Alaska/Pacific Coast

New Federal Legislation May Help Bring a Deep Draft Port to Nome
KNOM by Lauren Frost – December 16, 2016
Fishing vessels at the Nome harbor. Photo: Matthew Smith, KNOM
Nome’s Arctic deep draft port may be one step closer to becoming a reality. Port Director Joy Baker joined last night’s Port Commission meeting by conference call to provide an update. She said Congress has passed two key pieces of legislation: the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (or WIIN) Act, and the National Defense Authorization Act. Both contain provisions for the construction of the deep draft port.
http://www.knom.org/wp/blog/2016/12/16/new-federal-legislation-may-help-bring-a-deep-draft-port-to-nome/

Walker proposes stable Fish and Game budget
KTOO by Aaron Bolton, KSTK-Wrangell – December 19, 2016
Gov. Bill Walker proposed cutting about 45 positions and $3.5 million from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s 2018 budget last week, significantly smaller than the $11.5 million in cuts over the last two years.
http://www.ktoo.org/2016/12/19/walker-proposes-stable-fish-game-budget/

International

New Agreement to Normalize Relations between Norway and China could Revolutionize Salmon Market
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by John Sackton – December 20, 2016
Norway and China signed a joint statement in Beijing this week, normalising the relations between the two countries.

In 2010, Norway gave a Nobel Prize to a Chinese dissident, and since then the Chinese government had maintained sanctions on Norwegian exports.

As a result, huge amounts of Norwegian salmon flowed into China via third parties, such as Vietnam.

But, Chinese salmon consumption remained low, averaging 50 grams per person of Atlantic salmon.

Norway’s salmon industry thinks the normalisation is a game changer.

Marine Harvest’s stock jumped on the news, with the valuation of the company now at a record 70 billion NOK.

Other salmon company shares also rose: Grieg Seafood (3.2 percent), Austevoll Seafood (2.8 percent), Norway Royal Salmon (2.4 percent) and Leroy Seafood Group (1.7 per cent) on the stock exchange yesterday.

Meanwhile, with low harvests and high holiday demand, last Friday a Norwegian salmon sold for more than 100 NOK per Kg. for the first time ever.

Alsaker Fjordbruk sold fresh large salmon at a price of over 100 NOK per Kg, or 11.50 Euro per kg.

There was some concern in Norway that some of the billing and accounting systems cannot handle prices this high. Alsaker Fjord Bruks told ilaks that some of his customers sales systems could not handle the price.
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1044760/New-Agreement-to-Normalize-Relations-between-Norway-and-China-could-Revolutionize-Salmon-Market

China Shuts Down Dungeness Crab Exports from US for Second Time
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by John Sackton – December 21, 2016
China has again shut down exports of live Dungeness crab from California, and this time they extended the ban to include the entire US West Coast.

Some industry observers think the ban was precipitated by Canadian shippers who mixed in some California crab with shipments from other open areas.

The Chinese Embassy confirmed to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) that they are not accepting any live Dungeness crab from the US portion of FAO area 67, which covers the west coast from Northern California to Alaska.

As a result, the CFIA has informed US shippers that it will no longer issue certificates for live crab from the US to be exported to China.  Much of this crab is shipped by air through Vancouver, BC.

The industry rumour is that by tomorrow, customs officials in Shanghai will shut down all live crab shipments.  There is also some concern, currently no more than speculation, that since the ban is targeted at the US only, China may be retaliating against US interests in response to President-Elect Trump’s willingness to change the status quo regarding Taiwan.   If so, the seafood industry may bear the brunt of more disruptions growing out of China’s frustration with the new President’s policy.

Several industry meetings are taking place to discuss how to move forward, but for now it looks like a shipment ban is back on the table.
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1044840/China-Shuts-Down-Dungeness-Crab-Exports-from-US-for-Second-Time

Environment/Science

Obama closes Arctic indefinitely
Associated Press and Journal staff reports – December 20, 2016
HONOLULU (AP) — President Barack Obama has designated the bulk of U.S.-owned waters in the Arctic Ocean and certain areas in the Atlantic Ocean as indefinitely off limits to future oil and gas leasing.
http://www.alaskajournal.com/2016-12-20/obama-closes-arctic-indefinitely#.WFqt4ZJOFA4

Federal Register

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program
A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 12/20/2016
NMFS issues regulations to implement Amendment 47 to the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs (Crab FMP) and to make minor clarifications to regulations implementing the Crab FMP. This final rule addresses how individual processing quota (IPQ) use caps apply to the Bering Sea Chionoecetes bairdi Tanner crab fisheries: the eastern C. bairdi Tanner (EBT) and the western C. bairdi Tanner (WBT).
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/12/20/2016-30068/fisheries-of-the-exclusive-economic-zone-off-alaska-bering-sea-and-aleutian-islands-crab

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
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E-mail: pspafish@gmail.com; Website: www.pspafish.net
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December 21, 2016