Alaska/Pacific Coast

Trident’s new fishmeal plant to go online soon in Naknek
Trident Seafoods plans to test the fishmeal plant during the Togiak herring fishery, ahead of full operations this salmon season
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KDLG by Matt Martin – April 17, 2015
The newest processing plant in Bristol Bay is about to go online this month. Trident Seafood’s multi-million dollar fishmeal plant should get a test run with Togiak herring. Trident agreed to build the plant as part of a 2011 settlement over alleged EPA Clean Water Act violations, and now the company, and residents, should get to see (and smell) it if works as intended. As they’re putting the finishing touches on the new plant, Trident offered KDLG’s Matt Martin in inside plant tour, and he has this report.
http://kdlg.org/post/tridents-new-fishmeal-plant-go-online-soon-naknek

Politics

Alaska Budgets Set for ASMI and ADF&G
SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [Juneau Resources Weekly]  By David Thierault –  April 21, 2015
Alaska lawmakers settled on a $2 million cut to the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute and an $8 million cut for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game after lawmakers reconciled the Senate and House budgets Tuesday afternoon.

The final cut to ASMI is less than the original 40 percent cut proposed by the legislature, and slightly more than Govenor Walker’s original recommended cut of about 20 percent of state funds, which account for roughly a third of the agency’s budget.

Members of the budget conference committee choose the Senate’s proposal for ASMI funding nearly $1 million more than the House’s draft included.
Even with the lawmakers choosing the Senate’s smaller cuts the state’s sole seafood marketing agency is looking at a 10% reduction from last year.

Despite the cut, ASMI officials did not project a cut of that size to cause major impacts to the their operations or lead to layoffs.

Gov. Walker proposed the largest part of the cut when he rolled out his draft in late January detailing a $2.6 million cut to the agency. Legislators in both the state House and Senate tweaked funding sources, removed some funds and added more back before then finally agreed to the annual budget of just under $25 million.

ASMI’s total budget reflects revenues from federal marketing funds and industry support as well.

Cuts at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game now total $8 million for next year. Coveted general fund dollars from oil tax revenue will drop a total of $15 million for the agency. Making up part of the difference are increases in Federal funds available to Fish and Game.

Reductions cut across all departments with the Division of Commercial Fisheries taking the largest hit with a $5.5 million dollar reduction from last year’s management plan. Much of those cuts come from eliminating vacant positions, a trend throughout all the Department’s core service areas.

Predicting continued low revenue from oil taxes, one lawmaker moved forward with a proposal to raise sport fishing and hunting license fees to increase revenue for the Department. That proposal passed the House but stalled out in Senate Resources.
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/972532/Alaska-Budgets-Set-for-ASMI-and-ADFG

International

New Seafood Portal Helps Facilitate Sustainable Seafood Trade
The Fish Site – April 21, 2015
GLOBAL – Seafood buyers around the world will now be able to quickly identify suppliers that can meet their specific buyer requirements thanks to the launch of the online Seafood Trade Intelligence Portal.
http://www.thefishsite.com/fishnews/25511/new-seafood-portal-helps-facilitate-sustainable-seafood-trade/

Environment/Science

A major breakthrough shows oil spills affect fish hearts
FIS.COM – April 20, 2015
Researchers from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have revealed that the still-forming hearts of larval fish can be affected by oil spills, leading to developmental defects and reduced survival.
http://fis.com/fis/worldnews/worldnews.asp?l=e&country=0&special=&monthyear=&day=&id=75921&ndb=1&df=0

Labeling and Marketing

3-Minute Market Insight – Seafood Buyers Can Expect a Great Year for Reduced Canned Salmon Pricing
TradexFoods – April 20, 2015
Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 7.39.05 AM
Another Bumper run of Salmon is expected to hit Alaska this year, as the State Department announced a Total Salmon Catch of just under 221 Million Salmon. Seafood Buyers can expect a Great year for reduced Canned Salmon sales this year and into 2016, maybe even 2017 as well.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z71EgRsJcqs

Fast-casual seafood primed for growth, research finds
Restaurant Business by Kelsey Nash – April 20, 2015
For fast-casual operators looking to meet the demand for healthy menu items, seafood may be the answer they’ve been fishing for.
Consumers believe seafood entrees are more healthful than dishes containing beef, pork and poultry, according to findings from market-research company Technomic Inc., and 72 percent of consumers who increased their seafood purchases over the last two years say they did so out of a desire to eat healthier.
http://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/business-trends/restaurant-news/articles/fast-casual-seafood-primed-growth-research-finds

Federal Register

Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan; Trawl Rationalization Program; Catch Monitor Program; Observer Program
A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 04/21/2015
This action revises the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery regulations pertaining to certified catch monitors and observers required in the Shorebased Individual Fishery Quota Program, the Mothership Coop Program, the Catcher/Processor Coop Program, and for processing vessels in the fixed gear or open access fisheries. This action establishes permitting requirements for persons interested in providing certified catch monitors and observers; updates observer provider and vessels responsibilities relative to observer safety; and makes administrative changes to the observer and catch monitor programs. This action is needed to allow for the entry of new providers, to ensure observer safety provisions are clearly stated and consistent with national observer regulations, and to improve program administration.
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/04/21/2015-08814/fisheries-off-west-coast-states-pacific-coast-groundfish-fishery-management-plan-trawl?utm_campaign=subscription+mailing+list&utm_medium=email&utm_source=federalregister.gov

FYI’s

Feds propose overhauling endangered species protections for humpbacks
Alaska Dispatch News by Yereth Rosen – April 20, 2015
Citing rebounding populations, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Monday proposed removing Endangered Species Act protections for most of the world’s humpback whales.
https://www.adn.com/article/20150420/feds-propose-overhauling-endangered-species-protections-humpbacks

Uncertainty, risk, money challenging for Alaska fishermen
Bellingham Herald by The Associated Press – April 18, 2015
KODIAK, Alaska — Uncertainty, risk and money have been making it harder for fishermen to make a living in the Kodiak archipelago and Bristol Bay, and have contributed to the “graying” of the fleet as fewer young people join the business, researchers say.
http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2015/04/18/4248082_uncertainty-risk-money-make-it.html?rh=1

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
Office Manager
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Phone: 206.281.1667
E-mail: pspafish@gmail.com; Website: www.pspafish.net
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April 21, 2015