Interior petitioned to investigate BC mines

Conservation, Alaska Native groups want International Joint Commission involved

A coalition of conservation and Alaska Native groups is asking Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to investigate the potential impact of six hard rock Canadian mines and their possible impact on transboundary watersheds.

The coalition wants Jewell to join with other federal agencies in calling for the controversy over these British Columbia mines to be turned over to the International Joint Commission, the governing body of the Boundary Waters Treaty between the two countries. Their concern lies in the potential for acid mine drainage into the Taku, Stikine and Unuk rivers, which flow from the headwaters in Combined sales totals for 1,189,506 pounds of frozen sockeye fillets, plus 21,463 pounds of frozen coho fillets from Prince William Sound, Cook Inlet and Kodiak for the same period earned processors $7,129,078 and $92,766 respectively, the revenue department reported.

Sales of canned halves, or flats, of pink salmon in cases of 48 also earned processors in Prince William Sound, Cook Inlet and Kodiak $5,362,997 for 129,444 cases.

Commercial fishery salmon harvest and ex-vessel (prices paid to harvesters) figures compiled by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game showed that the average prices paid for salmon in 2015 were $5.65 for Chinooks, $2.01 for sockeyes, 66 cents for cohos and 22 cents for pinks.

Changes in the format of the Alaska salmon price report released in late June included average statewide wholesale prices per pound of $12.18 for fresh headed and gutted kings. Prices per pound for frozen headed and gutted salmon were $3.30 for kings, $2.41 for sockeye, $2.03 for cohos, $1.14 for pinks and $1.09 for chums. For frozen fillets, average wholesale prices per pound were $6.16 for kings, $5.37 for sockeyes, $4.33 for cohos, $3.43 for pinks and $4.60 for chums.

Wholesale prices are the prices paid by a nonaffiliated buyer to a processor or its affiliate, without deduction for costs of property sold, materials used, insurance, labor, services, labeling, transportation, storage, interest, loss or any other expense.

Processors are required to report to the Department of Revenue on money earned and pounds or numbers of cases of salmon sold as fresh headed and gutted, fresh fillets, frozen headed and gutted, frozen fillets, salmon roe and canned product.

Statewide sales for January through April totaled 592,474 pounds of king salmon, valued at $2,763,774; 18,000,792 pounds of sockeye salmon, $64,672,127; 33,464,344 pounds of pinks, $41,060,758; 15,595,712 pounds of chums, $30,015,063; and 3,457,913 pounds of cohos, $9,229,610.

In Prince William Sound alone, sales of frozen headed and gutted chums brought in $47,617 in January for 53,648 pounds. Sales of frozen headed and gutted pinks were $6,699,073 for 6,225,605 pounds in January. Sales of headed and gutted salmon earned $179,249 for 74,541 pounds in February and $191,631 for 69,994 pounds in March. Sales of 130,117 pounds of chums in April earned $125,723.

Sales of tall pinks harvested in Prince William Sound earned $2,305,762 for 28,642 cases in January, $2,908,787 for 50,440 cases in February, $2,377,601 for 30,816 cases in March, and $12,671,877 for 35,380 cases of 48 in April.

Cases of 48 canned halves of pink salmon from Prince William Sound, Cook Inlet and Kodiak combined earned $1,031,913 in January for 24,452 cases, $1,215,674 in February for 29,603 cases, $1,792,634 for 43,509 cases in March, and $1,322,776 for 129,444 cases in April.