National Fisherman

ANCHORAGE — A state court judge has been asked to overturn a 2011 initiative that developers of the proposed Pebble Mine say is an attempt to kill the project.
The Save our Salmon initiative, passed by Lake and Peninsula Borough voters, bans large-scale resource extraction, including mining, that would destroy or degrade salmon habitat.
The Pebble Limited Partnership and the state have asked Judge John Suddock to strike down the initiative. They argue it wrongly elevates the borough’s role above the state’s role in overseeing natural resources, the Anchorage Daily News reported.
The state also has told Suddock the proposed Pebble Mine couldn’t be developed if the initiative stands.
“We’re not prohibiting mining in the borough. We’re prohibiting harm to salmon,” said Josh Van Gorkom, a lawyer representing the borough.
Suddock asked another lawyer if the intent of the initiative wasn’t to stop Pebble, saying “the operation of an open pit mine is incompatible with people in hip boots.”
Attorney Scott Kendall replied the initiative sponsors, George Jacko and Jackie Hobson, just wanted to “give salmon a seat at the table.”
The language of the initiative says the borough cannot approve a project that will harm salmon, Kendall said.
Read the full story at the Juneau Empire>>

Inside the Industry

The anti-mining group Salmon Beyond Borders expressed disappointment and dismay last week at Alaska Governor Bill Walker’s announcement that he has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with B.C. Premier Christy Clark.

This came just days after his administration asked members of his newly-formed Transboundary Rivers Citizens Advisory Work Group to provide comment on a Draft Statement of Cooperation associated with Transboundary mining.


NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.

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