National Fisherman


The Pebble Partnership plans to spend $80 million this year on advancing its proposed mine in Alaska's Bristol Bay.

The proposed Pebble Mine, 200 miles southwest of Anchorage, is estimated to hold 81 billion pounds of copper, 107 million ounces of gold and 5 billion pounds of molybdenum, and is said to be one of the largest such deposits in the world. However, the location of the proposed massive open-pit mine — near the breeding grounds of the fertile Bristol Bay salmon fishery — has led to intense scrutiny by opponents of the mine who say it would damage salmon streams that are important both commercially and culturally to the region.

The Pebble Partnership is 50-50 venture between global mining companies Anglo American and Northern Dynasty. Last year, the Pebble Partnership spent $107 million on preparing the permit application for the proposed mine. To date, the partnership has spent $680 million steering the project toward development.

The $80 million spent this year will come from Anglo American, due to the way the joint venture is structured, said Mike Heatwole, Pebble Partnership spokesperson. This year's funds will be spent with the goal of developing an overall project description and toward initiating the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) permit process.

NEPA permitting represents "the very beginning" of a years-long quest to collect more than 60 permits and approvals from various federal and state agencies, all required before the mine can proceed, Heatwole said.

Read the full story at the Alaska Dispatch>>

Inside the Industry

NOAA recently published a proposed rule that would implement a traceability plan to help combat IUU fishing. The program would seek to trace the origins of imported seafood by setting up reporting and filing procedures for products entering the U.S.

The traceability program would collect data on harvest, landing, and chain of custody of fish and fish products that have been identified as particularly vulnerable to IUU fishing and fraud.

Read more...

The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

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