Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Oil spill law changed since Exxon Valdez

Fishermen and property owners along the Gulf Coast have filed hundreds of lawsuits since April against oil company BP and its contractors amid a legal landscape that has changed dramatically since the Exxon Valdez tanker spill sullied Alaska's Prince William Sound 21 years ago.

– USA Today

More: www.usatoday.com/

Sacramento River: Enviros, farmers to talk

California farmers and environmental groups are poised to meet this week to discuss a potential compromise over how to manage pumping limits from the freshwater delta.

– San Francisco Chronicle


B.C. salmon walk highlights

Thousands walked the length of Vancouver Island in opposition to B.C. net pen salmon farming last month.

Here is a video of their arrival in Victoria:www.youtube.com

CG Valdez honored for sustainability

Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Valdez recently received the 2010 Environmental Sustainability award in the category of natural resource protection. –

Coast Guard press release


We’re not making this up Ever wonder what fish-flavored vodka would taste like?

– Anchorage Daily News

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Bristol Bay fishery lauded by scholarly journal

A landmark study on salmon, fisheries, and ecosystem science will be the cover of the June 3 issue of the prestigious journal Nature: "Population diversity and the portfolio effect in an exploited species."

This salmon story from Bristol Bay has broad implications for protecting and restoring fisheries in Alaska, British Columbia, and around the world. It underscores the importance of having a diversified portfolio of fish stocks to keep an economy afloat.

– Press release

Bristol Bay now open

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game today opened much of Bristol Bay to commercial salmon fishing. Of course, the action on the world's most prolific sockeye grounds won't really heat up until close to the Fourth of July weekend.

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


Some good news about oil

Dive operations have concluded on the Princess Kathleen wreck after crews removed large quantities of bunker and other oils from the vessel that had sunk near Juneau.

– Coast Guard press release


Alaska candidates: Fishing can get respect

Candidates for governor gave their take on how Alaska's seafood industry can get more respect at Kodiak's famed fisheries debate last Friday, an election year tradition for two decades.

– Pacific Fishing columnist Laine Welch in her Fish Factor report

More: www.sitnews.us/LaineWelch, or you can hear the entire fisheries debate atwww.kmxt.org

Unalaska drug sweep charges proceeding

Legal action against all of the individuals arrested in April and May for drug related charges is still proceeding.

– KUCB, Unalaska


Better cell service for Unalaska

TeleAlaska is expanding its infrastructure in order to provide cell phone service. They've set up a tower on Haystack and plan on putting one on Ballyhoo and another in the Valley.

– KUCB, Unalaska


Electrical malfunction burns Westport vessel

An electrical malfunction may be to blame for a boat fire that ignited at the Washington Crab dock near the Ocean Gold Seafoods building in Westport Friday night, fire chief Dennis Benn said.

– Coos Bay Daily World


Pollock trawl surveys a mixed bag

Scientists from the Midwater Assessment and Conservation Engineering (MACE) Program conducted another in a series of winter echo integration-trawl surveys aboard the NOAA ship Oscar Dyson in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA).

– NOAA press release


Train next Alaska fishery workforce

Alaskans should be planning now to train a future commercial fisheries workforce, while promoting greater seafood consumption and more efficient use of energy in fish harvesting, says a University of Alaska educator at Kodiak.

– Bristol Bay Times



Thursday, June 3, 2010

Trollers resume salmon genetic tests

A major research effort aimed at learning more about where salmon from specific river systems migrate in the Pacific Ocean will resume this year after a two-year hiatus – and expand to encompass the entire West Coast of the United States.

– Scienceblog

More: scienceblog.com

Diversity key ingredient in Bristol Bay success

In nature, as in stock investing, the key to success is a diversified portfolio, says a new study by University of Washington biologists.

– Seattle Times

More: www.seattletimes.nwsource.com

Final approval of Newport NOAA base

They've waited months to celebrate, quietly jumping through the hoops to prove time and again that they were indeed the best location for NOAA's Pacific Marine Operations Center.

