Alaska/Pacific Coast

2016 hauled in mixed bag for commercial fisheries
Homer News by Cristy Fry – December 28, 2016
As with any season, 2016 had plenty of winners and losers in the Alaska commercial fishing industry.
The year started off with a huge sigh of relief from Upper Cook Inlet salmon setnet fishermen when the Alaska Supreme Court over-ruled a decision by a Superior Court judge that would have allowed a ballot measure to ban setnets in “urban areas,” but was targeted at Cook Inlet.
http://homernews.com/homer-features/seawatch/2016-12-28/2016-hauled-in-mixed-bag-for-commercial-fisheries

Alaska Fisheries Report
KMXT by Kayla Desroches – December 22, 2016
Coming up this week, Fish and Game will see more cuts again next year under Governor Walker’s proposed budget, in Southeast, the Dungeness crab season was kind of a bust, and the GHL for the Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery has been set. We had help from KSTK’s Aaron Bolton in Wrangell, KFSK’s Angela Denning in Petersburg, KCAW’s Emily Kwong in Sitka, and KUCB’s Zoe Sobel in Unalaska.
http://kmxt.org/2016/12/alaska-fisheries-report-dec-29-2016/

Ringing in new round of ‘fish wars’ as ADFG manages budget
Alaska Journal of Commerce by DJ Summers  – December 28, 2016
In the face of yet another round of budget cuts, Alaska’s largest private employer, the seafood industry, will have entirely new management schemes to sort out and live under in 2017 alongside status quo projections for harvest in key fisheries.
http://www.alaskajournal.com/2016-12-28/ringing-new-round-fish-wars%E2%80%99-adfg-manages-budget#.WGUvlpJOFA4

National

With New Fish Rule, NOAA Lets the Big One Get Away
National Geographic by Lee Crockett – December 27, 2016
When you take your car in for a tuneup, do you have only the spark plugs examined?
Of course not. You ask the mechanic to look at the whole vehicle—the engine, fluids, fuel system, and the many other parts that must work together for your car to run smoothly.
http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2016/12/27/with-new-fish-rule-noaa-lets-the-big-one-get-away/

Federal Register

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Allow the Use of Longline Pot Gear in the Gulf of Alaska Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota Fishery; Amendment 101
A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 12/28/2016
NMFS issues regulations to implement Amendment 101 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA FMP) for the sablefish individual fishing quota (IFQ) fisheries in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This final rule authorizes the use of longline pot gear in the GOA sablefish IFQ fishery. In addition, this final rule establishes management measures to minimize potential conflicts between hook-and-line and longline pot gear used in the sablefish IFQ fisheries in the GOA. This final rule also includes regulations developed under the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982 (Halibut Act) to authorize harvest of halibut IFQ caught incidentally in longline pot gear used in the GOA sablefish IFQ fishery. This final rule is necessary to improve efficiency and provide economic benefits for the sablefish IFQ fleet and minimize potential fishery interactions with whales and seabirds. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Halibut Act, the GOA FMP, and other applicable laws.
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/12/28/2016-31057/fisheries-of-the-exclusive-economic-zone-off-alaska-allow-the-use-of-longline-pot-gear-in-the-gulf

Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Trawl Rationalization Program; 2017 Cost Recovery
A Notice by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 12/29/2016
This action provides participants in the Pacific coast groundfish trawl rationalization program with the 2017 fee percentages and “MS pricing” needed to calculate the required payments for trawl rationalization program cost recovery fees due in 2017. It also provides a redetermination of previous years’ fees. For calendar year 2017, NMFS announces the following fee percentages by sector: 3.0 percent for the Shorebased Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Program, 0 percent for the MS Coop Program, 0 percent for the Catcher/Processer (C/P) Coop Program. For 2017, the MS pricing to be used as a proxy by the C/P Coop Program is: $0.08/lb for Pacific whiting.
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/12/29/2016-31624/magnuson-stevens-act-provisions-fisheries-off-west-coast-states-pacific-coast-groundfish-fishery

FYI’s

Fish-stealing whales duck cameras but can’t hide from human observers
Alaska Dispatch News by Jim Paulin – December 29, 2016
When it comes to counting how many sablefish that whales bite off of fishing hooks in the Gulf of Alaska, labor-saving cameras on small boats could be less accurate than human observers, according to a federal fisheries scientist and a member of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.
https://www.adn.com/business-economy/2016/12/28/whales-duck-cameras-but-cant-hide-from-human-observers/

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 29, 2016