July 24, 2014
This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Add your comments on mines, Magnuson-Stevens Act, Sea lions and more. How you can have a say after this —
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The public is encouraged to comment on issues affecting Alaska fisheries on several fronts.
First off – a draft of the Magnuson-Stevens Act is now available for public review and comment. The MSA is the primary federal law that governs fisheries management in U.S. waters and is undergoing reauthorization. . The revised draft includes many comments from Alaskans and others around the nation who responded to the first draft in April,” said Senator Mark Begich who chairs the Senate committee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard. Comments will be taken until the bill is marked up by Commerce and moved to Congress for action.
The public has until September 19 to comment to the EPA on its intent to protect the world class salmon runs and habitat at Bristol Bay by imposing tough watershed restrictions. The action is aimed at stopping the Pebble Mine which the EPA describes as an open pit for copper and gold that would be almost as deep as the Grand Canyon. The EPA also has scheduled a series of seven public hearings starting next month in Anchorage and throughout the Bristol Bay region.
It’s the last chance to comment on another massive mine that has Southeast Alaskans worried. Seabridge Gold plans to build the KSM mine at headwaters of two salmon rivers in Canada, just 19 miles from the Alaska border. One river flows into Misty Fjords National Park. KSM would include three open pits, an underground mine and huge tailings and rock dumps that must be watched and treated forever. Comments on environmental impacts of the transboundary KSM mine can be made through August 20th.
Finally, revised protection measures for Western Steller sea lions in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands are open for comments. The changes could open fishing for cod and mackerel for the first time in five years. Comments to NOAA Fisheries are accepted through August 15.
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.