Alaska/Pacific Coast

YEAR IN REVIEW: Federal agenda dominated by halibut bycatch concerns
Alaska Journal of Commerce by DJ Summers – December 16, 2015
Halibut dominated the federal fisheries process in 2015, with each sector fighting over reduced allocations.
http://www.alaskajournal.com/2015-12-16/year-review-federal-agenda-dominated-halibut-bycatch-concerns#.VnLelHvwM9I

Preseason Forecasts Up for SE Chinook
Fishermen’s News – December 16, 2015
Preseason Chinook salmon forecasts for the Stikine and Taku rivers in Southeast Alaska show an improved outlook over a year ago, allowing for a limited direct fishery in the Stikine in Alaska beginning May 2, but not for the Taku river.
http://fnonlinenews.blogspot.com/2015/12/fees-rising-for-halibut-sablefish-bs.html

Politics

Spending bill includes rider on GMO salmon labeling
APRN by Liz Ruskin – December 16, 2015
A bill poised to pass the U.S. Congress would require the FDA to produce labeling guidelines before it allows the sale of genetically engineered salmon. That’s one policy rider Sen. Lisa Murkowski says she fought for that’s included in the package of year-end spending and tax bills.
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2015/12/16/spending-bill-includes-rider-on-gmo-salmon-labeling/

Environment/Science

Small fish species evolved rapidly following 1964 Alaska earthquake
Phys.org – December 14, 2015
Evolution is usually thought of as occurring over long time periods, but it also can happen quickly. Consider a tiny fish whose transformation after the 1964 Alaskan earthquake was uncovered by University of Oregon scientists and their University of Alaska collaborators.
http://phys.org/news/2015-12-small-fish-species-evolved-rapidly.html

Warmer air and sea, declining ice continue to trigger Arctic change
Fish and walruses moving in face of new challenges
NOAA News – December 15, 2015

Average temperature from October 2014-September 2015 compared to the 1981-2010 average (top). Annual temperatures for the Arctic compared to the whole globe since 1900 (bottom). (Credit: NOAAClimate.gov image).
Average temperature from October 2014-September 2015 compared to the 1981-2010 average (top). Annual temperatures for the Arctic compared to the whole globe since 1900 (bottom). (Credit: NOAA Climate.gov image)

A new NOAA-sponsored report shows that air temperature in 2015 across the Arctic was well above average with temperature anomalies over land more than 2 degrees Fahrenheit above average, the highest since records began in 1900. Increasing air and sea surface temperatures, decreasing sea ice extent and Greenland ice sheet mass, and changing behavior of fish and walrus are among key observations released today in the Arctic Report Card 2015.
http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2015/121515-arctic-report-card-warmer-air-and-sea-declining-ice-continue-to-trigger-arctic-change.html

Labeling and Marketing

Renaming ‘Alaska Pollock’ may curb Seattle fleet’s Russian rivals
Russian fishing companies would no longer be able to market their pollock catch as “Alaska Pollock” under a provision included in a congressional spending bill expected to gain approval later this week.
Seattle Times by Hal Bernton – December 16, 2015
Russian fishing companies would no longer be able to market their pollock catch as “Alaska Pollock” under a provision included in a congressional spending bill expected to gain approval later this week.
http://www.seattletimes.com/business/renaming-alaska-pollock-may-curb-seattle-fleets-russian-rivals/

Federal Register

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Observer Coverage Requirements for Small Catcher/Processor in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Groundfish Fisheries
A Proposed Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 12/17/2015
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) has submitted Amendment 112 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP) and Amendment 102 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA FMP). If approved, Amendments 112 and 102 would modify the criteria for NMFS to place small catcher/processors in the partial observer coverage category under the North Pacific Groundfish and Halibut Observer Program (Observer Program). Under Amendments 112 and 102, the GOA and BSAI FMPs would each be amended to allow certain catcher/processors with relatively small levels of groundfish production to be placed in the partial observer coverage category. Amendments 112 and 102 are intended to promote the goals of the BSAI and GOA FMPs and to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) and other applicable laws.
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/12/17/2015-31761/fisheries-of-the-exclusive-economic-zone-off-alaska-observer-coverage-requirements-for-small?utm_campaign=subscription+mailing+list&utm_medium=email&utm_source=federalregister.gov

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 17, 2015