Bristol Bay fishermen's wish for 2011: Protect our 'fish basket'
February 4, 2011
Alaska Journal of Commerce
The 2010 Alaska fishing season proved to be a banner year for salmon. All totaled, the catch throughout the state equaled nearly $534 million, the best numbers in 18 years. Of this total, over half came from Prince William Sound and Bristol Bay.
For those of us who make a living fishing in Bristol Bay, we have much to be thankful for looking back. Our total catch of sockeye in the Bay came in at 29 million fish, the 11th largest since statehood equaling $149 million. This has all come as fish prices continue to rise and the 2011 forecast from Alaska Department of Fish and Game looks promising.
As we celebrate this bounty we also celebrate the decision by the Obama Administration last March to halt offshore oil and gas leasing plans that had been rapidly moving forward in Bristol Bay and the southeast Bering Sea. After countless meetings, public comments and even a visit to Bristol Bay from Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Alaska Sen. Mark Begich, a wise call was made to remove Bristol Bay and the southeast Bering Sea from the five-year outer continental shelf (OCS) leasing program
[W]e know very well that what is in place is only temporary and will expire in 2017 — or could be removed even sooner if a new president is elected in 2012. Many of us who have fished and lived in the region for generations have fought in this ongoing battle through a long cycle of plans to drill, buybacks, and different positions from various administrations.
New road planned connecting Naknek to Pederson Point
February 1, 2011
A new road is planned to connect the village of Naknek to Pederson Point. The North Pacific Seafoods salmon cannery is located on the point, currently accessible only by taking a four-wheel-drive along the beach at low tide. Paug-Vik Inc., the Native village corporation for Naknek, wants to extend an overland road 1.7 miles from the east to reach Pederson Point.
Dillingham Expansion Plan
February 1, 2011
The staff of a state agency, the Local Boundary Commission, has recommended approval of the city of Dillingham's petition to annex extensive commercial fishing grounds. The staff's conclusion starts on p. 84 of this preliminary report. At the end of the report, you can find letters from people for and against annexing the new territory. The annexation is still subject to commission approval, plus a vote of Dillingham area residents.
Phase I Final Commissioners Meeting (Bristol Bay Regional Vision)
January 30, 2011
Phase I of the Bristol Bay Regional Vision Project Community Meetings has been completed, and six project commissioners, five BBNA staff, Bob Waldrop as the funders’ representative met with meeting facilitators on January 30, 2011 in Anchorage, Alaska to discuss the results of the meetings and to beginning drafting a regional vision for Bristol Bay.
Survey shows concern over Pebble Mine
January 28, 2011
The Dutch Harbor Fisherman
A new survey on the proposed Pebble Mine, paid for by Alaska Wild Salmon Protection Inc. and conducted by Hellenthal and Associates of Anchorage, found that 51.2 percent of Alaska's registered voters oppose the mine, with 35 percent of respondents strongly opposed.
"Interestingly, Alaskans support for or opposition to the Pebble Mine is not defined by whether they are 'pro-environment' or 'pro-development' as over 90 percent of registered voters believe you can support development and still oppose this mine," said Marc Hellenthal, president of the survey firm.
Nondalton Water Gets a Bishop's Blessing
January 22, 2011
Anchorage Daily News
"The Great Blessing of Water" is an important part of the liturgy for the Russian Orthodox feast of the Epiphany, commemorating the baptism of Jesus. Holy water is customarily blessed in the church. But in some places the faithful also make a trip to a nearby source of drinking water and bless it as well.
Alaska fishermen’s wives get own reality show
January 20, 2011
A casting call is out for Alaska women to star in an Animal Planet reality show. “The name of the show we are casting is Alaska Fishermen’s Wives,” said Annette Ivy, casting producer with Shed Media US in Los Angeles. “We are looking for a kind of flip side of Deadliest Catch, and that would be the fishermen’s wives and their lifestyle. We’re interested in the stresses and challenges they go through when their husbands are out at sea and they’re left holding down the fort.”
A response to Pebble Partnerships Ad about walking to Bristol Bay
January 17, 2011
Renewable Resources Foundation
A new ad from the Renewable Resources Foundation responds to misleading Pebble Partnership ad about walking to Bristol Bay.
GOOD GRADES IN THE BAY
January 15, 2011
Anchorage Daily News
Bristol Bay salmon fishermen got good report cards for boosting the quality of their fish.
For the past two summers, a group of 15 driftnet fishermen at Egegik participated in a project that graded portions of the salmon catch they delivered to processors. The fish were headed and gutted and graded by plant standards to see how much, or if, their quality scores improved.The results?
"The percentage of No. 1 quality fish went from 43 percent in 2009 to 69 percent in 2010. That's a huge jump," said project director Mark Buckley, a 23-year Bay fisherman and owner/operator of Digital Observer Inc.
(NOTE: See the second item in the column, below references to a reality show seeking fishermen's wives.)
Alaska Wilderness Recreation & Tourism Association (AWRTA) urges EPA to "veto" Pebble Mine
January 11, 2011
AWRTA Website "Visti Wild Alaska"
On December 8th, AWRTA sent the following letter to EPA Administrator, Lisa Jackson. As the letter states, AWRTA does not oppose mining, but we do oppose unwise development that threatens the state’s unique environment and the recreation and tourism industry that depends upon it.
Dear Administrator Jackson:
The Alaska Wilderness Recreation & Tourism Association (AWRTA) respectfully requests that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) immediately initiate a section 404(c) process pursuant to 33 U.S.C. § 1344(c) to prohibit specification of those waters of the United States associated with the development of the Pebble Mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay as disposal sites for dredged or fill material.