Alaska/Pacific Coast

Federal disaster designation declared for Alaska pink salmon fisheries
Alaska Dispatch News by Suzanna Caldwell – January 18, 2017
After a pitiful return of pink salmon to much of Alaska last summer, a federal disaster declaration was officially announced Wednesday.

Press Release: Commerce Secretary Pritzker declares fisheries disasters for nine West Coast species
NOAA – January 18, 2017
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today determined there are commercial fishery failures for nine salmon and crab fisheries in Alaska, California and Washington.

Herring stock falling to critical level, say federal scientists
‘There’s probably a fair amount of other decision factors that go into setting the quota’
CBC by Kevin Yarr – January 18, 2017
Even if there was a two-year hiatus in the spring herring fishery in the Gulf of St Lawrence, there would still be a 90 per cent chance the fish stocks would remain at critical levels, say scientists at Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Fish and Game to conduct Dillingham survey on subsistence fishing in the Nushagak River
KDLG by Avery Lill – January 17, 2017
Alaska Department of Fish and Game will conduct in-person household surveys in Dillingham in the coming weeks about subsistence fishing of king salmon in the Nushagak River.

Alaska Sablefish Is Re-Certified Under RFM for Sustainability
SEAFOODNEWS.COM – January 17, 2017
The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) announced today that the Alaska sablefish (black cod) fishery has been awarded continued certification to the Alaska Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) Certification Program.

The Alaska sablefish fishery was first certified to the Alaska RFM Certification Program in October 2011 and in early 2016 began the process of re-assessment The reassessment was conducted using Alaska RFM Standard Version 1.3. Details of the assessment can be found in the Final Assessment Report.

“The Alaska sablefish fishery achieved full conformity to each of the conformance criteria evaluated,” the authors of the report state.

“The Assessment Team recommended that the management system of the applicant fishery, the US Alaska Sablefish fishery, under federal (NMFS/NPFMC) and state (ADFG) management, fished with benthic longline, pots and trawl gear (within Alaska’s 200 nm EEZ), should be awarded continuing certification to the Alaska RFM Certification Program.”

The Alaska RFM Certification sablefish fishery client is Fishing Vessels Owners’ Association.

For more information on Alaska RFM certification go to

ADF&G Says Following FDA’s Food Safety Regs When Preparing Alaskan Salmon Will Prevent Illness
SEAFOODNEWS.COM – January 18, 2017
The Alaska Department of Fish Game issued a reminder that current FDA food safety regulations prevent consumers from getting sick as long as they prepare fresh and frozen salmon properly regardless if it’s cooked or eaten raw.

Recent news reports have mentioned parasites in Alaska salmon; however, Alaska salmon is among the highest quality seafood and safe for consumer consumption. All commercially harvested Alaska seafood, which accounts for more than 60 percent of all the seafood harvested in the United States, is processed in accordance with strict Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations, including parasite controls the ADF&G said.

According to FDA guidelines, seafood needs to be frozen to -4degF or below for seven days if it is to be consumed raw for food safety reasons. Salmon that has not been properly frozen should be cooked thoroughly to an internal temperature of 140degF before consumption. For any raw or semi-raw preparations, the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) always recommends using properly frozen seafood.

“The Alaska seafood industry adheres to standards that provide safe seafood products. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game works closely with the Alaska seafood industry to ensure that healthy fish are available for consumers,” said Dr. Ted Meyers, Alaska Department of Fish and Game Principal Fish Pathologist.

Only 6 percent of wild Alaska salmon is released fresh from Alaska, the majority is frozen. The catch is chilled and then commercially frozen in accordance with FDA guidelines, ensuring the seafood is kept at the peak of quality, freshness and safe from bacteria and parasites.

“Alaska is proud of its heritage as a supplier of some of the highest quality and most delicious seafood in the world,” says Alexa Tonkovich, executive director of ASMI. “We go to great lengths to ensure that all of our seafood, including wild Alaska salmon, meets the highest quality standards for our consumers’ safety and enjoyment.”


Southeast legislators hope to maintain Fish and Game funding
KSTK by Aaron Bolton – January 17, 2017
Gov. Bill Walker proposed cutting about 45 positions and $3.5 million from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s fiscal year 2018 budget in December. That’s significantly smaller than the $11.5 million in cuts over the past two years. But Southeast lawmakers say the department can’t sustain any additional reductions.


Russia’s Barents Sea Snow Crab Production Could Reach 27,000 Metric Tons Say Fishery Officials
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Eugene Gerden – January 17, 2017
Russia plans to increase the volume of catch of snow crab in the Barents sea in the coming years, according to an official spokesman of Ilya Shestakov, head of the Russian Rosrybolovstvo.

According to Konstantin Sokolov, Head of the Laboratory of Coastal Research of the Russian  Knipovich Polar Research Institute of Marine Fisheries and Oceanography, in recent years the demand for snow crab in Russia has significantly increased.

“In contrast to red king crab, which was specially farmed in Russia and which is a kind of hermit crab, snow crab appeared absolutely naturally in Russian territorial waters.  It was for the first time appeared in the Barents sea in 1996, while since that time it population has significantly increased,” said Sokolov.

Planned volume of production of snow crab is currently not disclosed. Currently the Russian legislation in the field of fisheries does not intoduce any restrictions on its catch.

According to international agreements, Russia has priority for the production of crab in the Barents Sea. According to Rosrybolovstvo, most of snow crab population is concentrated just on the Russian shelf near Novaya Zemlya, (an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean in northern Russia and the extreme northeast of Europe), at relatively big depths, which means that its production will be carried out by large Russian fish producers.

Rosrybolovstvo predicts that potential volume of snow crab production in the Barents Sea could reach 25,000-27,000 metric tons in the coming years, the majority of which will account for Russian fisherman.


Climate change prompts Alaska fish to change breeding behavior
UW News by Michelle Ma – January 18, 2017
Three-spine stickleback are abundant in Alaska’s freshwater lakes.Jason Ching/University of Washington

Federal Register

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska; Central Gulf of Alaska Rockfish Program
A Notice by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 01/18/2017
NMFS publishes the standard ex-vessel prices and fee percentage for cost recovery under the Central Gulf of Alaska Rockfish Program. This action is intended to provide participants in a rockfish cooperative with the standard prices and fee percentage for the 2016 fishing year, which was authorized from May 1 through November 15. The fee percentage is 2.54 percent. The fee payments are due from each rockfish cooperative on or before February 15, 2017.


Marine science symposium offers teaching ideas
Alaska Sea Grant – January 17, 2017
The 2017 Alaska Marine Science Symposium will be held in Anchorage from Jan. 23–27 at the Hotel Captain Cook. More than 800 scientists, educators and others are expected to attend the event, which will include professional development opportunities for school teachers.



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Pacific Seafood Processors Association
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January 19, 2017