Alaska/Pacific Coast

King salmon fishing closed in all of Southeast
Juneau Empire by Kvin Gullufsen – August 7, 2017
No retention of kings in any salt water, Fish and Game moves to protect record-low numbers
Fish and Game has canceled king salmon fishing in Southeast Alaska for the remainder of the summer because of record-low stock production, ADF&G announced in a Monday afternoon emergency order.
http://juneauempire.com/local/news/2017-08-07/king-salmon-fishing-closed-all-southeast

ADF&G Issues Emergency Ban Prohibiting Chinook Retention in Southeast Alaska for All Users
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Peggy Parker – August 8, 2017
In a highly unusual, perhaps unprecedented move late yesterday, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game called for a complete ban on Chinook salmon catches throughout Southeast Alaska.

“Due to poor ocean survival conditions for Chinook (king) salmon, which are persisting in Southeast Alaska and British Columbia, extreme management measures are necessary to restrict harvests in coast wide fisheries that are directed at stocks originating in Southeast Alaska, Northern British Columbia, the Fraser River, and the Washington Coast,” said Charles O. Swanton, Deputy Commissioner of ADF&G.

“Although it is a very difficult decision to make, retention of Chinook salmon will cease at 12:01am, Thursday, August 10, 2017, in the Southeast Alaska recreational and commercial fisheries and non-retention will continue through September,” he said.

Information on the status of stocks is still being collected and will inform management decisions as to whether the ban will continue after October 1.

Inseason information from the fleets and area biologists, the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and NOAA surveys off the coast of Oregon, Washington, and the Gulf of Alaska all indicated the chinook salmon situation was more serious that previously thought and that extraordinary conservation measures were required.

“Poor production conditions are currently occurring and will persist through at least 2018. In particular, Southeast Alaska and British Columbia stocks are experiencing historically low production; many of the affected stocks will not meet escapement goals or management objectives in 2017,” Swanton noted.

“The inseason data and stock specific information cannot be ignored when conservation of wild stocks is the foundation of the Alaska Sustainable Salmon Fisheries Policy and the Pacific Salmon Treaty.

“Therefore, it is imperative that Alaska offer relief now for these stocks, with a focus on protecting future production,” he said.

The news comes after higher than expected returns of kings to the Copper River and Kenai River occurred earlier this year. Those areas are both located in Southcentral Alaska, and are small compared to the chinook returns in Southeast Alaska. In the Copper, 9,000 kings over the expected 4,000 chinook were landed.

Recreational landings in the Kenai won’t be known for several months, but the run was early and strong enough that managers could relax size restrictions in mid-June.

But Southeast’s current commercial harvest chinook is at 161,000 of a statewide total harvest of 237,000 to date.

In 2015, the latest data ADF&G has of recreational harvest, Southeast anglers took 78,886 chinook of a statewide recreational harvest of 110,503 chinook.
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1071431/ADFG-Issues-Emergency-Ban-Prohibiting-Chinook-Retention-in-Southeast-Alaska-for-All-Users

National

US Senate committee rejects most of Trump’s proposed cuts to NOAA
Seafood Source by Cliff White – August 7, 2017
The appropriations committee of the United States Senate has voted to reduce the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s 2018 budget, but the cuts are less severe than those requested by President Donald Trump.
https://www.seafoodsource.com/news/supply-trade/us-senate-committee-rejects-most-of-trumps-proposed-cuts-to-noaa

Environment/Science

Researchers and global fishing companies form coalition for sustainable seas
Phys.org – August 8, 2017
The initiative marks the first time that companies from Asia, Europe and the US have joined forces to work on a clear agenda and commitment for change, and illustrate how sustainability scientists can actively engage as change makers.
https://phys.org/news/2017-08-global-fishing-companies-coalition-sustainable.html

US Senate passes marine debris bill
Alaska Public Media by Liz Ruskin – August 8, 2017
A bill targeting plastic waste in the ocean and other marine debris cleared the U.S. Senate last week. Alaska’s junior Senator, Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, sponsored the legislation.
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2017/08/08/us-senate-passes-marine-debris-bill/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+aprn-news+%28APRN%3A+Alaska+News%29

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August 9, 2017