National Fisherman

SANTA CRUZ — State and federal agencies negotiating with Santa Cruz over fish-habitat protection say the city has not thoroughly studied alternatives to a proposed seawater desalination facility designed to boost water supply.

Letters from the National Marine Fisheries Service and California Department of Fish and Wildlife critiquing an environmental evaluation of the now-stalled desal project say the city should explore the cumulative potential of its own infrastructure improvements and regional coordination.

The agencies — whose requests for improved river and stream flows have been cited by the city as a primary reason for pursuing desal — say a host of additional alternatives were rejected without adequate investigation.

The regulators have not taken a position on desal, but are among a host of agencies that would have some permitting authority over the plant.

"Unfortunately, the alternatives analysis does not appear to thoroughly evaluate alternatives recommended by the NMFS and CDFW through more than 10 years of technical assistance provided to the city" in the development of a fish conservation plan, the federal agency said in its letter.

Read the full story at the Santa Cruz Sentinel>>

Inside the Industry

NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.


Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.

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