Alaska/Pacific Coast

Bid deadline is Jan. 7 for test fishery
Cordova Times – January 4, 2016
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is soliciting bids to contract a vessel for a test fishery to harvest up to 900,000 pounds of pollock in Prince William Sound.
http://www.thecordovatimes.com/article/1601bid-deadline-is-jan-7-for-test-fishery

Young fishermen’s summit courts the next generation
KCAW by Robert Woolsey – January 5, 2016
The commercial fishing industry is a huge, networked system of management panels, agencies, biologists, lawmakers, processors, and somewhere in that web — individual fishermen.
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2016/01/05/young-fishermens-summit-courts-the-next-generation/

Dungeness Finally Hitting Retail Outlets on West Coast; California Hopes for Crab for Superbowl
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Susan Chambers – January 6, 2016
Oregon and Washington Dungeness crab is finally hitting retail outlets on the West Coast after a month-long season delay though it’s unclear how long the bonanza will last – and when California will get to fish.

On Tuesday, one day after fishermen began pulling their pots, some crabbers reported as few as three crab per pot; others said they had 50 per pot. “It just depends on where you’re at,” Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission Executive Director Hugh Link said. “A lot of guys are moving their gear.”

A storm Tuesday with large swells complicated matters, as fishermen had to move their pots out of shallow water so they don’t get tangled, lost or washed ashore. Small and medium-sized vessels are waiting for the swells to subside to go fishing again.

The disruption may give processors a little time to put up some frozen pack, while still meeting demand. The opening ex-vessel price for crab in Oregon was $2.90 per pound.

“There appears to be a strong demand,” Link said, noting that customers coastwide are anxious for crab, “particularly for traditional crab feeds.”

And that’s keeping some hopes alive for the California crab industry.

Levels of domoic acid, which delayed the fisheries in all three West Coast states, seems to be decreasing in California. Tests from Dec. 27 in some areas in Half Moon Bay, San Francisco and Bodega Bay showed average levels of domoic acid were below the 30 parts-per-million threshold. However, those have to be confirmed with another test at least a week later. California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Pete Kalvass said crab testing is being done on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.

California processors and retailers, like Alioto-Lazio Fish Company at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, are hopeful California crabbers can set gear soon and capitalize on the weeklong Super Bowl festivities leading up to the game on Sunday, Feb. 7, in the Bay Area.

“Sales are down,” said Angela Cincotta at Alioto-Lazio, who was able to source crab from other areas during the holidays. “Trying to sell Dungeness crab is one of the hardest things we do. … Christmas sales were off by 75 percent. Returning customers came to support us and keep their Christmas traditions alive.”

Cincotta noted that most of their regular customers understand that Alioto-Lazio wouldn’t sell seafood that isn’t safe to eat, but new customers are sometimes turned off by the media reports and press disseminated by the state agencies.

“We are hoping the ban will lift before all the Super Bowl parties, but there is no guarantee that anyone will want to eat Dungeness crab by then,” Cincotta said. “People come to San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf to watch the boats at work.”
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1004419/Dungeness-Finally-Hitting-Retail-Outlets-on-West-Coast-California-Hopes-for-Crab-for-Superbowl

Environment/Science

New committee takes first stab at erosion policy
KDLG by Molly Dischner & Dave Bendinger – January 5, 2016
A new Board of Fisheries committee this week offered a preliminary look at where it’s going with new policy on how to deal with coastal erosion that impacts setnet sites.
http://kdlg.org/post/new-committee-takes-first-stab-erosion-policy

FYI’s

Fisheries access workshop planned in Anchorage
KDLG by Molly Dischner – January 5, 2016
How do you keep fishing permits in rural Alaska communities, like those in Bristol Bay? That’s the question folks from around the state will be gathering to discuss in Anchorage January 12 and 13.
http://kdlg.org/post/fisheries-access-workshop-planned-anchorage

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
Office Manager
1900 W Emerson Place Suite 205, Seattle, WA 98119
Phone: 206.281.1667
E-mail: pspafish@gmail.com; Website: www.pspafish.net
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January 6, 2016