Alaska/Pacific Coast

Fisheries internship program puts teens to work
Bristol Bay Times by Molly Dischner –  July 1, 2016
Each summer, dozens of people come to the bay for fishery-related jobs. Most go fishing, but some help manage the fishery or assist in ongoing scientific research. An internship program coordinated by the Bristol Bay Native Association is getting local youth more involved in the science side of summer.

Bristol Bay salmon run hits 2 million
Bristol Bay Times by Molly Dischner – July 1, 2016
Bristol Bay’s 2016 salmon catch was closing in on 2 million as June neared its end.
Through June 27, 1.8 million salmon were caught in the bay’s five fishing districts, and another 792,633 were counted as escapement by towers in some rivers. That includes a catch of 82.

Record-Breaking Count To Date For Kenai River Sockeye
KSRM by Catie Quinn – July 5, 2016
Alaska Department of Fish & Game biologists say they’re watching a strong return of Kasilof River sockeye, and a record-breaking count-to-date on the Kenai.
Commercial Fishing Management Biologist Pat Shields with the July 4th count…

Kenai late run king management opens conservatively
Alaska Journal of Commerce by DJ Summers – July 1, 2016
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game will restrict sport and commercial fishing on the Kenai River to begin July based on total late run of king salmon forecast to be 30,000 fish.

Sitka Salmon Shares graduates to new plant
KCAW by Katherine Rose – July 1, 2016
If you’ve spent any time enjoying a drink at Baranof Brewery, you may have glanced across the street and wondered what’s going on behind the doors at Sitka Salmon Shares. It’s been over a year since the company purchased the Big Blue processing plant and, slowly but surely, they’re turning the space into one that suits their needs. KCAW’s Katherine Rose checked in with the company, to find out how they’re adjusting to the move.

Bristol Bay Races to Two Billionth Salmon Since 1884
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Peggy Parker – July 1, 2016
The Fourth of July holiday marks time away from the office and barbeques with friends and family for most of Americans. But in Bristol Bay, it’s all about no sleep, constant alertness, and unlimited energy.

The peak of the world’s largest sockeye fishery could be reached one day next week, according to some indicators.

But an even bigger milestone is that, some time in the next few weeks, a Bristol Bay fisherman will catch the two billionth salmon to be caught in the Bay since commercial fishing began in 1884.

The commercial catch for this year, for both sockeye and chum, is nearly 3 million fish as of yesterday.

The cumulative harvest of all salmon species in the Bay since 1884 is currently at 1,992,917,114 salmon. That is shy of two billion by just over seven million fish. In a fishery that forecasts a harvest of 29.5 million, experts predict the two billionth salmon since 1884 will be landed in July. And odds are that it will be a sockeye.

Fish and Game to Manage Setnets, Driftnetters Conservatively in July
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Peninsula Clarion] by Elizabeth Earl – July 5, 2016
Drift fishermen and setnetters in the Central District of Cook Inlet wet their gear for the first time last week, preparing for a large run of sockeye salmon to the Kenai River this year.

The Central District drift fleet got its first green light on June 20, heading out for a regular 12-hour period of fishing, hauling in 1,984 salmon, more than 94 percent of which were sockeye. The number of salmon hauled in increased to more than 3,000 during the next period on June 23, and nearly tripled from that on June 27, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s inseason harvest estimates. The drift boats headed out again for a regular period on Thursday.

Some setnets have been out periodically since May in the Northern District, targeting specifically king salmon in the area of Cook Inlet north of Boulder Point on the east side. The Northern District directed king salmon commercial fishery ended for the 2016 season with an approximate total catch of 2,042 kings and 2,239 sockeye, according to the Division of Commercial Fisheries’ inseason summary.

The Upper Subdistrict setnets in the Ninilchik, Cohoe and Kalifornsky South district went out June 23 and met with reasonable success, bringing in a few thousand fish each, also mostly sockeye with less than 100 kings between them on each day so far.

Most of the harvest this time of year is Kasilof sockeye salmon, and though the harvests are a little less than last year so far, they are relatively steady, said Division of Commercial Fisheries area management biologist Pat Shields.

“We haven’t had any slow days, we haven’t had any really big days,” Shields said. “Just a steady pull coming in.”

Erik Huebsch, a drift fisherman in the Central District, said the fishing season so far has been relatively normal, with about half the fishing fleet coming out in the last few periods.

“Last year across the whole state, the salmon were on the small size, undernourished, not looking really healthy,” Huebsch said. “This year, they’re healthier, they look normal, they’re acting normally.”

