Wednesday, March 27, 2019

New Public Hearings Underway on Permitting
Pebble Mine

Public hearings are being held in the Bristol Bay region and Southcentral Alaska through April 16 as part of the national public comment period on the draft environmental impact statement for the proposed Pebble mine near the Bristol Bay watershed in Southwest Alaska.

Thirty-one of the 33 people who testified at the first hearing at Naknek on Monday, March 25, spoke in opposition to the mine. Among them was Bristol Bay harvester Martin Speak of Seattle, Wash. He told the US Army Corps of Engineers “it is complete folly to think you can contain these proposed massive tailing ponds,” citing the Mt. Polley mine disaster in British Columbia as an example. “To date, nobody is being held responsible for that disaster, and they’re telling us this time they’re getting it right,” he added.

Commercial harvester Everett Thompson of Naknek said he saw a lot of language in the draft EIS like “not expected to” or “unlikely” in response to fishermen’s concerns. He said he saw no seismic analysis that gives him certainty that something catastrophic won’t happen to the mine, nor a reclamation plan that he trusts, knowing that many mines change ownership and end in bankruptcy and superfund sites.

Another meeting was held yesterday in Kokhanok and today’s hearing is in Newhalen. Others are scheduled for

• March 28 in Igiugig

• March 29 in New Stuyahok

• April 8 in Nondalton

• April 9 in Dillingham

• April 11 in Homer and

• April 16 in Anchorage

The current deadline for all comments is May 30. According to John Budnik, public affairs specialist with the US Army Corps of Engineers, no decision has been made yet on whether to extend that 90-day deadline beyond that date. Comments may be mailed to:

USACE Alaska District, Attn: DA Permit Application 2017-271, Pebble Limited Partnership, 645 G Street Suite 100-921, Anchorage, Alaska 99501

Further information is available at

Fresh Halibut Available in Shops and Restaurants

It’s halibut season and harvesters in the commercial halibut are seeing their harvest for sale from Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle, Washington to fine restaurants in Washington state, Alaska and beyond.

Fresh whole halibut are going for $18.99 a pound, while fresh halibut fillets are $29.99 a pound this week at Pike Place Fish Market. In Anchorage, fishmongers at New Sagaya were offering five pounds of fresh halibut fillets for $185.95, about $37 a pound. Online seafood purveyor FishEx had those fresh halibut fillets for $46.95 a pound.

Meanwhile Alaska seafood restaurants added creative fresh halibut fillet entrees to their menus at prices ranging from $32 to $38 a plate.

Offerings ranged from fresh Alaska halibut with bok choy, bacon, grape tomatoes and pineapple soy sherry for $36.95 at Orso in Anchorage to grilled halibut on pan fried potatoes, spinach, Portobello mushrooms, onions, apples, grape tomatoes and asparagus with balsamic glaze for $32.95 at the historic Pumphouse in Fairbanks. At Hangar on the Wharf in Juneau, cups of halibut chowder go for $7.99, and bowls sell for $9.99, while wild Alaska halibut grilled with a macadamia nut crust, served with pineapple curry and vegetables is $32.99.

“The opener got off to a rough start for harvesters on March 15, with 22-foot seas and 50 knot winds, but then the weather improved for several days, allowing some fishermen to get out and back with their catch in one day,” said Linda Behnken, a veteran halibut harvester and executive director of the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association in Sitka. Processors were reportedly offering $6 a pound for the commercial harvest catch.

ComFish Alaska 2019 Back for 40th Year in Kodiak

ComFish Alaska, the seafood industry’s annual forum and trade show, opens in Kodiak, Alaska, on Thursday, March 28. The event features three days of networking and forums on issues ranging from legal challenges and safety to energy audits, vessel upgrades and fish politics.

Thursday’s agenda includes presentations by the US Coast Guard and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, in addition to forums on legal challenges and business investment, and a legislative update on fisheries issues from Rep. Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak.

On Friday, forums will focus on global markets for Alaska’s wild seafood and the value of that seafood on domestic and foreign markets, as well as creative solutions to recycling tons of retired fishnet, and an update on the proposed Pebble Mine near the Bristol Bay watershed in Southwest Alaska.

