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The United Cook Inlet Drift Association (UCIDA) was incorporated in 1980 to represent the 570 drift gillnet salmon fishing permit holders in Alaska’s Cook Inlet. UCIDA’s purpose is to enhance and perpetuate the interests of this valuable commercial salmon fishing industry.

Wild Alaskan salmon have been commercially harvested in Cook Inlet since 1882. Over the past twenty years, the drift gillnet fishing fleet has harvested more than 271 million pounds of salmon, primarily sockeye salmon. The combined efforts of the drift and set gillnet fisheries in Upper Cook Inlet have produced average annual harvests of over 23 million pounds of wild salmon for the American and world markets during the past twenty years. Five percent of the world’s supply of sockeye salmon comes from Cook Inlet.

UCIDA’s Board of Directors and staff work to promote responsible management to ensure the long-term health of this abundant salmon resource and the resulting opportunities and benefits it provides. The day-to-day work of UCIDA covers an extremely broad range of issues that ultimately affect salmon, their harvest and marketing. These may include fishery management, invasive species, oil and gas lease sales, navigation issues, endangered species acts, oil spill response, local, state and federal regulatory issues and both state and federal litigation.

The nine members of the Board of Directors serve staggered three-year terms. Elections are held at annual membership meetings. Members (Upper Cook Inlet drift gillnet permit holders) and Associate Members are encouraged to attend all Board meetings.

The current Executive Director is Roland Maw. Dr. Maw has an educational background in zoology and biology and holds a PhD in Forestry, Natural Resource Management. Grizzly and Black Bear Management was the focus of his doctoral studies. He is co-author of Fishing Canada’s Mountain Parks. Roland is an Upper Cook Inlet drift gillnet permit holder and has served on the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission as well as numerous other state, and local, boards and commissions.

 

Office Manager – Audrey Salmon – info@ucida.org

Executive Director – Roland Maw – rmaw@ucida.org   F/V Americanus

Board of Directors

David MartinPresidentF/V Kaguyak
Erik Huebsch1st VPF/V Williwaw
Ian Pitzman2nd VPF/V Stephanie Anne
Paul MackieSec/TreasF/V Lorri Lee
Ilia KuzminDirectorF/V Currency
John McCombsDirectorF/V Katydid
Lavrentii (Larry) ReutovDirectorF/V Intrepid
Steve TvenstrupDirectorF/V Alaskan Lady
Dyer VanDevereDirectorF/V Swift Arrow

 


43961 K-Beach Road, Suite E
Soldotna, Alaska
(907) 260-9436

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SALMON UPDATE: Pink and sockeye salmon harvests beat the forecast this year while keta (chum) salmon came up short. Chinook harvests are near the forecast. Coho fishing will continue well into Septemb...

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Bristol Bay Seafood Development Assoc. looking for ways to fund salmon permit buybacks (Fish Radio)

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Fish Radio with Laine Welch] December 19, 2014

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Fishermen like the idea of permit buybacks at Bristol Bay – but question how to pay for it. More after this –

Fish Radio is brought to you by the At-Sea Processors Association. APA fishing companies hold job fairs and support training programs to promote good paying job opportunities for Alaskans in the Alaska pollock industry. Learn more about fishing and processing jobs at www.atsea.org

Federal grants are available to help “Made in America” companies compete with imports and save US jobs. Learn more at www.nwtaac.org.

Trimming the number of salmon fishermen at Bristol Bay has been discussed for decades.When limited entry began in the 1970s, the state Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission adopted an optimum number of 1,669 permits for the Bay’s drift gillnet fishery.

Ten years ago, a CFEC study concluded that an optimum range of 900 to 1,400 permits would provide a reasonable balance of economic, conservation and fishery management concerns.

Today there are 1,858 drift permits active at Bristol Bay. A buyback would retire 300 – 500 boats from the fishery.

At a packed Expo gathering last month in Seattle, a majority of permit holders said that favored reducing the fleet.

