Tulsequah Chief Mine Comment Period and Public Hearing Time Changes

The public meeting has been rescheduled for Monday, Feb. 4, 2008, 7:00-9:30 pm at Centennial Hall in Juneau and the close of comment period has been changed to Feb 21, 2008. 

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Results of 2008 IPHC Annual Meeting

The IPHC meeting ended this morning, Friday January 18th with the announcement of the catch limits and other actions taken by the Commissioners.  In Alaska, the Commissioners accepted the staff catch limit recommendations.  The season dates will be March 8 to November 15, 2008

The 2008 Catch Limits

Area                 2007 Catch Limit          Staff Recommendation      2008 Catch Limit

2A                   1.34                             1.00                                         1.22

2B                    11.47                           8.06                                         9.00

2C                   8.51                             6.21                                         6.21

3A                   26.20                           24.22                                       24.22

3B                    9.22                             10.9                                         10.9

4A                   2.89                             3.10                                         3.10

4B                    1.44                             1.86                                         1.86

4CDE              4.10                             3.89                                         3.89

The Commissioners spoke specifically to the Area 2C charter situation.  They stated that they spent alot of time on the issue but that there was no way to change the harvest rate, or biomass to change the effect to the charter industry.  That further actions will be addressed at the NPFMC.

By the Commissioners accepting the staff catch limits this brings the charter GHL according to federal regulation to 930,000 lbs compared to the 1.432 that they have been operating under.

 

Other Actions:

The Commissioners adopted staff proposals to put in regulations the standard deduction of 10% for heading & gutting and 2% for ice and slime; further defining the sport regulations that it is illegal to fillet halibut beyond 4 fletches, 2 ventral and 2 dorsal with the skin; adopted the WDF sablefish logbook as a legal halibut logbook.  On public proposals submitted, the Commissioners adopted the proposals to prohibit tagging of halibut unless approved by IPHC or appropriate state/provincial governments, allowing the combining of Area 4 fish with the use of VMS.  Two public proposals were asked to be reworked for next year, these include allowing sport/personal use shellfish pots onboard and the prohibition of electric or hydraulic reels when sport fishing.

The Commissioners directed staff to analyze the issue of lowering the commercial size limit and the implications of; to analyze halibut by-catch issues and update the 1991 report with a workshop in 2009; in early fall of 2008 have a workshop on the apportionment, migration and harvest policies; write letters to NMFS enforcement and ADFG enforcement regarding charter enforcement activities and actions.

The tenative dates for the annual meeting in 2009 in Vancouver is the week of January 12th.

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IPHC Meets Jan 14-18

The IPHC will be meeting January 14-18, 2008 to determine the 2008 catch limits and season starting dates.  We will post the information as soon as they announce it.  The IPHC staff is recommending moving to a coastwise model after a scientific peer review and thoroughly answering questions raised last year when they recommended the new model.  The State of Alaska is supporting the change in the model as the best available science.  The State of Alaska also came out against the proposal requiring VMS and suggests that if IPHC believes that VMS is necessary to contact the appropriate regulatory body (in Alaska the NPFMC) in each country. 

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Ed Dersham Approved for the NPFMC

The Secretary of Commerce approved Governor Palin’s first choice, Ed Dersham for the NPFMC seat.  Ed will be replacing Ed Rasmusson who resigned in December. 

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Tanner Season

The 2008 tanner season will be 6 days in the core area and 11 days in the non-core areas.  The fishery starts on Feb. 12, 2008, 12:00 noon.  Registration deadline is January 14, 2008 and registering after this date will incur a $45 late fee.  The full announcement is located at: http://documents.cf1.adfg.state.ak.us/AdfgDocument.po?DOCUMENT=14717

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5 Gillnetters were Cited for Wanton Waste Violations

In October of 2007, Alaska Wildlife Troopers began investigating chum salmon roe deliveries made by commercial fishermen,  The law requires that the salmon carcass must be utilized, but in some cases the carcasses were disposed of after the roe was removed.  The fishermen were charged with Class A misdemeanors which require a court appearance.  Besides the wanton waste violations,  some of the fishermen were also charged with failure to record a landing of salmon and processing without a current DEC permit.

