Alaska/Pacific Coast

Alaska Salmon Market Analysis
Seafood Market Bulletin – Spring 2015
Alaska’s commercial salmon fisheries include all five major Pacific salmon species. Sockeye and pink salmon account for the largest share of the ex-vessel and first wholesale value (a combined 80 percent over the past two years). Keta (chum), coho, and Chinook salmon account for the remaining 20 percent of the sector’s first wholesale value. “First wholesale” refers to the value of seafood products sold to buyers outside the network of Alaska processors. First wholesale data for salmon and other species is published in the Alaska Department of Revenue’s Alaska Salmon Price Report which is an important information source for the seafood industry, fishery managers, and Alaska policy makers.

Copper River fishery picks up speed
Cordova Times Staff – May 30, 2015
Commercial harvests of Copper River wild salmon are picking up speed.
The latest 2015 preliminary Alaska commercial salmon harvests posted by the state Department of Fish and Game show the drift gillnet fleet in the Copper River has caught an estimated 372,000 sockeyes, 11,000 Chinook and 5,000 chum salmon.
http://www.thecordovatimes.com/article/1522copper-river-fishery-picks-up-speed

Dumping of halibut sparks fight among North Pacific fishing fleets
Seattle Times by Hal Bernton Justin Mayo – May 30, 2015
The fleet says proposals to trim the amount of halibut it catches would be damaging, while other fishermen call for tighter controls on the trawlers’ bycatch.
When Skipper Bill Hayes brings up his trawl net from the bottom of the Bering Sea, he often finds halibut mixed in with the yellowfin sole and other fish he pursues with a Seattle-based trawler.
http://www.seattletimes.com/business/dumping-of-halibut-sparks-fight-within-north-pacific-fishing-fleet/

Halibut catch starts in Bristol Bay
Bristol Bay Times by Molly Dischner – May 29, 2015
Bristol Bay’s halibut fishery is underway.
“There are halibut around and people are beginning to catch them,” said Susie Jenkins-Brito, the regional fisheries coordinator for the Bristol Bay Economic Development Corp.
http://www.thebristolbaytimes.com/article/1522halibut_catch_starts_in_bristol_bay

Politics

White House vow to veto fishing law changes sparks fight
Alaska Dispatch News by Patrick Whittle The Associated Press – May 29, 2015
PORTLAND, Maine — A White House pledge to veto proposed changes to federal fishing laws has divided fishermen over whether the rule changes should be saved or scrapped.
http://www.adn.com/article/20150529/white-house-vow-veto-fishing-law-changes-sparks-fight

International

13 Seafood Companies Control 40 Percent of Largest, Most Valuable Fish Stocks
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh – May 28, 2015

 Swedish researchers have found just 13 transnational seafood companies dominate the global industry, controlling as much as 40 percent of the world’s largest and most valuable commercial fishery stocks. The study concluded these major companies have been able to produce higher revenues; influence fishery management policy; and dictate sustainable fishing practices compared to the rest of the industry.

Led by Henrik Österblom of the Stockholm Resilience Centre and published in Plos One, the study indentified 13 “keystone actors,” corporations that control 11-16 percent fo the global marine catch and 19-40 percent of the world’s biggest and most valuable stocks.

Maruha Nichiro, Nippon, TUF, Marine Harvest, Dongwon, Skretting, Pescanova, Austevoll Seafood, Pacific Andes, EWOS, Kyokuyo, CP Foods and Trident were the named dominant players in the seafood industry according to the study.

“They dominate all segments of seafood production, operate through an extensive global network of subsidiaries and are profoundly involved in fisheries and aquaculture decision-making,” the study said.

Researchers indentified the companies using metrics to understand the commerically significant wild and farmed fish species and the companies that control their distribution from the time they are caught or harvested to when they make it to the end-user. The selected stocks included whitefish, tuna and small pelagic species–specifically Alaska pollock, skipjack tuna and Peruvian anchovy among others. Global salmon and shrimp production was also a major componenet of the species survey.

“These transnational corporations are catching, farming and handling more than 208 species from 974 subsidiaries and associates operating in 102 countries and territories. They are each highly connected and act as key nodes in the global seafood production system,” the study said.

The research concluded four major points: the companies dominate global seafood volumes and revenues; are globally connected through subsidiaries and other networks of operations; dominate globally relevant segments of seafood production; and are represented in global fisheries and aquaculture policy and management.

This control has also helped these companies command a large share of the world’s fishery revenue the study says.

“The combined annual revenues of these thirteen companies (representing 0.5% of 2250 registered fishing and aquaculture companies worldwide) correspond to 18% of the global value of seafood production in 2012 (US$ 252 billion)” the research concluded.

Overall, the study attributed globalzation for the emergence of the 13 major players in the seafood industry making them “keystone actors” that will be “critical in shaping the future direction of seafood production and as a consequence, the future of marine ecosystems.”

Click here for the full report.
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/977085/13-Seafood-Companies-Control-40-Percent-of-Largest-Most-Valuable-Fish-Stocks

Labeling and Marketing

King Salmon: Is the Drought Threatening California’s Favorite Fish?
KQED by Brie Mazurek, CUESA –  May 30, 2015
California salmon lovers spend a good part of the year waiting for summer, which normally heralds the return of our wild king salmon, aka the Chinook. But so far, the season (which opened on May 1) has gotten off to a slow start and been mostly disappointing. What’s in store for our beloved California salmon?
http://ww2.kqed.org/bayareabites/2015/05/30/king-salmon-is-the-drought-threatening-californias-favorite-fish/

FYI’s

Wild salmon may not be as wild as you think
Alaska uses hatcheries to boost their stocks — but there may be risks
The Verge by Clare Leschin-Hoar – May 28, 2015
When it comes to sustainable seafood, Alaska’s wild salmon is unquestionably one of the best choices out there for conscientious eaters. But questions are mounting over just what counts as wild.
http://www.theverge.com/2015/5/28/8671455/wild-salmon-may-not-be-as-wild-as-you-think

Opinion

Changes to setnets would reduce king catch
Peninsula Clarion by Brent Johnson – May 25, 2015
In 2012 the Ninilchik-to-Boulder Point setnet fishery was closed for much of the season to conserve king salmon. 2013 and 2014 saw more of the same, though fishery managers handled the handicap with a bit more finesse, which allowed for meaningful sockeye harvests. We should assume 2015 will be a continuation of this problem. Is there anything you and I can do to help?
http://peninsulaclarion.com/opinion/letters/2015-05-25/changes-to-setnets-would-reduce-king-catch

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
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June 1, 2015