"When the question was raised generally of do you support a fleet reduction, probably 2/3 of the folks raised their hands. Then when the question was focused down to how many of you prefer a buyback, that dropped to about a third."

Sue Aspelund is director of the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association,operated and funded by fishermen with a one percent tax on their catches. At issue is how to pay for a permit buyback. It would likely come in the form of a federal loan to be repaid by the fleet.

Aspelund says the RSDA will survey the drift permit holders again to see if they want a second study to analyze the socio-economic impacts of a buyout .

"I think that’s the study that a lot of people, especially in the Bay are really interested in. The take home is how is it going to affect real people living in Alaska who are really dependent on that fishery."

The RSDA would organize and fund the study, but the group has not taken a position on the permit buyback.

Thanks to the assist from KDLG in Dillingham.

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods. Ocean Beauty has contributed over 10 million meals to the U.S. Food Bank network, and is committed to ending hunger in America.www.oceanbeauty.com

In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.



Michael Ramsingh
SeafoodNews.com 1-732-240-5330
Email comments to michaelramsingh@seafood.com

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LA Times praises Bristol Bay drilling protections, says same logic must apply to Pebble Mine

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [LA Times] (Opinion) Dec 19, 2014 -

 President Obama's decision to permanently protect Alaska's Bristol Bay and adjacent lands from oil and gas drilling is so clearly the correct decision that the only objections will come from those whose sole interest is the welfare of those two energy industries.

The area in southern Alaska is home to walrus, sea otters and several kinds of whales, grizzly bears, wolverines and many other species. It's a popular tourist attraction too. But perhaps above all, Bristol Bay is the nation's fishing net, just as California's Central Valley is the nation's food basket. Forty percent of the wild seafood consumed in the United States comes from the bay, which has the world's largest sockeye salmon run, a sign of a particularly well-managed fishery.

The combined economic contribution of fishing and tourism in the region outstrips by many times over the total amount that oil and gas exploration would provide. That makes the president's decision economically sound as well as environmentally important.

But there is not much point in protecting the bay without protecting the rivers that feed it. That's why federal and state regulators should say no to the Pebble Mine, a proposed copper and gold mine at the headwaters of two of the eight major rivers that eventually arrive at Bristol Bay.

It would cover 20 square miles, making it one of the largest mines in the world, and the amount of toxin-laced waste it would produce would require construction of an earthen dam several miles long and 700 feet high. It would take something that big to hold the estimated minimum of 2.5 million tons of mine waste, which would require environmental treatment in perpetuity. There are valid concerns about leaks into groundwater and surface water as well as worries about how well the dam would hold up should a major earthquake occur, like the 9.2-magnitude quake that struck southern Alaska in 1964.

This year the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency took steps to severely limit mining operations in the area, saying that discharge from the mine could seriously and irreversibly harm the salmon run. But the developer, Canada-based Pebble Partnership, sued, and in November a judge issued a preliminary injunction preventing the EPA from immediately moving forward with its plans.

The agency has science on its side. And state residents too: In November, 65% of Alaska voters supported a proposition that gives the Legislature the authority to veto the mine even if it receives federal and state regulatory approval. The Pebble Mine was never a good idea, and it never will be.


John Sackton, Editor And Publisher
SeafoodNews.com 1-781-861-1441
Email comments to jsackton@seafood.com

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Sitka board approves 2 parcels sale to Silver Bay; dispute with Alaska Pacific Packing remains

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Sitka Sentinel] by Shannon Haugland - Dec 19, 2014

Sitka - The Gary Paxton Industrial Park board voted Wednesday night in favor of selling two parcels of land at the park to Silver Bay Seafoods for about $1.14 million, and entering into a “lease to purchase” agreement on the administration building property.

But board members held off on making the more controversial decisions about sale of other property at the park to Silver Bay or another prospective buyer, saying they needed more information before going forward. They also wanted guidance from the Assembly, and to give the two companies a chance to work out an agreement.