The event also includes activities showcasing the abundant varieties of fish harvested in the Kodiak area and the skills of both processors and harvesters. A fish toss competition will determine which team of processor workers can throw and catch different species the farthest. Fishermen will compete in coiling, knot tying, hook throwing, rail tie/hitch and donning survival suits.

Several dozen vendors will be on hand at the ComFish Trade show, offering services and new products, including Trident Seafoods, which hosts an annual tasting of its latest seafood products.

Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Marks 30th Anniversary

Thirty years after the big oil spill in Alaska’s Prince William Sound the memory of the environmental disaster is still fresh in the minds of those who were there and those seeking to deal more effectively with such spills.

At a recent Exxon Valdez conference in Anchorage, Alaska, hosted by Alaska Sea Grant, participants talked about the need for detailed preparation for future spills, pointing out the importance of knowing where all equipment is located and how to get it to the scene.

That was a major issue back on March 24, 1987, when the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground on Bligh Reef, and began hemorrhaging crude oil into Prince William Sound, noted Steve Cowper, who as Alaska’s sixth governor had to deal with the spill.

In retrospect, Cowper said in an interview this week, “everybody probably could have thought of something they could have done, but you don’t get that luxury in real life.”

Cowper, a former maritime lawyer, remarked that on the day of the spill the weather was good, calm, and continued to be so for several days, and that had anyone had a skimmer they could have gotten a lot of that crude oil, but nobody did.

“The sun was out and there wasn’t a lot of wind, and the oil just pooled alongside of the tanker, but by the time we got the skimmers from the pipeline people, the weather had moved in and scattered the oil all over the place, and the oil headed for the hatcheries,” he said.

According to Cowper, fishermen, seeing nobody else responding, took it upon themselves to save the hatcheries.

“The people whose job it was to respond had the equipment,” said Cowper, “but they had it hidden in warehouses and it took them about 10 days to find it, by which time it was too late.”

Cowper did get the US Navy of the Pacific in Hawaii to fly in some boom and skimmers on C130s, and that helped. Russia agreed to send its huge skimmer, the Vaydaghubsky, but it was in Vietnam and by the time it arrived, “all the oil in the water was gummed up with logs and seaweed and fish nets and driftwood and they couldn’t get through it,” Cowper explained.

One of the ironies was that the tanker hit Bligh Reef. “There were icebergs in the shipping lane,” said Cowper, “so Captain Joe Hazelwood had asked Coast Guard permission for the vessel to parallel the shipping lanes in a certain direction, a direction that took the ship directly into Bligh Reef.”

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Commercial Pacific Halibut Season Open

The harvest of Pacific halibut got under way this past week, with the US allocated an 82.3 percent share of the 2019 total catch of 29.4 million pounds. That represents 23.5 million pounds for American fishermen, an increase of 8.2 percent over last year.

That quota share was approved during the annual meeting of the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) on February 1.

NOAA Fisheries Administrator Chris Oliver, a US commissioner to the IPHC, said that while the overall quota for 2019 is a slight increase over 2018 that catch limited agreed to by the IPHC “reflect a sensible, conservative approach that will secure the future of this iconic and economically important species.”

Alaska’s total halibut catch is set at 22 million pounds, up nearly 1.5 million pounds from 2018. That includes an increase in allocations to all areas except 3B, the western Gulf of Alaska.

The new IPHC regulations in effect for charter halibut operators in Alaska allow for a one fish daily bag limit per angler in Area 2C, Southeast Alaska, with a reverse slot limit that prohibits retention of any halibut greater than 38 inches and less than 80 inches.

In Southcentral Alaska, Area 3A, there is a two fish per angler bag limit, with a maximum size of 28 inches for one of those halibut, a one trip per day limit, and an annual limit of four halibut.

Unguided halibut sport anglers in Alaska meanwhile will continue to have a daily bag limit of two fish of any size per person each day.

USDA Purchases $28 Million of Alaska Pollock

The US Department of Agriculture has announced the purchase of more than 11 million pounds of wild Alaska Pollock fillets and fish sticks valued at $28.1 million from processors in Washington state, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.

The largest purchase, for nearly eight million pounds priced at approximatively $21 million, went to Trident Seafoods Corporation in Seattle, Wash.

