Alaska/Pacific Coast

PWS sablefish fishery opens April 15
The Cordova Times – February 22, 2018
A guideline harvest level of 133,000 pounds is set for the 2018 Prince William Sound area sablefish fishery, which opens on April 15.  Any permit holder who fails to register by the April 2 deadline will not allotted a share of the quota.
https://www.thecordovatimes.com/2018/02/22/pws-sablefish-fishery-opens-april-15/

Alaska Fisheries Report
KMXT by Kayla Desroches – February 22, 2018
Coming up on this week’s Alaska Fisheries Report, Alaska will receive recovery funds for the 2016 pink salmon season in the Gulf, but there are still a lot of unknowns surrounding their distribution. Also, Kodiak is losing its fisheries analyst. At least temporarily.
http://kmxt.org/2018/02/alaska-fisheries-report-feb-22-2018/

In Nome, state experts ponder responses to Bering Sea crises
KNOM-Nome by Davis Hovey – February 20, 2018
Experts from around the state gathered in Nome to discuss marine mammals and how multiple entities can respond to different types of emergencies that may happen in the Bering Sea.
https://www.ktoo.org/2018/02/20/nome-state-experts-ponder-responses-bering-sea-crises/

Time for PWS Sablefish Fishermen To Register For the 2018 Fishery
SEAFOODNEWS.COM – February 21, 2018
Monday, April 2, 2018, is the deadline for Prince William Sound sablefish permit holders to register for the PWS sablefish fishery. The traditional date is April 1, but since that falls on a Sunday, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is setting Monday as the deadline.

The season will open April 15 with a guideline harvest level (GHL) of 133,000 lb. Permit holders failing to register by the April 2 deadline will not be allotted a share of the quota.

ADF&G reminds fishermen that only PWS sablefish limited entry (LE) permit holders possessing a 2018 permit card may register. Registrations and log sheets are available at ADF&G offices in Homer, Anchorage, Kodiak, and Cordova, and by appointment with the Alaska Wildlife Troopers in Seward and Valdez.

The 2017 harvest of 73,113 lbs was 62% of the 117,000 lbs GHL, but it was an increase compared to the 2016 harvest of 40,457 lb. The previous year’s  harvest of 16,910 lb, was the lowest in the history of the fishery.

Since 2015, the GHL has been adjusted by applying the relative change each year in the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Gulf of Alaska sablefish acceptable biological catch (ABC), which is derived from NMFS stock assessment surveys.

ADF&G wants to gather more inseason information from the 2018 fishery, so will continue to conduct more extensive participant interviews. Their goal is to get additional information about sablefish recruitment and smaller age classes, catch per unit effort (CPUE), and the occurrence of targeted sablefish trips and mixed trips for other groundfish species.

Those interviews may be through post fishing trip phone calls or more thorough interviews at the dock. Fishermen are asked to cooperate with interviewers to help ADF&G get a broader view of the fishery this season.

After the registration deadline, ADF&G will determine the quota allocations as specified in regulation (5 AAC 28.272) and will announce those allocations in early April.
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1092988/Time-for-PWS-Sablefish-Fishermen-To-Register-For-the-2018-Fishery

Labeling and Marketing

ASMI Partners to Promote Pollock, Sockeye Salmon
Fishermen’s News – February 21, 2018
Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) has partnered anew with two fast food chains in California to promote Alaska Pollock, and a British Columbia supermarket chain to promote frozen and refreshed wild Alaska sockeye salmon.
http://fnonlinenews.blogspot.com/2018/02/asmi-partners-to-promote-pollock.html

Federal Register

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Halibut and Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota Program; Community Development Quota Program; Modifications to Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements
A Proposed Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 02/23/2018
NMFS issues a proposed rule that would modify regulations governing the Halibut and Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Program. This proposed rule includes three actions. The first action would allow Western Alaska Community Development Quota (CDQ) groups to lease (to receive by transfer) halibut individual fishing quota (IFQ) in IFQ regulatory areas 4B, 4C, and 4D in years of extremely low halibut commercial catch limits. This proposed action is necessary to provide additional harvest opportunities to CDQ groups and community residents, and provide IFQ holders with the opportunity to receive value for their IFQ when the halibut commercial catch limits may not be large enough to provide for an economically viable fishery for IFQ holders.
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/02/23/2018-03548/fisheries-of-the-exclusive-economic-zone-off-alaska-pacific-halibut-and-sablefish-individual-fishing

Commercial Fishing Safety Advisory Committee
A Notice by the Coast Guard on 02/23/2018
The Commercial Fishing Safety Advisory Committee (CFSAC) will meet via teleconference to discuss the Regulatory Reform tasking efforts (CFSAC task statement #01-17) and may take action to submit their report to the United States Coast Guard. The teleconference will be open to the public. The U.S. Coast Guard will consider CFSAC recommendations as part of the process of identifying regulations, guidance, and collections of information to be repealed, replaced, or modified pursuant to the three Executive Orders discussed above.
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/02/23/2018-03749/commercial-fishing-safety-advisory-committee

FYI’s

Rare, ‘weird-looking’ 70-pound frozen fish washes ashore in Haines
Anchorage Daily News by Kyle Clayton, Chilkat Valley News – February 19, 2018
HAINES — As the tide ebbed down the beach outside his house Friday, Harry Rietze discovered a mysterious sea creature that one scientific paper described as “a puzzling fish with soft bones.”
https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/wildlife/2018/02/18/rare-weird-looking-70-pound-frozen-fish-washes-ashore-in-haines/

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
Office Manager
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Phone: 206.281.1667
E-mail: pspafish@gmail.com; Website: www.pspafish.net
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February 23, 2018