National Fisherman


Four years ago, a disgruntled contractor for opponents of a proposed Pebble mine sold insider emails, donor lists, bank records and other information to the Pebble Partnership for $50,000, an arbitrator found -- setting in motion a chain of upheaval in the epic political war over the huge gold and copper prospect.

The fallout is still showing up in court cases from Anchorage to Los Angeles, including:

The contractor, Robert Kaplan, declared personal bankruptcy.

One of Alaska's most prominent political consultants, Art Hackney, who also worked for the mine opponents, said his business took a $1 million hit.

And the man bankrolling the anti-Pebble effort, multimillionaire money manager Bob Gillam, is accusing top players at the Alaska Public Offices Commission of trying to ruin him.

The mine developer, Pebble Ltd. Partnership, used the inside information from Kaplan, a Los Angeles-based professional fundraiser, as the framework for a complaint accusing Gillam of secretly funneling nearly $2 million into a 2008 clean water ballot initiative aimed at stopping the mine project.

With Pebble and mining groups pouring in far more money on the other side, the campaign — at $12.5 million — became the most expensive in Alaska history. The mining interests succeeded in defeating the ballot measure.

Pebble's purchase of information from inside the opposition camp was revealed to mine opponents in 2011, in a California business arbitration case, but only became known to the public last year, when the arbitration decision was filed in a related federal court case in Los Angeles.

Read the full story at the Anchorage Daily News>>

Inside the Industry

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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Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.

Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.

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