The Assembly will have the final say on all sale of property at the city-owned industrial park.

Silver Bay Seafoods says it wants to take over the majority of the land in the park to expand its seafood plant, build a canning line and process fish waste. The company also would like to take over the administration building for office space and operate a marine services center, working with Halibut Point Marine to build a boat haulout.

The three-hour session was a regular meeting of the industrial park board, which usually meets during the day at its downtown office. But park director Garry White set the session for an evening in Centennial Hall to give the public a greater opportunity participate and hear the presentation from Silver Bay.

About two dozen members of the public attended with only a few offering comments.

Silver Bay CEO Rich Riggs said the company currently has a $30 million investment on the property, and would like to continue building on its success.

“Our primary vision is still to have state-of-the-art processing facilities, ” Riggs said in his presentation. He highlighted the growth of the company since its founding in 2006 in Sitka, to building plants around Alaska, as well as in California and Puget Sound. He said he and his partners are invested in Sitka.

Major changes from earlier proposals include leaving 1,000 linear feet of waterfront property in the city’s ownership, and reducing one area in hopes of accommodating the interest in the same parcel by another company, Alaska and Pacific Packing. Riggs said the scope of APP’s work appears to complement other services SBS is planning at the park.

The second deal on the table is for a lease to Alaska and Pacific Packing to build facilities to design and fabricate seafood processing equipment and other marine services. Those plans call for building an access ramp and floating dock, as well as buildings on the uplands.

The two deals overlap at a few points. No resolution was reached, and board members encouraged White to work with APP and Silver Bay on a possible compromise to avoid a conflict.

The board voted 5-0 to:

– sell lot 11 on the side of the park closest to town, to be used as a seafood byproducts and fish oil plant. The 25,606-square-foot lot will be sold at the appraised value of $319,000

– sell lots 9c, 12a and 13 in the center of the park, next to the proposed multipurpose dock location. The 173,054-square-foot parcel (4 acres) will be used for value added seafood processing and cold storage. (SBS has removed its offer for lot 9a, where Alaska and Pacific Packing had planned its project, but a conflict remains over access to the waterfront between the two companies.) The lots will be sold for the appraised value of $825,000. The city plans to build marine haul-out piers to accommodate a 250 ton marine TravelLift, owned by Silver Bay, and Silver Bay would install an EPA complaint wash-down pad.

– lease to purchase the administration building property, a 37,244-square-foot parcel to be used as corporate offices of Silver Bay and administrative offices for the marine services center. The company will pay $1 a year to lease, until it’s available for purchase for the land price of $233,000. (The 32,000-square-foot building has been appraised at zero.) The city in 2001 accepted a $5 million grant for repairs and is not allowed to sell it for another seven years. White said the building operates at a loss, even when fully occupied. Under the agreement approved by the board, the company is obligated to pay for repairs and maintenance, and purchase the building when the conditions expire on the Economic Development Administration grant.

Still on the table are the offers from Silver Bay to buy:

– a portion of lot 9a, about 35,000 square feet of waterfront property next to the multipurpose dock and upland from the current utility dock for a vessel wash-down and short term vessel storage. The city proposes leasing the property for 12 years, with an option to buy if milestones are met.

– lot 15, which is 113,369 square feet in the center of the park, for vessel storage and covered work space in the future. The city is proposing a 12-year lease with the option to purchase if the company purchases a TraveLift that is operational on site, installs an EPA- approved washdown pad, and has lifted 20 vessels.

– lots 4, 9a and water access (89,031 square feet) for a marine services center with the same 12-year lease terms, and the option to purchase. (Lot 8 was originally part of this parcel, but SBS withdrew to allow the city to negotiate for the parcel with Alaska and Pacific Packing, which is also interested in the same land.)

The total appraised property value of all parcels for SBS is $3.1 million.

