Alaska/Pacific Coast

Alaska’s fishing fleet is graying, and that’s not a good thing. A new report suggests answers.
Alaska Dispatch News by Lisa Demer – December 10, 2017
This summer, working as a deckhand on her father’s fishing boat in Cook Inlet, Georgeanna Heaverley realized she was right where she wanted to be.

Gulf of Alaska P-Cod TACs Drop by 80% for 2018, Council Approves Increase in BSAI Pollock
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Peggy Parker – December 11, 2017
The North Pacific Fisheries Managment Council dropped the 2018 Pacific Cod total allowable catch in the Gulf of Alaska by 80 percent to 13,096 mt, from last year’s TAC of 64,442 mt. The 2018 TAC is less than half of what has been landed to date, approximately 33,000 mt.

The stunning drop was at the high end of earlier predicted cuts, and is related to two-year classes not surviving the high ocean temperatures that existed during 2015 and 2016 in the North Pacific, dubbed by climatologists as The Blob.

The drastic cut in P-cod is not the only bad news from the GOA. The Allowable Biological Catch (ABC) is a good indication of the health of the stocks. Of all 24 species caught in the Gulf, half of the ABCs have decreased since 2016. These levels roughly track the drop in overall TACs, expected to be down 36 percent in 2019 from 2016.

The ABCs and TACs set last week at the NPFMC meeting are the most severe drops in years. Both declined 20 percent from 2017 levels.

The 2018 TAC for GOA pollock is 157,455 mt, with the 2019 TAC forecasted at 103,904 mt, a drop of 34 percent from 2018.

Pollock and cod have been the two powerhouse species in the Gulf of Alaska, but there are other high value and high volume species. Sablefish, for instance, saw a 15 percent increase in TAC to 11,505 mt next year; shallow water flatfish increased to 42,732 mt from last year’s 36,843 mt TAC; and Pacific Ocean Perch increased by over 5,000 mt to 29,236 mt for 2018.

In the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands, the council increased the pollock TAC for 2018 by 19,000 mt to 1,383,841 mt. That total includes the Bogoslof area; the recommendation for the Bering Sea alone is 1,364,341.

The TAC for P-cod in the Bering Sea dropped 15 percent to 188,136 mt for 2018. The Aleutian Island TAC for P-cod remained at last year’s level of 15, 695 mt.

The sablefish TAC for 2018 was increased nearly 15 percent to 3,452 mt.

Other increased TACs were:

* Pacific Ocean Perch, up nearly 5,000 mt to 74,722 mt for 2018.
* Northern rockfish, up 22 percent to 6,100 mt.
* Atka mackerel’s TAC increased 9% to 142,000 mt.
* Greenland turbot, up almost 18 percent to 10,588 mt, up from last year’s 9,000 mt.
* Flathead sole is up by 500 mt to 14,500 mt.
* Alaska plaice is up 24% to 16,100 mt.
* “other flatfish” is up 60% to 4,000 mt.

In the flatfish category, arrowtooth flounder saw a 3% decrease to 13,621 mt. Arrowtooth has a high rate of halibut bycatch. Halibut which is expected to be down in abundance this year, so the lower arrowtooth TAC may be a reflection of that. Arrowtooth’s ABC for 2016 dropped by 19 percent for 2017 but was stable in the most recent survey and expected to be the same for 2019.

Yellowfin sole, the third largest species by volume in the BSAI, remained at 154,000 mt for 2018.


PWS hatchery fish are straying into Kenai Peninsula salmon habitat
KBBI by Renee Gross – December 8, 2017
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has been trying to find out if hatchery fish from operations in Tutka Bay Lagoon and Port Graham have been straying into wild fish habitat, and over the past four years, they found that very few of those fish are colonizing wild streams. But scientists found that a number of hatchery fish from Prince William Sound are winding up in streams around Kachemak Bay and Cook Inlet. That trend has left scientists and regulators with more questions than answers.

Canada’s Newest Science Ship Was Built And Designed Entirely In B.C.
The floating laboratory will help scientists study fish habitats.
HuffPost Canada by Sarah Rieger – December 9, 2017

The first ship built under Canada’s new national shipbuilding strategy has launched.
Sir John Franklin, or Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel 1 (OFSV1), was unveiled in North Vancouver on Friday.

Labeling and Marketing

3MMI – Pollock Trends and Forecasts for 2018
TradexFoods – December 11, 2017
— As production space begins to fill for the new year, the Pollock market is the center of attention for most seafood buyers right now.


Larry Cotter, CEO of APICDA Since its Founding, Announces Retirement at End of 2018
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by John Sackton – December 11, 2017
Larry Cotter, who helped develop the Community Development Quota (CDQ) program and became the first CEO of APICDA (Aleutian and Pribilof Islands Community Development Association), will retire on December 31, 2018.

The APICDA board has formed a transition team and will launch a search for a new CEO in February.

Larry has been a well known and active advocate for the CDQ program throughout the Alaska fishing industry.  APICDA just recently announced a joint venture with Trident to vastly upgrade a processing facility at False Pass.

“It’s been my pleasure and distinct honor to be involved with APICDA since its inception. Serving our communities, working alongside the entities devoted to sustainable communities throughout the Aleutian‐Pribilof region and being immersed in the fishing industry at all levels has provided a wonderful career for which I am deeply grateful, ” said Cotter.

“It’s not an easy thing to retire from a company that you love, with a purpose that you love, filled with people that you respect and love. But everything has its time. ”

“Larry is a true visionary and will be greatly missed by the residents of our communities, the fishing industry and the board and staff at APICDA. He was instrumental in the original formation of the Community Development Quota (CDQ) program. In the past 25 years, the CDQ organizations have generated over $1 billion in assets, built needed infrastructure in the 65 participating villages to stimulate commerce and provided thousands of scholarships and workforce development opportunities, ” said Mark Snigaroff, APICDA board chair.

“It has been a program that has truly worked to sustain our western Alaska villages and Larry has been its greatest champion. ”

“Larry’s unwavering commitment to our communities is reflected in every decision he has made over the course of his 25 years of service to the residents of the APICDA CDQ villages. The impact of his work will be felt for years to come in the region, state and industry, ” said Justine Gundersen, APICDA Joint Ventures board chair.

Cotter has lived in Alaska and worked in the commercial fishing industry since 1974. He spent over four years as a seafood processing worker in Juneau, and eight years as a labor organizer and representative for seafood processing workers and longshoremen.

Cotter served on the Advisory Panel to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council for six years and as a voting member of the council for an additional six years. This was during the transition years when foreign fishing was being phased out and domestic allocation issues were first coming to the forefront.

During that time, he was chair of several committees including the Bycatch Committee and Crab Management Committee. Cotter also served as chair of the council’s Steller Sea Lion Mitigation Committee and Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s Responsible Fisheries Management Committee

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
Office Manager
1900 W Emerson Place Suite 205, Seattle, WA 98119
Phone: 206.281.1667
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December 11, 2017