Alaska/Pacific Coast

Fish board asks state to beef up salmon protection
Bristol Bay Times by Carey Restino – December 2, 2016
A joint committee of the Alaska Board of Fish met in Homer on Tuesday and moved to draft a letter asking lawmakers to make more specific rules and protections for salmon by strengthening laws governing permits for those wishing to disturb salmon streams and habitat.
http://www.thebristolbaytimes.com/article/1648fish_board_asks_state_to_beef_up_salmon_1

Board of Fish denies most winter kings proposals
Peninsula Clarion by Elizabeth Earl – December 4, 2016
Despite a number of proposals and public comments in favor, the Board of Fisheries made few changes to the Lower Cook Inlet’s winter saltwater king salmon fishery.
http://peninsulaclarion.com/news/2016-12-04/board-of-fish-denies-most-winter-kings-proposals

Southern Oregon Dungeness Crab Test Safe Prior to Discussion on Opening Dates
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Susan Chambers – December 5, 2016
Oregon crab fishermen and state fishery managers may opt to open part of the state to Dungeness crabbing today, as domoic acid levels have dropped in the southern part of the state.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife on Friday opened the area from Floras Creek, a few miles north of Port Orford, south to the California border to recreational crabbing. Recreational crabbing also is open from Tillamook Head, between Seaside and Cannon Beach, to the Columbia River. The 210-mile area between Tillamook Head and Floras Creek will remain closed to recreational bay and ocean crabbing due to elevated levels of domoic acid.

Some fishermen hope the commercial fishery could open along the same lines — either at the north end of the state or the south part of the state. Currently, southern Washington areas remain closed, along with all of Oregon. California fisheries at the California/Oregon border are open. Many fishermen with dual permits for California and Oregon have been wanting to fish both areas.

ODFW said the Garibaldi port has tested clean for one test already, after having a couple crab in November with elevated levels of domoic. Vessels collected more crab from Garibaldi, Newport and Coos Bay on Thursday, Dec. 1, for more testing.

Fishermen and processors may resume state-monitored price negotiations, depending on the outcome of the conference call today and Oregon’s discussions with California and Washington.

State managers reiterated the notice that all crab in stores and currently sold at retail outlets remain safe.
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1043055/Southern-Oregon-Dungeness-Crab-Test-Safe-Prior-to-Discussion-on-Opening-Dates

Politics

Murray, Cantwell Push to Declare Six Fisheries Disasters in Washington State
SEAFOODNEWS.COM – December 5, 2016
WASHINGTON, D.C.  – Last Friday, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) sent a letter to Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker calling for a declaration of commercial fisheries failures for six pending fishery disaster requests.

Fishing communities up and down Washington’s coast have suffered through several years of lower-than-expected catch. A federal fishery disaster declaration would make communities eligible for funding for projects such as fisheries recovery, job training, and infrastructure investments in the communities hardest hit.

Washington’s maritime industry supports almost 60,000 jobs directly and contributes $30 billion in economic activity each year, not including the shipbuilders, hotels, restaurants, manufacturers, and outfitters that benefit indirectly. The fisheries are also of tremendous significance to the state’s Tribal fishermen, who have been harvesting fish on Washington’s coast for thousands of years.

“Commercial, recreational, charter and tribal fisheries are an integral part of Washington’s maritime economy, as well as our culture and heritage,” the Senators wrote.

“Prompt declaration of these disasters will help meet the needs of communities struggling as a result of these disasters. We appreciate your full and fair consideration of these requests.”

The outstanding requests currently before the Department of Commerce include:

2014 Fraser River sockeye salmon. Requested in January 2015 by Swinomish Indian Tribal Community Chairman Brian Cladoosby, Makah Tribal Council Chairman Timothy Greene, Sr., and Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe Chairwoman Frances Charles.

2015 Grays Harbor coho salmon. Requested by Quinault Indian Nation President Fawn Sharp on November 23, 2015.

2015 South Puget Sound coho salmon. Requested by Squaxin Island Tribe Natural Resources Policy Representative Joseph Peters in May 2016, by Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe Chairman Jeromy Sullivan on June 22, 2016, and by Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe Chairman W. Ron Allen on July 5, 2016.

2015 Dungeness crab. Requested by Quileute Tribal Council Chairman Charles Woodruff on June 23, 2016.

2015 statewide coho salmon. Requested by Washington Governor Jay Inslee on September, 14, 2016.

2016 statewide coho salmon. Requested by Washington Governor Jay Inslee on September, 14, 2016.

Full text of the letter can be found below.

The Honorable Penny Pritzker
Secretary of Commerce
United States Department of Commerce
1401 Constitution Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20230

Dear Secretary Pritzker:

We write to urge you to use your authority under Section 312 of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. § 1861a) to declare commercial fishery failures for six pending Washington state fishery disaster requests. The importance of these fisheries to the Pacific Northwest is enormous, and their failure has far reaching consequences for tribal, commercial and recreational fishermen across Washington state and the Pacific Northwest.

Commercial, recreational, charter and tribal fisheries are an integral part of Washington’s maritime economy, as well as our culture and heritage. The maritime industry in Washington state alone directly employs 57,700 people and contributes $30 billion in economic activity annually. In turn, fisheries support industries such as shipbuilders, hotels, restaurants, gear manufacturers, and outfitters. However, several years of lower-than-expected returns have compounded the economic and cultural effects that local fishery disasters have had on coastal communities.