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Tulsequah Comment Period Extended to Feb 4, 2008

Comments on the Tulsequah Chief Mine have been extended by an additional 15 days with comments now due by Feb 4th, 2008 and the public meeting in Juneau moved to January 24, 2008.  Alaska permits that are under consideration have to do with the river barging operation.  In the application for a Fish Habitat Permit and Land use Permit along with the Alaska Coastal Zone Management consistency review the proposed activity is described as a river barging operation.  “The primary fleet includes two air cushion barges, one marine tug, one shallow draft tyg and two amphitracs.  Secondary vessels that will accompany the fleet include a small power boat or jet boat that will operate during the open-water season on the river and snow machines that will be employed during the winter season.  These ancillary vessels will assist in navigation and to provide support in teh event of emergencies.  In addition to these vessels, an additional barge and shallow draft tug will be available to provide extra transport capacity at times when additional trips are required to make up for delays due to bad weather, maintenance, etc.”

Additional information on the Tulsequah Mine at the State websites:

http://www.alaskacoast.state.ak.us/ look at right hand side of page under projects

http://www.dnr.state.ak.us/mlw/mining/largemine/tulsequah/index.htm

http://www.hovertrans.com/hover_barges.htm  Shows videos of hoverbarges

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State Charter Limited Entry Discussion Looks At Professional Licensing

The taskforce on state charter limited entry met in late November and started looking at professional occupational licensing as the first step towards limited entry in the charter industry.  The Big Game Guide licensing and board are being looked at as a model on how to design a program.  One of the purposes in  looking at this issue is to get a handle on the “unguided-guiding” (bare-boat rental, outfitting etc).  The next meeting of the workgroup is January 8-9, 2008 in Anchorage. 

More information  can be viewed or comments submitted to the Department on their website at

http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/statewide/guides/GSpecIssues.cfm

Look at the bottom of the page under related discussion – project plan

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Clay Bezenek and Alan Andersen appointed to Fishermen’s Fund Advisory Board

Governor Palin appointed Alan Andersen and Clay Bezenek to the Fishermen’s Fund Advisory and Appeals Council. 

The Council oversees the administration of the Fishermen’s Fund, a state-run program which provides medical benefits to Alaska’s licensed commercial fishermen who are injured or become ill while commercial fishing in Alaska.  The Fund receives a portion of resident and nonresident commercial fishing license and permit fees, and uses those funds to pay benefits to injured fishermen.  The Council also reviews appeals of decisions by the Fund administrator. 

Andersen, of Sitka, began commercial fishing with his father at age 12, and has spent 33 years in Southeast Alaska fisheries, as a salmon troller, and halibut and herring fisherman.  He has served as a director of the Seafood Producers’ Cooperative for 18 years, helping build the Sitka plant that processes two-thirds of its members’ catch.  He has served for 10 years on the board of the Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association, a self-sustaining salmon hatchery operation.  He has also worked in tax accounting.  Andersen earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics from Western Washington University in Bellingham.  He was appointed to represent District 2, northern Southeast Alaska. 

Bezenek, of Ketchikan, has been a commercial fisherman in Alaska for 24 years, fishing for crab, herring, halibut, black cod and salmon variously in the Bering Sea, Southeast, and Bristol Bay, and participating in shellfish dive fisheries in Southeast.  He has owned a seafood processing plant in Craig since 1983.  He was a founding member, and for three years a board member, of Southeast Alaska Regional Dive Fisheries Association (SARDA).  Bezenek also served on Ketchikan’s advisory board for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.  He studied biology at Concordia College in Moorehead, Minnesota, and holds a U.S. Coast Guard 50-ton license.  He was appointed to represent District 1, southern Southeast Alaska. 

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Southeast Tanner and Golden King Crab Fishery starts Feb. 12th / Registration deadline Jan 14th

Douglas . . . The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced today that the seasons for the 2007/08 commercial Tanner and golden king crab fisheries in Southeast Alaska will open by regulation at 12:00 noon on Tuesday, February 12, 2008. The season start for the Tanner and golden king crab fisheries was changed by the Alaska Board of Fisheries in 2005 to: “the smallest Juneau tidal range between February 10 and February 17” [5 AAC 35.110. and 5 AAC 34.110 (b)], with the intention of minimizing gear loss in the golden king crab fishery at the beginning of the season and minimizing the intensity in both fisheries by maintaining the golden king crab season concurrent with the Tanner crab season. The registration deadline for both fisheries will be Monday, January 14, 2008. According to SEC 16.05.065(b), registrants after that date will be required to pay a $45.00 late fee. The Department is in the process of finalizing the details of the Tanner crab fishery. These details will be announced in a subsequent news release. The guideline harvest levels (GHLs) for the upcoming golden king crab fishery will not change from the 2006/07 fishery. These GHLs and other details will be announced in a subsequent news release. Both the Tanner and GKC 2007/08 news releases will be announced during the week of January 7, 2008. 

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

Office Ketchikan Petersburg Wrangell Sitka Juneau Haines 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 766-2533 

 

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