USDA also awarded contracts for 1.7 million pounds worth $3.8 million to High Liner Foods of Portsmouth, N.H., and 1.4 million pounds worth $3.3 million to Channel Fish Processing Co., in Braintree, Mass.

The contract calls for the fish to be delivered between April 16 and December 31, 2019.

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing service purchases a variety of 100 percent domestically produced and processed commodity foods, to be delivered to schools, food banks and households in communities nationwide.

Approval Pending for Pink Salmon Disaster Relief

After months of waiting, federal contacts have advised the office of Alaska legislator Louise Stutes, chairman of the Alaska House Fisheries Committee, that approval is coming for relief funding from the 2016 pink salmon disaster in Prince William Sound.

Matt Gruening, chief of staff for Stutes, a Kodiak Republican, said their office has been told for the past few months that NOAA’s approval of the disaster relief funding would happen any week, and that an application process would be in place shortly thereafter. But it wasn’t until March 19 that federal contacts advised that approval is now an estimated three weeks out, and that the funds are at the Federal Office of Management and Budget, which is making this a priority.

“We obviously are not pleased that an approval that should have occurred by the first of this year is still three weeks away in the middle of March. That being said, the federal process is notoriously slow and unresponsive and there is little we can do but stay informed, and in turn, keep you informed,” Gruening said in a message to fishermen.

Once the application process is in place, the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission will contact fishermen directly with applications, and have a dedicated, toll-free hotline to answer questions. The timeline between approval of the grant and checks being mailed out is typically one month.

NPAFC Completes High Seas Salmon Research

A month-long international salmon research expedition in the Gulf of Alaska organized by the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission (NPAFC) is now completed, and researchers are reporting several exciting discoveries. The expedition, the first in decades to study salmon on the high seas, returned to Vancouver, B.C., on March 18, aboard the chartered Russian research vessel Professor Kaganovskiy.

The team of 21 scientists from Japan, Korea, Russia, the United States and Canada said they were surprised to find that the second most abundant species of salmon in their catch was coho. The scientists believed that coho salmon stay in coastal areas in the winter, but they were found thousands of kilometers away from the coast in the open ocean. They determined, using ground breaking DNA technology, that these cohos are from rivers ranging from the Puget Sound to northern British Columbia.

The scientific team was also surprised that pink salmon, the most abundant of all Pacific salmon, composed only 10 percent of their catches. Humpies are supposed to be particularly dominant in odd years, which made their absence especially notable. NPAFC officials said the researchers have returned with thousands of samples that will be analyzed over the coming months.

The Gulf of Alaska expedition had two major objectives, according to expedition organizer Dick Beamish, an emeritus scientist of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The first was to carry out new research designed to identify the mechanisms that regulate the abundance of salmon. The second was to assemble a team of international researchers who would use the experience of the Russian captain and crew to show that important discoveries can best be made through international cooperation.

“It will take some time to measure the success of our objective relating to mechanisms, but we have clear evidence that an international team of scientists is an excellent way to make the discoveries needed to ensure a future of responsible stewardship,” Beamish said.

The $1.3 million project is jointly funded by a combination of government, industry, non-government organizations and private contributions. Donors include the Pacific Salmon Foundation, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, British Columbia Salmon Farmers Association, Harmac Pacific, Pacific Salmon Commission, the Province of British Columbia, Ross Beaty (Sitka Foundation) and British Columbia businessman Tony Allard NPAFC is an international organization based in Vancouver, B.C. that promotes the conservation of Pacific salmon and steelhead trout in the North Pacific, and its adjacent seas.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

FDA Clears Way for GE Salmon in US Markets

An import alert that kept genetically modified salmon from entering domestic markets has been lifted by US Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration Dr. Scott Gottlieb, clearing the way for AquAdvantage Salmon to produce and market in the United States.

Gottlieb said the FDA’s approval of the genetically engineered (GE) fish produced by AquaBounty Technologies, of Maynard, MA, followed a comprehensive analysis of scientific evidence, which determined that the GE Atlantic salmon met the statutory requirements for safety and effectiveness under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

With the deactivation of the import alert, AquAdvantage Salmon eggs may be imported to the company’s grow-out facility in Indiana to be raised into salmon for food, Gottlieb said.