– The Oregonian

More: www.oregonlive.com

Alaska flatfish get MSC certification

Following a comprehensive assessment process by an independent certifier, Alaska’s flatfish fisheries were certified under the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) environmental standard for sustainable and well-managed fisheries.

Products from the flatfish fisheries off Alaska are now eligible to bear the blue MSC ecolabel.

– MSC press release

More: www.msc.org

Battling seals back east

The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) is considering a plan to spend $35 million killing hundreds of thousands of grey seals, damaging the fragile environment of Sable Island, Nova Scotia in the process.

– TheMarkNews

More: www.themarknews.com

Bill would change Exxon Valdez loophole

A bill in the U.S. Senate proposes to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court 2008 decision in Exxon Shipping Co. v Baker. The decision by the high court significantly reduced billions of dollars in punitive damages awarded by a jury, delivering a blow to Cordova and over 32,000 plaintiffs throughout Alaska and the United States.

– Cordova Times

More: www.thecordovatimes.com

Protest against proposed B.C. oil port

Two days after Enbridge filed its application for the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline, over 500 northern B.C. residents gathered in Kitamaat Village to oppose the controversial plan, which would bring oil supertankers to the B.C. Coast.

– Rupert Daily Online

More: www.rupertdaily.ca

Rule would protect California sturgeon

New federal regulations will soon prohibit catching, killing or harming the rare caviar-producing North American green sturgeon.

– Coos Bay World

More: www.theworldlink.com

Salmon proposed as official B.C. fish

A motion put forward by New Democrat MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert would have the government declare pacific salmon as British Columbia's provincial fish.

– Rupert Daily Online

More: www.rupertdaily.ca


Friday, June 4, 2010

Alaska closes Kenai to sport fishermen

Facing a disastrous return, state biologists will close king salmon fishing on the Kenai River, the state's most important sport fishing stream, while imposing restrictions on nearby waterways.

– Anchorage Daily News




Bristol Bay study holds hope for Skeena

A study published in a journal called Nature could hold the key to the survival of the Skeena River salmon fishery, says a group advocating healthy wild stocks in the river.

– Terrace Standard-News

More: www.bclocalnews.com

Bristol Bay study and the Pebble Mine

“The long-term maintenance of the Bristol Bay sockeye fishery has sometimes been almost totally dependent on the Kvichak watershed,” where the Pebble Mine would be located, said University of Washington biologist Ray Hilborn. “If the entire Kvichak watershed was made nonproductive, then historically, that would have been totally disastrous.”

– Wired Science


BP screws fishermen again

BP has claimed a rare bit of good PR for filling hotels and employing thousands of fishermen in the massive oil spill clean-up. Except it turns out BP has given a majority of contracts in its Vessels Of Opportunity program to pleasure-craft owners.

– Business Insider


Gulf: There’s fish, but no one is buying

Commercial fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico say they've got plenty of fish, but customers don't seem to be biting.

– WTSP, Florida


No word yet on Fraser sockeye

With the federal commission of inquiry into the decline of Fraser River sockeye set to hold preliminary hearings this month, it remains to be seen whether 2010 will see a repeat of last year’s disastrous numbers.

– Straight.com


TV doc hit for mercury stance

The National Fisheries Institute (NFI) is publicly challenging Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of the Dr. Oz Show, to correct a number of errors and distortions that he made concerning fish, nutrition and mercury on a recent episode of his show.

– NFI press release


Stability class for Alaska fishermen

Alaska Marine Safety Education Association (AMSEA) will offer free “Upright & Watertight – Stability & Damage Control” courses for commercial fishermen in Juneau, Ketchikan, Homer, and Sitka.

– AMSEA press release

More: 907-747-3287 orwww.amsea.org

Mom-and-pop Yukon processor still running

The oldest seafood processing company on the Yukon River has survived fishing closures, low prices, and years of bad salmon runs.

– Tundra Drums


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