ComFish Agenda Ranges from Salmon Markets to Mining Perspectives

ComFish Alaska, Kodiak’s annual commercial fisheries forum and trade show, set for April 12-14, will cover a range of topics this year, from salmon market trends and new safety regulations to perspectives on the Chuitna coal and Pebble mine projects.

University of Alaska Anchorage fisheries economist Gunnar Knapp will deliver a 20 year overview of Alaska’s salmon markets, along with a look at future opportunities. Tyson Fick of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute will likewise address current market conditions, challenges and opportunities for Alaska seafood around the world.

Ken Lawrenson, the US Coast Guard commercial fishing vessel safety coordinator, will discuss the latest updates on dockside exams and safety training, life rafts, building to class and more related to new fishing vessel safety regulations. Jennifer Lincoln of the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health will speak on advances in fishing safety, from vessel hatch and door monitors to other new life saving items.

Forum organizer Laine Welch, who reports on commercial fisheries from Kodiak, says she has also lined up an unprecedented mining block, with speakers from the state of Alaska’s large mine permitting team, the Chuitna coal project and the Pebble project. The state officials will discuss permitting and state process on both hard rock metal and coal mines and explain differences on requirements for coal between the state Department of Natural Resources and federal Office of Surface Mining.

Also on tap is a pre-ComFish workshop. The sponsors, Alaska Marine Conservation Council and Alaska Sea Grant, will advise on how to participate effectively in the upcoming North Pacific Fishery management Council meeting in Kodiak in June. That event, with complementary seafood chowder, is set for the evening of April 11