Alaska/Pacific Coast

Alaska cod quotas light up a loophole
National Fisherman by Jessica Hathaway – February 15, 2018
The fallout of shifts in Alaska cod quotas has sparked another scramble among the region’s cod fishermen. Overall P-cod quota is down, but the Aleutian Islands saw a small uptick, which led more boats to target the area in the A-season this year. The allocations, however, have had some unintended consequences.

Alaska Fisheries Report
KMXT by Kayla Desroches – February 15, 2018
Coming up on this week’s Alaska Fisheries Report, the Stand for Salmon initiative aims to protect salmon habitats from industry development, but industry professionals are concerned the regulations are too stringent.

Kodiak puts hold on fisheries analyst services
KMXT by Kayla Desroches – February 15, 2018
Kodiak may be without a fisheries analyst for a while.
That’s according to Kodiak City Councilman John Whiddon, one of the two city representatives who attended what was scheduled to be a meeting of the city and borough’s joint Fisheries Work Group yesterday (WED).

Pacific Whiting Stock Looks Strong for 2018, Coming off Record 440,944 tons in 2017
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Peggy Parker – February 15, 2018
The first look at the Pacific whiting assessment came yesterday when the scientists on the Joint Technical Committee briefed the Joint Management Committee on their findings.

The stocks for Pacific whiting, also called hake, are still strong, coming off last year’s record catch. At 440,944 mt, it was the highest in fifty years.

The assessment showed an estimated biomass slightly down from last year: 1.357 million mt compared to year-earlier levels of 1.469 million mt.

But what that means for the 2018 total allowable catch (TAC) will be determined through a series of further reviews in the next few weeks. Last year’s TAC was 597,500 mt, of which over 80% was landed in the U.S., and 56% landed in Canada.

The stock has been at relatively high levels since 2013 due to large recruitments from 2010 and 2014 cohorts.

However, recruitment in more recent years is highly uncertain which makes projections also uncertain. Even so, projections are routinely done, particularly when trying to assess future changes to the biomass with, for instance, catching the same amount this year as last.

In that case, scientists told the group that “There is an estimated 73% chance of the spawning biomass declining from 2018 to 2019, and a 82% chance of it declining from 2019 to 2020 under this constant level of catch.”

So, even in this early stage in the process it’s a good bet that the 2018 TAC will be lower last years, but by how much is still unknown.

Nevertheless, the fact that the TAC was not caught last year leaves room for harvests based on market demand and fishing availability.

In ten days the Joint Scientific Review Group for Pacific Whiting will meet to review the assessment and modeling for final recommendations to the Joint Management Committee meeting, slated for March 5-7, 2018. At that meeting, the catch limits for 2018 will be set.

U.S. members of the committee include:

• Phil Anderson, Pacific Fishery Management Council
• Frank Lockhart, NOAA Fisheries West Coast Regional Office
• Steve Joner, Pacific Coast Treaty Indian Tribes
• Dan Waldeck, Pacific Whiting Conservation Cooperative

Canadian members of the committee include:

• Barron Carswell
• Paul Ryall, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
• Bruce Turris, Groundfish Conservation Research Society
• Theresa Williams, Fisher Bay Seafoods Ltd.


To get good credit, Alaska’s fishing towns may have to factor in climate change
KTOO by Rashah McChesney – February 14, 2018
Late last year one of the world’s largest credit rating agencies announced that climate change would have an economic impact on the U.S.

Labeling and Marketing

Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute: Marketing Update
ASMI – February 2018
ASMI and Del Taco partner to promote Alaska Pollock, ASMI partners with Jack in the Box, First-Ever Canadian Promotion with Save-On-Foods,  ASMI Presents to Top Walmart Executives at Sustainable Seafood Summit,  RFM Newsletter Feb/Mar 2018, ASMI Hosts International Women of Seafood Mission to Dutch Harbor, Pacific Fisheries Technologists Conference, ASMI sponsors Careers through Culinary Arts Program Fundraiser

Federal Register

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Vessels Using Pot Gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska
A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 02/16/2018
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by vessels using pot gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season allowance of the 2018 Pacific cod total allowable catch apportioned to vessels using pot gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA.


Apprenticeship Program Offers Salmon Trolling Experience
Fishermen’s News – February 14, 2018
Applications are being accepted through March 1 for the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association’s (ALFA) crewmember apprenticeship program, offering young people a guided entry level experience in commercial seafood harvesting in Southeast Alaska.

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
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February 16, 2018