Alaska/Pacific Coast

Seattle Pollock Roe Auction Prices down around 20% this year
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by John Sackton  March 16, 2015
The first Seattle pollock roe auction was held March 11-14th, with a number of headwinds on market prices.

It appears that in general prices were down around 20% over last year.  Although we don’t have the final numbers by company, it appears that heavy inventories, especially of lower quality roe, have weighed on the market.

For first quality Mako roe, most prices were below 1000 yen / kg, while a couple of processors may have gotten 1000 -1200 yen/kg for some lots.  This compares to prices around 1200 to as much as 1400 yen/kg last March.

High inventories are a result of Russian production of pollock roe, with the 4.5% target permitted by Russia generally far above the natural occurance of roe by weight.  This means that some of the Russian roe could be augmented by roe-stripping, i.e. the process of taking the roe and discarding the carcass, and not reporting the carcass as catch weight.

This is the second year that pollock roe prices have declined, adding to financial pressures on pollock processors, who have all been hammered by the strong US dollar both in relationship to the Japanese yen, and the euro.

We will update the roe price numbers once more complete data is available.
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/968092/Seattle-Pollock-Roe-Auction-Prices-down-around-20-percent-this-year

Politics

Walker submits nominees to North Pacific fishery council
Alaska Dispatch News – March 14, 2015
Gov. Bill Walker nominated Daniel Hull, a commercial fisherman from Cordova, to serve a second term on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council and named Andrew Mezirow, a sport fishing charter operator from Seward, to a second seat on the council.
https://www.adn.com/article/20150314/walker-submits-nominees-north-pacific-fishery-council

Alaska may see fewer seasonal foreign workers this summer
Alaska Dispatch News by Jeannette Lee Falsey – March 13, 2015
A federal visa program used by fish processing plants and diamond sellers in Alaska to hire seasonal workers from abroad is on temporary hold in response to a court ruling.
https://www.adn.com/article/20150313/alaska-may-see-fewer-seasonal-foreign-workers-summer

National

Presidential Task Force releases action plan to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing and seafood fraud
NOAA – March 15, 2015
Today, the Presidential Task Force on Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and Seafood Fraud, co-chaired by the Departments of Commerce and State, released its action plan.  This plan articulates the aggressive steps that federal agencies will take both domestically and internationally to implement the recommendations the Task Force made in December 2014.
The Hydrographic Services Review Panel advises NOAA on improving services for navigation and coastal resilience. (Credit: NOAA)
http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2015/20150315-presidential-task-force-releases-action-plan-to-combat-illegal-unreported-and-unregulated-fishingaand-seafood-fraud.html

Labeling and Marketing

Alaska seafood sales to Japan change with differing diet by younger consumers
Alaska Dispatch News by JEANETTE LEE FALSEY – March 15, 2015
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Satomi Inaba grew up eating her mother’s boiled fish and mackerel sushi, but like many younger Japanese consumers today favors turf over surf in her own kitchen. Seafood she considers more troublesome to prepare and, frankly, rather smelly.
http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/f6d8a23560c74412a9c99b92730a785c/AK–Alaska-Seafood-Japan

Federal Register

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Trawl Catcher Vessels in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska
A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 03/16/2015
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher vessels using trawl gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season allowance of the 2015 Pacific cod total allowable catch apportioned to trawl catcher vessels in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA.
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/03/16/2015-05912/fisheries-of-the-exclusive-economic-zone-off-alaska-pacific-cod-by-trawl-catcher-vessels-in-the?utm_campaign=subscription+mailing+list&utm_medium=email&utm_source=federalregister.gov

FYI’s

Study of Alaska’s fleet uncovers challenges
The Bristol Bay Times – Carey Restino – March 13, 2015
Alaska has a lot of boats – a lot of old boats – doing a lot of business in Alaska.
Such was the take-away message from those involved with a recent report documenting the trends and opportunities for the maritime support sector in Alaska.
http://www.thebristolbaytimes.com/article/1511study_of_alaskas_fleet_uncovers_challenges

History provides pertinent lesson on how not to protect salmon
Bristol Bay Times by Carey Restino – March 13, 2015
While many might think the issue of protecting salmon populations is a relatively modern problem, the research of author and geologist David Montgomery says otherwise.
http://www.thebristolbaytimes.com/article/1511history_provides_pertinent_lesson_on_how_not_1

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
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March 16, 2015