Alaska/Pacific Coast

Fish and Game Sportfish director gets a new job
Peninsula Clarion by Rashah McChesney – January 13, 2015
Charlie Swanton  Courtesy photo from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Courtesy photo from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Longtime Alaska Department of Fish and Game employee Charles “Charlie” Swanton has been appointed to the Deputy Commissioner’s position within the department. Swanton has also been nominated as the state’s Commissioner for the Pacific Salmon Commission.

Joint board rejects 3 commissioner applicants; only Cotten advances
Alaska Dispatch News by Nathaniel Herz – January 14, 2015
JUNEAU — Gov. Bill Walker’s temporary appointee to head the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Sam Cotten, took a big step toward keeping the job permanently following a vetting by the joint boards of fish and game Wednesday morning in Juneau.

Of four candidates, Cotten was only one who the board chose to interview, and they voted unanimously to submit his name to Walker for consideration.

New Tracking System Keeps an Eye on Commercial Fishing Fleets
Will fishermen stray into the recently protected Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument? Activists will be watching.
Civil Beat by Patti Epler – January 13, 2015·
Commercial fishing fleets operating around the world are now doing so under the watchful gaze of environmentalists who are concerned with overfishing and other violations that have long been going on unnoticed far out to sea.

But a new real-time tracking system built by two organizations — Oceana and SkyTruth — in partnership with Google promises to quickly blow the whistle on vessels that move into areas where they’re not supposed to be.


Clipper Seafoods’ Dutch Harbor Venture Bering Select Now Producing Fish Oil with Locally Caught Cod
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] January 15, 2015
Dutch Harbor’s Bering Select will use locally caught Alaska cod to produce an array of omega-3 fish oil products at its new manufacturing facility.

Bering Select is a joint venture between Clipper Seafoods, Marine Therapeutics, Marine Ingredients, and Siu-Alaska Corporation.

The first ingredients produced at Bering Select will be from locally sourced Alaska cod, which offers unique advantages according to Clipper Seafoods. The company sells high quality frozen-at-sea fish products from Alaska. Clipper sponsored the MSC certification of the first cod fishery in the world in 2006 and continues to be a leader in promoting sustainable fishing, holding MSC certifications for Alaska cod, sablefish and Alaska pollock.

“The Bering Sea cod fisheries are robust and produce vast amounts of a high quality omega-3, a resource not utilized until now. By locating the plant in Dutch Harbor, the center of the Bering Sea fishing fleets, we can capture these precious oils in the freshest form possible,” said Clipper Seafoods President David Little. “Our fishing boats can literally deliver the freshest fish livers to the factory door when they come into port.”

Marine Therapeutics, headed by Jeffrey Bland, Ph.D., is responsible for the formulation and development of scientifically appropriate products utilizing these omega-3 ingredients and other bio-actives produced at the Dutch Harbor Bering Select facility.

“Alaska cod oil contains a unique combination of omega-3 fatty acids and fat soluble nutrients that together result in numerous health benefits; such as balancing immune activity, supporting healthy blood lipid levels, and calming and reducing inflammation,” said Dr. Bland. “These ingredients offer a safe, low cost approach to managing many of today’s most pressing health challenges.”

New Research May Solve Puzzle in Sea Level’s Rise
New York Times by Justin Gillis – January 14, 2015

A discrepancy in climate research had set off a search for possible additional melting from glaciers like those in Antarctica. Credit NASA, via Reuters
A team of researchers reported Wednesday that the ocean did not rise quite as much as previously believed in the 20th century. They proposed a seemingly tiny adjustment that could make a big difference in scientific understanding of the looming problem of sea-level rise.


After Three Tries, Marine Stewardship Council Finally Hires a New Americas Director, Brian Perkins
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by John Sackton  January 15, 2015

We wish to congratulate Brian Perkins, the former Executive Vice President and COO of Diversified Business Communications, who has been appointed new Regional Director for the Americas for the Marine Stewardship Council.

The former director, Kerry Coughlin, resigned in November of 2013 after a firestorm of controversy over how the MSC managed its relationships with Alaska Salmon producers.  Around 80% of the producers left the MSC certification system due to the inability of the MSC to work successfully with Alaska’s state fishery managers.  They also left because they felt affiliation with the Marine Stewardship Council was damaging to the long term interests of the Alaska brand name recognition in Europe.

Since December of 2013, the Marine Stewardship Council has made three separate attempts to interview and hire a new director for the Americas to replace Coughlin.

Perkins is an excellent person for the job.  He is widely known in the industry through his role organizing the Boston and Brussels Seafood Shows for Diversified. However, he left that company approximately two years ago, and since then had started his own specialty buyers show.

In our view, Brian is a pragmatic manager who will be a good fit for the MSC.  Perkins, currently based in Portland, Maine, will open an MSC office in Washington, DC.

Perkins joined the MSC’s senior management team on January 5th. He will work alongside the organization’s Chief Executive, Rupert Howes and Global Commercial Director, Nicolas Guichoux. Perkins will also work closely with industry and the conservation community to recognize and encourage sustainable fishing practices that support healthy marine ecosystems.

The MSC’s Seattle office will be retained as its USA headquarters.   Rupert Howes, Chief Executive of the Marine Stewardship Council, said: “I am delighted to welcome Brian, who joins the MSC as our first Regional Director for the Americas under a revised and newly implemented regional structure. Brian has a unique blend of skills and experience that will enable him to lead the team in their drive to add value to partners. He brings a wealth of knowledge which will help us to expand both the supply and demand of certified sustainable and fully traceable seafood throughout the region. I am very much looking forward to working with Brian over the coming years. ”

Around half (53%) of fisheries in the USA and two-thirds (62%) of Canadian fisheries are engaged with the MSC program. Together these fisheries account for 3.2 million metric tons of seafood caught every year. A further 370,000 metric tons originate from fisheries engaged with the MSC program in Latin America.

The MSC continues “Perkins has worked within the seafood industry for more than 40 years. He started at a salt fish factory in Iceland and went on to become Executive Vice President and COO of Diversified Business Communications. During his 16-year career at Diversified Perkins oversaw 18 seafood trade shows focusing on areas including seafood processing, commercial fishing, ethnic food and organic products.”

Brian Perkins added: “Working for the MSC is a great opportunity to make a difference within an industry which has been such a big part of my life. I join the team at an exciting time and look forward to working with fisheries, commercial partners and conservation organizations. The MSC team has established the gold standard for third party certification of wild fisheries and I believe that continued growth of the program will bring both environmental and socio-economic benefits to the Americas. ”

In his position as Regional Director Americas, and as part of an internal restructure of MSC’s Americas region to focus more deeply on specific geographies, Brian will oversee Program Directors and their teams in the United States, Canada, and Latin America. In the United States, Geoff Bolan, located in Seattle, WA, was recently appointed Program Director USA. Jay Lugar, located in Halifax, Canada has been named Program Director Canada. The MSC plans to recruit for the Program Director Latin America position in 2015-16.


Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association

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January 15, 2015