Swiftsure Foods of Washington with a plant in Sitka (Baranof Seafoods) is being investigated for mislabeling coho salmon as king salmon.Â A search warrant was served at both facilities but no charges have been filed as they continue the investigation.
The Ninth Circuit Court of AppealsÂ refused to reconsider the Exxon ValdezÂ case and toldÂ Exxon to pay the 2.5 Billion dollars punitive damages to the fishermen.Â Exxon has already stated that they will take the case to the US Supreme Court.Â
The full Senate passed HB 186 the evening of May 15th unanimously.Â The bill is now awaiting transmittal to the Governor.
This legislation allowed ADFG to share charter logbook data with NMFS/NOAA enforcement.Â The legislation was supported by the charter industry and commerical longline industry equally.
SEAFA would like to thank the legislature for supporting and passing this legislation that both sectors agreed was important this session with an immediate effective date.Â This will make all management measures being looked at by The North Pacific Fishery Management Council in June for 2C and October for 3A viable without the development of a second federal reporting system and make the application for moratorium permits a smoother process.
We would like to extend special thanks to Representative Harris who introduced the legislation at our request and the Representatives and Senators that co-sponsored the legislation.Â These include REPRESENTATIVE(S) Thomas, Kelly, Seaton, Johnson, Wilson, Kerttula, Roses and SENATOR(s) Elton, Stedman, Wilken, Therriault, Kookesh, Thomas, Wagoner, Cowdery, Huggins, Stevens
There are two fisheries undergoing MSC certification that are mainly used as ingredients in fish meal and fish oil. The use of forage fish in fish meal for feed for the farmed fish industry has been one of the factors that have prevented fish farms being certified under programs such as MSC.Â
The Mexican Sardine fishery is currently undergoing the certification process and the Scottish western mackerel and NorthÂ Sea herring fisheries are starting to seek the MSC certificationÂ process through the industry groupÂ Â Scottish Pelagic Sustainability Group.
Camiel Derichs, MSC’s NorthÂ Â European fisheries manager, told IntraFish.Â â€œItâ€™s a first step in the direction of having sustainable fish feedÂ or at least independently verified sustainable marine ingredients inÂ Â those feeds,â€
The Intrafish article went on to say that “With fish feed accounting for as much as two-thirds of aquacultureÂ
producersâ€™ costs, sustainable fish feed is not expected to comeÂ cheap, especially in the early stages when volumes are low.
The Legislature met in joint session today May 14th to confirm Governor Palin’s Commissioners and Attorney General along with many of the appointements she had made such as Board of Fish members. All commissioners and appointees were unanimously confirmed. The Board of Fish appointments were Larry Edfelt, Vince Webster and Howard Delo.
The Governor’s press Release stated:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 07-125
Governor Palin Thanks Lawmakers for Confirming Commissioners
All of Governorâ€™s Appointments Confirmed
May 14, 2007, Juneau, Alaska â€“ Governor Sarah Palin today thanked the Alaska House and Senate for unanimously confirming her choices for attorney general and heads of agencies.
Not since 1987, has a governor enjoyed unanimous support of appointed commissioners.
â€œI am very proud of this group of Alaskans,â€ Palin said. â€œWe have been working together as a team throughout this legislative session. I am so pleased to know that lawmakers approved our choices and that they are giving me the opportunity to continue working with these talented people to move the State forward.â€
In addition to confirming the Governorâ€™s Cabinet, legislators approved all 56 of the Governorâ€™s appointments to various boards and commissions throughout the state.
The first gilnet king fishery on the Stikine was very slow.Â 45 boats participated in the fishery for a total estimated catch of 225 kings.Â The pre-season abundance allowed for a total Stikine catch of 6100 (sport, troll & gillnet combined) Kings.Â The fishery will be opened May 14th at 8:00 am to May 15th at 8:00 am.
The Copper River gillnet fishery will open on May 14th.Â The length of the opening will be announced on May 12th.
The spring hatchery troll fishery opened on May 1st.Â Only 4 districts had enough effort to provideÂ harvest data.
Sumner StraitÂ Â Â Â 6 vesselsÂ Â Â Â 57 kings
Tebenkof BayÂ Â Â 13 vesselsÂ Â Â 294 kings
Chatham StraitÂ Â 6 vesselsÂ Â Â Â 62 kings
Sitka SoundÂ Â Â Â Â Â 28 vesselsÂ Â Â 337 kings
Total all areas:Â 62 boatsÂ Â 866 kings
HB 186 the legislation that allows data sharing between ADFG and NMFS/NOAA enforcement officers of charter halibut data passed and senate resources committee today.Â This leaves only the Senate floor vote to occur before the end of session on May 16th.Â The legislature is now operating under the 24 hour rule.
Governor Palin issued the following press release today:
May 9, 2007, Juneau, Alaska â€“ Governor Sarah Palin today welcomed Cora Crome to the position of Fisheries Policy Advisor to the Governor. Crome most recently worked for United Fishermen of Alaska. She also served as Executive Director of the Petersburg Vessel Owners Association. Crome will be an advisor and coordinator on Alaska fisheries policy between the Governorâ€™s office and other state agencies, especially the Department of Fish and Game. Crome will also work with the fisheries sub-cabinet, which will include the commissioners from the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development, Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Department of Environmental Conservation, Department of Fish and Game and representatives from Governor Palinâ€™s Washington, D.C. office. â€œCoraâ€™s extensive background at both the state and regional levels will allow her to hit the ground running,â€ said Governor Sarah Palin. â€œCora is well respected in the fishing community and will work to ensure a strong fishing industry in Alaska. I am pleased that she is joining the team.â€ Crome received a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Pacific Lutheran University. She was instrumental in negotiating compromise between four gear groups and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for establishing herring fisheries on underutilized stocks in Southeast Alaska. Crome also drafted and negotiated passage of a medical transfer amendment to the individual fishing quota program from halibut and sablefish. â€œI’m excited about the opportunity to serve as the fisheries coordinator in the Governor’s office,â€ said Crome. â€œAlaska’s fisheries industry is incredibly diverse and I look forward to working with fishermen across the state to find ways to address their concerns.â€ Crome began her duties today, May 9, 2007.
The industrial chemical melamine recently found in pet food supplies (that was recalled and caused several deaths in pets) has been found inÂ fishmeal fed to farmed fish.Â It is not clear if any fish fed the fishmeal has made it into the marketplace.Â It it thought the levels will be too low to impact human health but officials are in the process of contacting all companies that are believed to have purchased the contaminated fishmeal.
Rep Stolze and nine otherÂ representatives introduced HB 254 on May 3rd.Â The bill was referred to fisheries and resources.
Â The Legislation reads as follows: “An Act providing for a priority for a fishery that is restricted to residents when fishing restrictions are implemented to achieve an escapement goal.”Â
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:
Section 1. AS 16.05.251 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: (j) Notwithstanding AS 16.05.258, when the harvest of a stock or species is limited to achieve an escapement goal, the Board of Fisheries shall place restrictions on all other fisheries before restricting personal use fisheries.Â In this subsection,Â “escapement goal” means the escapement, or annual estimated size, of the target stock that provides the greatest potential for maximum sustained yield as established by the board.