Alaska/Pacific Coast

After a long wait, Ugashik fishermen’s patience paid off
After a very slow beginning to their season, fishermen in Ugashik Bay saw millions of sockeye salmon return in a little over a week in mid-July. The short intense peak of the season turned out to be beneficial for some of the fishermen who stuck it out all the weeks without fish.
KDLG by Mitch Borden – August 2, 2018
Fishermen in Ugashik Bay are used to their sockeye salmon to showing up late in Bristol Bay’s salmon season. This summer’s salmon season was especially trying, but for some, the wait was worth it.

Bristol Bay salmon run nearly reaches 1980’s record – August 3, 2018
Total sockeye run in the Bristol Bay surpassed 61 million this year, according to counting performed until Thursday, putting it just a half-million fish behind the largest run of 61.7 million in 1980.

Slow going toward the 39M harvest forecast
Cordova Times by Margaret Bauman – August 3, 2018
Commercial salmon harvests in Prince William Sound topped the 15.4 million mark through July 31, up by three million fish over the previous week, compared to 20.4 million delivered by the same time a year ago.

Western Pacific Region Issues Status of the Fisheries 2017
SEAFOODNEWS.COM – July 31, 2018
The 2017 annual reports on fisheries in Hawaii and the U.S. Pacific Islands are now available. Some three dozen reports provide data and trends about last year’s fishery participation, catch rates, landings and other fishery performance factors. Each report also describes ecological components that may impact fishery outcomes, such as protected species interactions, climate and oceanographic conditions and socioeconomic factors. Pacific

A summary of the Western Pacific Region Status of the Fisheries 2017 is available here.

The summary includes descriptions of the fleets, from small sailing vessels to the modern tuna seiners. For instance, here is a description of the American Samoa tuna longline fleet: “The American Samoa longline fleet includes nine vessels greater than 70 feet,  five vessels between 50 and 70 feet and one vessel less than 40 feet in length. All but three of the vessels are owned by the families of Samoan women, who manage the vessels.”

The summary also includes all the regulatory actions taken by the Council in 2017, in chronological order.

The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council ensures that fisheries are sustainable and marine resources are soundly stewarded seaward of the state waters of Hawai‘i, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and the Pacific Remote Island Areas (PRIA).

To monitor the fisheries, the Council publishes annual reports for the five fishery ecosystem plans (FEPs) that the Council has developed, monitored and amended. The complete annual reports are available here.

Annual reports are produced for each of five fishery ecosystem plans (FEPs) that have been developed, monitored and amended by the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council. They include the Pelagic FEP, the Pacific Remote Island Areas FEP and FEPs for the Hawai’i Archipelago, American Samoa Archipelago and Mariana (Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands) Archipelago.

Except for Hancock seamount armorhead and Western and Central North Pacific striped marlin, none of the fisheries within the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council’s jurisdiction are overfished. The armorhead was over fished by Japanese and Soviet fleets prior to the establishment of the Council and has been under a moratorium since 1986. The striped marlin is over fished due to international  fishing.


Russian Kamchatka Region Salmon Harvest on Pace to Set New Record
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Eugene Gerden – August 3, 2018
Salmon catch in the Russian Kamchatka region may set a new record this year and also result in the decline of prices in the local market, according to recent Russian government data.

For the first seven months of 2018, the catch volume grew by 45 percent, compared to 2016, and reached 176,000 tonnes, according to Rosrybolovstvo.

The record harvest has also been confirmed by an official spokesman of the Kamchatka government, according to whom an unprecedented number of salmon came to the western coast of Kamchatka.

The regional government source also added humpback salmon waited for suitable weather and, as soon as it became warmer, returned to spawn in large volumes. In the case of humpback salmon, fishermen predict catches could reach 150,000 tonnes this year, with the overall catch of salmon in Kamchatka in the range of 290,000-300,000 tonnes.

Unlike previous years, when a significant part of the salmon harvest in Russia was exported, mainly to Asia-Pacific states, this time the majority of the salmon catch will be processed locally at seafood plants located along the Kamchatka coast.

As Sergey Gudkov, head of the Russian Fish Union, said in an interview with the Russian business paper Rossyiska Gazeta, the increase of salmon supplies to the domestic market may result in a drop in prices that have almost tripled since 2014.

Gudkov added that in order to support further increases of fish supply to the domestic market, the government should consider the possibility of a reduction in fees for the use of natural resources.

According to Gudkov, fees should be significantly reduced or even completely abolished for fishermen who supply fish for processing to the local market. At the same time, he said, higher fees should be assessed for fish harvested for export to other countries.

Federal Register

Fisheries Off West Coast States; Modifications of the West Coast Commercial Salmon Fisheries; Inseason Actions #2 through #11
A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 08/03/2018
NMFS announces ten inseason actions in the ocean salmon fisheries. These inseason actions modified the commercial salmon fisheries in the area from the U.S./Canada border to the U.S./Mexico border.


BOF deadline approaches for agenda change requests
Cordova Times – August 2, 2018
Aug. 15 is the deadline for submissions for the Alaska Board of Fisheries 2018/2019 meeting cycle agenda change requests, which may be submitted by the public, advisory committees and agencies for proposals on regulatory areas and species not set for deliberation in the current meeting cycle.

Out-of-state fishermen find their second family in Bristol Bay
KDLG by Austin Fast – August 1, 2018
Dillingham’s boatyards are peaceful parking lots much of the year, but they transform entirely for just a couple short weeks before the sockeye salmon run in early June and at the end of the season in late July.

Fishing documentary wins film prize
Daily News of Newburyport by Sean Horgan  – August 1, 2018
GLOUCESTER — Filmmaker David Wittkower knew he had to do something or his commercial fishing documentary “Dead in the Water” might indeed be dead in the water.
Following eight months of showings throughout Massachusetts and other parts of coastal New England, Wittkower’s film, which traces the erosion of the once-proud Gloucester groundfish fleet, was largely rejected by most of the film festivals the director tried to enter.


Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
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August 3, 2018