Alaska/Pacific Coast

Commercial cod fishermen get more space in Kachemak Bay
Peninsula Clarion by Elizabeth Earl – December 5, 2016
Commercial groundfish fishermen in Kachemak Bay will get more space to operate after the Board of Fisheries redefined the closed waters in the area.

Buyback Completed in Alaska Golden King Crab Fishery; NMFS to No Longer Collect Buyback Fee
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by John Sackton – December 5, 2016
In a period of record high king crab prices, a percentage point or two might go unnoticed, but harvesters who hold Aleutian golden king crab quota will be getting some extra money having completed a industry wide buyout payment.

In 2005 the industry agreed to a capacity reduction program that cost $6,380,837, and reduced some of the outstanding fishing licenses.  As in other buyback programs, the loan was paid by an assessment against dockside values.

Since 2005, the industry has paid a total of $10,004,785 to fully repay the loan, interest charges, and fees.  As a result, as of October 31, NMFS will no longer collect buyback fees in the Golden king crab industry, and it will refund any fees paid in excess of what was owed.  The announcement was made in a federal register notice.

Since the payments are collected through processors, NMFS will refund the overpayments back to the individual processors, who will be responsible for returning the fees back to the harvesters.

The original loan of $97,399,357.11 was allocated among all crab fisheries as follows:

1. Bristol Bay red king, $17,129,957.23,
2. BSAI C. opilio and C. bairdi, $66,410,767.20,
3. Aleutian Islands brown king, $6,380,837.19,
4. Aleutian Islands red king, $237,588.04,
5. Pribilof red king and blue king, $1,571,216.35, and
6. St. Matthew blue king, $5,668,991.10.

NMFs accepted bids from 25 license holders to relinquish and extinguish their permits and fishing history.  The loans were part of the changes in Magnuson required for the crab rationalization program.

The Golden King crab fishery is believed to be the first fishery to close out the loan.


Endangered Steller sea lions continue to decline in 2016 in the western Aleutians
Troubling declines persist but scientists gain new information with each survey
AFSC News by Katie Doptis – December 6, 2016
Lief Cove on Kiska Island in the western Aleutians. In 1985, scientists found nearly 2,600 Steller sea lions in the area. This year — 228.  Photo: Katie Sweeney, NOAA Fisheries

Genetic research could help trace salmon to home rivers
KTUU by Beth Verge – December 6, 2016
ANCHORAGE (KTUU) – New research from a group of University of Alaska Fairbanks professors, their colleagues and a post-doctoral student is set to help clear the muddy waters of where chum salmon were hatched, which could affect the conservation and management of fish in the Last Frontier for centuries to come.

Climate Change Will Bring Wetter Storms in U.S., Study Says
New York Times by Tatiana Schlossberg – December 6, 2016
Decades of research (and perhaps your own recent experiences on hot, humid days) have suggested that climate change will lead to an increase in big storms that cause flash floods, landslides and other natural disasters. Now, a new study shows that such intense precipitation will most likely increase across the continental United States, but with important regional variations.


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Pacific Seafood Processors Association
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December 7, 2016