Archives for October 2012

UFA targets sea otter policies, the Arctic, selects Man of the Year

 

 

Fish Radio
UFA outlines issues, selects Man of the Year
October 26, 2012

 This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – UFA eyes otters and the Arctic and selects its man of the year. More after this —

 Fish Radio is brought to you by the At-Sea Processors Association – The APA’s Alaska pollock companies fund marine research programs at Alaskan universities to improve our understanding of the environment and to promoteconservation of ocean resources. Learn more about APA’s conservation efforts at  www.atsea.org

 Fish Radio is also brought to you by the Renewable Resources Coalition. Protecting your Alaskan hunting and fishing grounds. Learn more on Facebook and at www.RenewableResourcesCoalition.org 

 United Fishermen of Alaska is the nation’s largest industry trade group representing nearly 40  organizations. At its annual meeting last week, UFA outlined policy watches at state and federal levels, gave out awards and offered a job. One agenda topper is to work closely with state and federal  overseers of  sea otters in Southeast.  UFA executive director Mark Vinsel. 

 Cut: I think there is opportunity to help further opportunities for Alaska Native to more readily use sea otters in their art and also the need for a management plan. We’ve got species considerations but one thing that is lacking in the in US policy is an ESA for exploding species. And I think that is a situation that all parties see happening here in Southeast Alaska with the sea otters. 6

 Vinsel says UFA supports the restructured observer program but urges that electronic  monitoring be developed as quickly, especially  for smaller boats that have trouble accommodating  onboard observers. UFA is tracking new rules being developed under the Coast Guard Act and backs its increased presence in ‘high latitude’ regions.

 Cut; As more and more commerce is going on up north and the Arctic and North Pacific is the place to be and we need the Coast Guard there to help with enforcement and response capabilities. 8

 UFA also maintains a dialog with Alaska mining interests. The group opposes both the Pebble and Chuitna Mines, but communication pays off, Vinsel says. Case in point – the Kensington Mine near Juneau-

 Cut: They were able to work out their concerns in the planning stages of the Kensington mine and ended up with changes that accommodated those concerns. And that is the way both industries can move forward successfully. 13

 Other highlights:  UFA awarded Ray Riutta its Man of the Year award. Riutta is stepping down as director of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute after 10 years. Mark Vinsel: 

 Cut; If we had a title of UFA man of the decade that’s probably what it would’ve been. During his time virtually all of the species that ASMI represents have really carved out their territory in the world markets and Ray is a big part of organizing and running it effectively. 2

 UFA Hall of Famers were John Winther and Eric McDowell, both who passed this year. The Fishermen of the Year award went to Alaska scallop harvesters and advocates, Jim and Mona Stone.

 Mark Vinsel is leaving the UFA executive directorship to take over as administrator duties. The   position was offered to Julianne Curry of Petersburg who has two weeks to decide if she will take the UFA job.

 http://www.ufa-fish.org/index.htm

 Check out the line up next month at Pacific Marine Expo. N ew Dates!  Nov 27-29 www.pacificmarineexpo.com

 Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods.  Ocean Beauty has contributed over 10 million meals to the U.S. Food Bank network, and is committed to ending hunger in America. www.oceanbeauty.com  In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.

 

 

 

Alaska shellfish growers focus on mussels, need for oyster seed

Fish Radio
Shellfish focus on mussels, need for oyster seed
October 25, 2012

 This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch — Alaska shellfish growers gather in Ketchikan. More on mussels, oysters and the need for seed, after this —

 Fish Radio is brought to you by the At-Sea Processors Association – The APA’s Alaska pollock companies fund marine research programs at Alaskan universities to improve our understanding of the environment and to promoteconservation of ocean resources. Learn more about APA’s conservation efforts at  www.atsea.org

 Fish Radio is also brought to you by the Renewable Resources Coalition. Protecting your Alaskan hunting and fishing grounds. Learn more on Facebook and at www.RenewableResourcesCoalition.org 

 

Workshops and training for Alaskan shellfish growers will take up several days in Ketchikan next month. The industry continues to grow slowly but steadily in Southeast and Southcentral regions, and it gets backing from lawmakers.  A new focus is creating farms for  popular blue mussels starting with a state backed pilot project at Kachemak Bay near Homer.

 Cut: I’ve had mussels from Kachemak Bay – they are just incredible, the quality of those mussels. So I’m looking forward to this. There is a huge demand for mussels in the US, there is a shortage – we have to buy our mussels from Canada or elsewhere in the US.7

 Ray Ralonde is a Sea Grant aquaculture specialist providing technical know how for the mussel project. One big challenge, he says, will be keeping the tasty crop away from sea otters.

 Cut: I was at a World Aquaculture conference and they actually have wire meshed netting that is used for marine rearing of pen reared  fish and it is shark proof, so the potential is that our otters won’t be able to get through it.  

 By far oysters are Alaska’s biggest bivalve crop – one that is poised for expansion. RaLonde says, the biggest hurdle is getting enough seed to start them growing.

 Cut: The problem is we can’t get enough seed and neither can the entire west coast of the US. Because the hatcheries in WA that produce most of the seed have been really hammered with ocean acidification problems and the larvae aren’t surviving.8

 Ketchikan’s new Oceans Alaska Center has built an oyster starting facility – and is growing    geoduck larvae seed as well. The Alutiiq Hatchery at Seward also plans to begin doing seed soon. RaLonde says the ultimate goal is to ‘close the loop’ in Alaska.

 Cut: We’ve got to move production away from reliance on Outside producers. But we are in a transitional phase right now. It’s not an easy time for farmers to make adjustments.  And we are trying to help each other out as much as we can. Industry wide from California to Alaska we are like a big family. We all know each other and support each other; we provide all kinds of technical assistance and labor and all kinds of shared thing in the industry.  We’re at that stage now where we want to raise the whole ship. 13

 The Shellfish Farming Technology Training is Nov 7-8 – the Alaska shellfish Growers Association meets on the 9th and a special Seed Shortages Workshop is set for Saturday. All events are at the Cape Fox Lodge in Ketchikan.

 Get more info at the Sea Grant website and Find a link at Fish Radio on Facebook.  http://seagrant.uaf.edu/map/workshops/2012/shellfishtechnology/index.php

 Check out the line up next month at Pacific Marine Expo. New Dates!  Nov 27-29 www.pacificmarineexpo.com

 Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods.  Ocean Beauty has contributed over 10 million meals to the U.S. Food Bank network, and is committed to ending hunger in America. www.oceanbeauty.com  In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.