Alaska/Pacific Coast

Seafood Processing Job Fairs Draw Hundreds of Hopefuls
Fishermen’s News – June 1, 2018
Seafood processing job fairs coordinated with the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development are attracting dozens of hopefuls for labor intensive jobs, some far from home, with plenty of overtime pay.

Salmon runs lackluster so far across Gulf of Alaska
Peninsula Clarion by Elizabeth Earl – June 2, 2018
It’s not a great summer to be a salmon fisherman in Southcentral Alaska so far.
Several major river systems are seeing paltry salmon returns. The poor numbers have led to closures and cutbacks to sport and commercial fisheries.

Organizations in Unalaska seek $250,000 for salmon surveys
Bristol Bay Times by Jim Paulin – June 2, 2018
Local organizations are seeking $250,000 to count salmon runs and harvests in Unalaska Bay, including drone surveys for the sport and subsistence fisheries.

Slow king runs prompt closure of three Kenai Peninsula rivers
KBBI by Aaron Bolton – May 31, 2018
Slow king salmon runs are prompting the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to close three popular rivers to sport fishing on the southern Kenai Peninsula.

Relief Funds for 2016 Pink Salmon Fishery Disaster Coming to Alaska
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Kodiak Daily Mirror] by Alistair Gardiner – June 4, 2018
Slowly but surely, the federal relief funds for the 2016 pink salmon fishery disaster are making their way to Alaska. The state is one of 11 regions across the country that will split the $220 million in appropriated funds. Once the state receives its allocation, that will be further split between the Southeast, Prince William Sound, Kodiak and the Western Gulf.

At a Kodiak Fisheries Workgroup Meeting Wednesday, lobbyist Brad Gilman gave an update on the process by which the funds are being distributed.

National Marine Fisheries Service has decided upon an allocation scheme that will spread it among 11 fisheries throughout the country. According to Gilman, Alaska pink salmon was one of the 11.

Exactly how much of the $220 million will be allocated to Alaska is not yet known, although Gilman said the information will be announced soon.

“Everybody thinks the announcement is imminent. Murkowski and her staff know the number, but they’re not allowed to release it,” he said. “Everybody’s mystified that the numbers aren’t released yet. I expected it to happen next week.”

Once Alaska receives its portion, a method for local distribution will be decided on the state’s NMFS office in Juneau and the office of Governor Bill Walker.

“NMFS and the governor have to come to an agreement on a distribution methodology – a spend plan, that identifies the categories of entities that could receive funding and then quantifies how much each of the categories receive within the available funds,” said Gilman. “My guess says it’s a number between $20 million and $35 million.”

Gilman said that once approved, the Pacific State Marine Fisheries Commission will “start cutting checks immediately.”

“The end of the process is really very quick once it gets going,” he said. “I’m not sure long it’ll take the governor and [NMFS] to come up with a methodology, but there are a lot of precedents and a lot of prior examples. This is really not rocket science at the end of the day.”

Also present at the meeting was Representative Louise Stutes (R-Kodiak), who said she’s impressed upon the governor the wide-reaching effects that the pink salmon disaster had on the community.

“I’ve had several conversations with the governor and the lieutenant governor as well, indicating to him that it did not only affect our fishermen but our processing community, too,” she said. “So, they will be taking that into consideration in the division of the dollars.”

Cod disaster

While it hasn’t yet been federally declared a fishery disaster, there may be relief funds on the horizon to assist with steep decline in this year’s cod quota.

According to Gilman, a federal bill includes $20 million for future fishery disasters.

On March 8, Walker sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross requesting the declaration of a fishery disaster. The letter says the value of the 2018 pacific cod harvest is expected to be between $7-8 million, which is more than 80 percent below recent five-year averages.

Ross has not yet approved Walker’s request to declare a fishery disaster. According to Gilman, however, the money included in the appropriations bill could go toward relief funds if Ross agrees to Walker’s request.

“If that $20 million survives the process … that could theoretically be available for a cod disaster, should the secretary of commerce declare it a disaster,” he said. “And if it goes on as long as I think it’s going to go on, it might be an ongoing request to the secretary of commerce for funding each year.”


Getting conservationists and fishers on the same page by San Diego State University – May 30, 2018
Historically, fisheries and the conservation community have struggled to find common ground. The tension between one’s desire to turn a profit and the other’s to preserve endangered or protected marine species that can be killed as bycatch has made it difficult to find solutions that satisfy both. Now, a new online tool developed by researchers at San Diego State University in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and other universities could win support from both groups. EcoCast, developed with funding from the NASA Applied Sciences Ecological Forecasting Program, provides computer-generated maps to help fishermen target productive fishing spots while alerting them to areas likely to harbor protected species.

Labeling and Marketing

3MMI – 2018 Pink Salmon Market Predictions
TradexFoods – June 4, 2018
3MMI — This week we take a look at Pink Salmon predictions. Last year we saw peak Pink Salmon harvests around the first week of August, but it’s important to note that this is an off-year for Pinks being an even-numbered year. Our Salmon Category buy Rob McNutt joined us in the studio for his take on this year’s Pink Salmon Market…

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
Office Manager
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Phone: 206.281.1667
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June 4, 2018