October NPFMC meeting will be reviewing the allocation and compensated reallocation Analysis

Your attendance to protect your IFQ investment is needed at the October or December Council meeting.  In October the Council will do the initial review of the halibut charter allocation and compensated reallocation plans with final action scheduled for December.  SEAFA has made arrangements at the Historic Anchorage Hotel or Howard Johnsons for a group rate on hotel rooms.  To get the code for the group rate call the SEAFA office at 586-6652.  Please let us know if you will be attending the October or December meeting so that we can keep you informed of any strategy meetings planned during the Council meeting.

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Redfern Submits Application for Hoverbarge

The Tulsequah Chief Mine filed their application for use of a hoverbarge to move the mine ore downriver to Juneau for shipment on AML up to Skagway and then to the bulk ore facility to be loaded on oceangoing freighters.  They expect that the hoverbarge will take one trip a day but this could be delayed if necessary.  State of Alaska is reviewing the plan but has not had time to determine if the application holds sufficient detail to make a decision but will weigh in on the Canadian application process.  The hoverbarge is is a vessel that rides on a cushion of air and can transit the river even at low water.  The barge will be towed during high water by a shallow-draft tug and by an “amphitrac” during most of the year. The amphitrac is an amphibious vehicle that can move from water to dry ground.

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Charlie Swanton Appointed Director of Sport Fish

Alaska Department of Fish and Game

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug. 6, 2007

Charlie Swanton Appointed Director of Sport Fish for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game

JUNEAU – Commissioner Denby Lloyd today announced the appointment of Charlie Swanton as director of the Division of Sport Fish for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G). Currently, Swanton is the Southeast Regional supervisor for Sport Fish with the department.

“Charlie brings a wide range of experience and knowledge to the director’s job,” said Commissioner Lloyd in announcing the appointment. “He has worked all over Alaska, and he’s dedicated and enthusiastic about creating sport fishing opportunities for all Alaskans.”

Swanton earned degrees from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the University of Washington. He began his career with ADF&G in various research positions with the Division of Commercial Fisheries, but more recently has been the regional management supervisor and Southeast Regional Supervisor with the Division of Sport Fish. Charlie’s career has given him exposure to fisheries in the Chignik and Kodiak areas, throughout the broad Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim region based out of Fairbanks, and in Southeast Alaska.

“I’m extremely pleased that Charlie agreed to bring his skills and intelligence to this important position,” Lloyd said. Swanton’s first official day as Sport Fish Director will be Aug. 13.

Swanton replaces outgoing Sport Fish Director Kelly Hepler, who served in that role for seven years. Hepler leaves the job after a distinguished 28-year career at ADF&G.

The Division of Sport Fish is responsible for fisheries stock assessment and management, development of public access for sport fishing and boating, hatcheries, and planning, information and education services. The division employs more than 400 full-time and seasonal employees and has an annual budget of more than $40 million.


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Icicle Seafoods bought by Private Equity Firm

The Board of Directors approved a merger and is encouraging the stockholders to accept the agreement with Fox Paine Management III, LLC, a private equity firm based in San Francisco and New York.  The merger was announced on Sunday, August 5th, 2007.  Don Giles will remain the President and CEO.

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ADFG Announces the Closure of the Commerical King Crab Season for the fall of 2007

ADFG announced the early closure of District 11-A to the personal use fishery as of Saturday July 14th because of the low survey results and that the commerical season would be closed this year.  The announcement is on the ADFG website at http://documents.cf1.adfg.state.ak.us/AdfgDocument.po?DOCUMENT=12097

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Southeast Grant Opportunities

The Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development is pleased to announce the opening of the following three grant programs: 

 

Southeast Fisheries Economic Development Program (FEDP) 

Southeast Salmon Vessel Quality Upgrade Program (SAVQUP) 

Southeast Alaska Salmon Marketing Program (ASMP) 

 

For more information and application guides, please visit the links above.  Applications must be postmarked by September 10, 2007.  Applications under the ASMP and FEDP programs will undergo a competitive review process after the deadline has passed.  SAVQUP applications will be reviewed on a first come, first served basis, so please do not wait until the deadline to submit an application under that program. 

 

If you applied under the 2006 SAVQUP (announced in November 2006) and have not been informed of the status of your application, you remain in the queue for available funds and need not reapply. 

 

NOTE: Federal funds used to carry out these grant programs come from the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund.  As a condition of that funding, projects must be salmon-related and located in Southeast Alaska.  If you do not operate in Southeast Alaska, please do not apply. 

 

Thank you.  Once you have reviewed the application guides, please contact me with any additional questions. 

 

Debbie Maas 

Grants Administrator 

907-465-2023 

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ADFG Sport Fish Director Kelly Hepler Resigns

Kelly Hepler, Director of Sport Fish Division resigned from ADFG effective August 11th.  We wish Kelly well in his future endeavors.

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NOAA Announces Regional Fisheries Management Council Appts.

