Alaska/Pacific Coast

Washington adopts Columbia salmon fishing reforms
The Columbian by Al Thomas – January14, 2017
The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission agreed here Saturday to implement in 2017 the most sweeping lower Columbia River salmon fishing reforms in decades, including the elimination of gillnets in the main stem of the river during spring and summer.

Halibut Catch Limits, Harvest Policy on Docket for Next Weeks IPHC Annual Meeting in Victoria, BC
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Peggy Parker – January 16, 2017
Halibut stakeholders from Alaska, British Columbia, and the U.S. West Coast will convene in Victoria, BC next week to set catch limits, season dates, and wrestle with significant harvest policy questions at the annual meeting of the International Pacific Halibut Commission.

Comments on potential catch limits were released earlier this year and focus on regulatory area 2C, Southeast Alaska. Six of the eight catch limit comments want changes to Area 2C’s potential catch limit, one of which recommends a single harvest rate be used in all of Area 2, comprised of 2A (Washington, Oregon, and California), 2B (British Columbia) and 2C (Southeast Alaska.)

A dozen regulatory proposals were submitted last fall addressing issues not related to catch limits. Those proposals came from industry, IPHC staff, and other agencies and most relate to changes in current regulations.

The week-long session begins with country delegations meeting separately to issues of importance to each country. For the most part, the rest of the week brings both countries and all sectors together to resolve annual issues. In recent years that has included recreational harvesters and managers and bycatch users.

In Alaska, those groups each take about 17 percent of the total halibut available for harvest. Poundage of halibut taken as bycatch has dropped significantly in the last year due to the efforts of the Amendment 80 fleet. Their reduction has meant that villages in the Bering Sea have a slightly higher allocation available to them.

Final decisions on allocations, however, won’t be made until Friday morning, January 27, after the IPHC Commissioners have heard from the Conference Board, made up of harvesters, and the Processors Advisory Board, made up of processors.

IPHC scientists and managers will present stock assessments, models, risk assessment decision tables, and more during the five-day meeting. Documents for the meeting, including the catch limit comments and the regulatory proposals are available at IPHC’s website here:

KRSMA board asks for sunset on dipnet bank closure proposal
Peninsula Clarion by Elizabeth Earl – January 15, 2017
The citizen advisory board for the Kenai River Special Management Area wants to see an end date set on the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s request to close part of the lower river to dipnetting from shore.

Tanner Crab Season Canceled In Final Decision By Board Of Fisheries
KCUB by Laura Kraegel – January 16, 2017
There will be no commercial tanner crab fishery in the Bering Sea this season.
The Alaska Board of Fisheries made the decision last week after a last-ditch attempt to allow a limited harvest failed in a split 3-3 vote.


How Drones Are Helping Scientists Study the Future of Whales
NBC News by Tom Costello and Bradleigh Miranda Chance – January 14, 2017
The sight of a 50-foot whale breaching is breathtaking. Water slides down the whale’s back as it leaps above the surface, shooting spray in the air and then crashing back into the water. The powerful ocean giants make their own waves with mighty, mid-air twists and turns.


Top 5 retail seafood trends for 2017
Seafood Source by Christine Blank – January 12, 2017
Prepared seafood dishes will continue their surge in popularity at retail counters in 2017, as will the popular movement toward more lean, nutrient-dense proteins such as salmon. Sustainable and local seafood will also be big hits in 2017. And Japanese and Hawaiian-inspired seafood dishes will continue to rise in popularity.

Hamish Walker named Sea Pact advisory council chairman
Seafood Source by Cliff White – January 12, 2017
Sea Pact, which seeks to advance environmentally sustainable fisheries and aquaculture practices, has elected Hamish Walker as the new chairman of its advisory council.

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
Office Manager
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Phone: 206.281.1667
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January 17, 2017