CDQ executive warns of threat to rural Alaska
Cotter: ‘If the state’s fiscal situation is not handled properly … God help rural Alaska’
Cordova Times by Margaret Bauman – March 9, 2017
Climate change, the state’s fiscal crisis and the relevance of rural communities to the rest of the country spell big trouble for rural Alaska communities, say top officials of two of Alaska’s community development quota groups.
Not Just A Boys’ Club: Women Hooking Into Fishing Industry More Onshore
KUOW by editor – March 10, 2017
Who caught the last fish you bought for dinner? If it came from Pacific Northwest waters, the fisherman was very likely a man. Commercial fishing remains a male-dominated profession in the Northwest.
Subsistence survey sought for Unalaska salmon data emphasis
Bristol Bay Times by Jim Paulin – March 11, 2017
A proposed survey on salmon and other subsistence resources in Unalaska won the backing of the Unalaska/Dutch Harbor Fish and Game Advisory Committee last month, when it endorsed a request for federal funding.
Pendulum ticks toward commercial fishermen as Cook Inlet meeting wraps
Alaska Journal of Commerce by DJ Summers – March 8, 2017
The Board of Fisheries pendulum may have swung, but it’s still attached to the same clockwork.
The triennial Upper Cook Inlet Board of Fisheries meeting ended March 8, leaving behind a big fish goal for the Kenai River late king salmon run, potential expanded hours for the Cook Inlet drift and setnet fleets, and a brand new early run king salmon plan on the Kenai River.
Tribal group outlines new strategy for Kuskokwim king salmon
Alaska Dispatch News by Lisa Demer – March 10, 2017
BETHEL — A tribal fishing group for the part of Alaska most dependent on wild salmon is urging a new strategy to manage fishing this year.
Murkowski and Sullivan say no to Coast Guard cuts proposed by White House
Alaska Dispatch News by Erica Martinson – March 10, 2017
WASHINGTON — Alaska’s Republican senators won’t support proposed major budget cuts for the U.S. Coast Guard, they told the White House Office of Management and Budget in a letter following reports of major cuts in President Donald Trump’s draft budget.
Several national outlets have reported on a draft White House budget request to Congress that includes $1.3 billion cut from the Coast Guard’s $9.1 billion budget. The Coast Guard cut is reportedly aimed at helping pay for a wall on the southern border shared with Mexico.
Alaska Sens. Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski and Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker were the only three Republicans among 23 senators to sign the letter. The rest were Democrats.
Cutting into the Coast Guard budget could mean a far lower chance of bolstering the dwindling U.S. fleet of icebreakers, at a time when shipping traffic is increasing in the Arctic. Senators warned this is not the time to “kick the can down the road” on the Coast Guard’s aging fleet.
“We strongly urge you to refrain from any such cuts. The Coast Guard budget has suffered a steady decline since 2010, which resulted in negative impacts to Coast Guard missions, infrastructure, delays in necessary recapitalization efforts, and has generally constrained Coast Guard operations,” the senators wrote in a letter to OMB Director John Mulvaney.
Sullivan’s office was involved in crafting the letter, which was ultimately released by Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Washington.
The budget proposal, not yet public, would reportedly also cut the budgets of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which provides disaster relief, and the Transportation Security Administration by about 11 percent each. Reports indicate the intent is to shift funds to the Department of Homeland Security, boosting its budget to $43.8 billion.
The White House is expected to release its budget request next week. The White House press office did not respond to questions about the proposed Coast Guard budget.
“We are concerned that the Coast Guard would not be able to maintain maritime presence, respond to individual and national emergencies, and protect our nation’s economic and environmental interests” if the budget cuts go forward, the letter said.
The Coast Guard has about 41,000 active-duty members. There are more than 2,000 active-duty, reserve and civilian Coast Guard members in Alaska, according to data gathered by governing.com.
In Alaska, the Coast Guard handles thousands of search-and-rescue and navigational aid operations each year. The branch is also working to secure Arctic waters in Operation Arctic Shield.
Nationwide, the military branch is heavily involved in capturing illegal drugs. The letter notes that in 2016, the Coast Guard captured 416,000 pounds of illegal international drugs bound for the U.S.
Alaska’s lawmakers may have hoped to see a boost in the Coast Guard budget under Trump, who has expressed a strong interest in shipbuilding. “Between 2010 and 2015, the acquisition budget decreased by 40 percent,” and it was restored in 2016, the letter said.
But the “acquisition budget continues to constrain needed investments for priority platforms such as polar icebreakers, national security cutters, offshore patrol cutters, fast response cutters, and Great Lakes icebreakers.”
The letter pointed to an upcoming “potential eight-year gap in heavy icebreaking capability between when the Polar Star retires and when a new heavy icebreaker will be commissioned.”
“It is irresponsible to continue to kick the can down the road, denying the Coast Guard the assets needed to meet mission requirements in the polar regions,” the letter said. With Arctic sea ice decreasing, passenger routes are opening up in the Arctic.
The letter pointed to Russia’s current fleet of 41 icebreakers and ongoing construction of 11 more.
Sullivan and Murkowski raised the issue of the diminishing fleet of U.S. icebreakers during their meeting with President Donald Trump on Wednesday, they said.
Labeling and Marketing
3MMI – Cod: Single Frozen Pricing Strong, Twice Frozen Market Short, Prepare for Price Increases
TradexFoods – March 11, 2017
3-Minute Market Insight:
Slow fishing in Alaska and Russia leaves Chinese processors hard pressed for Pacific Cod raw materials and a tightened twice frozen market in North America.
Let’s build on fish board success
Peninsula Clarion Editorial – March 11, 2017
A remarkable thing happened at the Board of Fisheries meeting last week: Several user groups collaborated with Alaska Department of Fish and Game staff and fish board members to write a conservation plan for a Kenai River fishery.
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