Briefly

Posted: Tuesday, March 27, 2001

Cruise ship test results available

Juneau - A draft of the final report of the Alaska Cruise Ship Initiative is now available for public review.

The 39-page document, which includes test results from wastewater discharge sampling and ambient air monitoring during the 2000 cruise ship season, can be viewed on-line at www.state.ak.us/dec/press/cruise/

cruise.htm. More information is available from Sandy Smith at 465-5365 or Charles Fedullo at 269-3784.

The steering committee of the Cruise Ship Initiative meets April 6 to discuss pending cruise ship legislation at the Capitol, including a bill by Gov. Tony Knowles to establish a $1 per passenger fee and a regulatory process.

To date, the North West CruiseShip Association has not taken a position on the bill, said President John Hansen.

The initiative, a collaborative effort among federal and state regulators, the industry and citizens, is also preparing another voluntary air and water testing program for this summer. A science panel has been convened to review the work.

B.C. OKs salmon-rearing on land

VICTORIA, British Columbia - British Columbia has approved a plan to rear salmon in a containment pen on land, possibly the first operation of its kind, provincial Fisheries Minister Ed Conroy said.

The pilot project near Nanaimo by Agrimarine Industries of Campbell River is part of a government initiative to test ecologically sensitive technology and further develop the province's aquaculture industry, Conroy said earlier this month.

"This is probably the only land-based (fish farming) project anywhere in the world," he said. "I'm hopeful that this starts a new era in salmon farming."

Environmental groups and Alaska fishermen have attacked British Columbia's aquaculture industry as loosely regulated, especially in the escape of thousands of farmed fish into the sea from ruptured pens.

Critics say the farmed Atlantic salmon can introduce diseases and mutations into Pacific stocks and have the potential to survive in the wild and compete against native salmon.

Conroy said the pilot project will test the economic and environmental viability of land-based salmon farms.

The project was hailed by environmental activists, including Laurie McBride, executive director of the Georgia Strait Alliance.

"By moving salmon farming to land-based tanks, there should be zero impacts on wild salmon, zero escaped farmed salmon and an end to the widespread killing of seals and sea lions," McBride said. "This is a huge step forward for the marine environment."

Waste workshop slated for April

Juneau - A workshop to explore value-added opportunities for the wood-waste and fish-waste industries in Alaska is scheduled for April 9 in Ketchikan.

The session will feature scientists, local business owners and other professionals in the fields of wood composting and fish wastes, the Cooperative Extension Service said. They will give presentations on composting methods, marketing opportunities and emerging technologies.

A workshop also will be held April 11 in Anchorage. For more information, call (907) 747-4309, or log on at http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw.



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