Alaska/Pacific Coast

Researchers watching sockeye sizes
KDLG by Molly Dischner – July 6, 2016
Will 2016 be another year of small fish, or was 2015 just an anomaly? Early fish may be looking a little small, but it’s too early to say for certain. (Are you getting tired of the too-early refrain yet?)
http://kdlg.org/post/researchers-watching-sockeye-sizes#stream/0

Kenai Peninsula Prepares for Commercial Fishing
Commercial fisheries on the Kenai Peninsula will be opening soon.
KSRM by Karleigh Shannon – July 7, 2016
Pat Shields, management biologist with the department of fish and game says Kenai area set netters will have their first regular period next week.
http://www.radiokenai.us/kenai-peninsula-prepares-for-commercial-fishing/

Smolt Studies Continue on Bristol Bay Rivers
KDLG by Shaylon Cochran – July 7, 2016
Another season of smolt counting has wrapped up in Bristol Bay. The counts are part of a broader research project carried out by Bristol Bay Science and Research Institute.
http://kdlg.org/post/smolt-studies-continue-bristol-bay-rivers#stream/0

Environment/Science

El Nino becomes La Nina and what it means for Alaska
KTUU by Tracy Sinclare – July 7, 2016
ANCHORAGE (KTUU) This past winter we experienced one of the strongest El Nino events on record. Beginning in June 2016, we began shifting into a “neutral” phase but scientists forecast we’ll move through neutral and into “La Nina” by fall through the winter. According to the National Weather Service, there is a 75 percent chance of La Nina during the fall and winter of 2016-17.
http://www.ktuu.com/content/news/El-Nino-becomes-La-Nina-and-what-it-means-for-Alaska–385934571.html

New Tongass Management Plan Said to Benefit Salmon
Fishermen’s News – July 6, 2016
Managers of the Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska have a new draft management plan that is winning praise for its protections of salmon habitat.
http://fnonlinenews.blogspot.com/2016/07/new-tongass-management-plan-said-to.html

Pacific Warm Water “Blob” Had Larger Impact on West Coast Fisheries Than El Nino
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Milstein – July 7, 2016
Milstein is a public affairs officer at NOAA Fisheries.
El Niño exerted powerful effects around the globe in the last year, eroding California beaches; driving drought in northern South America, Africa and Asia; and bringing record rain to the U.S. Pacific Northwest and southern South America. In the Pacific Ocean off the West Coast, however, the California Current Ecosystem was already unsettled by an unusual pattern of warming popularly known as “The Blob.”

New research based on ocean models and near real-time data from autonomous gliders indicates that the “The Blob” and El Niño together strongly depressed productivity off the West Coast, with The Blob driving most of the impact.

The research published in the American Geophysical Union journal Geophysical Research Letters by scientists from NOAA Fisheries, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and University of California, Santa Cruz is among the first to assess the marine effects of the 2015-2016 El Niño off the West Coast of the United States.

“Last year there was a lot of speculation about the consequences of ‘The Blob’ and El Niño battling it out off the U.S. West Coast,” said lead author Michael Jacox, of UC Santa Cruz and NOAA Fisheries’ Southwest Fisheries Science Center. “We found that off California El Niño turned out to be much weaker than expected. The Blob continued to be a dominant force, and the two of them together had strongly negative impacts on marine productivity.”

“Now, both The Blob and El Niño are on their way out, but in their wake lies a heavily disrupted ecosystem,” Jacox said.

Unusually warm ocean temperatures that took on the name, The Blob, began affecting waters off the West Coast in late 2013. Warm conditions – whether driven by the Blob or El Niño – slow the flow of nutrients from the deep ocean, reducing the productivity of coastal ecosystems. Temperatures close to 3 degrees Celsius (5 degrees Fahrenheit) above average also led to sightings of warm-water species far to the north of their typical range and likely contributed to the largest harmful algal bloom ever recorded on the West Coast last year.

“These past years have been extremely unusual off the California coast, with humpback whales closer to shore, pelagic red crabs washing up on the beaches of central California, and sportfish in higher numbers in southern California,” said Elliott Hazen of the Southwest Fisheries Science Center, a coauthor of the paper. “This paper reveals how broad scale warming influences the biology directly off our shores.”

The research paper describes real-time monitoring of the California Current Ecosystem with the latest technology, including autonomous gliders that track undersea conditions along the West Coast. “This work reflects technological advances that now let us rapidly assess the effects of major climate disruptions and project their impacts on the ecosystem,” Jacox said.

Separate but related research recently published in Scientific Reports identifies the optimal conditions for productivity in the California Current off the West Coast, which will help assess the future effects of climate change or climate variability such as El Niño. The research was authored by the same scientists at UC Santa Cruz and NOAA Fisheries.

“Wind has a ‘goldilocks effect’ on productivity in the California Current,” Hazen said. “If wind is too weak, nutrients limit productivity, and if wind is too strong, productivity is moved offshore or lost to the deep ocean. Understanding how wind and nutrients drive productivity provides context for events like the Blob and El Niño, so we can better understand how the ecosystem is likely to respond.”

Both papers emphasize the importance of closely monitoring West Coast marine ecosystems for the impacts of a changing climate. Although the tropical signals of El Niño were strong, the drivers – called “teleconnections” – that usually carry the El Niño pattern from the tropics to the West Coast were not as effective as in previous strong El Niños.

“Not all El Niños evolve in the same way in the tropics, nor are their impacts the same off our coast,” said Steven Bograd, a research scientist at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center and coauthor of both papers. “Local conditions, in this case from the Blob, can modulate the way our ecosystem responds to these large scale climate events.”
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1025105/Pacific-Warm-Water-Blob-Had-Larger-Impact-on-West-Coast-Fisheries-Than-El-Nino

FYI’s

Novel explores coming of age in Alaska fisheries
KDLG by Molly Dischner – July 6, 2016
A novel released this spring offers a glimpse into familiar Alaska themes: moving to Alaska, a first season as a greenhorn, and falling in love with a harsh land.
http://kdlg.org/post/novel-explores-coming-age-alaska-fisheries

Opinion

The Global Demand for Protein Will Require a Sustainable Shift to the Sea
Sustainable brands by Ned Daly – July 1, 2016
By 2050, global demand for protein on our dinner plates is expected to increase by 80 percent over current levels, due to population growth in African countries and increased wealth in Asia.
http://www.sustainablebrands.com/news_and_views/next_economy/ned_daly/global_demand_protein_will_require_sustainable_shift_sea

Job Posting

Alaska Seafood Cooperative (AKSC) Manager.  Full Job Description is located at the Alaska Seafood Cooperative website.
Location: Seattle, WA
Due Date: Submit cover letter and resume by July 20, 2016.  Position is open until filled.
Summary of Position: The Cooperative Manager is responsible for overall administration of the Alaska Seafood Cooperative.  Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, ensuring compliance with Amendment 80 regulations; overseeing harvest of cooperative quota; ensuring members have access to critical information; cooperative communications and outreach; overseeing compliance with sustainability certification requirements, and other duties as assigned. The Coop Manager receives a comprehensive and competitive benefits package.  Salary is commensurate with experience.
http://alaskaseafoodcooperative.org/wp-content/uploads/AKSC-job-description_Final.pdf

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
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 8, 2016