Alaska/Pacific Coast

Prince William Sound Pot Cod Fishery Opens February 15 With 1 Million Pound GHL
SEAFOODNEWS.COM – February 13, 2018
The Prince William Sound Pacific cod state-waters season will open noon on February 15, with a 992,080-pound Guideline Harvest Level (GHL). The opening follows a 24-hour period to allow for deliveries after the federal Pcod pot fishery closes on February 14.

Of the nearly one million pound GHL, 85 percent, or 843,268 lbs are allocated to vessels using longline gear and 15% or 148,812 lbs are allocated to vessels using pot or jig gear.

In the Gulf of Alaska federal fishery, the A season allocation for pot gear for catcher vessels and catcher/processors is 1,075 mt (2.4 mlbs.) this year compared to 5,849 mt (12.9 mlbs.) in 2017.

The state rules for state-water fisheries is that no more than 60 groundfish pots may be operated from a vessel, and each pot must display a buoy identification tag.  A vessel may not participate in a Pacific cod state-waters season and any other Pacific cod season at the same time.

The state rules for state-water fisheries is that no more than 60 groundfish pots may be operated from a vessel, and each pot must display a buoy identification tag.  A vessel may not participate in a Pacific cod state-waters season and any other Pacific cod season at the same time.

Following the closure of the parallel Pacific cod season, all groundfish pot gear must be removed from the water, except that pot vessels registered for the state-waters Pacific cod season may store groundfish pots in waters not more than 25 fathoms deep on the north side of Montague Island for up to ten days prior to the opening and 10 days following the closure of the state-waters season, provided all bait and bait containers are removed and all doors are secured open at the time of the parallel season (or state-waters season) closure. After the ten-day period has elapsed, no groundfish pot storage is permitted.

Fishermen are also reminded to stay three nautical miles clear of two Steller sea lion rookeries in Prince William Sound.
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1092071/Prince-William-Sound-Pot-Cod-Fishery-Opens-February-15-With-1-Million-Pound-GHL

Press Release: Murkowski, Sullivan Applaud Emergency Relief for Communities Affected by Fisheries Disasters
Press Release – February 9, 2018
Fisheries Disaster Supplemental Included in Budget Bill
U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK) today applauded the inclusion of funding for fisheries disasters in the Bipartisan Budget Act, which established funding levels through the end of Fiscal Year 2019. The bill passed the Senate in a vote of 71-28.
https://www.murkowski.senate.gov/press/release/murkowski-sullivan-applaud-emergency-relief-for-communities-affected-by-fisheries-disasters

Environment/Science

Now that the blob is over, scientists are eager to assess its impact
KBBI by Aaron Bolton – February 9, 2018
Over the last year, warm water temperatures in the Gulf of Alaska, infamously known as the blob, have dissipated. Warmer water temps are thought to have a hand in massive bird die-offs and a decline in Pacific cod stocks. Now that the three-year period of summer-like marine conditions is over, scientists and fishery managers are eager to assess the full impact of the blob.
http://kbbi.org/post/now-blob-over-scientists-are-eager-assess-its-impact

FYI’s

Another year, another round of proposed Trump cuts for marine mammal programs
KTOO by Elizabeth Jenkins – February 12, 2018
There was good news for some marine mammal advocacy groups Monday. An appeals court upheld an Endangered Species Act listing for ringed seals. But with the release of President Donald Trump’s 2019 budget, the entire day wasn’t a victory.
https://www.ktoo.org/2018/02/12/another-year-another-round-of-proposed-trump-cuts-for-marine-mammal-programs/

2017 Tribal Fishery Allocations for Pacific Whiting; Reapportionment Between Tribal and Non-Tribal Sectors; Widow Rockfish Reapportionment in the Pacific Whiting Fishery
A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 02/12/2018
This document announces the reapportionment of 41,000 metric tons (mt) of Pacific whiting from the tribal allocation to the non-tribal commercial fishery sectors via automatic action on September 15, 2017, in order to allow full utilization of the Pacific whiting resource, and the reapportionment of 47 mt of widow rockfish in the Pacific whiting fishery via automatic action on August 30, 2017. The reapportionment of widow rockfish from the Mothership Cooperative to the Catcher Processor Cooperative was necessary to prevent the Catcher Processor Cooperative from reaching its quota for widow rockfish early, thereby closing the fishery before the end of the season and preventing attainment of their Pacific whiting allocation.
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/02/12/2018-02752/2017-tribal-fishery-allocations-for-pacific-whiting-reapportionment-between-tribal-and-non-tribal

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
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February 13, 2018