In addition to the economic impacts on the commercial maritime industry, fishery disasters limit the opportunity for Tribal subsistence and ceremonial harvests. Fishery disasters result in a significant nutritional, cultural and financial burden for Washington state tribes, adding to the importance of a swift response to fishery disasters. Tribes have been fishing the coastal waters of Washington state for thousands of years and the federal government has a responsibility to uphold their treaty fishing rights.

Given the vast impact that these disasters have had on communities across Washington state, we request an expedited review of the following requests, currently before the Department of Commerce:
·         2014 Fraser River sockeye salmon. Requested in January 2015 by Swinomish Indian Tribal Community Chairman Brian Cladoosby, Makah Tribal Council Chairman Timothy Greene, Sr., and Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe Chairwoman Frances Charles.
·         2015 Grays Harbor coho salmon. Requested by Quinault Indian Nation President Fawn Sharp on November 23, 2015.
·         2015 South Puget Sound coho salmon. Requested by Squaxin Island Tribe Natural Resources Policy Representative Joseph Peters in May 2016, by Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe Chairman Jeromy Sullivan on June 22, 2016, and by Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe Chairman W. Ron Allen on July 5, 2016.
·         2015 Dungeness crab. Requested by Quileute Tribal Council Chairman Charles Woodruff on June 23, 2016.
·         2015 statewide coho salmon. Requested by Washington Governor Jay Inslee on September, 14, 2016.
·         2016 statewide coho salmon. Requested by Washington Governor Jay Inslee on September, 14, 2016.

Prompt declaration of these disasters will help meet the needs of communities struggling as a result of these disasters. We appreciate your full and fair consideration of these requests

Sincerely,

Patty Murray     Maria Cantwell
U.S. Senator     U.S. Senator
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1043054/Murray-Cantwell-Push-to-Declare-Six-Fisheries-Disasters-in-Washington-State

International

Only 9.1 per cent women’s representation at seafood industry senior level
Fis.com –  December 5, 2016
Womens’ representation at leadership level in the seafood industry remains dramatically low, to 9.1 per cent, confirming its “male DNA”.
This analysis was based based on the 2016 list of the 100 top seafood companies and was conducted two years after the first investigation on the position of women in seafood high ranks.
http://fis.com/fis/worldnews/worldnews.asp?l=e&country=0&special=&monthyear=&day=&id=88632&ndb=1&df=0

China Halts Live Dungeness Crab From California in Response to Domoic Acid Reports
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by John Sackton and Amy Zhong – December 5, 2016
China’s ASIQS which is responsible for Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of goods coming into China, has suspended all inspections and approvals for live Dungeness Crab from California to enter China.

They have also revoked licenses already issued.  Industry reports say at least two companies have live crab in China that was refused entry.

In its published notice, ASIQS said it was taking the following steps.

1) Temporarily suspending application for entry/exit permits for Dungeness crab from California.

2) For those crabs that have already reached China, they will be subject to testing for toxins, and will only be released if no toxins are found.

3) For other live Dungeness crabs from states other than California, ASIQS will increase their monitoring so that 30% of all incoming batches will be held for testing for possible contamination.

4) ASIQS instructs local offices to keep abreast of the situation and monitor local operations.

The statement, published at the end of November, cited The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard assessment on November 23, saying that there were blooms of toxic algae along a stretch of 120 miles, from Humboldt Bay to Point Reyes, and that “half of the Dungeness crabs there are found to contain toxins.”

In recent years the live crab market has boomed on increasing sales to China. However, these sales represent only a small portion of total volume during the heavy landing periods of December and January; they become more significant when landing volumes grow smaller and a higher proportion of purchases go to the live market.
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1043044/China-Halts-Live-Dungeness-Crab-From-California-in-Response-to-Domoic-Acid-Reports

Indigenous seafood consumption 15 times higher per capita than national averages
Fis.com – December 5, 2016
Coastal Indigenous people eat, on average, 15 times more seafood per person than non-Indigenous people in the same country, finds a Nippon Foundation-Nereus Program, highlighting the need to consider food sovereignty and cultural identity as part of fisheries policy and Indigenous human rights.
http://fis.com/fis/worldnews/worldnews.asp?l=e&country=0&special=&monthyear=&day=&id=88630&ndb=1&df=0

Environment/Science

Alaskans demand Stronger Salmon Protections as State Considers Pebble Mine Permit Renewal
UTBB by Alannah Hurley – December 2, 2016
DILLINGHAM, AK – Thursday afternoon, nearly 1,300 Alaskans delivered comments to the Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) concerning the potential for the Pebble Limited Partnership to continue business as usual in Bristol Bay.  Yesterday was the final day of an open comment period concerning the Pebble developer’s Miscellaneous Land Use Permits (MLUP) renewal application, which would allow the company to continue with exploration and reclamation, as well as storing equipment on State-owned land in Bristol Bay through 2018.
http://alaska-native-news.com/alaskans-demand-stronger-salmon-protections-as-state-considers-pebble-mine-permit-renewal-25437

Plastic Island
How our throwaway culture is turning paradise into a graveyard
CNN by Nick Paton Walsh, Ingrid Formanek, Jackson Loo and Mark Phillips – December 2016
Midway Atoll, North Pacific Ocean (CNN) — The distance from humanity yawns out in front of you when you stand on the pale sands of this tiny Pacific island.
http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2016/12/world/midway-plastic-island/

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
Our office days/hours are Monday-Friday
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December 5, 2016