State Briefs

Posted: Sunday, June 30, 2002

Postage rates go up today

JUNEAU - New U.S. Postal Service rates took effect today. Letters and parcels up to one ounce now cost 37 cents to mail, up from 34 cents.

Officials attributed the increases to rising costs of doing business, such as fuel, transportation, utilities, labor and health care benefits.

The 37-cent stamps have been available since June 7, and a 3-cent "star" stamp to fill out those leftover 34-centers has been available since mid-June.

Other new rates are available at the Web site

Forest Service seeks comments on EIS

JUNEAU - A form is available on Page A8 in today's print Juneau Empire to submit comments on the draft supplemental environmental study of wilderness designations in the Tongass National Forest.

The U.S. Forest Service has recommended against further Tongass wilderness. Other alternatives in the draft call for between 721,000 to 9.7 million acres of new wilderness - areas that are managed to preserve their natural conditions.

The Tongass has 19 designated wilderness areas ranging from 2.1 million to 4,937 acres.

China delegation tastes Alaska seafood

KODIAK - Eleven seafood buyers from China visited Alaska last week to learn about Alaska seafood.

Members of the China Seafood Trade Delegation said the main selling point of Alaska salmon is that it is "wild and unpolluted."

Autumn Curry, a marketing specialist with the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, said that between Petersburg and Kodiak, the delegation saw just about every type of fish Alaska has to offer, including halibut, shrimp, crab, red snapper, starry flounder, salmon, geoduck and sea cucumbers.

"This is the first time ASMI has brought over the Chinese delegation," Curry said.

Joel Cho, a wholesaler and distributor for Hong Kong markets, said sashimi, or raw fish, has been the most typical use of salmon in Hong Kong. Pan-fried salmon is second.

"One of our goals is to introduce a more Western way of utilizing salmon, and see more restaurants offering salmon on their menus," he said.

Kodiak fishermen, processors agree

KODIAK - The Kodiak chapter of the United Salmon Association has entered into contractual price agreements with area salmon processors.

Salmon fishermen will receive a minimum grounds price of about 53 cents a pound for sockeye salmon and between 5 and 7 cents a pound for pink salmon.

The Kodiak salmon fleet stood down from the salmon season from June 9 until June 15 and for two days again early last week. Nearly all fish caught between June 15 and June 25 were delivered to a local processor that had signed a USA contract.

The prices are 30 percent to 50 percent lower than last year. Fishing resumed Thursday.

Compiled from staff and wire service reports.

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