Alaska/Pacific Coast

Alaska Fisheries Report
KMXT by Kayla Desroches – December 7, 2017
Coming up on this week’s Alaska Fisheries Report, the Native Village of Port Heiden is inching closer to establishing a local fish processing plant. Also, scientists warn that halibut numbers could shrink along the coast of the U.S. and Canada if fishing continues at the same rate.
http://kmxt.org/2017/12/alaska-fisheries-report-dec-07-2017/

Staggeringly low forecasts for king salmon in the Stikine, according to Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game
KSTK by June Leffler – December 7, 2017
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game expects considerably lower numbers of Chinook salmon for the Stikine and Taku Rivers.
https://www.kstk.org/2017/12/07/staggeringly-low-forecasts-king-salmon-stikine-according-alaska-dept-fish-game/

UW’s Alaska Salmon Program forecast for Bristol Bay a little lower than ADF&G
Univ. of Washington biologists predict a 47.6 million total run (compared to ADF&G’s 51.3 million), forecasting smaller return to the Nushagak, but slightly larger to Ugashik and Naknek-Kvichak, than the state.

KDLG by Dave Bendinger – December 6, 2017
It’s not unusual for the biologists at the University of Washington and the biologists at Alaska’s Department of Fish and Game to differ on Bristol Bay’s sockeye salmon forecast. Going into 2018, UW’s team predicts a total return of 47.6 million, down 3.7 million from ADF&G’s prediction of 51.3 million.
http://kdlg.org/post/uw-s-alaska-salmon-program-forecast-bristol-bay-little-lower-adfg

Commercial fishing of Dungeness crabs hit with another delay
Associated Press – December 8, 2017
The commercial fishing of Dungeness crabs has been delayed again for Oregon and parts of Washington and California, giving the crabs more time to plump up.
http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/business/article188732599.html

Recruiting Gets Underway for Upcoming Groundfish Season
Fishermen’s News – December 6, 2017
Recruiters for the At-Sea Processors Association will hold a job fair tomorrow, December 7, at the Alaska Department of Labor’s Anchorage Midtown Job Center to attract crew willing to spend two to three months aboard a catcher-processor vessel during the upcoming groundfish fisheries. Applicants must be pre-registered and present at a seafood familiarization session, and then attend orientations coming up the following week.
http://fnonlinenews.blogspot.com/2017/12/recruiting-gets-underway-for-upcoming.html

International

Live King Crab from Alaska Flying to Chinese Markets
SEAFOODNEWS.COM  by John Sackton – December 8, 2017
Live king crab from Alaska has always been seen by harvesters as the highest value crab, but the volumes, logistics and difficulties of a live supply chain have meant that live shipments have been few and far between.  In the early 2000’s, one company, Royal Aleutian, used to send hundreds of thousands of live golden king crab to US markets.

Now, a processor in Adak is reviving the live crab trade with air shipments of live golden king crab directly from Adak to Shanghai, where they go into Alibaba’s massive Hema fresh seafood markets, among others.

The new crab and groundfish processor in Adak is Golden Harvest Alaska Seafood.  They began direct charter flights with live golden king crab to Shanghai this past September from Adak.

They are working with the fleet to try and add live Opilio in early 2018.

CEO Jason Ogilvie says “When you look at a map, you realize just how close Alaska’s crab fisheries are to Asian markets.”

“But processing and air transportation infrastructure have always been a challenge in remote, coastal Alaska. We have solved the former and we are working hard on the latter.”

“Customers want a stable, sustainable source of seafood to support their marketing efforts. Aleutian Islands Golden King Crab is a stable, high value fishery.”

Unlike red king crab, the quota on Golden King Crab has been extremely stable for more than 15 years at between 5.5 and 6 million pounds.  The reason, scientists say, is that the crab is fished on sea mounts, and they believe the bulk of the population lives at depths greater than can be fished by crab gear.  So only about 20% of the Golden King crab stock is available to the fishery.

Harvesters have been trying to get more research funded on golden king crab, especially to determine if a higher level of harvest is warranted.

Since September, Ogilvie says that his company has processed and shipped millions of pounds of crab, halibut and Pacific Cod at the plant in Adak.

