NEW Spring Port Meetings: early May (dates will be announced soon)
See Calendar for more!
Troll (907) 465-8765 / (907) 747-8765 /
(907) 772-3700 / (907) 225-6870
Groundfish (907) 747-4882
Enforcement (907) 478-3377
2012 Chinook Quota
ADFG Troll Management Plans
NEW Alaska Board of Fisheries
The Alaska Board of Fisheries recently completed its Southeast regulatory meetings; information is available at the links below.
Southeast Finfish Meeting Summary
2012 Board of Fisheries Proposal Book
2009-12 SE/YKT Regulation Book
NEW Southeast Chinook Mitigation Program
A $15 million Chinook mitigation program was authorized by Congress to help mitigate the impacts of Chinook quota reductions in Southeast Alaska under the 2009 Pacific Salmon Treaty agreement. In 2011, funds were used to assist trollers and anglers with a combination of enhancement and infrastructure projects. $1.5 million was distributed amongst trollers who qualified for the program. Mitigation Stakeholders will convene in May to develop recommendations to the Governor regarding the 2012 program. ATA has begun its work to identify projects for 2012 and requests feedback from the fleet – contact the office with your ideas. For additional specifics about the program see ADFG's new website: Chinook Mitigation.
US Coast Guard Safety Rules on Horizon
NEW The USCG informs us that no new safety rules will be in place during the 2012 season. Regulations will likely be available for public review this fall.
In October the president signed into law the USCG Authorization Act of 2010. Congress included in the reauthorization a number of new safety rules for the commercial fishing industry. Changes include: a revised boundary line definition (3NM from land); new safety equipment and construction standards for uninspected commercial fishing vessels operating beyond the boundary; mandatory dockside inspections every 2 years; onboard logbook requirements for safety gear maintenance and drills; operator training; and revised survival craft requirements - life floats and buoyant apparatus will no longer be allowed as a substitute for a liferaft.
Timeline for implementation of these requirements is still unclear and we are working to clarify. Some provisions, such as load-line rules, will undergo additional rulemaking. You can help keep watch on new developments by monitoring the USCG online. Alaska Marine Safety Education Association is currently offering free training to commercial vessel owners, skippers, and crew. Contact AMSEA for more information on locations and course schedules.
Infectious Salmon Anemia Virus (ISAv) Found in B.C. Rivers
A European strain of a virus potentially dangerous to fish, but harmless for humans, has been found in juvenile and adult sockeye, chum, and Chinook salmon from Rivers Inlet and Fraser River in British Columbia. ISA outbreaks have been devasting for Atlantic salmon around the world, and was responsible for a 70% drop in Chile's farmed salmon production in 2007. Testing was done by a highly respected scientist at a World Animal Health Organization lab specializing in the disease. Scientists have many questions about the virus itself and the actual risk to Pacific salmon. Test results have been downplayed by some. Further analysis and testing is is ongoing as the agencies and interest groups work to sort out the extent of the virus in wild salmon and its ramifications in the near and long term. U.S. Senators Cantwell, Murkowski, and Begich have called for quick U.S. action to evaluate the situation, particularly in light of the importance of salmon to the entire West Coast of both countries. The Cohen Commissionheld hearings on the issue last winter and its report is due out in September 2012.
ATA Opinion Piece on ISA Virus
US Senators Call for West Coast Testing
Alaska Congressional Delegation Introduces Legislation on GE Salmon and Fish Farming; Alaska Legislature and California Assembly and Communities Take Up GE Salmon
No word yet on FDA's decision on whether or not to allow the sale of genetically modified salmon. In the meantime, a number of efforts continue to prevent the sale of modified seafood, or at minimum, label the product so that consumers can make a choice.
Congressman Don Young successfully worked with congressman. Woolsey of CA to amend H.R. 2112 with language that could prevent FDA from approving genetically engineered fish. The Senate has not yet acted on the bill.
Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich and Congressman Don Young introduced bills to outlaw the production of genetically engineered (GE) salmon for human consumption. A complementary piece of legislation would require labeling of any GE fish sold in the U.S.
Congressional Bills: S. 229 / S. 230 / H.R. 520 / H.R. 521 / H.R. 2112 (Young’s speech at 8:09pm) / S.1717
Congressman Don Young also submitted H.R. 574, which would prohibit the permitting of commercial finfish farming in the EEZ until a federal law is passed to specifically allow it. Congresswoman Lois Capps introduced H.R. 2373 Sustainable Offshore Aqua Act, which would allow offshore aquaculture and outline the terms. Read NOAA and US Department of Commerce aquaculture policies.
The Alaska Legislature is considering GE salmon legislation filed by Representatives Bob Miller, Scott Kawasaki, Beth Kerttula, Peggy Wilson, and Steve Thompson. Since 2005, state law has required labeling of GE salmon. Legislative Bills: HB 99 / HB 100 / HJR 8 Committee Schedule
The California Assembly conducted hearings on GE salmon labeling. AB 88 passed one committee, but was held by the appropriations committee until next session. In the meantime, several California communities have passed their own labeling laws and others are considering doing so. Several other states and Canadian provinces have also engaged in the GE debate on salmon and other species.
ATA Opinion Piece on GE salmon.
The recent cycle of punishing weather and geologic events has affected the lives of so many around the world. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the millions of families whose lives have been severely disrupted. So often we focus intently on these far away disaster situations when they are front page news, then go back to our daily lives while others struggle to pick up the pieces. We encourage the members of our industry to prepare your family and property, donate to an emergency relief fund of choice, and consider volunteering your time to local and outside response groups.
- West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center
- U.S. State Department
- Red Cross
- Japan Earthquake and Other Relief Options
- Emergency Preparedness
- Tsunamis and SE Alaska