr Jim Balsiger appointed as Acting Assistant Administrator for Fisheries (NMFS)

VADM Lautenbacher called Dr. Jim Balsiger today with confirmation of his selection by White House Personnel to serve as the Acting Assistant Administrator for Fisheries for the remainder of the Bush Administration.  This is great news for the National Marine Fisheries Service as this will ensure continuity of leadership during the last year of this Administration. 

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