Alaska/Pacific Coast

Fish board asks committee to consider environmental changes
KDLG by Molly Dischner & Dave Bendinger – December 7, 2015
What happens when beaches and creeks change over time? The state Board of Fisheries says it needs to wait and develop a broader policy before taking action on some proposals.

Dungeness Crab Season Delay Likely Until After Christmas, As All Three States Want to Open at Once
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Susan Chambers – December 8, 2015
While domoic acid levels in Dungeness crab have tested clear in Oregon and Washington, fishermen will not be setting their gear anytime soon.

Fishery managers in all three states discussed Monday a continued delay due to an upward trend of domoic acid in crab off the southern part of Oregon – despite all crab testing below any action level. Additional testing will be done as soon as possible.

“Oregon’s commercial crab industry and the department place a high priority on making sure that seafood consumers can be confident that they are buying a safe, high‐quality, and sustainable product when they purchase Oregon Dungeness crab,” Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife commercial crab project leader Kelly Corbett said in a press release.

ODFW will continue to work closely with the Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Oregon commercial Dungeness crab industry to test crab in the southern half of the state. In close coordination with ODA, fishery managers from Washington and California and the Oregon commercial Dungeness crab industry, ODFW plans to evaluate options for opening the commercial season once additional domoic acid test results are available.

Since Washington tested clear last week, Oregon industry leaders expressed concern Friday that Washington would open the southern stretch of coastline prior to Oregon, leading to a “gold rush” and complicating matters by establishing a line at the Oregon-Washington border or forcing a line at Heceta Head in Oregon, in the central part of the state. Many fishermen from Oregon and Washington said it would be in the industry’s best interest to open both states at the same time.

In an email to industry on Monday, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Coastal Shellfish Manager Dan Ayres said, “At this time, Oregon is unable to support an opening of only a portion of their coast. Without support for a line in Oregon, WDFW agreed to extend the delay and avoid the chaos that a small area opening would create.”

The tri-state managers have tentatively agreed to another conference call on Dec. 18, once further domoic acid tests are completed.

However, a series of storms is forecast through the weekend, with seas up to 30 feet, gales and gusts to 50 knots or more. If boats can get out on Sunday, Dec. 13, and testing can be completed by Friday, Dec. 18, there’s a slim chance fishermen could get a pre-soak time done and the first pull by Christmas. A more likely scenario, depending on weather and testing times, is a post-holiday start. Oregon fishermen and processors have yet to go through price negotiations, overseen by the ODA.

Nearly everyone on the Oregon industry conference call Friday was concerned about the bad publicity that’s been in the press, primarily in California. But the primary message, reiterated by fisheries and health managers and the crab industry, is that crab shipments and Dungeness in stores and restaurants is safe.


Marine Harvest is Largest Salmon Producer to Commit to Certifying its Global Operations Against ASC
SEAFOODNEWS.COM – December 8, 2015
Marine Harvest announced that they will certify all salmon farms against the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) Salmon Standard for responsible aquaculture, making it the largest company to date to program.

Marine Harvest will initially roll out certification against the ASC standard of their salmon farms in Norway and Scotland in cooperation with WWF. The company said it is an important step for the farmed salmon market and will have a profound effect on the industry by introducing and standardising best practices for responsible farming practices on a global scale.

“We are very excited that Marine Harvest has chosen to take the lead in moving the salmon industry towards taking greater responsibility for its environmental and social footprint. Through meeting the rigorous ASC Standard for responsible aquaculture and communicating this to the market through ASC’s on-pack logo, farms can clearly show consumers that their seafood has been produced so that environmental and social impacts have been minimised” said Chris Ninnes, CEO of the ASC.

Labeling and Marketing

Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute Marketing Update
ASMI – December 7, 2015
Vote for ASMI’s Fishing Families Photo Contest Grand Prize Winner, Alaska Salmon Featured in Italian Documentary, Alaska Seafood feature in New Journal, Alaska Seafood Cooking Demonstration in Barcelona, Salmon Market Town Hall: Anchorage

Federal Register

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone off Alaska; Reallocation of Pacific Cod in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 12/08/2015
NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amounts of Pacific cod from catcher vessels greater than 60 feet (18.3 meters (m)) length overall (LOA) using pot gear, American Fisheries Act (AFA) trawl catcher processors (C/Ps), and catcher vessels using trawl gear to C/Ps using hook-and-line gear and C/Ps using pot gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area. This action is necessary to allow the 2015 total allowable catch of Pacific cod to be harvested.


Fish economist Gunnar Knapp retiring as head of ISER
KDLG  by Hannah Colton – December 7, 2015
Alaska budget expert and fisheries economist Gunnar Knapp is retiring as director of the Institute of Social and Economic Research at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
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December 8, 2015