Management of the commercial setnet fishery will change after July 1, when the management emphasis switches to the late run of Kenai River king salmon. The projected run is greater than 22,500 fish, the trigger point for paired restrictions in both the setnet and inriver sport fisheries, but not much more, so the managers plan to begin the month conservatively, Shields said.

After July 1, east side setnetters’ two regular periods will remain, but the number of additional hours will be limited to 48. The inriver Kenai River sport fishery will be strictly no-bait from the mouth upstream to the outlet of Skilak Lake from July 1–31, according to a press release issued Friday from Fish and Game.

Shields said he did not expect managers to use all the hours available to the setnet fisheries until the escapement goals have been achieved. The bait closure and hour restriction is not a paired restriction because the run is projected to come in greater than 22,500, but the department is choosing to manage conservatively at the beginning of the season. Setnetters in the Kasilof Section of the Upper Subdistrict and drifters in the Kasilof Section got an additional period Satuday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., bringing the number of additional hours last week to 24.

“We’re just going to start out being careful and watching the daily passage of king salmon into the river,” Shields said.

Salmon prices are expected to recover somewhat this year after low prices impacted the salmon markets in Alaska last season. An algal bloom in Chile killed more than 25 million farmed salmon, pushing down the global supply of farmed Atlantic salmon down by 6 percent in 2016. Chilean coho production also decreased by 29 percent this year due to a red tide event, according to market update from the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.

Managers expect a run of 7.1 million sockeye to the Kenai River with a commercial harvest of 4.3 million fish, about 1.2 million more than the 10-year average, according to the Upper Cook Inlet 2016 outlook, published in March. Though the harvest is greater in the inlet than last year, across the state, harvests are expected to decrease, helping to bolster demand and thus prices, according to the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s bulletin.

Huebsch said although the prediction is only a prediction, he is optimistic about the sockeye return to Upper Cook Inlet this year.

“I hope the runs come back in the strength that they’ve predicted,” he said. “If it does, it’ll be a good thing for everybody here. It’ll certainly be a good turn for the economy.”


United States Department of Agriculture – June 2016
The U.S. Department of  Agriculture (USDA) invites  offers to sell canned salmon  pursuant to the AMS Master Solicitation for use in the  National School Lunch Program  and other Federal Food and  Nutrition Assistance Programs.  Acceptances will be  announced by midnight, August  9, 2016.  Deliveries are to be  made between October 16, 2016 and December  31, 2016.

Nearly 90-year-old boat on display at Kenai Visitors Center
Associated Press – July 2, 2016
KENAI, Alaska – A wooden fishing boat that’s been on the water for nearly 90 years has found a permanent home on display outside the Kenai Visitor Center.–year-old-boat-on-display-at-kenai-visitors/article_44d92dc8-4082-11e6-9185-5b7d31ed5f38.html

Register Now to Comment on Three Alaska RFM-Certified Fisheries
SEAFOODNEWS.COM – July 1, 2016
Global Trust/SAI Global, is conducting a stakeholder registration of parties wishing to make comment on the Draft Assessment Reports of the following fisheries currently undergoing re-certification to the Alaska Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) Certification Program.

The fisheries are:
US Alaska Salmon Commercial Fisheries
US Alaska Pacific Halibut Commercial Fisheries
US Alaska Sablefish (Black cod) Commercial Fisheries

The purpose of registration is to form a list of stakeholders prior to the release of the Draft Assessment Report who will then be notified when the 30 day period for comment on the report is announced and the report is made available.

It is estimated that Draft Assessment Reports will be posted in mid-September (Halibut and Sablefish) and October (Salmon). As noted, registered stakeholders will receive an e-mailed copy of the reports they have registered interest in receiving.

The Assessment Team appointed to a particular fishery assessment will review each comment submitted by stakeholders and determine if clarifications, up-dates or modifications to the report are required.  The Certification Body will ultimately preside/govern over the final outcome on certification of a fishery consistent with accreditation requirements and the Schemes rules.

This notice is to advise any parties (individuals or organizations) interested in providing input to register at

As a reminder, information is most useful to the assessment team when it is specific and includes constructive suggestions for improving existing situations. Also, supporting documentary evidence for any issues of concern will be greatly appreciated by the assessment team.

The Alaska Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) Standard v1.3 is available at:

Further information on stakeholder involvement can be located at:

The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute welcomes any feedback or questions you may have at
For more information on Alaska RFM certification go to

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
Office Manager
1900 W Emerson Place Suite 205, Seattle, WA 98119
Phone: 206.281.1667
E-mail:; Website:
Our office days/hours are Monday-Friday
8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. *Inclusion of a news article, report, or other document in this email does not imply PSPA support or endorsement of the information or opinion expressed in the document.

July 5, 2016