Alaska/Pacific Coast

British Columbia Source of Majority of King Salmon in Kodiak Area
KMXT by Kayla Desroches – January 16, 2017
The Board of Fisheries went over fisheries proposals and potential regulations at its meeting in Kodiak last week, but it also heard a presentation about the origin and migratory pathways of king salmon in the Kodiak management area.
http://kmxt.org/2017/01/british-columbia-stock-source-majority-king-salmon-kodiak-area/

The Alaska Fisheries Report
KMXT by Kayla Desroches – January 19, 2017
On this week’s Alaska Fisheries Report, climate change could slow the growth of Alaska coral, but at least Alaskan seafood is free of Fukushima-related radiation. As far as authorities know.
http://kmxt.org/2017/01/alaska-fisheries-report-january-19-2017/

Politics

Alaska’s US senators push Trump nominees to guard fisheries, rural areas while cutting regulations
Alaska Dispatch News by Erica Martinson – January 19, 2017
WASHINGTON — Alaska Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan pressed Cabinet nominees to consider Alaska’s uniqueness, the difficulties of rural areas and the nation’s largest fisheries at a spate of confirmation hearings this week.
https://www.adn.com/politics/2017/01/18/alaskas-u-s-senators-push-trump-nominees-to-protect-fisheries-and-rural-areas-while-cutting-regulations/

National

New FDA seafood consumption guidelines criticized by NFI
Seafood Source by Christine Blank – January 19, 2017
U.S. seafood leaders and suppliers are expressing concern about new governmental guidelines issued Wednesday, 18 January regarding seafood consumption among pregnant women, parents and other consumers.
http://www.seafoodsource.com/news/food-safety-health/new-fda-seafood-consumption-guidelines-criticized-by-nfi

Final Rule for Standardized Bycatch Reporting Methodology Now Available
SEAFOODNEWS.COM – January 20, 2017
The final rule on standardizing and reporting the methodology for assessing bycatch, was published today in the Federal Register. The rule interprets and provides guidance on the requirement of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) that all fishery management plans (FMPs), with respect to any fishery, establish a standardized reporting methodology to assess the amount and type of bycatch occurring in a fishery.

The final rule establishes requirements and provides guidance to regional fishery management councils and the Secretary of Commerce regarding the development, documentation, and review of such methodologies, commonly referred to as Standardized Bycatch Reporting Methodologies (SBRMs).

The rule will be effective February 21, 2017.

The MSA requires that any fishery management plan (FMP) prepared by a regional fishery management council (Council) establish a standardized reporting methodology (SBRM) to assess the amount and type of bycatch occurring in the fishery. The law also includes conservation and management measures that, to the extent practicable, minimize bycatch and bycatch mortality.

This final rule sets forth NMFS’ interpretation of section 303(a)(11) and establishes national requirements and guidance for developing, documenting, and reviewing SBRMs. A proposed rule for this action was published last February with public comments accepted through April 25, 2016.

The full final rule can be found here.
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1048042/Final-Rule-for-Standardized-Bycatch-Reporting-Methodology-Now-Available

International

Pollock Surimi Prices Drop for First Time in 4 Years on Increased Quota, Slow Fillet Demand
SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [Japan Reports] –  January 20, 2017
North American pollock surimi prices record their first drop in 3 years and 9 months in Japan thanks to robust landings in Alaska.

Prices of pollock surimi–which serves as materials for fish paste products such as kamaboko and chikuwa in Japan–is turning lower for the first time in three years and nine months.

The downturn was triggered by a drastic increase in pollock catch in North America, which diluted the sense of short supply around the globe.

Another cause was the decrease in the consumption of pollock fillets in Europe.

While surimi product makers can expect the effects of cost reduction, it is uncertain whether the raw material price fall directly leads to retail price cuts as producers had suffered deteriorating profit due to high prices during the preceding years.

The central price of pollock surimi (frozen, second-grade product, price for delivery to industrial users), processed in North American shore-based plants, now stands at 375 yen per kilo, which is lower by 40 yen, or 9.6%, as compared with the price that continued until December 2016.

High-grade surimi (factoryship produced, FA-grade, frozen), which is used for luxury gift packs, stands at around 470 yen per kilo, also down 40 yen or 7.8%.

An official of a leading Japanese fishing company said that there was a record level of supply of surimi last year in major producing places in Alaska.

There are two major uses of pollock: one for surimi mainly enjoying large demand in Asian countries and the other for fillets having strong demand in the U. S. and Europe.

In 2016, small-size fish–not suitable for processing into fillet–was predominant in the pollock catch in Alaska, significantly expanding the proportion of the allocation for surimi production.

The increase in the use for surimi was also spurred by the dwindling demand for fillets.

In European countries where fish fillets are routinely used for fried menus, price competitions among retailers intensified causing some major seafood processors to face business collapse.

As a result, production capabilities as a whole deteriorated, stagnating demand for raw materials.

In Asia, on the other hand, the price of surimi had continued to rise both in 2014 and 2015 against strong consumption. The price was pegged in a high zone in 2016 as well.

During this high price period, many Japanese surimi product makers had been compelled to raise their product prices.

In this sense, the present price downtrend of raw materials gave some relief to the industry, says an executive of the Japan Federation of Kamaboko Processor Associations.

In Japan, demand for surimi expands in wintertime when it is used as materials for seasonal “Oden pot cuisines” and New Year dishes such as kamaboko and fish surimi rolls.

A medium-size supermarket spokesman notes that sales of products for Oden have been favorable this winter as well.

However, in view of smooth sales at present, it may take some time before the raw material price drop actually spreads to retail prices.

Pollock fishing season in Alaska ranges from January through April.

It is a majority view in Japan that surimi price is unlikely to take an upward turn in spite of the yen’s weakening against the dollar because the 2017 pollock catch quota in Alaska was increased over the previous season, observes an official of a major fishing company.
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1048068/Pollock-Surimi-Prices-Drop-for-First-Time-in-4-Years-on-Increased-Quota-Slow-Fillet-Demand

Environment/Science

AFSC Study on Alaska Corals
Fishermen’s News – January 18, 2017
Researchers at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center say a five-year study pinpoints the slow growth of some Alaska corals, and the important implications this slow growth has for commercial fish species.
http://fnonlinenews.blogspot.com/2017/01/afsc-study-on-alaska-corals.html

FYI’s

MOTA Debuts Exhibit On Traditional Fishing Tools
KUCB by Laura Kraegel – January 17, 2017
For thousands of years, fishing has been central to the culture and survival of the people of Unalaska Island.
http://kucb.org/post/mota-debuts-exhibit-traditional-fishing-tools

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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January 20, 2017