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Oct 30 2013
NOAA Fisheries Release Landing Figures PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 30 October 2013

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    U.S. commercial fishermen landed 9.6 billion pounds of seafood in 2012, valued at $5.1 billion. That averages out across all fisheries to about 53-cents per pound. Those figures were released by NOAA Fisheries today (Wednesday).
    The figures for 2012 represent a 2.3-percent decrease in poundage and a 3.2-percent decrease in value over 2011, which saw the highest figures ever. However, poundage and value continue to remain higher than the 10-year average.
    Alaska led all states in volume of seafood landings, with 5.3-billion pounds, and in dockside value at $1.7-billion.
    Louisiana, Virginia, Washington State and California followed in volume, while Massachusetts, Maine, Louisiana and Washington State followed in value.
    For the 16th year in a row, Dutch Harbor led the nation in seafood volume, at 752-million pounds landed, with pollock making up 86-percent of that poundage.
    Kodiak’s seafood landings, at 393-million pounds, ranked fourth in the nation, behind Dutch Harbor, Empire-Venice, Louisiana, and all of the Aleutian Islands combined.
    New Bedford, Massachusetts’ $411-million led the nation in seafood value at the dock, followed by Dutch Harbor’s $214-million and Kodiak’s $170-million.
    Other figures in the report show Americans consumed 4.5-billion pounds of seafood in 2012, which averages 14.4-pounds per person. Despite catching twice as much seafood as Americans eat, over 90-percent of the seafood Americans consume is imported.

 
Oct 30 2013
Chiniak Residents Pack Meeting, Say 'Hell No' To Logging PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 30 October 2013

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             It was probably a quiet night in Chiniak last night as most of the community’s residents were packed into the borough assembly chambers, voicing concerns over a logging proposal close to their hearts and homes. On a stormy evening with less than ideal driving conditions, more than four dozen people made the trek into town, flooded the borough conference room and nearby hallway, forcing the entire meeting to be moved upstairs into the spacious assembly chambers. Still, it was standing room only as representatives from A-1 Timber Consultants, Inc., made a case for purchasing 800 acres of forested borough land in Chiniak.
            “We would like to urge the assembly to make a motion to pursue a timber sale.”

            That’s A-1 Timber Resource Manager David Nesheim, who was joined by other A-1 representatives last night, including President Tom Loushin, Operations Manager Kent Cross and Forestry Consultant Neal Hart. The foursome detailed the company’s intent to clear cut the purchased land, bringing $2 million in revenue to the Kodiak Island Borough. The plans included buffer zones around residential areas and streams, and the intent to replant seedlings following the harvest.
              But even those seemingly good intentions met intense opposition from the Chiniak residents, who were brimming with anguish, fresh from the past three years of logging on Leisnoi, Inc., lands surrounding the community. Roughly 2,000 acres of Chiniak have already been logged, and Chiniak resident Peter Hanley said he didn’t think the community or the environment could handle much more.  
              “So far I’ve heard two things totally omitted from this equation. The impact on the residents of Chiniak and the impacts on the eco system, the environment of this beautiful forest that’s been decimated by logging the last three years.”
              Hanley said the 800 acres of borough land is the only remaining substantial acreage of public forested land in the area. He added that the recent logging of Leisnoi lands have taken a huge toll on the community.

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Oct 30 2013
October Brings Domestic Violence Awareness in Kodiak PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 30 October 2013

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             Just over a year ago a local survey shed light on the staggering number of domestic violence cases in Kodiak. The survey, which was done through UAA in partnership with various local organizations, found that 44 out of every 100 women in Kodiak have experienced intimate partner violence, sexual violence, or both. According to Rebecca Shields, the executive director of the Kodiak Women’s Resource and Crisis Center, that figure was actually a conservative estimate, as the survey only contacted English speakers with a telephone.
             October has been Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Kodiak District Attorney Steve Wallace said it’s a time to remind folks to speak up if they are personally experiencing domestic violence, or witnessing it with others.
             “It’s the being quiet about it that’s so dangerous for people because people are suffering in silence. They’re afraid to say something, they don’t want to get the police involved in a situation or someone just feels awkward about well I have to live next door to these people and I don’t want to be the guy who called the police or I don’t want to be the woman who called the police because then they’re going to be mad at me.”

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Oct 29 2013
Options for Saving Storis Dwindle PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 29 October 2013

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    The retired U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Storis, which spent 50 years stationed in Kodiak, is now in Mexican waters, on its way to an Ensenada scrap yard.
    Supporters of the Storis, marine historians, organizers of the Storis Museum, and former crewmembers, have all been trying to find some way to reverse its sale at auction this summer and keep it from being exported. Over the weekend and yesterday (Monday), embassies, government agencies and U.S. Senators were contacted after documents surfaced indicating it might be illegal to export the Storis for the purpose of breaking up for scrap metal.
    Jon Ottman, a maritime historian who has taken the point on attempts to save the ship, told supporters on the Storis Facebook page that legal remedies may have been exhausted. The transport of the Storis was signed off on by the General Services Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Maritime Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard, which Ottman says makes it unlikely a federal judge would block the tow.
    The issue is that the Storis may have more contaminants on board than what is allowed to be exported.
    Ottman says Alaska Senator Mark Begich’s office continues to work on stopping the transport through diplomatic means.
    In another announcement to Storis supporters though, Ottman conceded it would take an “unforeseen miracle or unanticipated intervention” to stop the breaking up of the Storis at this point.
    The venerable ship was launched in 1942, decommissioned in 2007 and sold at auction this summer for little more than $70,000.

 
Oct 29 2013
Fish Traps - Most Efficient Salmon-Killer Ever PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 29 October 2013

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    For those new to Alaska, or perhaps under a certain age, why Alaska became a state might be a mystery. In the 1950s statehood certainly wasn’t a sure thing, with powerful forces from the Lower 48 opposing it.
    The main driver for statehood, and its opposition, stemmed from the same thing: salmon. Alaskans wanted control over the horribly mismanaged federally-run fisheries, but the Seattle processors didn’t want to see Alaskans implement more restrictive regulations.
    However the Seattle canneries were running the salmon fisheries into the ground, largely through the use of the most efficient fish-catching device the world had ever seen: fish traps.
    Gustavus author and historian James Mackovjak's latest book is called “Alaska Salmon Traps.” He gave a lecture on the subject last week in Anchorage that was streamed to colleges and libraries around the state.

 
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