Alaska Fisheries Report
KMXT by Kayla Desroches – February 8, 2018
Coming up on this week’s Alaska Fisheries Report, Southeast lawmakers have an eye on fisheries. They’re concerned about funding for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in the face of major budget cuts.
Chinook PSC Limits in Gulf of Alaska Face Another Review
Fishermen’s News – February 14, 2018
Federal fisheries managers discussed modifying the Chinook salmon prohibited species catch (PSC) limits for non-pollock catcher vessels in the Gulf of Alaska this past week, then recommended another initial review of their analysis.
Commercial fleet highlights economic impact of Sitka Sound herring catch
KFSK by Joe Viechnicki – February 14, 2018
Despite three days of impassioned testimony before the Board of Fisheries in January, not much has changed for the Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery, which will ramp up in about a month.
Adak 5000 ton Cod Allocation Gets Discussed at Council, as Unforeseen Scenario Put it at Risk
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by John Sackton – February 14, 2018
At the end of the council meeting in Seattle that concluded on Monday, an unexpected issue erupted over cod harvests in Adak.
Adak has a new shore plant operating this year, Golden Harvest, and for the first time in years the town is seeing processing on a large scale, with 225 workers. The company has also renovated 42 housing units on the island, where the dock and processing infrastructure are left over from the former US airbase.
For many years the Council and Congress have supported special set asides to try and create economic activity in Adak. In 2015 Adak was given a special 5000 ton cod quota set aside, and until this year, everyone thought the 5000 ton cod quota was exclusively for delivery to shore plants in Adak.
That was the council intent.
However, this year the lower quotas on Bering Sea cod created a situation where some Amendment 80 vessels could move West of 170 degrees to take cod deliveries from catcher boats, and this would also come out of the Adak set aside.
The situation was totally unforeseen by the council, as when the Adak regulation was written to allocate cod to catcher vessels to land in Adak, no one anticipated that the Bering Sea fishery might be over while the Adak local fishery still was operating. That would free vessels to legally use catcher boats west of 170 to purchase cod at sea.
After some uncertainty over the weekend, and a council discussion on Monday, it appears that the best course would be for the Amendment 80 vessels to stand down, and agree not to fish on that quota, even though legally they could do so.
One company, US Seafoods, already had a vessel in the area.
The stand down was the only option because there was no way for NMFS to write a regulatory amendment in time to have an impact.
This morning, news came that all parties had agreed on this course of action, and the 5000 tons will remain to be harvested by vessels delivering to the shore plant in Adak.
This will be a relief to both the company and fishing vessel owners that had invested based on the 5000 ton allocation. Had they not be able to catch it, their financial calculations would have been upended.
One boat owner, Tom Evich, wrote “We were all under the understanding, as everyone was until a week ago, that there was a 5,000 ton set aside for the new Adak shore plant. That was clearly the intent of the council when that rule was written. ”
“I was at the council meeting last Friday when this “loophole” first came to light and people, much more knowledgeable than myself of the process, were also blindsided. I was involved in the thought process deciding if the boat should go to Adak this year and that decision was made in November. Commitments had to be made then and nothing any of us read or heard suggested that the 5,000 tons was not a guarantee. I doubt the new company in Adak would have made the financial gamble and I’m certain my boat and the other two vessels would not have been out there without that guarantee. “
This positive outcome in this case comes from the fact that many of the North Pacific Fisheries companies are dependent on getting council approval and adjustments when necessary, and so when a mistake is made, it is possible to walk back the potential economic damage, as all parties realize that their long term interests depend on working successfully together through the council.
Study finds more harm to fish from stormwater
WSUV experts: Salmon senses, abilities dulled
Columbian by Dameon Pesanti – February 12, 2018
A few years ago, scientists discovered that stormwater, a potentially toxic mixture of lawn fertilizers, brake-pad dust and other pollutants, can kill salmon.
Mining companies donate $1 million to campaign against Alaska fish habitat initiative
Anchorage Daily News by Nathaniel Herz – February 13, 2018
Five big Alaska mining companies are spending $1 million to boost the campaign against a citizens initiative to protect salmon habitat, according to new reports filed with state regulators.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod in the Bering Sea Subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 02/14/2018
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by trawl catcher vessels in the Bering Sea subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2018 Pacific cod allocation of the total allowable catch (TAC) for the Bering Sea Trawl Catcher Vessel A-Season Sector Limitation in the Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI.
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