Alaska/Pacific Coast

After Pink Salmon Disaster, Relief Funding Uncertain
KMXT by Kayla Desroches – April 17, 2017
The pink salmon disaster last year ate into the profits of fishermen and processors in the Gulf of Alaska, and the Kodiak area is still waiting to see if it’ll receive emergency relief funds.

It’s time to update Alaska’s fish habitat permitting laws
News Miner by Victor Joseph – April 16, 2017
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner community perspective:
More than a century ago, chiefs from Alaska’s Interior tribes came together in response to threats to our cultural values and ways of life. In 1962, Tanana Chiefs Conference was established by a group of energized Native leaders to protect the lands and waters that sustained hunting and fishing. By coming together in unity and advocating effectively about matters essential to our pasts and critical to our futures, we have been able to shape development across our landscapes while being proactive in protecting a way of life that many Alaskans enjoy today.


Japanese Crab Negotiations with Newfoundland Full of Uncertainty
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by John Sackton –April 18, 2017
Sources in Japan say that the negotiations with Newfoundland snow crab packers are in a high state of uncertainty.

Although there were reports of a price of $6.95 between one or two packers and a Japanese buyer, other Japanese say there was a condition on this contract that limited the amount of product to only a portion of what the buyer purchases in the first week.

They called it more of a “reference price”.

Even so, it is higher than the $6.50 paid last year by Japanese after prices rose from $5.55.

The Japanese buyers have noted the difference in prices to harvesters, from $3.00 last year to a price of $4.39 this year.

But they also note that prices are adjusted during the season.

In their view the Alaska price of $7.80 to $8.00 has spread to Eastern Canada, and the first weeks’ sales are likely to be to US buyers at these high prices, which is far above their own target pricing.

With ice still hanging around, they do not expect to see full Newfoundland production until the last week of April.

Even though the Gulf quota was set at 45,000 tons, far above even the maximum level expected by Japanese buyers, these same buyers are quite skeptical that the Gulf can produce this much crab.

They don’t think the plant capacity is there.  Some of the Gulf packers are reported to be looking at introducing steam cookers, that can boost throughput by 30-40%, but the Japanese think this might lead to lower quality products.

In fact, some fear a flood of lower quality crab into the market which would make it more difficult for their buyers to achieve the quality specs they require.  They also expect some of the Gulf crab to be processed in Newfoundland.

In Alaska, the Japanese ended up taking about 2000 tons, out of 6100 tons of production, which was slightly higher than the first estimates of around 1500 tons.

Overall the Japanese, according to these reports, see great uncertainty in the market and expect the situation to clarify more once production is in full swing in both Newfoundland and the Gulf.


Visualizing distributions of 22 fish species by size over 34 years of climate variability in the Bering Sea
NOAA by Christine Baier – April 17, 2017
The eastern Bering Sea supports some of the most valuable fisheries in the world. To keep Bering Sea fisheries sustainable, we need to understand how fish respond to changing conditions in the marine environment.

Climate Change Reroutes a Yukon River in a Geological Instant
New York Times by John Schwartz – April 17, 2017
In the blink of a geological eye, climate change has helped reverse the flow of water melting from a glacier in Canada’s Yukon, a hijacking that scientists call “river piracy.”

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
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Phone: 206.281.1667
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April 18, 2017