Alaska/Pacific Coast

Season set for Kodiak herring
The Fish Site – April 12 2017
The Kodiak herring sac roe fishery will begin at noon Saturday April 15th, the Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G) has announced this week.
http://www.thefishsite.com/fishnews/29028/season-set-for-kodiak-herring/

ADF&G Forecasts Massive Pink Run in PWS, Modest Sockeye Return for Copper River
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Peggy Parker – April 11, 2017
The forecasted harvest for Prince William Sound pink salmon this year is 58.92 million, the largest on record.

The Copper River sockeye harvest is a more modest 889,000 fish, with an additional 1.2 million sockeyes forecasted for harvest from Prince William Sound, mostly from the Main Bay facility.

If the 2017 natural stock pink salmon total run forecast is realized it would be the second largest natural run on record, and well above the 1997–2015 odd-year average return of 12.29 million fish.

The 2017 pink salmon total run forecast for PWS is 67.16 million fish, made up of 21.10 million natural stock salmon, 18.75 million Valdez Fisheries Development Association (VFDA) salmon, and 27.40 million PWSAC hatchery salmon.

VFDA need about 3.30 million (18%) of the projected 18.75 million pink salmon run for cost recovery and broodstock, leaving 15.48 million for commercial harvest.

PWSAC needs about 3.20 million (12%) of the projected 27.40 million pink salmon run to the PWSAC hatcheries for cost recovery and broodstock. That leaves 24.20 million PWSAC pink salmon  for the commercial harvest.

Based on ADF&G’s natural stock pink salmon forecast of 21.10 million fish, there is a potential harvest of 19.65 million natural pink salmon.

The 2017 chum salmon forecast total run in PWS is 3.17 million fish.

The Copper River season is expected to open the week of May 14. Total harvest projections for the Copper River District are 889,000 sockeye, 207,000 coho, and 4,000 Chinook salmon.

For the Copper River, two evenly-spaced fishing periods per week are anticipated, with the first period starting on Mondays at 7:00 a.m. Depending on fishing effort, harvest, and escapement trends on the Copper River Delta and at Miles Lake sonar station, a decision on a possible second weekly fishing period will be made by 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday. The second period will typically begin at 7:00 a.m. on Thursday.

Prince William Sound seining will begin on Thursday, June 1 targeting the enhanced chum salmon run to the AFK hatchery and Port Chalmers remote release site. Starting on Thursday, June 15 daily fishing periods will be used to allow for more frequent monitoring of purse seine harvests.
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1057570/ADFG-Forecasts-Massive-Pink-Run-in-PWS-Modest-Sockeye-Return-for-Copper-River

Politics

West Coast senators lead bipartisan bid to save Sea Grant program from Trump
Seattle Pi by Joel Connelly- April 11, 2017
A key senior Republican senator has joined Democrats in seeking to save the National Sea Grant Program, used as a tool by the University of Washington and schools in 31 states to keep oceans healthy and fisheries sustainable.
http://www.seattlepi.com/local/politics/article/Bipartisan-Senate-effort-to-save-Sea-Grant-11066440.php

NEWS: Alaska House Wants to Keep the Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center Open
HCR 8 Supports Continued Operation of a Needed Facility Despite Budget Cuts to the University of Alaska
Alaska House Majority Coalition – April 7, 2017
Juneau – The Alaska House of Representatives has passed a resolution urging the University of Alaska to keep the Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center open to support Alaska’s vital seafood industry.  House Concurrent Resolution 8 was put forward by the House Special Committee on Fisheries, chaired by Representative Louise Stutes (R-Kodiak).
https://akhouse.org/2017/04/07/news-alaska-house-wants-to-keep-the-kodiak-seafood-and-marine-science-center-open/

International

Russia to Sell Crab Quotas Thru 2026 at Auction May 18th
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Eugene Gerden –  April 12, 2017
The Russian Federal Fishery Agency (Rosrybolovstvo) has officially announced that it will hold an auction for the distribution of crab quotas in the Far Eastern fishing basin on May 18-19 of the current year.  The auctions will allow companies to control crab quota through 2026.

The quotas will include all of the major crab species in particular species of king crab, helmet crab, and opilio crab in major crab-producing areas, such as the Primorye subarea, the South Kurile zone, Petropavlovsk-Komandorskaya subzone, and the Kamchatka-Kuril subzone.

Under the terms of the auction, crab catch in a particular region and subzone will be allowed to only those companies, which are registered within their boundaries.

According to plans of the state and the Russsian Federal Anti-Monopoly Service, the introduction of this rule will allow help avoid monopolization of crab catch in Russia by certain companies. At the same time, according to analysts of the Russian Fish Union, producers will be able to get around these norms through the establishment of fake companies in these regions.

According to some Russian media reports, the forthcoming auction will attract some leading Russian crab producers. However it will be conducted by the Russian Federal Security Service, which should help to avoid the same scandals, that took place during the organization of tenders several years ago, done under the fisheries agency.
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1057741/Russia-to-Sell-Crab-Quotas-Thru-2026-at-Auction-May-18th

Environment/Science

Arctic bans on heavy fuel oil and large-scale fishing win support, but action is slow
Alaska Dispatch News by Yereth Rosen – April 10, 2017
Two ideas for protecting the rapidly changing Arctic Ocean — a ban on heavy fuel oil and a moratorium on commercial fishing in international waters — have been embraced by governments, indigenous groups and environmentalists. But international action on those initiatives is slow, lagging far behind official words of support.
https://www.adn.com/arctic/2017/04/09/arctic-bans-on-heavy-fuel-oil-and-large-scale-fishing-win-support-but-action-is-slow/

FYI’s

Scientists eye new tools for whale safety
Cap Cod Times by Mary Ann Bragg – April 9, 2017
NORTH FALMOUTH — There are still limitations to the technology, but scientists hope the expanded use of unmanned listening devices and whale call recordings will help better protect whales by using the sounds they make.
http://www.capecodtimes.com/news/20170409/scientists-eye-new-tools-for-whale-safety

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
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April 12, 2017