Alaska/Pacific Coast

BS Pollock Bycatch Comment Deadline Nears
Fishermen’s News – January 13, 2016
A March 8 deadline is now set for comments to the National Marine Fisheries Service on proposed changes to federal management of the salmon bycatch in the Bering Sea pollock fishery.
http://fnonlinenews.blogspot.com/2016/01/bs-pollock-bycatch-comment-deadline.html

Smaller budget means ADFG can’t fix faulty Susitna counts
Alaska Journal of Commerce by DJ Summers- January 13, 2016
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game cannot undo a set of Cook Inlet driftnet restrictions in place over the last 25 years.
http://www.alaskajournal.com/2016-01-13/smaller-budget-means-adfg-can%E2%80%99t-fix-faulty-susitna-counts#.VpfGCVJOH5d

Alaska lawmakers work to bring fisheries permits back to Alaskan fishermen
KTVA by Liz Raines – January 13, 2016
ANCHORAGE – It’s being called the migration of permits: since Alaska began limiting fisheries in the 1970s, an increasing number of permits have been sold to outsiders. Lawmakers and resident fisherman say it’s limiting rural Alaska’s ability to profit from its fish, and keeping young people from getting into the business.
http://www.ktva.com/alaska-lawmakers-work-to-bring-fisheries-permits-back-to-alaskan-fishermen-405/

Fish board weighs proposals for catching Yukon chums while sparing kings
News Miner by Sam Friedman –  January 13, 2016
FAIRBANKS—Alaska’s Board of Fisheries is being pulled in two directions this week as it weighs proposals for chum salmon fishing on the Yukon River.
http://www.newsminer.com/news/local_news/fish-board-weighs-proposals-for-catching-yukon-chums-while-sparing/article_0213aa04-b9a0-11e5-b640-4b6087eb5443.html

National

USDA Seek Pollock for School Lunch
Fishermen’s News – January 13, 2016
US Department of Agriculture officials are seeking pollock products for use in the national school lunch and other federal food and nutrition assistance programs.
http://fnonlinenews.blogspot.com/2016/01/usda-seek-pollock-for-school-lunch.html

International

Ocean Trawlers Growth Plans in Russia Draw Scrutiny, as Partner Orlov Plans Expansion
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Eugene Gerden – January 14, 2016
Moscow- Russia’s Karat fish holding plans to accelerate expansion.
Karat, one of Russia’s largest fish holdings, plans to significantly accelerate its expansion in the domestic market during the next several years.  They are a registered subsidiary of Ocean Trawlers in Hong Kong.

Currently Karat, which is owned by a well-known Russian businessman Vitaly Orlov and his Swedish partner Magnus Rot, holds 15% of quotas for the production of cod, pollock and herring in Russia and plans to significantly increase these figures during the next several years.

The volume of investments in the implementation of the project is not disclosed. It is planned that part of the funds will be invested by Karat in the development of its own coastal fish processing.

Orlov has been actively purchasing fish enterprises in the Russian fishing market since 2011 and became a leader of the market, in terms of production in 2015 and operates a fleet, which is comprised of 36 vessels.

At present Karat controls 10 companies, specializing in the production of fish in the Barents, Okhotsk and Bering seas and hopes to continue its expansion in the near future.

As part of their plans  Orlov also will increase of the turnover of the business, which amounted to about US$500 million in 2015. This will take place both through new acquisitons and organic growth.

In the meantime, representatives of some leading Far East enterprises have already expressed fears, regarding the plans of Orlov to expand its business. According to them, despite the announced intention of the businessman to increase exports of fish to the domestic market, the majority of its production is still supplied to abroad. According to producers, the geography of supplies of Karat is huge and includes both Western and Asian markets, where the company (which is registered in Hong Kong) has long been considered as one of the world’s largest suppliers of white fish through its Ocean Trawlers parent company.

This is reflected by the recent statements of Magnus Rot, according to which, the company meets almost 20% of the annual demand for white fish in the UK and some other Western European countries, while its share in the US is also high.

In this regard, producers plan to submit a petition to the Russian government and Rosrybolovstvo, asking to conduct checks of the activities of Karat, as, according to them, they may pose a threat to the Russian state security in the field of fish.
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1005497/Ocean-Trawlers-Growth-Plans-in-Russia-Draw-Scrutiny-as-Partner-Orlov-Plans-Expansion

Environment/Science

Coastal Erosion Affecting Set Gillnet Operations in Alaska
Fishermen’s News – January 13, 2016
A new temporary committee has been established by the Alaska’s Board of Fisheries to examine coastal erosion impacts on set gillnet operations. The committee is tasked with developing proposal review criteria when deliberating proposals involving erosion impact on fisheries.
http://fnonlinenews.blogspot.com/2016/01/coastal-erosion-affecting-set-gillnet.html

Federal Register

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program
A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 01/13/2016
NMFS issues this final rule to implement Amendment 44 to the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs (FMP) and a regulatory amendment that modifies regulations governing the Crab Rationalization (CR) Program. This rule revises regulations to reflect that a Right of First Refusal (ROFR) may continue with the current ROFR holder or a new ROFR holder when processor quota share (PQS) is transferred and to require PQS holders to make specific certifications regarding ROFR contracts when annually applying for individual processor quota (IPQ) and when transferring PQS that are subject to a ROFR.
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/01/13/2016-00387/fisheries-of-the-exclusive-economic-zone-off-alaska-bering-sea-and-aleutian-islands-crab?utm_campaign=subscription+mailing+list&utm_medium=email&utm_source=federalregister.gov

Commentary

Four-way face-off will say who wins and loses in tax and dividend fight
Alaska Dispatch News by Charles Wohlforth – January 13, 2016
Any Alaska budget solution will hurt or protect people in four main groups. In any fair solution, all four have to sacrifice.
http://www.adn.com/article/20160113/four-way-face-will-say-who-wins-and-loses-tax-and-dividend-fight

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Pacific Seafood Processors Association
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January 14, 2016