NOAA announced the appointment of Duncan Fields and Sam Cotten to the NPFMC.  Governor Palin had submitted a list of three names for both seats up for appointment.  Her preferred alternatives were Duncan Fields and Beth Stewart.  The press release from NOAA can be read at http://www.publicaffairs.noaa.gov/releases2007/jun07/noaa07-r118.html

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Local Fishermen Invited to Meeting to Discuss Barge Schedule for Tulsequah Chief Mine

Redcorp-Ventures and Refern Resource would like to invite commerical fishermen (gillnet & crab) or any interested individuals to a meeting Thursday, June 21,st at 4:30 pm in Centennial Hall to discuss construction barge traffic for planning purposes to try and avoid interference in fishing operations.

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Rivers Without Borders Press Release on Tulsequah Chief Mine

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                     
June 19, 2007                                              
Chris Zimmer,  Rivers Without Borders,
907/586-4905
 

ALASKA AND FEDERAL AGENCIES RAISE MAJOR CONCERNS AND QUESTIONS ABOUT REDCORP HOVERBARGE PLAN Salmon Impacts and Lack of Detail Signal Delays for Tulsequah Chief Mine
 

 (JUNEAU)  Alaska and US federal agencies have formally raised a host of concerns about Redcorp’s hoverbarge plan, including significant risks to Taku salmon, a worrisome lack of detail and the need for extensive scientific analysis of the untested technology.  New information from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG), the Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Department of the Interior (DOI) also indicates Redcorp’s fast track permitting and development schedule is unrealistic and the hoverbarge plan faces a very uncertain future.
 

“Redcorp clearly has a large number of hurdles before Alaska agencies will even consider granting them permits for the hoverbarge,” said Chris Zimmer of Rivers Without Borders.  “The agencies rightly have strong concerns about Taku salmon and are insisting they need more details about the proposal and more time to analyze it.  Southeast Alaska’s most important salmon river is no place to experiment with unproven and high-risk technology.”
 

The junior Canadian mining company Redcorp Ventures is pushing to reopen the Tulsequah Chief Mine, an abandoned mine just across the BC-Alaska border that has been leaking acid and toxic heavy metals into the Taku watershed for decades.  This winter, Redcorp announced it is placing on hold its plans to construct a 100-mile access road from Atlin, BC to the mine site, about 40 miles northeast of Juneau.
It now plans to use an amphibious tug boat and a hovercraft- like barge to access the mine via Juneau and the Taku River.
 

In May ADFG biologists wrote and sent to DNR two memos outlining a long list of concerns and problems with Redcorp’s hoverbarge proposal.  The memos outline serious risks to the Taku’s fishery which, according to the McDowell Group, supports hundreds of jobs and provides about $8 million in annual revenues.
Important concerns from the memos include:
•           “damage [to] valuable salmon spawning and rearing habitat which will lead to
reduced numbers of salmon”
•           “this critical habitat area of the lower Taku River watershed should [not] be the
testing ground for the unproven application of this technology.”
•           “none of the information provided by the applicant demonstrates prior use of
this equipment in an environment like that of the Taku River.”
 

Rivers Without Borders (RWB) has learned DNR staff is taking the ADFG concerns seriously and have requested a significant amount of information from Redcorp in a June 13 letter.  RWB also learned that the need for additional data, for significant revisions to Redcorp’s permit applications and for Alaska agency staff to have adequate time to analyze the hoverbarge proposal will take far more time than Redcorp’s schedules and promotional materials indicate.
 

“Redcorp is trying to fast track this process for its own financial reasons.
Alaska’s first priority has to be the salmon and the working families that depend on the fishery.  We are glad state and federal agencies recognize the importance of the Taku to Southeast Alaska and will put this proposal through the most stringent review possible. That means no permits unless Redcorp proves this experimental technology won’t harm the Taku fishery,” said Zimmer.
 

In comments submitted to the BC government June 13 DOI focused on the difficulty of analyzing the hoverbarge proposal since “there is no experience in using the ACB [hoverbarge] with the amphitrac [tow vehicle].”  DOI’s six pages of questions reflect most of the ADFG concerns related to water quality and salmon.  The US EPA concurred with DOI’s comments and added a specific request for a detailed cumulative effects analysis.
 

ADFG noted numerous significant omissions in Redcorp’s General Waterway/Waterbody Application and Coastal Project Questionnaire, both required as part of the Alaska permitting process.  DNR confirms that the two applications will have to be re-done and that a Land Use permit application has yet to be submitted.  Redcorp says it will issue a Volume Two Project Description in July, which may provide the information needed for a more detailed analysis, but information from DNR and ADFG suggests that Volume Two will likely be significantly delayed.
 

“Redcorp has to amend two Alaska permit applications due to serious errors and omissions and hasn’t yet submitted the third required application while US and Alaska agencies are raising strong concerns and demanding much more detail about this untested hoverbarge,” added Zimmer.  “I can’t imagine how Redcorp can meet its optimistic project schedule given this level of scrutiny and the entire hoverbarge proposal is now in question.”

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