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Alaska Pacific Halibut Certified for Responsible Fisheries Management

Wild Alaska Pacific halibut are now certified by the independent third-party United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization based on Responsible Fisheries Management criteria.Assessment in late April came after a 12-month independent assessment of the fishery performed at the request of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.ASMI officially announced the certification during a reception at the European Seafood Exposition in Brussels, Belgium on May 3.The certification covers Alaska Pacific halibut fished with benthic longline within International Pacific Halibut Commission regulatory areas 2C, 3A, 3B, 4A, 4B and 4CDE.The global trust certification committee, including fishery, certification and accreditation experts, was tasked with qualitative review of the formal processes, assessment...
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ASMI Marketing Efforts Going Everywhere in May

The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute is all over the map in May, promoting the state’s seafood produce. ASMI staff were on hand at the European Seafood Exposition in Brussels, Belgium, in the first week of May to work with buyers and sellers from more than 140 countries at the exposition, along with some 1,600 other exhibitors. The ASMI pavilion itself featured 21 companies.On the domestic scene, the ASMI Foodservice staff is touring college and university campuses to promote seafood. Events in early May included the first Alaska seafood dinner at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, where over 3,000 meals featuring Alaska salmon, halibut, king and snow crab and cod were presented, along with information on these fisheries. ASMI officials said that university personnel were very encourag...
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Rulemaking Changes in Magnuson-Stevens National Standard 10

US Coast Guard officials are reminding the public that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is seeking public and industry comment on a proposed rulemaking regarding chances to Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act National Standard 10. That standard requires management councils to take into consideration the safety of human life at sea when developing fishery management plans. The comment period will close on July 20. Coast Guard officials said they would like to see this notice distributed as widely as possible to the commercial fishing industry in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest.A public meeting on the matter is set for May 19 at the NOAA Science Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. For information on submitting comments contact Debra Lambert NMFS, at 30...
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Pebble Issues Update

Backers of the Pebble mine prospect in Southwest Alaska are anticipating the likelihood that a major mining company will take over Northern Dynasty’s assets in the deal at some point, but meanwhile the Pebble Partnership has budgeted $91 million for 2011 operations. Partners in the prospect spent a record $140 million in 2008 alone. Their stated objective is to complete a prefeasibility study for the Pebble project in 2012, in hopes of initiating permitting under the National environmental Policy Act. Northern Dynasty President and chief executive officer Ron Thiessen made the announcement May 2 in Vancouver, British Columbia. The company plans to release within the next couple of months a 20,000-page environmental baseline document.Another topic of discussion has been the emergence of a n...
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Salmon Bycatch Issues on the Table for Nome Meeting.

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council has set aside 32 hours of its June meeting at Nome to deal with salmon bycatch issues. That includes 12 hours aimed at final action on reducing the number of king salmon caught incidentally to the Pollock fishery in the Gulf of Alaska, plus 20 hours for an initial review of chum salmon bycatch analysis in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands.At its April meeting in Anchorage, the federal council adopted a preliminary preferred alternative that identifies a combined prohibited species catch limit of 22,500 Chinook salmon for the western and central Gulf of Alaska Pollock fisheries. The limit would be apportioned between the two areas based on a combination of the proportional historic Pollock total allowable catch and historic average king salmon ...
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Seafood Industry in Spotlight at Global Food Alaska

Four Alaska seafood industry leaders are contenders for top awards at the biennial industry conference for Global Food Alaska, coming up June 8 at Soldotna.Semi-finalists for the manufacturer/processor award, given to an individual who has demonstrated leadership in the processing or manufacturing of Alaska foods, beverages or bio products, include Scott Blake of Copper River Seafoods and John Lowrance of Leader Creek Fisheries. Jim Harmon, executive director of SeaShare, a seafood donation program, and Dennis “Skip” Winfree, president of 10th and M Seafoods are contenders for the Alaska Champion award, for playing a significant role in putting Alaska foods, beverage or bio products into the local, national or international marketplace.Fish processors have figured prominently in past compe...
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BBRSDA Busy Funding Projects

Board members of the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Corp. have approved a diverse group of projects to fund for the coming year, ranging from fisheries research to ice barges and marketing.Among them, says Bob Waldrop, executive director of the BBRSDA, is a decision to again support the Port Moller test fishery, where biologists are trying to get more answers regarding stock diversification and abundance of the salmon migrating north from Port Moller north to Bristol Bay. The Bristol Bay Science and Research Institute, a research entity of the Bristol Bay Economic Development Corp., collects the sample fish and delivers them to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s genetics lab in Anchorage. The BBRSDA is supporting this research with a $55,000 grant, as well as the quality im...
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Pebble Issues

New issues continue to arise related to a proposed massive mining project at the headwaters of the Bristol Bay watershed in Southwest Alaska. A study prepared for The Nature Conservancy by prominent biologists with experience in the Bristol Bay watershed notes that there are wild salmon swimming in streams on the surface of the area where the prospect would be developed.According to one of the study authors, Carol Ann Woody, who has done years of research in Bristol Bay, the study, released in the past week, is the first to document that wild salmon are present in streams on top of the ore deposit. Woody, a fisheries research scientist based in Anchorage, co-authored the report with Sarah O’Neal, a biologist with the Wild Salmon Center of Portland, Oregon. The pair found salmon in three of...
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AMSEA Adds Safety Classes for Commercial Fishermen

Commercial harvesters wanting to learn more about safety and survival at sea have a growing number of class options with the Alaska Marine Safety Education Association’s spring class guide. AMSEA has already held four classes for its drill conductor card at Dillingham, Anchorage, Homer and Galveston, Texas and this week added a two-day course in Dillingham June 2-3.The revised of the agenda includes classes in Cordova May 5 and May 7; Anchorage May 7, Craig May 8, Valdez May 12, Haines May 19, Sitka May 24 and Naknek June 9, 10, 11, plus Dillingham in June.The course will include instruction on fire fighting, life rafts, MAYDAYS, immersion suits and personal flotation devices, emergency drills, cold-water survival skills and emergency positioning. Some classes still have openings. To inqui...
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Crab Issues

Crab industry officials are presenting a crew workshop May 3 in Seattle to provide information on how crab vessel crewmembers can finance the purchase of quota share in that fishery. United Fishermen’s Marketing Association will facilitate Kodiak’s participation with a link to the Seattle meeting in Leif Erickson Hall from Fishermen’s Hall in Kodiak, while the Alaska Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank will offer a similar participation location in Anchorage. CFAB’s Lea Klingert noted that the tough part for crewmembers or anyone who hasn’t run their own operation is establishing their ability to repay such loans. CFAB looks primarily at the history of the borrower and notes that for people solely reliant on that quota share to repay the loan it would be hard to determine their repayme...