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  • On Thursday, February 20th, Kate Sullivan (SARDFA), John Scoblic (Trident Seafood - geoduck buyer), Jeremy Leighton (commercial diver - President SARDFA Board), Casey Bakker (commercial diver, geoduck buyer, and SARDFA vice-President) met with Sen. Murkowski from 9:20 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. at the SARDFA office. The bulk of the conversation was centered on the embargo of geoducks to mainland China. Lisa was very interested on how the fisheries was managed, how we do PSP testing, and what the NOAA and the State's DEC is doing to help the current situation. We talked about arsenic testing, the different types of arsenic and how the China tests for both PSP and arsenic are suspect. There are a lot of signs that point to a political situation caused by China that has closed the Alaskan fishery and curtailed the Washington fishery. We also spent some time on sea otters in SE AK. We gave her the history of sea otters in Southeast Alaska. This included: • The increasing population and their expansion into more areas of SE AK; • The inaction of USFWS over many years; • The possibility of working through the MMPA to work towards an overall ecosystem based management plan; • The closing down of our commercial areas by ADF&G; • The possibility of the pinto abalone being listed as endangered, and • Our hope that we can find Federal monies to help mitigate our losses. Overall it was a very good meeting. I believe she was impressed how this fishery was built from the ground up by the fishermen and how much the fisheries have grown over the years. I showed her our ex-vessel value for 2013 that I had just received from the Dept. of Revenue. Last year’s ex-vessel value for all of SARDFA’s fisheries was just under 15 million dollars. Ten years ago the fisheries were worth 4 million dollars. We will continue to work with Senator Murkowski on all matters that are important to SARDFA.

  • Sea Otter eating geoduck clams

  • Eric Larson

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