Alaska/Pacific Coast

Southeast pink harvest expected to be below recent years
KFSK by Angela Denning – August 5, 2016
The largest salmon harvest in Southeast Alaska, the pink salmon fishery, is ramping up. Harvests are forecasted to be below recent years.
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2016/08/05/southeast-pink-harvest-expected-to-be-below-recent-years/

Fish and Game cuts gold king crab quota
Bristol Bay Times by Jim Paulin – August 5, 2016
Despite industry claims of a fishery in “robust condition,” golden king crab, long the most stable of all the commercial shellfish species in the Bering Sea, has taken a steep cut in the quota in the western district, to 2.235 million pounds, down from 2.98 million, a 25 percent drop because of declines in all indicators, including size, weight, and catch, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
http://www.thebristolbaytimes.com/article/1631fish_and_game_cuts_gold_king_crab_quota

Environment/Science

Living Oceans seeks funding for tugboat services for marine cleanup
Vancouver Sun by Jennifer Saltman – August 5, 2016 |
What’s been billed as the biggest marine cleanup in Canadian history may not be completed unless a tugboat can be hired to haul an estimated 40 tonnes of marine debris from Vancouver Island to the Lower Mainland.
http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/living-oceans-seeks-funding-for-tugboat-services-for-marine-cleanup

Fishery Council Asks for Transparent Analysis of Proposed Marine Monument Expansion
SEAFOODNEWS.COM – August 8, 2016
HONOLULU — The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council agreed to a resolution asking the U.S. government to address a suite of concerns before acting on the proposed expansion on the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (MNM) in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

Council members Suzanne Case, Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources chair, and Julie Leialoha, Conservation Council for Hawaii president, voted against the proposal. National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Pacific Islands Regional Administrator Michael Tosatto abstained.

The resolution requests a “public, transparent, deliberative, documented and science-based process” to address the proposed expansion, which could prohibit fishing in two-thirds of the 200-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) around Hawaii. The resolution is being sent to President Obama, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the Secretaries of Commerce, Interior and State.

The Council’s resolution also requests that the U.S. government address the resources and tools needed to effectively manage and administer an expanded monument and to specify the technical, scientific and socioeconomic costs and benefits from monument expansion on marine resources, residents of Hawaii and the nation.

If any designation is made under the Antiquities Act of 1906 to proclaim an expanded monument, the Council recommends that the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act process continue to be used to develop, analyze and implement fisheries management in the U.S. EEZ waters enclosed by the monument.

Council Executive Director Kitty M. Simonds noted that the Homeland Security Department and U.S. Coast Guard did not receive additional enforcement assets to monitor the Pacific Remote Islands MNM after it was expanded in 2014, despite White House statements that additional enforcement would be provided.

Council members John Gourley of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) said promises made by the White House and Pew Charitable Trusts during the 2009 creation of the Marianas MNM were also not fulfilled, such as the construction of a monument visitors’ center and increased jobs, tourism and revenue.

“Hopefully the federal agency involved with the expansion will work with the Council,” said Henry Sesepasara, a special advisor to the American Samoa governor and member of the NOAA Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee. In 2009 when the marine monument was established in American Samoa, its 50-mile boundary around Rose Atoll was slightly different from the 50-mile longline-prohibited area established by the Council. This misalignment led to the loss of approximately $237,000 annually to the fishery, until rectified by the Council.

All four of the nation’s marine national monuments are located in the U.S. Pacific Islands, placing about 30 percent of U.S. waters in the region as large-scale marine protected areas closed to commercial fishing. “No other region in the nation comes close to being that restrictive,” said Council Chair Edwin Ebisui Jr. According to National Marine Protected Area Center data, all other U.S. regions are less than a quarter of 1 percent no-take.

This week, the Council also began the process to specify the 2017 catch and transfer limits for longline-caught bigeye tuna in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) for American Samoa, Guam and the Mariana Islands. The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) conservation measures allow Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Territories to have an unlimited catch of longline-caught bigeye tuna in the WCPO. However, since 2014, the federal Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council has recommended, and the Secretary of Commerce has approved, a catch limit of 2,000 mt per U.S. Territory of which 1,000 mt per territory can be transferred to federally permitted vessels, such as those in the Hawaii longline fishery.

The Hawaii longline fishery utilizes the U.S. quota, which is among the smallest for nations that have historically fished for bigeye tuna by longline in the WCPO.

