Alaska/Pacific Coast

Alaska Senate panel to weigh bill making personal use top fishing priority
Alaska Dispatch News by Associated Press – March 10, 2015
JUNEAU — Lawmakers on Tuesday plan to discuss a bill that would make personal use a priority in managing state fisheries.
http://www.adn.com/article/20150310/alaska-senate-panel-weigh-bill-making-personal-use-top-fishing-priority

State: Supreme Court case could have widespread impact on hunting, fishing
Alaska Dispatch News by Alex DeMarban – March 10, 2015
Dozens of Alaska Natives poured into a state Supreme Court hearing to show support for subsistence users in a case involving former state Sen. Albert Kookesh, who was cited along with two others in 2009 for exceeding salmon harvest limits while subsistence fishing in Southeast Alaska.
http://www.adn.com/article/20150310/state-supreme-court-case-could-have-widespread-impact-hunting-fishing

Pacific Council Bans New Commercial Fishing for Forage Fish in Unanimous Vote
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Daily Astorian] – March 11, 2015
Federal fisheries managers on Tuesday unanimously adopted a West Coast ban on new commercial fisheries for forage fish, the little fish that big fish and seabirds depend on for food.

The Pacific Fishery Management Council adopted the ban by unanimous vote while meeting in Vancouver, Washington. It now goes to the NOAA Fisheries Service for the development of regulations, which will take several months.

Although no West Coast fishing boats are known to be contemplating new efforts to target forage fish, concern has been mounting that someone would start one to meet increasing demand for feed for aquaculture facilities and fish oil nutritional supplements for people, said Mike Burner, staff officer for the council. It is the council’s first action under a new ecosystem approach to fisheries management.

“The intent was not to change current practices, but prevent an uptick in the amount of removals,” he said.

Species covered by the ban include Pacific sand lance, silversides and certain varieties of herring, smelt and squid. The ban does not affect existing fisheries for other types of herring, sardines and anchovies, and it comes on top of a similar ban on fishing for krill, a crustacean that is important food for salmon, seals and whales.

Rod Moore of the West Coast Seafood Processors Association said the fishing industry shared the concerns of conservation groups and sport fishermen who wanted to be sure that forage fish were protected.

Paul Shively of The Pew Charitable Trusts, a conservation group, said in a statement: “This marks a fundamental change from traditional management of ocean fishing to a more comprehensive approach.”

Geoff Shester of the conservation group Oceana said he hoped the ban would serve as a model for forage fish conservation in other waters.

Burner said there were provisions for an applicant to seek permission to target forage fish, but any proposal would face tough requirements to show it would not harm the resource.
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/967500/Pacific-Council-Bans-New-Commercial-Fishing-for-Forage-Fish-in-Unanimous-Vote

 Environment/Science

Building Bridges Between Science and Management
KBBI.org by Shady Grove Oliver – March 9, 2015
The 2015 Kachemak Bay Science Conference wrapped up Saturday in Homer. It featured three days of workshops and dozens of presentations and panels covering everything from traditional food knowledge to climate change.
http://www.kbbi.org/building-bridges-between-science-and-management

Low snowpack in southwest B.C. ‘scary’ for salmon
BC Local News by Jeff Nagel – March 9, 2015
The snowpack in southwestern B.C.’s mountains has been pushed further into record low territory by continued warm and dry weather.
http://www.comoxvalleyrecord.com/news/295675281.html

 Federal Register

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pollock in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands
A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 03/11/2015
NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amounts of the Community Development Quota pollock directed fishing allowances from the Aleutian Islands subarea to the Bering Sea subarea. This action is necessary to provide opportunity for harvest of the 2015 total allowable catch of pollock, consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area.
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/03/11/2015-05541/fisheries-of-the-exclusive-economic-zone-off-alaska-reallocation-of-pollock-in-the-bering-sea-and?utm_campaign=subscription+mailing+list&utm_medium=email&utm_source=federalregister.gov

Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; 2015-2016 Biennial Specifications and Management Measures; Amendment 24
A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 03/10/2015
This final rule would establish the 2015-2016 harvest specifications and management measures for groundfish taken in the U.S. exclusive economic zone off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California, consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) and the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (PCGFMP), and approve Amendment 24 to the PCGFMP. This final rule would also revise the management measures that are intended to keep the total catch of each groundfish species or species complex within the harvest specifications. This action also includes regulations to implement Amendment 24 to the PCGFMP, which establishes default harvest control rules for setting harvest specifications after 2015-2016.
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/03/10/2015-05395/magnuson-stevens-act-provisions-fisheries-off-west-coast-states-pacific-coast-groundfish-fishery?utm_campaign=subscription+mailing+list&utm_medium=email&utm_source=federalregister.gov

 

 Opinion

More Than 80 Percent of Canned Tuna is Unsustainable, Greenpeace Claims
A study by Greenpeace found that the top tuna brands are not using environmentally-friendly, sustainable practices. But how accurate is it?
The Daily Meal by Joanna Fantozzi, Editor – March 9, 2015
It’s nothing special, but a tuna salad sandwich is one of the most common and easiest lunches to prepare. But do you know what you’re actually eating? A new Greenpeace study alleges that 80 percent of canned tuna sold in stores is not made with sustainable, responsibly-caught tuna. Not only that, but three of the biggest brands, StarKist, Bumble Bee, and Chicken of the Sea, all of whom list extensive seafood sustainability practices on their websites, are said to be among the worst offenders. But before you throw out the seafood contents of your pantry, the National Fisheries Institute has called the list “non-scientific, non-transparent and completely subjective.”
http://www.thedailymeal.com/news/eat/more-80-percent-canned-tuna-unsustainable-greenpeace-claims/030915

 

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
Office Manager
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Phone: 206.281.1667
E-mail: pspafish@gmail.com; Website: www.pspafish.net
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March 11, 2015