Alaska/Pacific Coast

Alaska Fisheries Report
KMXT – December 17, 2015
Coming up this week, there’s controversy over releasing hatchery chums in Southeast, the Kodiak Maritime Museum starts the groundwork – literally – on its new display, and the lamprey fishery on the Yukon is a nice payday before the holidays. All that, and the dangers of fishing with explosives, coming up on the Alaska Fisheries Report. We had help from KIYU’s Tim Bodony in Galena, KCAW’s Robert Woolsey in Sitka, and KFSK’s Angela Denning in Petersburg.
http://www.kmxt.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=6932

Fees Rising for Halibut, Sablefish, BS Crab
Fishermen’s News – December 16, 2015
Annual fees paid by holders of catch shares in Alaska’s halibut, sablefish and Bering Sea/Aleutian Island king crab fisheries will rise for the 2015/2016 season to meet costs of management and enforcement.
http://fnonlinenews.blogspot.com/2015/12/fees-rising-for-halibut-sablefish-bs.html

EMA: Forecasting Pink Salmon Harvest in Southeast Alaska
NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center – December 15, 2015
Understanding how ocean conditions and climate impact salmon year class strength is an objective of the Auke Bay Laboratories (ABL) Southeast Alaska Coastal Monitoring (SECM) project. The SECM project has collected a time series of indexes that include juvenile salmon and their associated biophysical data in coastal Southeast Alaska (SEAK) since 1997.
http://www.afsc.noaa.gov/ABL/EMA/EMA_PSF.htm

State waters P-cod season close Dec. 31
Cordova Times – December 17, 2015
State fisheries officials have issued a reminder that the Prince William Sound area E parallel and state waters Pacific cod season will close to all gear types on midnight of Dec. 31.
http://www.thecordovatimes.com/article/1551state-waters-pcod-season-close-dec-31

Politics

Congressional spending bill provides legislation for pollock
FIS.COM – December 18, 2015
A bill changing the market name of “Alaska pollock” to “pollock” will be included in the Congressional spending bill. U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell said the bill would essentially outlaw Pollock harvested in Russia from being passed off as “Alaskan Pollock” in the supermarket.
http://www.fis.com/fis/worldnews/worldnews.asp?monthyear=&day=18&id=81272&l=e&special=&ndb=1%20target=

Congress Votes to Require Labeling of Genetically Engineered Salmon, at least for 2016
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by John Sackton –  December 17, 2015
The Omnibus spending bill that will be voted on by both House and Senate this week contains a prohibition against sale of genetically modified salmon until the FDA publishes labeling guidelines and a means to inform consumers of salmon with genetically engineered content.

The language was inserted by Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who has repeatedly called on the FDA to require labeling.

Section 761 of the bill also directs the FDA to spend not less than $150,000 to develop labeling guidelines and implement a program to disclose to consumers whether salmon offered for sale to consumers is a “genetically engineered variety.”

This is the type of restriction that the Alaska delegation and others have been working towards.   The current requirement covers 2016 only, and no genetically engineered product was expected to be sold next year by AquaBounty, which said it would take at least two years to come on to the market.

However, the congressional language is the first time that a specific label for genetically engineered foods has been required.   Congress also refused to overturn individual state legistlation on labeling of GMO products.
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1002207/Congress-Votes-to-Require-Labeling-of-Genetically-Engineered-Salmon-at-least-for-2016

Environment/Science
How Arctic Fish Might Benefit From Shrinking Ice
As polar ice disappears, predatory fish that hunt by sight may get a major boost, a new model suggests.
National Geographic by James Owen – December 17, 2015
As Arctic ice shrinks, fish will see the region in a whole new light.
With sunlight now permeating previously darkened waters, predatory fish that hunt by sight are set to invade in increasing numbers, scientists predict in a new study.
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/12/151217-arctic-ice-fish-predators-prey-animals-science/

FYI’s
Market Fresh: How to gift Alaska seafood, meats, sweets and more
Alaska Dispatch News bySteve EdwardsDecember 15, 2015
Use Alaska King or Dungeness crabmeat for your crabcakes. Kirsten Dixon photo
It’s gift-giving time for many. And what better to share than a taste of Alaska?
https://www.adn.com/article/20151215/market-fresh-how-gift-alaska-seafood-meats-sweets-and-more

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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December 18, 2015