Alaska/Pacific Coast

Most commercial fishing ends Monday
Peninsula Clarion by Elizabeth Earl – August 14, 2017
Most commercial fishing in Upper Cook Inlet ended Monday, with the set gillnet fishermen in the Kasilof section getting one extra day Tuesday.


Fish actively seek plastic debris in ocean, study finds – August 16, 2017
A new study reveals that there is behavioural evidence suggesting that marine organisms are not just ingesting microplastics by accident but actively seeking them out as food.


West Coast Groundfish Marketing Group Hires Jana Hennig as Director
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Susan Chambers – August 15, 2017
The brainstorm by fishermen, processors, environmental groups and seafood certifiers of telling the West Coast rockfish story has taken a major step forward: The Groundfish Marketing Development Initiative hired Jana Hennig as its director this month.

Mostly absent from markets in both coastal and inland areas, rockfish moved from a mainstay on menus and in seafood counters to an insiders-only secret over the past 15-plus years. Stock assessments in the early 2000s showed low populations of some species, dooming them to the dreaded listing of overfished and requiring harsh fishing limits to rebuild them.

Fast-forward to 2015: Two species of rockfish were deemed rebuilt, allowing fishermen to once again target the coastal favorite whitefish. Stock assessments this year showed more rockfish above overfished thresholds but the determinations have yet to be approved. Regardless, population improvements will likely make it easier to pursue rockfish in greater volumes.

Thus the need for direction to reclaim lost — and lucrative — markets. The West Coast trawl industry needs to drive demand by telling the story, the rich history of groundfish fishermen and processors, and the Initiative’s leaders found their storyteller in Hennig.

“We’re going to personalize this fishery,” Pacific Seafood’s Mike Okoniewski said, “and tell the story of our people, our fishery.”

Hennig is the person to do that, he said.

“I firmly believe that we can achieve ecological and economic health for fisheries in tandem,” Hennig said in an email. “We have seen an amazing ecological recovery of our groundfish stocks on the West Coast, and I look forward to getting that message out there and bring back demand for these beautiful sustainably and American-caught fish.”

Hennig’s background provides the leverage to make rockfish a staple at dinner tables again. She’s worked in the food industry for 10 years in sales, product development, marketing, campaigns to drive demand, and e-commerce. She worked on the London 2012 Olympic Games, where she built partnerships with sponsors, non-profits and retailers and ran collaborative marketing campaigns promoting the missions of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

But her interest in fish and seafood started small, in Madagascar, during a six-month sabbatical in 2012-13.

“I had gone to work on a marine conservation project in southwest Madagascar where I helped survey a terribly overfished reef and count and identify fish,” Hennig said. “I learned a great deal about the ecological impact of harmful fishing practices and overfishing, but I could also see the grave impacts it had on the fishing community that depended on these resources. It broke my heart, and it stayed with me even after I went home.”

Upon returning, Hennig went back to school. She got an MBA from Stanford, a master’s in environmental resources management with a focus on oceans and fisheries and a certificate in public policy ad social innovation.

“I wanted to work at the intersection of these three fields and worked on projects and internships that looked at new business models or social interventions that would result in better ecological and economic outcomes in fisheries,” she said.

“We’re really excited to have her on board,” Oregon Trawl Commission Director Brad Pettinger said. “I think she’ll be a great fit and bring a fresh perspective.”

For now, Hennig is settling in, making appointments with fishermen and processors, getting a feel for the markets and opportunities.

“We want to generate more demand for U.S. West Coast groundfish, to make this fishery not just ecologically sustainable but also ensure its long-term economic sustainability,” Hennig said, noting that Initiative members haven’t yet decided on a specific strategy.

“But,” she added, “we will be telling America about this great sustainability come-back story, about the wonderful community of men and women that fish for it, and the unique tasty attributes of our rockfish, sole, thornyheads, skates, etc.”

Diana Evans New Deputy Director at North Pacific Fisheries Council
SEAFOODNEWS.COM – August 14, 2017
Diana Evans has been tapped as the new Deputy Director of the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council. Evans joins Dave Witherell, current Executive Director of the council and former Deputy Director. Witherell was promoted to Director after Chris Oliver was hired to head up NOAA Fisheries earlier this year.

Evans has most recently been the lead council staff on the groundfish and halibut fisheries observer program. She has also been involved in the development of electronic monitoring as an alternative for fixed gear vessels.

Evans has a Master’s degree in geography, from King’s College London.  She began her career in fishery management in Hawaii, working on an analysis of the pelagic longline fishery. She was a contractor for National Marine Fisheries Service in Hawaii and Alaska on environmental impact statements.

“I realized early on that the North Pacific Fishery Management Council is at the cutting edge of fishery management in the world, and how exciting it would be to work in that arena.”

At the Council, Evans began as a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) specialist and in 2002 worked on the Alaska Groundfish Programmatic SEIS (Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement). She has worked on a wide variety of projects and fishery management actions, focusing on the Council’s ecosystem and habitat projects, and the development of Fishery Ecosystem Plans.

In her new role as Deputy Director, Evans will be taking over many of the administrative and supervisory direction and tasking responsibilities.

Evans will continue working on observer issues, in addition to her new duties, until the Council completes the process of advertising for and hiring an analyst to fill her former position.

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
Office Manager
1900 W Emerson Place Suite 205, Seattle, WA 98119
Phone: 206.281.1667
E-mail:; Website:
Our office days/hours are Monday-Friday
8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.

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August 16, 2017