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6/9/15 - Bering Sea halibut bycatch to be reduced by 21%

Change pleases no one
Based on a story by Rachel Waldholz, KCAW
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council voted Sunday to reduce halibut bycatch in the Bering Sea by 21 percent. The issue had triggered days of emotional debate. It pitted Alaskans who fish from small boats against owners of big boats largely based in Seattle . 
The change doesn't give halibut fishermen the 41 percent bycatch reduction they wanted, and, they say, it's not enough to save their communities. 
Pollock and cod trawlers are also frustrated, saying the change comes after they have voluntarily put measures in place to reduce bycatch. And, they say it will take a heavy toll on their industry.
Chitina dipnetting on the Copper River opens
By Marcia Lynn, KCHU

Dipnetters are heading to the Copper River in hopes of bringing home coolers full of sockeye salmon to fill their bellies and freezers. The first fishing period for the Chitina Subdistrict opened Monday. As Marcia Lynn reports, catch limits have changed. Each permit holder or head of household is allowed 25 sockeye, and ten more per dependent. That's up from last year's limits of 15 fish for the permit-holder and 30 fish for a two-person household. Supplemental fishing periods have been eliminated. Alaska Department of Fish and Game officials say that allows people to catch all of their limit at once instead of waiting for fish counts and possible additional openings. DFG expects some 2,000 people to turn out for the fishery. This opening ends at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, June 14.

Critics say a gap exists between state disability services and people who  need them 
The Alaska Department of Senior and Disabilities Services is being criticized for finding hundreds of seniors ineligible for a Medicaid waiver program that pays the cost of their housing and nursing care. Yesterday we heard SDS’ director defend the denials. He says the individuals who were denied the C waiver option don’t meet Nursing Home Level of care. Today we’ll look at an apparent gap between the state’s disability services and the people who need them. 


State budget cuts take Alaska wild-caught fish, produce on Kenai Peninsula school menus

Schools in the Kenai Peninsula will no longer be serving Alaska-sourced items on their cafeteria menus due to state budget cuts. The Peninsula Clarion reports school officials say the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District has used grant money from state programs to provide students with locally grown produce, honey and wild-caught salmon. But those programs will receive little to no funding for the 2016 fiscal year.