Sylvia Wulf, chief executive officer of AquaBounty, said the company would immediately begin the process of importing AquAdvatage eggs from its hatchery in Canada to grow out at its facilities in Indiana.

Senators Patty Murray, D-WA, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, meanwhile blasted the FDA decision as a threat to wild salmon populations.

“Imported, genetically engineered salmon are a serious threat to our state’s wild salmon populations, which are a source of pride and an important part of our culture and economy,” Murray said. “I’ve fought every step of the way to keep ‘Frankenfish’ away from Washington state, and the administration should know I will continue to fight to protect wild Pacific salmon and Washington consumers.”

Murkowski said she was extremely disappointed in what she called a short-sighted decision. “It is wrong-headed and a bad idea, simple as that. I am not going to back down and will continue my fight to ensure that any salmon product that is genetically engineered be clearly labeled,” she said.

United Fishermen of Alaska issued a statement saying that the FDA’s decision to lift the import ban on “frankenfish” without requiring clear labeling to show that these products are genetically engineered “is a disservice to consumers and a blow to Alaska’s hardworking fishing communities.”

The Center for Food Safety in Washington DC also criticized FDA’s action, noting that the US Department of Agriculture’s new guidelines do not require “adequate mandatory labeling, don’t require calling the fish “genetically engineered” and don’t help consumers know what kind of fish they are buying.

Alaska Board of Fisheries Says “No” to Allocation Changes

A sportfishing association’s proposal to change criteria for allocation of fishery resources among personal use, sport and commercial harvesters was defeated this week by the Alaska Board of Fisheries.

Under Proposal 171, brought forth by the Kenai River Sportfishing Association, allocation criteria would have been changed to take into consideration the history of each personal use, sport, guided sport and commercial fishery with emphasis on the past 20 years.

The proposal argued for an adaptive management process, with periodic re-evaluation and updating of management goals and objectives taking into consideration the number of residents and nonresidents who have participated in each fishery in the past and the number of residents and nonresidents who could reasonably be expected to participate in the future.

“Limiting the consideration of the history of a fishery to 20 years and prioritizing decisions based on the number of participants effectively ignores the fact that the number of commercial salmon fishermen in our state has been static since the Limited Entry Act was passed in 1972, while other salmon fisheries statewide have grown unchecked in that same amount of time,” said Chelsea Haisman, executive director of Cordova District Fishermen United in her testimony to the fisheries board. “It ignores the investment that any Alaskans have made in our economy, in our rural areas, and around the state,” she noted.

“When making decisions that may have allocative impacts, whether intentional or not, it is critical to keep the history and context part of the discussion, and this proposal, if passed, would remove that context,” Haisman said, a third-generation commercial harvesters from Cordova, Alaska.

Dunleavy Nominates Campbell and Kimball for NPFMC

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy has nominated fishing industry veterans Cora Campbell and Nicole Kimball to fill two seats on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.

Dunleavy submitted their names to Chris Oliver, assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries, himself a former executive director of the council.

Campbell is currently the president and chief operating officer of Silver Bay Seafoods in Sitka, Alaska. She is a commercial harvester and former commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G).

Kimball, a former fisheries analyst for the council, also served as a federal fisheries coordinator for ADF&G before being named vice president of Alaska operations for the Seattle based Pacific Seafood Processors Association.

Dunleavy’s alternate choices for both seats are John Moller and Julianne Curry. Moller is a lifelong subsistence fisherman who currently serves as Dunleavy’s commercial fisheries advisor. He was previously on the NPFMC’s advisory panel.

Curry, a veteran commercial harvester, has worked with Petersburg Vessel Owners Association, United Fishermen of Alaska and Icicle Seafoods and served on the NPFMC’s advisory panel.

Final selection will be made by the US Department of Commerce and those chosen will join the council in August, replacing Theresa Peterson and Buck Laukitis.

Self-Nominations Encouraged for SBA Small Business Awards

The Alaska District office of the US Small Business Administration is accepting applications through March 30 in five award categories: veteran-owned, rural business, woman-owned business, micro business and small business champion.

Applicants for veteran-owned and rural businesses must show demonstrated success and contribution to their community.

Women-owned small business must be owned at 51 percent or more by a woman, show demonstrated success and contributions to their community.

