National Fisherman

The EPA is scheduled to release its revised watershed assessment for the proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay sometime this spring.

Conservation groups are stepping up the lobbying pressure in Washington in anticipation of the ruling.

There are a whole host of groups who oppose the Pebble Mine from the Bristol Bay Native Corporation down to independent subsistence fishermen.

But the sheer volume of mineral resources and the hundreds of billions of dollars in possible revenue have enticed many to support the mine.

"It's a of a size that they've told their shareholders is three times bigger than the biggest mine in North America," former Alaska State Senate President Rick Halford said at a happy hour outside of Washington, D.C. for conservationists.

The Republican has been an outspoken critic of the mine, saying there's no way an open pit mine of Pebble's magnitude could coincide with the world's largest red salmon fishery.

Halford, who represented Chugiak in the state Senate, has both personal and commercial interests in Bristol Bay. He owns a cabin and runs an outfitter service in Western Alaska.

He says the Pebble Partnership needs to step forward and submit its application for a permit.

"Hiding behind the 'we haven't applied yet' when they have the Wardrop Report that they've paid for and filed with the Security and Exchange Commission; when they have their water rights application that's hundreds of pages long, to take all the water from in both forks of the Koktuli and Upper Talarik creek. They have a lot on paper," Halford said.

Read the full story at Alaska Public Media>>

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 3/10/15

In this episode, Online Editor Leslie Taylor talks with Mike McLouglin, vice president of Dunlop Industrial and Protective Footwear.

National Fisherman Live: 2/24/15

In this episode:

March date set for disaster aid dispersal
Oregon LNG project could disrupt fishing
NOAA tweaks gear marking requirement
N.C. launches first commercial/recreational dock
Spiny lobster traps limits not well received

Inside the Industry

NMFS announced two changes in regulations that apply to federal fishing permit holders starting Aug. 26.

First, they have eliminated the requirement for vessel owners to submit “did not fish” reports for the months or weeks when their vessel was not fishing.

Some of the restrictions for upgrading vessels listed on federal fishing permits have also been removed.

Read more...

Alaskans will meet with British Columbia’s Minister of Energy and Mines, Bill Bennett, when he visits Juneau next week and will ask him to support an international review of mine developments in northwest British Columbia, upstream from Southeast Alaska along the Taku, Stikine and Unuk transboundary rivers.

Some Alaska fishing and environmental groups believe an international review is the best way to develop specific, binding commitments to ensure clean water, salmon, jobs and traditional and customary practices are not harmed by British Columbia mines and that adequate financial assurances are in place up front to cover long-term monitoring and compensation for damages.

Read more...
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