Alaska/Pacific Coast

Researchers Strive To Protect Rare Pribilof Island Blue King Crab While Preserving Fisheries
KUCB by Zoe Sobel – December 9, 2016
The last commercial harvest of Pribilof Island blue king crab was in 1999. Extremely low population numbers have kept that fishery closed.
http://kucb.org/post/researchers-strive-protect-rare-pribilof-island-blue-king-crab-while-preserving-fisheries

Beth Kerttula returns to Juneau with message: Time to plan for ocean’s future
APRN & KTOO by Andrew Kitchenman – December 12, 2016
Former Juneau state Rep. Beth Kerttula returned to Alaska this summer after two years serving the White House as director of the National Ocean Council.
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2016/12/12/beth-kerttula-returns-to-juneau-with-message-time-to-plan-for-oceans-future/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+aprn-news+%28APRN%3A+Alaska+News%29

California now must take the lead on environmental protections for salmon
San Francisco Chronicle – December 12, 2016
Senators from Oregon and Washington, where the salmon fishery depends on robust flows from California’s rivers, voted “no” in objection to the rider.
http://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/California-now-must-take-the-lead-on-10791969.php

International

EU Fish Processors Say Pollock Imports Continue to Decline but Russia Market Share Improves
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by John Sackton – December 13, 2016
The European Fish Processors and Traders Association has released its annual economic survey of the EU fish trade.

For 2015, the trend was slightly higher consumption based on a 16.5% drop in exports.

Import volume for all species was down by nearly 9 million tons.   But export volume was down by nearly 3.8 million tons, and there was a 4.6% increase in fish catches and an increase in quota utilization.

Per capita consumption (product weight, not edible weight) increased to 24.1 kg per person.

However, pollock consumption continued to slide.  Single frozen pollock exports to the EU are one of the major drivers of Alaskan fisheries.  Consistent with the market problems currently seen for pollock consumption of Alaska pollock continues to decline.

From 2014 to 2015, pollock imports from China (373,000 tons) and the US (342,000 tons) fell by 5%; while imports from Russia (117,000 tons) increased by 19%.

Clearly with the MSC approvals, more Russian pollock is being shipped directly to the EU.

Typically the 4th quarter represents the highest volume of imports, and this year the Euro continues to weaken against the dollar, suggesting a continuing headwind for US exporters.
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1044032/EU-Fish-Processors-Say-Pollock-Imports-Continue-to-Decline-but-Russia-Market-Share-Improves

Environment/Science

Marine debris project in Western Gulf continues
Cordova Times – December 9, 2016
A team effort of the NOAA Marine Debris Program and Island Trails Network at Kodiak to remove marine debris from 60 miles of shoreline on Shuyak Island in the Western Gulf is slated to wrap up in September of 2017.
http://www.thecordovatimes.com/2016/12/09/marine-debris-project-in-western-gulf-continues/

Washington State Joins International Alliance Calling for Ocean Protection
SEAFOODNEWS.COM – December 14, 2016
OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee joined other West Coast governors and leaders from around the world in a call for action to protect the ocean from further acidification damage. Washington state is now a founding member of the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification, which was formally launched today in San Diego, California.

“The base of the ocean food web is being damaged by carbon pollution. The health of the ocean is at risk, as is the food security of the planet,” Inslee said. “We must act immediately to cut carbon emissions. Last year, 195 countries signed the historic Climate Agreement in Paris, committing to reduce their pollution. It is time for those who care about the ocean to call on the world to make good on the Paris accord to prevent further damage.”

Scientists have determined that the ocean is 30 percent more acidic now than it was in pre-industrial times as a result of carbon pollution. It has also absorbed more than 90 percent of the extra heat caused by this pollution. As a result, significant changes are occurring, resulting in damage to oysters and crabs, to coral reefs and to the food source of salmon.

In responding to this threat, the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification has issued a call to action, committing alliance members to promote five goals:

1. Advance the scientific understanding of ocean acidification
2. Take meaningful actions to reduce causes of acidification
3. Protect the environment and coastal communities from impacts of a changing ocean
4. Expand public awareness and understanding of ocean acidification
5. Build sustained support for addressing this global problem

Alliance members have also agreed to take meaningful local actions by crafting their own local or regional ocean acidification action plans to advance alliance goals.

In 2012, Washington State convened the Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification, which included scientists, industry, tribal representatives, federal agencies, state legislators and ocean advocates, to develop recommendations on how to better understand, reduce and address the impacts of ocean acidification. Their recommendations continue to guide Washington’s efforts related to ocean acidification.

Today, Inslee will announce his 2017-19 budget proposals, which will include additional funding for research and propagation of native shellfish and seaweed populations tolerant to ocean acidification at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Manchester Research hatchery. His proposal will also continue funding for the Washington Ocean Acidification Center at the University of Washington, which advances the science of ocean acidification, monitors ocean conditions, and provides environmental data to prevent damage to the state’s $270 million shellfish industry. Inslee will also announce proposed funding to continue the work of the Washington Marine Resources Advisory Council that evaluates actions to combat ocean acidification including those important to the state’s shellfish industry.

“Our ocean sustains our natural systems, supports the jobs in our coastal economies and feeds billions of people. We must, and we will, significantly reduce the world’s carbon pollution to protect the health of the ocean and keep the damage from worsening,” Inslee said. “I am grateful that governments and ocean advocates will be working together on this vital issue for the future of our state and generations to come.”
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1044130/Washington-State-Joins-International-Alliance-Calling-for-Ocean-Protection

Federal Register

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; North Pacific Observer Program Standard Ex-Vessel Prices
A Notice by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 12/13/2016
NMFS publishes standard ex-vessel prices for groundfish and halibut for the calculation of the observer fee under the North Pacific Observer Program (Observer Program). This notice is intended to provide information to vessel owners, processors, registered buyers, and other participants about the standard ex-vessel prices that will be used to calculate the observer fee for landings of groundfish and halibut made in 2017. NMFS will send invoices to processors and registered buyers subject to the fee by January 15, 2018. Fees are due to NMFS on or before February 15, 2018.
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/12/13/2016-29895/fisheries-of-the-exclusive-economic-zone-off-alaska-north-pacific-observer-program-standard

FYI’s

AFDF: Calling the seafood inspired
Capital City Weekly – December 14, 2016
AFDF: Calling the seafood-inspired
Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation (AFDF) will hold the 24th annual Alaska Symphony of Seafood in 2017, a competition for new products made from Alaska seafood. The overall goal is to inspire innovative ways to use Alaska’s seafood resources.
http://juneauempire.com/art/2016-12-14/afdf-calling-seafood-inspired

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
Office Manager
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Phone: 206.281.1667
E-mail: pspafish@gmail.com; Website: www.pspafish.net
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December 14, 2016