Alaska/Pacific Coast

Board of Fisheries set to take up Yukon-Kuskokwim issues
Alaska Journal of Commerce by DJ Summers – January 6, 2016
Years of declining king salmon stocks will control the Alaska Board of Fisheries’ Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim meeting in Fairbanks set for Jan. 12-16.

The Alaska Fisheries Report
KMXT- January 7, 2016
Coming up on this Russian Orthodox Christmas edition, the Alaska Supreme Court slaps down the sportsfishing industry’s attempts to ban setnetting in Cook Inlet, NOAA is looking for your help in making its freezing spray forecasts better, and trying to rein in the barracudas of the Koyukuk. We had help from KBBI’s Quinton Chandler in Homer, KDLG’s Molly Dishner in Dillingham, KIYU’s Tim Bodony in Galena and Coast Alaska’s Ed Schoenfeld reporting from Petersburg.

Petersburg Cold Storage diversifies its clientele
Alaska Public Media by Ed Schoenfeld – January 7, 2016
Petersburg’s nonprofit cold storage plant is serving a wider group of customers than it did when it began about 10 years ago. It’s still mostly freezing fish for big processors but it’s also taking in groceries and sport anglers’ catches.


New U.S. dietary guidelines: Everything you need to know about what to eat/what not to eat
Washington Post by Ariana Eunjung Cha – January 7, 2016
Go ahead and have those eggs. That’s just one piece of good news from the U.S. dietary guidelines released on Thursday. Updated every five years, the government recommendations have been credited — or blamed (depending on whom you ask) — for shaping the eating habits of generations of Americans.

Dietary Guidelines – January 2016
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans is the Nation’s go-to source for nutrition advice. Published every 5 years for public health professionals, each edition of the Dietary Guidelines reflects the current body of nutrition science. These recommendations help Americans make healthy food and beverage choices and serve as the foundation for vital nutrition policies and programs across the United States.


Canadian Salmon Production Recovery Pushes 2015 US Imports Past 400 Million Lbs; Market at 3-Yr Low
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh – January 8, 2016
The return of Canadian whole salmon production and the growth of fresh Chilean salmon fillet exports to record levels has pushed US salmon imports over 400 million pounds for the first time, as of November.  At the same time wholesale prices are near three-year-lows in 2015.

An Urner Barry calculation of total fresh salmon imports to the US market– including whole salmon volumes converted into fillet weight in order to bring volumes to an equal weight—showed shipments through November 2015 at a record high 405 million pounds.

Source: Urner Barry

This is the fourth straight year of record setting salmon shipments to the US market. It is mostly the result of higher shipments from the US’s two major suppliers: Chile over the last few years and Canada in 2015.

For Chile, US exports reached another record volume through November at nearly 196 million pounds. Chile has now increased its fresh fillet shipments to the US by 51 million pounds in the last three years, or 35%.

Unlike Chile, the 2015 increase in Canadian whole salmon shipments to the US was a rebound for producers after two straight years of sharply lower production; a loss of over 80 million pounds of whole fish weight.  Canadian whole salmon shipments as of November 2015 are up about 75 percent from this time in 2014,  65 million pounds higher.

Source: Urner Barry

The decline in Canadian whole salmon shipments in 2013 and 2014 kept prices high as overall volumes continued to surge. The above chart shows import prices per pound reported by the Department of Commerce, in addition to Urner Barry’s fresh salmon index.  Both are up between 20 and 40 percent when Canadian shipments were short.  Meanwhile while overall volumes from Chile, Norway, and other sources kept growing.

The chart below shows a clear relationship between the volume of Canadian salmon available to the US market and overall salmon prices.

Chart:  Monthly Volume of Canadian Salmon Imports Plotted Against Price  – Source: Urner Barry

The red dots indicate relatively stable import prices per pound for Canadian salmon when imports averaged around 15 million pounds per month before production declined. The blue dots show quotes increasing steadily as cutbacks curbed monthly import volumes. The yellow dots show the market correcting back down as Canada’s production and imports came back to normal levels in 2015.

Source: Urner Barry

Similarly, the charts above show how prices and volumes for Chilean and Norwegian imports trended before Canada’s production decline (red dots); in the middle of the shorter years (blue dots); and during the 2015 rebound (yellow dots).

The story here is how Chilean and Norwegian prices were relatively stable before the Canadian production decline (red dots); they advanced during the Canadian drop-off (blue dots); and fell back to  on the recovery of Canadian shipments (yellow dots). Also note how Norwegian and Chilean import volumes advanced as Canadian production declined and recovered.  Norway has gained a currency advantage as the US dollar has strengthened against the NOK, meaning they can continue to profitably ship salmon to the US even as $US prices decline.

The combination of record salmon fillet imports from Chile and shipments from Canada saturated the US market. This pushed prices into a tailspin for the latter part of 2015 (yellow dots).

The charts also suggest—given higher volumes and lower prices—that demand expanded at a lower pace than shipments did in 2015.

Meanwhile, retailers dropped feature promotions during the Canadian shortage and consequently higher prices. By 2015, however, grocers again perceived salmon as a value item and cranked up retail promos between 40 and 75 percent—averaging 30% more in 2015.  Both wholesale and retail ad prices declined in 2015 as these promotions increased.

Source: Urner Barry

In our view, the crux of lower wholesale prices in 2015 was the return of Canadian whole salmon production and imports to their normal levels in the US market while Chilean imports continued to increase to record volumes year by year. Lower prices in the US were a market reaction to higher volumes from its main suppliers. If anything Canada’s two-year production decline appears to have kept US prices higher even as import volumes set record levels, a situation that has now reversed.


Federal Register

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bycatch Management in the Bering Sea Pollock Fishery
A Proposed Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 01/08/2016
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) submitted Amendment 110 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP). If approved, Amendment 110 would improve the management of Chinook and chum salmon bycatch in the Bering Sea pollock fishery by creating a comprehensive salmon bycatch avoidance program. This proposed action is necessary to minimize Chinook and chum salmon bycatch in the Bering Sea pollock fishery to the extent practicable while maintaining the potential for the full harvest of the pollock total allowable catch within specified prohibited species catch limits. Amendment 110 is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMP, and other applicable laws.


Alaska startup turns ‘fishy’ trash into talked-about treasures
Tidal Vision specializes in sustainable salmon leather goods and crab shell clothing.
Mother Nature Network by Sidney Stevens – December 31, 2015
Craig Kasberg uses a nontoxic, vegetable-based tanning process to turn discarded salmon skins into aquatic leather goods. (Photo: Tidal Vision)

For the First Time, No Commercial Fishing Deaths in Alaska Last Year
Radio Kenai by Catie Quinn – January 7, 2016
The Alaska Department of Fish & Game says “commercial fishing has been getting safer for decades,” and now they have the statistics to support their claim.

Rare deep-sea fish washes ashore in Gustavus
Alaska Dispatch News by Yereth Rosen – January 7, 2016
A ragfish is shown in this undated photo from the Alaska Fisheries Science Center. NOAA. A type of big, deep-ocean fish rarely seen at the water’s surface was found washed ashore Thursday in Gustavus in Southeast Alaska, the National Park Service reported.


Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
Office Manager
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Phone: 206.281.1667
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January 8, 2016