Alaska/Pacific Coast

Alaska halibut allocations are treading; strong spawns for blackcod
National Fishermen by Charlie Ess – June 21, 2017
Though some feared the season would be waylaid with setbacks tied to the new Trump administration, Alaska’s halibut and blackcod fleet got off to a start at its normal date on March 11. President Trump imposed a hold on all pending federal regulations until staff review, which threatened the prescribed opening date for the IFQ longline fisheries and start of new regulations that would allow pot fishing for blackcod in Southeast and the Gulf of Alaska.
https://www.nationalfisherman.com/alaska/alaska-halibut-allocations-treading-strong-spawns-blackcod/

Fishermen gear up for season opening
KFSK by Nora Saks – June 21, 2017
19 year-old Jordan Lapeyri is busy pushing wheelbarrows piled high with little plastic bait jars up and down the South Harbor dock ramp.
https://www.kfsk.org/2017/06/21/fishermen-gear-season-opening/

NPFMC Takes Final Action on IFQ Leasing
Fishermen’s News – June 21, 2017
Federal fisheries managers have taken final action on a regulatory amendment to allow community development quota groups to lease halibut quota shares in lease area 4B, 4C and 4D in years when catch limits are below certain thresholds.
http://fnonlinenews.blogspot.com/2017/06/npfmc-takes-final-action-on-ifq-leasing.htm

Copper River Seafoods posts $1.35/lb as Bristol Bay’s catch goes to 300,000
This is a brief update for Wednesday, June 21. Catch the latest news and numbers from the fishery each night at 6, 10, and 2 a.m. on the Bristol Bay Fisheries Report.
KDLG by Dave Bendinger – June 21, 2017
Bristol Bay’s total catch this season is now over 300,000 sockeye through Tuesday.
The Egegik fleet landed 95,000 sockeye yesterday, bringing the season total there to 278,000.
http://kdlg.org/post/copper-river-seafoods-posts-135lb-bristol-bays-catch-goes-300000

International

Japan Frozen Salmon Market Weakens Ahead of New Season Production in Russia and Alaska
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by John Sackton – June 22, 2017
The price in domestic trading in frozen salmon in Japan, which peaked out late in March, has been declining steadily over the past two months.  This is causing Russian sockeye sellers to hold back on price quotes, and also suggests difficulties for Japanese buyers of Alaskan sockeye.

Frozen coho from Chile is still trading around 900 yen per kg. for the 4-6 lb fish, but larger sizes have weakened and are now below 800 Yen per Kg, with some sales reported at 770 Yen or lower.

The sales of fillet products have cooled as well, after a period of record high prices.

The weakening market is ascribed to the fact that consumption slowed.

Reports from Market participants suggest that the coming full-scale import period may face a difficult start.

Industry sources observe that frozen Chilean coho at 4-6 lb.– which is the major material for “tei-en” (constant salt) products and has the strongest marketable power– is in short supply and is retaining the price at 900 yen per kilo.

Conversely, 6-9 size–which is too large to handle smoothly–continues in the state of oversupply and has fallen below 800 yen without resistance in June.

Sales of this size have become so weak so that, even at 770 yen, its cargo movement stays lackluster.

The downtrend of Chilean coho was triggered as it began to be traded at $6.60-6.90 per lb.(D No.(1) 4-6 lb. size C&F per kilo) in dollar terms on the assumption that the production volume for salmon to be shipped in the 2017-18 season would recover drastically and the first cargo to arrive in September was anticipated to be sold at around 800 yen per kilo.

As there is still time until the actual products will be marketed, as traders point out that the anticipation of the market players for the price of frozen products to turn lower was stimulated.

Against this backdrop, traders predict that the buyers’ posture toward new-season sockeye from Alaska and Russia will be likely to turn somewhat negative.

In Russia, producers in set-net fisheries in Eastern Kamchatka (season started in May) have been delaying their offering of prices–which are usually presented at this time in usual years–, thus trying to determine the intent and move of Japanese buyers.

There is a speculation that concrete price offering by Russians may not be made until July while there have been reports that fish size this season is generally larger than last year.

In Alaska, it is foreseen that salmon migration in the main fishing ground of Bristol Bay will come into full swing shortly.

But there has been no concrete progress in negotiation over U.S.- produced sockeye as priority on demand for fresh fish is still given to the U.S. domestic market.

Generally the industry interest in frozen salmon in Japan has been diminishing since the peak in March, which seems to be weakening the morale of market players.

Some traders suggest on background that the control of the market by major Japanese trading houses has meant smaller players could not participate, as the major companies have de-facto control over shipping amount and prices.

So some dealers who were obstructed from joining the salmon market gave up on trading despite their willingness.

Also the high prices were not only not accepted by retailers but also the demand shrinkage created in the provisional stage by intermediate dealers has become an important factor of pushing down the prices.

Aside from dressed products, salmon fillets (Chilean trout Trim C, boneless/skin-on)–that once was poised to go beyond 2,000 yen per kilo–is now fighting an uphill battle recently at around 1,600 yen (a level much lower from the peak of over 1,700 yen).

Also, the price of Atlantic salmon Trim C–which once topped 1,500 yen–has dropped to 1,400-1,350 yen, and coho Trim C–predominantly used as substitute—declined to around 1,250 yen down from the level of 1,300 yen.

Analyzing the recent trend of the Japanese salmon market, experts note that Japan has been losing out in the competition with overseas traders, with an increasing cautious posture emerging among traders, especially toward new-season products.
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1066011/Japan-Frozen-Salmon-Market-Weakens-Ahead-of-New-Season-Production-in-Russia-and-Alaska

Environment/Science

Feds plan extra protection to critical Island ocean sites
Times Colonist by Amy Smart – June 17, 2017
A proposed expansion of the federal government’s marine conservation powers could speed protection at Race Rocks and eliminate drilling permits in conservation areas such as Hecate Strait.
http://www.timescolonist.com/business/feds-plan-extra-protection-to-critical-island-ocean-sites-1.20641331

FYI’s

With world’s most valuable wild salmon fishery gearing up, Alaska Sea Grant promotes marine safety at Bristol Bay Fish Expo
Sea Grant – June 21, 2017
Naknek, Alaska—The Bristol Bay sockeye fishery is the world’s most valuable wild salmon fishery. Harvesting, processing, and retailing Bristol Bay salmon has a multiplier effect of $1.5 billion annually in the United States.
https://seagrant.uaf.edu/news/2017/06-21-17-alaska-sea-grant-promotes-marine-safety-at-bristol-bay-fish-expo.php

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June 22, 2017