Wednesday, March 30, 2011

ComFish 2011 Offers Full Array of Topics, Speakers

ComFish 2011, coming at Kodiak April 14-16, is packed with fishery policy forums on a list of topics ranging seafood marketing updates to safety technology, alternative energy information, new products and environmental issues.

An impressive speakers list begins with Kodiak’s Mark Buckley, with his report card to fishermen on how their efforts paid off in much improved quality of sockeye salmon harvested from Bristol Bay during the 2010 season.

Buckley, who is pursuing a doctoral degree based on his fisheries research, has spent nearly 40 years working in many fields related to Alaska fisheries, and fished the bay himself for 22 summers. Now his research is based on helping fish harvesters get a better price for their salmon by better handling of the fish from the time it is picked from nets until it reaches the processing facilities.

Peter Bechtel of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, who is affiliated with the US Department of Agriculture, will talk about waste in the seafood industry , with tips on how now wasted parts of fish can be turned into profitable new products.

Alaska Senator Mark Begich, who chairs the Senate subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard, will update ComFish attendees on congressional legislation, and Ken Lawrenson, fishing vessel safety coordinator for the U.S. Coast Guard 17th district, will talk about new regulations for dockside exams that will begin in late 2012.

Another perennial topic – development of non-renewable natural resources – will be discussed in forums on the proposed Chuitna coal mine project in Cook Inlet and the proposed Pebble mine at the headwaters of the Bristol Bay watershed.
These presentations will be led by Dennis Gann, of Cook InletKeeper and the Renewable Resources Coalition respectively.

The last day of ComFish will include the showing of the film “Ocean Fury: Tsunamis in Alaska,” by Alaska Sea Grant. The award-winning film features live footage and interviews with survivors of the 1964 Alaska earthquake and deadly tsunamis in its wake on Alaska communities.

More information is at

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