The town is the site of a former military base, and the infrastructure including docks and a major runway has been repurposed to try and support the fishery.   Adak also benefits from some special fish allocations, designed to help sustain a working community on the remote island.

“We have invested millions of dollars in our holding and processing capacity in just a few months. The western Aleutian Islands are known for their pristine waters and abundant fisheries, and we look forward to working with Alaska’s fishing community to bring value-added products like Live Crab to market,” says Ogilvie.
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1085129/Live-King-Crab-from-Alaska-Flying-to-Chinese-Markets

Environment/Science

One fish, two fish—using a new MBARI-designed camera system to count rockfish
Phsy.org by Kim Fulton-Bennett – December 1, 2017
Over 90 species of rockfish are caught commercially off the West Coast of the United States, but some deep-water species have been severely affected by overfishing. To help these threatened populations recover, fisheries scientists need to know how many fish are out there and how large they are, so that fisheries managers can regulate where and how many fish can be caught each year. As part of this effort, MBARI recently partnered with The Nature Conservancy, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, and other organizations to design a new camera system for counting threatened rockfish off the US West Coast.
https://phys.org/news/2017-12-fish-fishusing-mbari-designed-camera-rockfish.html

Federal Register

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands; 2018 and 2019 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish
A Proposed Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 12/08/2017
NMFS proposes 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications, apportionments, and prohibited species catch allowances for the groundfish fisheries of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) management area. This action is necessary to establish harvest limits for groundfish during the 2018 and 2019 fishing years, and to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area. The intended effect of this action is to conserve and manage the groundfish resources in the BSAI in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/12/08/2017-26477/fisheries-of-the-exclusive-economic-zone-off-alaska-bering-sea-and-aleutian-islands-2018-and-2019

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Gulf of Alaska; 2018 and 2019 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish
A Proposed Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 12/08/2017
NMFS proposes 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications, apportionments, and Pacific halibut prohibited species catch limits for the groundfish fishery of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to establish harvest limits for groundfish during the 2018 and 2019 fishing years and to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska. The intended effect of this action is to conserve and manage the groundfish resources in the GOA in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/12/08/2017-26473/fisheries-of-the-exclusive-economic-zone-off-alaska-gulf-of-alaska-2018-and-2019-harvest

FYI’s

Behnken Honored by Alaska Legislature
Fishermen’s News – December 6, 2017
Veteran halibut harvester Linda Behnken, executive director of the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association (ALFA) in Sitka, has been honored by the Alaska Legislature for her efforts to protect small boat fisheries and coastal communities.
http://fnonlinenews.blogspot.com/2017/12/behnken-honored-by-alaska-legislature.html

SeaShare: Employee Giving Programs directly impact Americans struggling with hunger
For over 20 years SeaShare has represented the seafood industry’s giving program. SeaShare has provided over 200 million healthy protein portions to food banks and feeding centers nationwide.

Devastating hurricanes and fires have affected millions of Americans this year. The seafood industry responded quickly and generously, and as a result, SeaShare was able to send over 2 million servings of seafood to people struggling to get back on their feet.

But the reality is that for 365 days every year 42 million Americans don’t have enough food on their tables. Every day, people in every county in every state are forced to make tough choices between food and heat or food and medicine. As the holidays approach, these stresses are even more pronounced, as people strain to find the resources to provide holiday meals and gifts for loved ones.

SeaShare will be there to help, bringing the highest quality nutritious seafood to families who would otherwise go without. But we need your support to bring more seafood to our neighbors struggling with hunger.

Do you or your company have a personal or employee giving program or strategy? Are you interested in starting one? We have the tools to help you easily set up individual and/or company-specific donation programs, and we can provide additional co-branded materials to inspire your colleagues to give.

Every dollar has an impact:
For every $1 donated, we’re able to send 8 servings of seafood to food banks. To learn more, please reach out to katet@seashare.org or make a donation today at www.seashare.org/donate. Thank you!

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
Office Manager
1900 W Emerson Place Suite 205, Seattle, WA 98119
Phone: 206.281.1667
E-mail: pspafish@gmail.com; Website: www.pspafish.net
Our office days/hours are Monday-Friday
8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.

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December 8, 2017