Competition for the micro business award is open to businesses with fewer than five employees who have overcome extraordinary obstacles to succeed.

Applicants for the small business champion award must demonstrate that their contribution resulted in business start-up or expansion, job creation and increased revenues.

Businesses are encouraged by SBA Alaska to self-nominate.

All nominations must be submitted via email by 11:59 p.m. Alaska Time.

Details and applications are available online at, or by contacting the SBA Alaska District Office at or 1-907-271-4022.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Wild Alaska Pollock Promotion Begins
with the Start of Lent

As Lent gets underway today, so does a special promotion of wild Alaska Pollock. The campaign is aimed at consumers who are abstaining from eating meat for the next 40 days and invites them to enjoy a wide variety of dishes made with this protein-rich whitefish.

“Wild Alaska Pollock has a great taste, texture and flavor that makes it so popular among quick-service restaurant brands, especially as they add additional menu items for consumers for the Lenten season,” says Craig Morris, chief executive office of the Association of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers, which is promoting the #Wapfor40 challenge. “Despite being widely used in some iconic menu items, most consumers don’t know that they’re eating fresh, wild-caught Alaska Pollock or understand its story of being harvested by American fishermen on the waters of the largest sustainable fishery in the world, which is off our own coast of Alaska.”

The Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP) challenge encourages consumers to eat their way through the #Wapfor40 GAPP Bingo card and try a variety of dishes from fish sticks and breaded, beer-battered fish fillets to surimi products at participating restaurants or portions of Wild Alaska Pollock that can be prepared at home. The latest new wild Alaska Pollock product hitting retail shelves are Trident Seafoods’ Alaska Pollock Protein Noodles, a pasta made from the succulent whitefish. The product won the grand prize in the recent 2019 Alaska Symphony of Seafood competition.

Morris said the campaign is also aiming to promote consumer brands that feature wild Alaska Pollock and help tell its story of nutrition and sustainability. He’s spreading the world about GAPP’s challenge too on social media, including Facebook and Twitter @wildAKpollock.

Bering Sea Fisheries Seeing Increased Participation

Seafood harvesters of crab and groundfish in the stormy waters of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands were close to or had caught all of their seasonal allocations by early March.

“The weather has been pretty warm, and Western Alaska has been hit by some crazy storms,” said Miranda Westphal, a Dutch Harbor area management biologist for groundfish and shellfish for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

The weather didn’t deter the Pacific cod fleet, whose 37 vessels in state waters ended their harvest on Feb. 24 having taken their full 31,922,600-pound allocation of P-cod.

Another 17 vessels were registered and still fishing in an open subdistrict of the Aleutian Islands aiming to catch their 14,078,500-pound quota, but their harvest is kept confidential because only one processor was on the grounds. The snow crab fishery is up to 21 million pounds and 78 percent of that allocation have been harvested leaving another five million pounds to go for the 60 or so vessels chipping at that 27,581,000-pound quota. In the Western Bering Sea, 73 percent of the 2,439,000-pound Tanner crab allocation has been caught, according to Westphal. Normally there are some 65 to 70 vessels working the snow crab fishery and more may join them, while 31 vessels are registered for the Tanner crab fishery.

In the eastern Aleutians district, 100 percent of the 3.4 million-pound quota of golden king crab has been harvested. In the western district, one boat was still fishing with 56,000 pounds left to harvest out of the 2.2 million-pound quota.

“Usually the season would go much longer at least in the western district, where they longline pots for golden king crab,” said seafood industry veteran Frank Kelty, now the mayor of Unalaska, which lies 800 miles southwest of Anchorage in the heart of the North Pacific/Bering Sea fisheries.

One tanner crab fishery was still open west of St. Paul, with 600,000 pounds of a 1.7 million- pound allowable catch remaining to harvest.

Kelty noted that the same vessels harvesting snow crab are also doing tanner crab, and that some of those vessels had already caught their allocation.

The fact that there are no ice issues for the third or fourth year in a row is also a contributor to the speed of this year’s harvest. Several years ago, when heavy ice made it impossible to deliver seafood catches to designated harbors, the industry went to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council to be able to deliver product elsewhere. However, this has not been a concern since.

