Alaska/Pacific Coast

Strong Pink Salmon Harvest Projected For Lower Cook Inlet In 2017
KBBI by Shady Grove Oliver – February 20, 2017
2017 is anticipated to be a fairly strong year across the board for commercial fisheries in Lower Cook Inlet, with pink salmon potentially making a comeback yet again.
Pinks are expected to steal the show once again this year, pulling up from their diminished numbers in 2016.
http://kbbi.org/post/strong-pink-salmon-harvest-projected-lower-cook-inlet-2017

PWS State-Waters Cod Season Opens to Pot Gear as Federal Pot Gear Season Closes in Gulf of Alaska

SEAFOODNEWS.COM – February 22, 2017
The Pacific cod season in state waters will open to pot gear in Prince William Sound at noon on Friday, February 24, 2017. The parallel seasons for jig and longline gear remains open until closed by emergency order from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

The season follows the closure of the Area E parallel Pacific cod pot season one day before.

For the state-waters season, a guideline harvest level of 4,338,141 pounds is allocated to longline gear and a combination of pot and jig gear in an 85% to 15% split. The GHL for longline-caught P-cod in the area is 3.7 million pounds and for pot and jig gear combined is 650,721 lbs.

Gear is limited to 60 pots and each pot must display a buoy identification tag. Tags are available from ADF&G offices in Cordova, Seward, and Homer, AK.

Regulations on groundfish pot storage and the 24-hour delivery time following the parallel season closure are also included in today’s notice.

Bycatch limits covering skate, shark, pollock, rockfish and other groundfish while directed fishing for Pacific cod is underway are also noted. A map of pot fishing closure areas and Steller Sea Lion rookery closures is also available.

For additional information, contact ADF&G in Cordova at 907-424-3212.
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1051811/PWS-State-Waters-Cod-Season-Opens-to-Pot-Gear-as-Federal-Pot-Gear-Season-Closes-in-Gulf-of-Alaska

Committee recommends subsistence net restrictions to protect Chinook salmon
KHNS by Emily Files – February 21, 2017
A historically low Chilkat River king salmon run and an even more dismal forecast for this year are prompting a local committee to action. The Upper Lynn Canal Fish and Game Advisory Committee wants the state Board of Fisheries to impose new subsistence fishing net restrictions.
http://khns.org/committee-recommends-subsistence-net-restrictions-to-protect-chinook-salmon

Environment/Science

Analysis: Smart Reforms Key to Global Fish Recovery, Even with Climate Change
SEAFOODNEWS.COM – February 22, 2017
BOSTON — New research finds that climate change will cause dramatic impacts in the world’s fisheries, but effective management in most fisheries could yield more fish and more prosperity, even with a changing climate, according to researchers.

Scientists and economists at the University of California Santa Barbara, Oregon State University and Environmental Defense Fund previewed their preliminary results from this new research at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Boston, Massachusetts.

Relative to today, this preliminary research illustrates that effective management reforms can lead, globally, to a nearly 90 percent increase in profits, a third more fish in the water and a more than 10 percent increase in harvest by 2100 in the face of climate change, the authors said in a press release.

The research also shows the effect is even more pronounced compared to doing nothing: where implementing effective management can yield nearly triple the profits, lead to a more than 50 percent increase in the amount of fish in the water and over a third more fish for harvest.

“Climate change is going to have a dramatic impact on many global fish populations and the people who rely on them,” co-author and Professor of Environmental and Resource Economics at UC Santa Barbara Christopher Costello said in a press release. “But, these results show that, even in the face of climate change, we have an opportunity to build abundant and resilient fisheries for the future. Implementing effective fishery management is the single best thing we can do today to ensure healthy ocean ecosystems for the future.”

Effective management reforms that address the challenges posed by changing ocean temperatures include a combination of harvest policies that adapt based on current fish abundance, stronger international cooperation, as well as secure fishing rights. This research examined 780 species and 132 country-level stocks across the globe representing 4,424 fisheries from the Costello et al 2016 fishery database, accounting for 74 percent of the global yield.

The researchers worked with a scenario that the global mean surface air temperature will rise by an average of 2.2°C by 2100.

By the turn of the century, the researchers find that more than one-third of the species studied will move completely out of at least one country’s national fishing waters while the same amount are also expected to shift into at least one country’s waters, or exclusive economic zones).

The research suggests that areas closest to the equator with warmer waters are more likely to suffer a net loss of fish from their waters, while cooler locations are likely to see a net gain in the abundance of fish, by the turn of the next century. However, the research also shows that, even in warmer waters, improved management can increase fish and prosperity for many fisheries.

“Fish are becoming even more of a moving target in our oceans,” co-author and Oregon State University Professor Michael Harte said. “These changes will require greater multinational cooperation among nations to manage these resources effectively.”

Off the New England coast, fish such as the iconic cod are moving north into Canadian waters. In Europe, recent spatial shifts of mackerel led to the “mackerel wars,” where the movement of the stock into new waters created conflict over the sharing of this catch and, ultimately, overfishing of the stock.

“These challenges are not just problems of the future, but problems we are facing today,” said Jake Kritzer, Director of Diagnostics and Design for Environmental Defense Fund’s Fishery Solutions Center. “If governments move quickly to implement adaptive reforms that account for the change in our oceans, fisheries can be sustained, and even grow, helping provide nutrition and income for the hundreds of millions of people that rely on them for their survival.”
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1051803/Analysis-Smart-Reforms-Key-to-Global-Fish-Recovery-Even-with-Climate-Change

FYI’s

Sperm Whales: Revealing the Mysteries of the Deep
Alaska Native News by NOAA Fisheries – February 20, 2017
Sperm whales have been a part of American culture ever since Captain Ahab set out aboard the Pequod to find the infamous white whale in Moby Dick. Large, noisy, and often social, sperm whales are a remarkable species found from the equator to the poles.
http://alaska-native-news.com/sperm-whales-revealing-the-mysteries-of-the-deep-26872

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
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February 22, 2017