Alaska/Pacific Coast

Norton Sound fishery is breaking records, but king salmon are lagging
KDLG by Nick Ciolino – August 11, 2017
The Norton Sound commercial fishery could log near-record catch and escapement numbers for four out of the five returning salmon species this season, but like some other regions in the state the king run is failing to meet escapement goals.
http://www.thebristolbaytimes.com/article/1732norton_sound_fishery_is_breaking_records_but

International

Russian Crab Companies Delay Fishing Due to New Processing Rules; Crab Prices Rise
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Eugene Gerden – August 11, 2017
Crab season in Russia is under a threat of failure this year, due to the recently introduced ban of on-board processing of crabs caught within the Russian territorial waters that extend out to 12 miles, initiated by the Russian government.

The introduction of the ban has already resulted in massive protests of Russian leading crab producers in the Russian Far East, who prefer not to fish until the ban is lifted.

According to state plans, on-shore crab processing will result in the establishment of additional processing capacities and will create new jobs.

Sergei Eremeev, general director of the Preobrazhensky Base of Trawling Fleet, one of Russia’s leading crab producers, told the Russsian Far East paper Zolotoi Rog, said the new amendments with regard to crab catch were a “surprise” to fishermen. According to him, the majority of companies were not ready for this because they do not have processing facilities on shore.

Eremeev added that companies invested millions of dollars in the purchase of crab auctions earlier this year, however the existing restrictions prevent them from the beginning of full-scale catch.

The companies hope the authorities of the Primorye region can lobby lifting of the ban in the Russian federal government. However, the Primorye government may suspend sending such a petition, taking into account its acute need of investments in the development of on-shore processing capacities.

In the meantime, the current delay in the beginning of crab catch has already resulted in the increase of crab prices in Russia.

Note that the rule only applies to crab caught in Russia’s territorial waters, which extends out to 12 miles from shore under most international agreements.  It will not effect current quota holders who are fishing and have been fishing within Russia’s 200 mile zone.

On the otherhand, the crab companies may be using the threat of a shut down to lobby the government to relax the landing of live crab requirement for the new quota holders.
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1071924/Russian-Crab-Companies-Delay-Fishing-Due-to-New-Processing-Rules-Crab-Prices-Rise

Environment/Science

Arctic Voyage Shows Global Warming Impact
Arctic voyage finds global warming impact on historic Northwest Passage’s sea ice, wildlife, native communities.
US News & World Report by Frank Jordans – August 14, 2017
VICTORIA STRAIT, Nunavut (AP) — The email arrived in mid-June, seeking to explode any notion that global warming might turn our Arctic expedition into a summer cruise.
https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/alaska/articles/2017-08-14/arctic-voyage-finds-global-warming-impact-on-ice-animals

Federal Register

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Sablefish in the West Yakutat District of the Gulf of Alaska
A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 08/15/2017
NMFS is prohibiting retention of sablefish by vessels using trawl gear in the West Yakutat District of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary because the 2017 total allowable catch of sablefish allocated to vessels using trawl gear in the West Yakutat District of the GOA will be reached.
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/08/15/2017-17137/fisheries-of-the-exclusive-economic-zone-off-alaska-sablefish-in-the-west-yakutat-district-of-the

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Ocean Perch in the West Yakutat District of the Gulf of Alaska
A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 08/15/2017
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific ocean perch in the West Yakutat District of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2017 total allowable catch of Pacific ocean perch in the West Yakutat District of the GOA.
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/08/15/2017-17133/fisheries-of-the-exclusive-economic-zone-off-alaska-pacific-ocean-perch-in-the-west-yakutat-district

FYI’s

Vessel exams in Cordova set for September 18-20
Cordova Times – August 11, 2017
A team of commercial fishing vessel examiners from the Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Valdez will be in Cordova Sept. 18-20 to conduct free dockside exams aimed at educating vessel operators and ensuring vessel safety.
http://www.thecordovatimes.com/2017/08/11/vessel-exams-cordova-set-september-18-20/

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
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August 15, 2017