A lot of the fleet has been fishing south and west of St. Matthew Island, finding “beautiful, big snow crab,” Kelty said. “In a heavy ice year, you couldn’t go that far north,” he added. “They are getting maybe 180 crab per pot, 1.4 live weight (on average) and good, clean product.”

Loan Program Invests in Alaska Fishing Families

An innovative new fisheries loan program announced March 1 will extend loans to new entrants and community-based vessel owners in Southeast Alaska. One of the loan requirements is the willingness to participate in fishery conservation programs.

The Local Fish Fund – a collaborative effort spearheaded by the Sitka-based nonprofit Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust – aims to reduce barriers to entry into commercial fisheries and engage the next generation of fish harvesters in marine stewardship and policy leadership.

The Trust was supported in capitalizing the fund by The Nature Conservancy, Craft3, the Rasmuson Foundation, and Catch Together.

“The cost and risk involved in accessing Alaska’s quota share fisheries are comparable to purchasing a hotel as a first step in home ownership,” said Linda Behnken, executive director of the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association and a founding member of the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust. “As a result, the number of young rural resident entering the fisheries has dropped over the past 15 years. Local Fish Fund aims to change that trend.”

While the loan program is open to all, the intent is to initially focus on Southeast Alaska.

The Local Fish Fund loan structure was developed in consultation with Alaska commercial fishermen to boost local ownership of halibut and sablefish quota. Traditional commercial fish loans require fixed payments, which is very risky for entry-level harvesters because the allowable catch and fish price may vary dramatically from year to year. The Local Fish Fund offers a “revenue participation” approach in which loan repayment is based on fish landings rather than a fixed loan repayment structure. These loans offer competitive interest rates with reduced down payment options, allowing fishermen to build equity to eventually access conventional loans.

The loan program also aimed to boost marine stewardship and leadership capacity in sustainable fisheries management. Loan recipients are given incentives to participate in conservation programs that contribute to sustainable fisheries management by collecting better scientific data, engaging in policy and management decision-making, and working on conservation education and outreach.

The launch of the fund was made possible by a unique collaboration between the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust, the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association, The Nature Conservancy, the Rasmuson Foundation, Craft3 and Catch Together. The Rasmusson Foundation, whose mission is to promote a better life for Alaskans, acts as a catalyst for change through its grant programs. Craft3 is a community development financial institution that provides loans to benefit Pacific Northwest communities, is originating and servicing loans on Local Fish Fund’s behalf. Catch Together is a project of Trust for Conservation Innovation, a nonprofit that supports innovative conservation endeavors.

Alaska Legislators Call for Longer Public Comment Period on Pebble Draft EIS

With the 90-day public comment period now underway through May 30 on the US Army Corps of Engineers draft environmental impact statement (EIS) on the Pebble mine, Alaska legislators are calling for a longer comment period. Twenty members of the Alaska House of Representatives have signed a letter to the USACE requesting an extension, saying that given the significant impacts the Pebble Project would have on Bristol Bay, Alaskans should have at least 270 days to comment.

“The Pebble project would have far-reaching impacts on both the commercial and the subsistence economies of the region,” the letter reads. “It is, arguably, the most important proposed Alaska project of our time. Alaskans deserve a fair chance to weigh in on it.”

The legislators note that the Crops extended the comment period for the proposed Donlin gold mine in the Bethel area to six months. “Pebble has the potential to dwarf Donlin, and thus deserves a longer comment period than Donlin,” they wrote. They also noted that “Because the Pebble draft EIS includes tens of thousands of pages of detailed technical information, three months is insufficient for even the most dedicated public person to assess and respond to the sheer volume of material.”

The Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association also expressed outrage at what they labeled “the irresponsible and negligent conduct unfolding in the proposed Pebble Mine permitting process,” adding that “A 90-day comment period is far too short of a time period to review and comment on the recently released draft environmental mpact statement.”

Seven public meetings are scheduled in the Bristol Bay region on the draft EIS in March and April, plus two more in Homer and Anchorage.

Dates, places and times are posted on the USACE website, Written comments will be accepted at any of the public meetings and can also be mailed to the US Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District, ATTN: DA Permit Application 2017-271, Pebble Limited Partnership, 645 G Street Suite 100-921, Anchorage, Alaska 99501.

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