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Summary for April 20, 2009 - April 24, 2009:

Monday, April 20, 2009

Interior secretary gets earful about Alaska offshore drilling

Hailed by the Resource Development Council as “perhaps the most important public hearing to be held in Alaska in years,” preceded by a “march for jobs” involving a chanting assortment of helmet-wearing and placard-waving oil industry personnel, and attended by people from all sectors of the community, including rural villagers, state politicians, oil workers and environmental activists, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s outer continental shelf meeting in Anchorage on April 14 captured all of the complex issues surrounding potential oil and gas leasing on the Alaska OCS. – Petroleum News

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CG rescues five fishermen near Ketchikan

JUNEAU -- The Coast Guard rescued five fishermen after their boat sank near Ketchikan. 
Juneau Empire

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Letter: Columbia sports fishing is big business

Commercial fishermen and The Daily Astorian: Have you looked out the window of your bowpicker in June, July, August and September? Those are thousands of sport fishing boats out there injecting a lot of money into Astoria's economy. – Chris Vertopoulos, writing to The Daily Astorian

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Bering Sea trawler still stuck aground

An update from state pollution regulators says the soonest a salvage crew might recover the beached Bering Sea trawler Mar-Gun is April 27-28, the next high-tide window. – Pacific Fishing columnist Wesley Loy, writing in his new blog: The Deckboss

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CG fights fishing boat fire off Eureka

The U.S. Coast Guard dispatched an HH-65C Dolphin helicopter and a 47-foot motor lifeboat to the fishing vessel Triple Star after the boat reported a major engine room fire early Saturday morning, 21 miles offshore of the Humboldt Bay entrance near Eureka. – Eureka Times-Standard

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Don Giles out at Icicle

Icicle Seafoods Inc., one of the largest seafood processing companies in Alaska, will have a new chief executive as of July 1. – Anchorage Daily News

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Tides becoming more extreme off Northwest

PORTLAND – An Oregon researcher says the tides are getting bigger along the West Coast, possibly speeding up erosion. – Juneau Empire

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More smoke about Unalaska smoking ban

The city council is considering passing a smoking ban for enclosed public spaces in Unalaska without putting it on a ballot. – Pacific Fishing columnist Anne Hillman, reporting for KUCB, Unalaska

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CG rescues fisherman off Washington Coast

The Coast Guard medevaced a man from the fishing vessel 35 miles west of Cape Alava, Wash., Sunday.

Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles, Wash., received a report that a man aboard the fishing vessel Tia Elise, homeported in Neah Bay, Wash., was ill and needed medical attention at 10:50 a.m. An MH-65 helicopter crew was launched to retrieve the man and take him to Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles. – Coast Guard press release


Dutch Harbor port running in the red

The Port of Dutch Harbor is facing revenue shortfalls that could negatively impact the overall city budget. The city's port is loosing a significant amount of business to competing communities, like King Cove and Kodiak, and to the new DH Ports dock here in Unalaska. – Pacific Fishing columnist Anne Hillman, reporting for KUCB, Unalaska

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Goals of marine protected areas not met

Californians concerned about protecting our ocean should pay attention to the ongoing Marine Life Protection Act process that's supposed to improve ocean health, biodiversity and marine ecosystems off the coast of California.

So far, those goals aren't being met.

– Steve Scheiblauer, Monterey's harbormaster, writing in the San Francisco Chronicle

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Alaska Legislature leaves commercial fishing alone

The Alaska Legislature wrapped up its 2009 session Sunday and near as I can tell, our elected officials didn't pass very much affecting the commercial fisheries.

– Pacific Fishing columnist Wesley Loy, writing in his new blog: Deckboss

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Palin has opportunities for off-session appointments

Lawmakers last week turned down two of Gov. Sarah Palin’s appointees to state services, offering her an opportunity to pick new people as attorney general and for the controversial Board of Fisheries.

Those appointments will serve until the Legislature holds a fresh round of confirmation hearings after reconvening in January.

Fairbanks News-Miner

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Enviros losing in battle to take out Snake River dams

Desperate environmentalists have resorted to a "Hail Mary" public relations ploy in their misguided attempts to find support for breaching the four lower Snake River dams.

Norm Semanko, a spokesman for the Coalition For Idaho Water, writing to the Idaho Statesman

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Salmon farmers develop lower-fishmeal feed recipe

Results from a series of salmon feeding trials run by Skretting Aquaculture Research Centre (ARC) revealed a new low limit for fishmeal in salmon grower feeds. –

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Governors seek disaster aid for trollers

The governors of Oregon and California on Tuesday asked the federal government to declare another West Coast salmon fishery failure -- the third request in four years.

– Coos Bay World

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Feds seek endangered status for Georgia Strait rockfish

NOAA’s Fisheries Service has proposed to list three populations of rockfish in Puget Sound and the Strait of Georgia for protection under the Endangered Species Act. A final decision on the three will be made a year from now.

The Georgia Basin populations of two of the rockfish species – canary and yelloweye – are proposed for “threatened” status. A third rockfish species – bocaccio – is proposed as “endangered.” An endangered species is at high risk of extinction; a threatened species is vulnerable to extinction in the near future and in need of protection.

– NOAA press release

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Dutch Harbor old-timer remembers a tough town

Frank Kelty, who has lived in Unalaska for nearly four decades, sat down recently to record some of his memories. His effort was part of the StoryCorps project, which records conversations between ordinary people about their lives.

You can hear a portion of Kelty’s memories at the website for KUCB Radio:


Halibut charter boat limit comment period open

NOAA Fisheries has opened comment on a proposed program designed to limit the number of charter boats in the guided sport halibut fishery in Southeast Alaska and the central Gulf of Alaska.

– NOAA press release

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Letter: Canada must do more to protect rivers

Being a commercial fisherman it has astounded me that our government continues to neglect and ignore the beleaguered Pacific Salmon and the commercial, sport and Native fishing communities. – Lynette Kershaw, Qualicum Beach, B.C., in

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Friday, April 24, 2009

New spot shrimp fishery proposed

A new spot shrimp fishery was proposed by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, but much of the final proposal language was generated through the Alaska Board of Fisheries committee process during a recent meeting in Anchorage. – Seward Phoenix Log

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Alaska Airlines now charging for first checked bag

Some Alaska travelers expressed disappointment Thursday when Alaska Airlines announced it will start charging July 7 for a first checked bag, like most other airlines. – Anchorage Daily News

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And the winners are …

United Fishermen of Alaska unveiled its inaugural Alaska Seafood Industry Hall of Fame list at a gala dinner tonight in Kodiak. – Pacific Fishing columnist Wesley Loy, writing as The Highliner

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Crescent City channel to be deepened

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be able to dig deeper into a dredging project at Crescent City Harbor than originally thought, and work will begin in September. – Crescent City Triplicate

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Enviros pull from Klamath negotiations

A prominent environmental group has backed out of negotiations over a deal meant to help fish, farmers, tribes and others in the Klamath Basin. – The Oregonian

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