Politics

Will the fish habitat ballot proposal prod Alaska lawmakers to pass a similar bill? Don’t count on it.
Anchorage Daily News by Nathaniel Herz – January 30, 2018
JUNEAU — Opponents of a citizens initiative to boost protections for salmon habitat have a path to adapt the proposal to better suit them: helping pass a similar bill through the Alaska Legislature, which would render the initiative void.
https://www.adn.com/politics/2018/01/29/will-the-fish-habitat-ballot-proposal-prod-alaska-lawmakers-to-pass-a-similar-bill-dont-count-on-it/

International

Russians Say King Crab Population Hit Record in Barents Sea in 2017
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Eugene Gerden – January 30, 2018
The population of Kamchatka crab in the Barents Sea reached a historical record in 2017 said Rybolovstvo.  This may result in an increase of the total allowable catch by the Russian government in 2018,  and the abolishment of the existing ban on coastal crab production in Russia, that has long been lobbied by some leading local crab producers.

In addition to Kamchatka crab, the population of Opilio, according to scientists of Russian Rybolovstvo, has also grown. Due to this, total catch of both species in the Barents sea may reach 18,000 tons this year.

The population of the Kamchatka crab reached its prior maximum in 2004, says Konstantin Sokolov, head of the Coastal Research Laboratory of the Polar Scientific Research Institute of Marine Fisheries and Oceanography (PINRO).

He also added since 2004 its population however, has started to decline, but it has grown in the last two years.

In the meantime, the ever growing crab stocks in Russia has already led Russian crab producers to start a new wave of pressure on the Russian government to lift the existing ban on crab catch in the 12-mile coastal zone.

Producers have already said they will provide additional guarantees on the  release of all the juvenile and females during their fishing, as required by Russian legislation. They also pointed to the need to use the experience of neighbouring Norway, which does not have any bans on the crab catch within its near shore coastal area.

In the meantime, the attempts of producers to lift the ban have generally been rejected by the Russian government on the basis of recommendations of scientists of PINRO and other research institutions, who disagree with producers on mortality.  They claim that more than 90 percent of the traps near the shores have excessive by-catch of small crabs and females. They believe lifing the ban will result in a significant decline of crab stock in Russia.

Russian Rosrybolovstvo also believes in order to abolish the moratorium on the coastal fishing of the Kamchatka crab, additional  results of observations of the by-catches of juveniles and females across the entire water area of the territorial waters are needed.

A spokesman of Rosrybolovstvo said it is necessary to determine those fishing areas and zones, where the total by-catch of females and small crabs will be less than 25 percent, and confirm this by regular observations, that will be conducted regularly several times a year.
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1090571/Russians-Say-King-Crab-Population-Hit-Record-in-Barents-Sea-in-2017

Environment/Science

Can you eat fish if you care about climate change?
KUOW by David Hyde – January 30, 2018
You’re got a hankering for seafood, but you’re worried about climate change. What should you eat?
http://kuow.org/post/can-you-eat-fish-if-you-care-about-climate-change

Environmental impact of salmon decline: This isn’t just about fish

More than 135 other fish and wildlife populations benefit from the presence of wild salmon and steelhead.
Seattle Times by Dukes Seafood and Chowder – January 26, 2018
A geologist might not be the first person that comes to mind when you think about salmon experts, but David Montgomery wrote the book on the decline of salmon: “King of Fish” in 2004.
https://www.seattletimes.com/sponsored/environmental-impact-of-salmon-decline-this-isnt-just-about-fish/

Federal Register

International Pacific Halibut Commission Appointments
A Notice by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 01/29/2018
NOAA is soliciting nominations for two individuals to serve as U.S. Commissioners to the IPHC. This action is necessary to ensure that the interests of the United States and all of its stakeholders in the Pacific halibut fishery are adequately represented. Nominations are open to all qualified individuals and may include current Commissioners.
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/01/29/2018-01629/international-pacific-halibut-commission-appointments

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Pacific Seafood Processors Association
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January 30, 2018