The U.S. quota was reached early in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The Hawaii fishery reopened last year with transferred quota from the U.S. Territories. The fishery closed this year on July 22. Catch-per-unit effort of 40 percent higher than normal with greater numbers and larger tuna are reasons the quota was met early. Rulemaking needed for the fishery to utilize transferred quota in 2016 has not been completed by NMFS.

The United States is the only nation in the WCPO to have shut down its fishery after reaching its quota. Three reasons for this were discussed: 1) The U.S. strictly monitors its catch and projects when the limit will be reached; 2) The limits are based on historic catches, which may not reflect current operations of some fleets, such as the significant declines in the Japanese fleet, which is awarded the largest quota; and 3) There may be questionable reporting and a lack of equivalent compliance by some countries.

The Council is expected to take action on the 2017 Territorial catch and transfer limits for longline-caught bigeye tuna in the WCPO during its next meeting, to be held Oct. 11-14, 2016, in Honolulu.

Other actions by the Council last week included approving a letter to the Department of State regarding Indonesia seafood exports to the United States and Hawaii. The letter recommends that the Department take action as appropriate due to ongoing problems with human trafficking in fishermen slaves, the significant contribution of Indonesian fishing vessels to the overfishing of bigeye tuna in the WCPO, the unreliability of Indonesia’s fishery statistics, and the unaccountably high longline bigeye catch limit for Indonesia. Taken together, these have a damaging impact on Hawaii’s seafood market and its longline fishing industry, which has become the global standard for environmentally responsible pelagic longline fishing.

For more information on the Council meeting including a complete agenda and background documents, visit www.wpcouncil.org or contact the Council at info.wpcouncil@noaa.gov.
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1028692/Fishery-Council-Asks-for-Transparent-Analysis-of-Proposed-Marine-Monument-Expansion

Labeling and Marketing

3MMI – Russian Salmon Harvests Relieve Disastrous Alaska Pink Salmon Landings
TradexFoods – August 8, 2016
3-Minute Market Insight:
– Favourable Pink Salmon landings in Russia are a breath of fresh air after a disastrous season in Alaska.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsdOmBYT8wk

Beware of ‘Fake Fish’ in Restaurants and Seafood Shops
Wall Street Journal – August 5, 2016
The last time you ordered fish in a restaurant or at a seafood shop, there’s a good chance you were given “fake fish.” That is, fish that has been mislabeled. Food author Larry Olmsted explains why seafood in particular lends itself to fraud on Lunch Break with Tanya Rivero.
http://www.wsj.com/video/beware-of-fake-fish-in-restaurants-and-seafood-shops/BF80613A-22B5-4909-BF43-0A01DEE3287A.html

Federal Register

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pollock in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands
A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 08/08/2016
NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amounts of the Aleut Corporation pollock directed fishing allowance from the Aleutian Islands subarea to the Bering Sea subarea. This action is necessary to provide opportunity for harvest of the 2016 total allowable catch of pollock, consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area.
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/08/08/2016-18763/fisheries-of-the-exclusive-economic-zone-off-alaska-reallocation-of-pollock-in-the-bering-sea-and?utm_campaign=subscription+mailing+list&utm_medium=email&utm_source=federalregister.gov

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Gulf of Alaska Management Area; Amendment 101
A Proposed Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 08/08/2016
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council has submitted Amendment 101 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP) to the Secretary of Commerce for review. Amendment 101 to the FMP would authorize the use of longline pot gear in the sablefish individual fishing quota (IFQ) fishery in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). Amendment 101 is necessary to improve efficiency and provide economic benefits for the sablefish IFQ fleet and minimize potential fishery interactions with whales and seabirds. Amendment 101 is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable laws.
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/08/08/2016-18745/fisheries-of-the-exclusive-economic-zone-off-alaska-gulf-of-alaska-management-area-amendment-101?utm_campaign=subscription+mailing+list&utm_medium=email&utm_source=federalregister.gov

FYI’s

Sitka fisher launches ‘Edible Alaska’ food magazine
News Miner by Kris Capps – August 8, 2016
FAIRBANKS — A new magazine called “Edible Alaska” joins other “edible communities” around the country this year, celebrating local foods season by season.
http://www.newsminer.com/news/kris_capps/sitka-fisher-launches-edible-alaska-food-magazine/article_c295d6b0-5d3a-11e6-ac06-679ecba736f8.html

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
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Phone: 206.281.1667
E-mail: pspafish@gmail.com; Website: www.pspafish.net
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August 8, 2016