Alaska/Pacific Coast

Alaska Department of Fish and Game Announces 2018 Southeast Chinook Salmon Forecasts and Draft Board of Fisheries Action Plans
ADF&G Press Release – December 22, 2017
December 22, 2017, Juneau – The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (department) has completed 2018 Chinook salmon run forecasts for Situk, Chilkat, Taku, Stikine, and Unuk Rivers. These forecasts use sibling models in which the runs seen in 2016 and 2017, representing production from spawning events in 2012 and 2013, were used to predict the total cumulative run of 5 and 6-year-old fish in 2018.
http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=pressreleases.pr12222017

Commission to consider cutting halibut catch quotas
Peninsula Clarion by Elizabeth Earl – December 25, 2017
Halibut fishermen may see a reduction in the total amount of fish they’re allowed to catch in 2018.
http://peninsulaclarion.com/news/local/2017-12-25/commission-consider-cutting-halibut-catch-quotas

Tax appeal challenges Alaska’s fish landing tax
KTOO by Jacob Resneck – December 22, 2017
A tax dispute between a single fishing company and the state of Alaska could have far-reaching consequences for fishing towns across the state.
https://www.ktoo.org/2017/12/22/tax-appeal-challenges-alaskas-fish-landing-tax/

Southeast Alaska Tanner Crab and Golden King Crab Season Opens February 10, 2018
SEAFOODNEWS.COM – December 22, 2017
Petersburg–The 2017/2018 commercial Tanner crab fishery in Southeast Alaska will open concurrently with the commercial golden king crab fishery at 12:00 noon on Saturday, February 10, 2018.

The registration deadline for the 2017/2018 season is January 11, 2018.

Season length of the Tanner crab fishery is determined by guidelines set forth in the Registration Area A Tanner crab harvest strategy. The initial period of the commercial Tanner crab fishing season will be a minimum of six days. Additional fishing time may be allowed based on the number of registered pots at the start of the fishery.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game will issue a news release on February 10, 2018, announcing the total number of pots registered in the fishery and whether the initial fishing period will be extended. At the end of the initial period, the core areas will close to fishing and the non-core areas will remain open for an additional five days.

Catch-survey modeling of 2017/2018 commercial fishery harvest, October 2017 Tanner crab survey data, and summer 2017 red king crab survey data produced a regional biomass estimate of 6.64 million pounds of mature male Tanner crab, a 35% increase from the mature male Tanner crab biomass estimate of 4.91 million pounds the previous year.

Limited, non-confidential Tanner crab stock assessment information will be available to the public in early January. To obtain this Tanner crab stock assessment information contact Tessa Bergmann (772-5236) or Kellii Wood (772-5222) in Petersburg, or Adam Messmer (465- 4853) in Douglas.

For further information on core and non-core areas, logbook, buoy tag placements, and other requirements of the fishery, contact ADF&G staff at the numbers above.

While the Tanner crab fishery is open, a golden king crab fisherman who is also registered for the Tanner fishery may use a maximum of 80 pots. Twenty-four hours after the Tanner season closes regionwide in Registration Area A, or after a fisherman, or his agent, has unregistered from the Tanner crab fishery, fishermen already registered for golden king crab may purchase an additional 20 tags in order to fish the maximum of 100 pots for golden king crab.

Regulations regarding permit holders with simultaneous registration in golden king crab and Tanner crab fisheries state that before fishing for golden king crab in a portion of Registration Area A that is closed to Tanner crab fishing, a vessel must have all Tanner crab removed from the vessel, must unregister to fish for Tanner crab by signature of the vessel owner, agent, or permit holder and a department representative, and that once a permit has been unregistered for Tanner crab, Tanner crab may not be retained or sold.

Until a permit holder simultaneously registered for the golden king crab and Tanner crab fisheries unloads all Tanner crab, and unregisters to fish for Tanner crab, he or she may not have gear in fishing condition in a portion of Registration Area A that is closed to Tanner crab fishing. Likewise, vessels registered only for golden king crab that desire to fish for Tanner crab during the non-core period must remove all gear from the closed Tanner crab area before registering for Tanner crab.

At the January 2009 Southeast Shellfish BOF meeting, the board adopted a proposal to allow retention of golden king crab caught in pots configured for the Tanner fishery if simultaneously registered for both fisheries and if both fisheries are open.

The legal size for blue king crab was changed at the 2015 Southeast Shellfish BOF meeting from 6 1⁄2 inches to 7 inches. Qualifying permit holders with current registration in golden king crab and Tanner crab fisheries will be allowed to retain blue king crab in the combined crab fisheries from areas described as blue king crab fishing areas.

For more information on the commercial blue king crab fishing prohibition in Glacier Bay contact the National Park Service at (907) 697-2230.

Regulations can also be viewed online at http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fishregulations.commercial.
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1086781/Southeast-Alaska-Tanner-Crab-and-Golden-King-Crab-Season-Opens-February-10-2018

Environment/Science

Gulf ‘blob’ refugees may fish cod in Bering Sea
Bristol Bay Times by Jim Paulin – December 22, 2017
The warm water “blob” is the likely culprit in the crash of Gulf of Alaska cod stocks, potentially leading to an influx of small boats into state water fisheries in the Dutch Harbor and Aleutian Islands areas.
http://www.thebristolbaytimes.com/article/1751gulf_blob_refugees_may_fish_cod_in_bering_sea

FYI’s

Summit aims to train fishing’s next generation
UAF by Paula Dobbyn – December 21, 2017
Third-generation Bristol Bay fisherman Kristina Andrew didn’t sit still for most of the Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit. The 30-year-old Dillingham resident paced the Dena’ina Center conference room, soothing her 1-year-old son, Kevin, strapped to her back.
https://news.uaf.edu/summit-aims-train-fishings-next-generation/

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 26, 2017