Fishermen Participate in Herring Study

Marine Conservation AllianceCordova District Fishermen United and the Prince William Sound Science Center teamed up to solicit the participation of 10 local fishermen in an Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council funded juvenile herring survey that took place in Prince William Sound in March. This survey was the first part of a three-year study to collect data that will ultimately be used to help determine why the herring population in the Sound has not recovered since the Exxon Valdez oil spill and what efforts can be taken to implement a habitat restoration plan.

CDFU's portion of the project involved recruiting ten fishermen to participate in survey activities, and Alexis Cooper was hired to coordinate this effort. 

"New to Cordova, through this project I was able to dive right in get ...

Murkowski Panel Slams Endangered Species Act

Marine Conservation AllianceA majority of the panelists invited by Sen. Lisa Murkowski to discuss the Endangered Species Act at a roundtable Tuesday afternoon in Anchorage slammed the law, saying it is used to block resource exploration, not protect animals. The costs of complying with the act are enormous and litigation abusing the law runs rampant, panelists said, claiming it has evolved into a tool in the crusade against climate change.Signed into law by President Richard Nixon in 1973, the ESA requires the Fish and Wildlife Service to review any federal action that could hurt a protected species. In Alaska, organizations like the Center for Biological Diversity routinely file lawsuits against federal agencies for not doing enough to protect species like the polar bear, various northern...

NOAA Report Shows Progress

Marine Conservation AllianceA new NOAA report (Our Living Oceans: Report on the Status of US Living Marine Resources) shows that the last decade has been a period of progress in rebuilding depleted fish stocks, sustaining many fisheries populations, and gaining a better understanding of the complex relationships between marine species and their habitats.The report cites the Alaskan groundfish fisheries – walleye pollock, Pacific cod, rockfishes and Atka mackerel – as a prime example of how managers and fishermen are working together to keep fish harvest rates at sustainable levels while reducing risks to other species in the ecosystem, including marine mammals, juvenile fish and other fish species not being targeted.The report also describes how closed areas and other management of fishing...

Salmon Product Development Tax Credit Heading Toward Extension

By Margaret BaumanLegislation that would extend a salmon product development tax credit through 2015 was moving through the Alaska Legislature in final days of the current session, with passage anticipated.The measure cleared the House on April 7 and moved to the Senate Finance Committee.“Chances are close to 100 percent of passing,” said Pete Ecklund, an aide to House Finance Committee Vice-Chair Bill Thomas, R-Haines, who initially sponsored House Bill 344.The current law expires on December 31, 2011. Extending the law for four years would allow processors ample time to continue long-range investment planning, Thomas noted in his sponsor’s statement.If approved by the Senate, the measure would take effect in 90 days.According to staff in the legislative information office, the state anti...

Fish Board Appointee Faces Cook Inlet Vote Before Confirmation

By Bob TkaczUnlike recent Board of Fisheries appointees from Interior Alaska, Gov. Sean Parnell's first pick from the region, Michael E. Smith, has years of public policy experience with federal and international fishery management and state legislature. Whether he will apply his knowledge to state fisheries issues for more than a few months depends on a legislative confirmation vote he will face next year after passing through one of the toughest gauntlet in Alaska fish politics: a session on Cook Inlet salmon.Smith was named to the board on April 23 to replace Janet Woods, the Sarah Palin appointee who quit on March 26. Both are Fairbanks residents. Even in the compressed time frame at the end of this year's legislative session it appears that Parnell could easily have named Smith to the...