One of the terms in the proposed sale gives the city the first right of refusal to purchase lots 4, 8 and 9a and areas designated as water access in the event SBS offers the properties for sale.

The board didn’t consider the offers on parcels where a second lease offer had been received by Alaska and Pacific Packing, which proposes leasing Lot 4 for engineering offices, a fabrication shop and future freezing operations (26,031 square feet). The board proposed milestones that the company employ two full time people for 12 months, and freezes at least 10 tons of fish waste on the site.

APP has also asked to lease a 12,500 square feet of tidelands directly in front of lot 4 to construct an access ramp and floating dock to service a floating processor and other vessels. Also requested is Lot 8, for 32,362 square feet for future marine service uses; and a portion of 9a, a 30,000 square feet lot for marine services, which includes a little waterfront.

The appraised value of the lease is $87,350 a year. APP has proposed paying $47,643, after receiving a $10,000 annual credit for each employee hired, for the first three years of operation.

APP owner Pat Glaab said his plans, which were submitted first, call for “building a business incorporating highly skilled professionals and innovative processing technologies, and Sitka is my first choice for this enterprise. ”

He said his resume goes back 30 years, operating, designing and building fish processing equipment and facilities, including the Silver Bay plant.

“I have been on the leading edge of fisheries expansion and development and have had the good fortune to be the principal design and construction engineer for nine major retrofits and new plants, ” Glaab said in his letter to the board.

He told the board that guaranteed access to the waterfront is critical to his plans.

From the public, Nancy Davis, who was on the original Sawmill Cove Industrial Park board, spoke in favor of the SBS proposal.

“Jobs, jobs, jobs have always been number one since the pulp mill was shut down, ” she said. Davis said Silver Bay is a company that’s “tried and true, is successful, and are Sitkans. ”

On a discussion about a multipurpose dock, the board directed city staff to come back with an estimate of what it would cost to build a dock with a 200-foot dockface, with a depth of 40 feet and the capacity for a 250-ton Travelift to be used in conjunction with a private haulout and marine services center. The board also asked for an estimate of what facility the city can build with the $7.5 million in state funding available for the project.

“It’s critically important we get a marine haulout, ” Chairman Grant Miller said, speaking by teleconference. “We’ve been hemorrhaging boats for a long time now. In order to (restart) our economy and bring industry back to full life we need to get a facility that can handle these boats. ”

City Public Works Director Michael Harmon said he believes a dock like the one the board is talking about would cost $11 million or $12 million, but said he would get back to the board with his estimate.

City Administrator Mark Gorman said the idea of a marine services center, including a haulout, seems to be the one idea at the park that the community can agree on.

“I haven’t heard from anyone that we shouldn’t build a marine services center at the park, ” he said. “I haven’t heard anyone say that’s a really bad idea. ”

He cautioned the board that no help would be coming from the state or federal government for such a facility.

“We have the potential for a private-public partnership to achieve something the public supports in terms of infrastructure, ” Gorman said.

The only issues that were resolved from the SBS offer were the sales for the two parcels, and lease to purchase agreement for the administration building. The proposals must go to the Assembly for approval.

White said today he is working on setting up a joint work session between the Assembly and the board to work out issues.

The board also had other business on the table, and voted:

– 5-0 to recommend selling lot 17 for $110,000 for Ed and Clara Gray of Monarch Tannery for a building to house the company’s tanning operation. Ed Gray, participating by phone, said his company hopes to eventually process 5,000 marine mammal skins a year, to support a potential $15 million sewing industry in Southeast. Monarch is being displaced from the administration building, with the sale of the lot to SBS, and needs another home for his company. The board debated briefly whether to include performance milestones, but in the end declined to do that.

“I think Ed has to go somewhere, ” Miller said. “The price has already gone up. I’d hate to put up more hurdles.



John Sackton, Editor And Publisher
SeafoodNews.com 1-781-861-1441
Email comments to jsackton@seafood.com

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