National Fisherman

Earthworks confirmed that more than 100 jewelers, representing more than $6 billion in annual sales, have pledged their support to protect  Alaska’s Bristol Bay from the proposed Pebble Mine. The jewelers have either issued comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or signed the Bristol Bay Protection Pledge citing Earthworks' findings that the gold and copper mine would destroy the world’s largest wild salmon fishery in the area. The EPA extended its public comment period on the Pebble Mine until June 30.

The Pebble Mine is a project of Anglo American and Northern Dynasty Minerals, and Earthworks and an EPA preliminary impact statement alleges that the open pit operation would dispose of billions of tons of toxic waste into the watershed.

"When a foreign mining company lobbies Washington for permission to dig the largest open pit mine in North America in the middle of one of Alaska’s most ecologically sensitive areas, it is clearly time for the White House to say 'no,'" said Brian Leber, the president of Leber Jeweler Inc. and a third generation jeweler. "The EPA has the authority to prevent this travesty, but they need to act now."

Earthworks' Bonnie Gestring said, "The American public doesn’t want to see the gold jewelry they buy come at the expense of the world’s greatest wild salmon fishery. We commend the jewelers for their principled position."

In addition to jewelers,  commercial fishermen in Alaska, the region's Native Tribes, Anglo investors, supermarkets and sportsmen have all called upon  the EPA to protect Bristol Bay from mining by invoking section 404c of the Clean Water Act to restrict the dumping of mine waste into streams and wetlands that drain into the bay. The EPA’s impact statement  found that 90 miles of streams could be blocked or eliminated, another 34 miles harmed by reduced stream flow, and 4,800 acres of wetlands destroyed under normal operation of the Pebble Mine.

Read the full story at Rapaport>>

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 1/13/15

In this episode:

Council hosts public hearing on Cashes Ledge
Report assesses Chesapeake water, fisheries
Warmer waters shake up Jersey fishing
North Pacific observer program altered for 2015
Woman aims to crowdsource lobstering career

National Fisherman Live: 12/30/14

In this episode, Michael Crowley, National Fisherman's Boats & Gear editor, interviews Chelsea Woodward, an engineer working with the NIOSH Alaska Pacific Office to design static guards for main drum winches used in the side trawl fishery in the Gulf of Mexico.

Inside the Industry

The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute is still seeking public review and comment on the Alaska Responsible Fisheries Management Conformance Criteria (Version 1.2, September 2011). The public review and comment period, which opened on Dec. 3, 2014, runs through Monday, Feb. 3.

Read more...

NOAA, in consultation with the Department of the Interior, has appointed 10 new members to the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. The 20-member committee is composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience who advise the departments of commerce and the interior on ways to strengthen and connect the nation's MPA programs. The new members join the 10 continuing members appointed in 2012.

Read more...

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