Alaska/Pacific Coast

3MMI – Controversial Halibut Bycatch Reductions; Stock Scarcity Closes Golden King Crab Fishery
Tradex Seafood – Mar 16, 2015
3-Minute Market Insight:
➥ After speaking to a few Alaska trawl boat groups, some feel the recent decisions by IPHC are unfairly weighted on the trawl fisheries
➥ The Golden King Crab is the most abundant species of crab in their Alaska range; however, the closure announcement comes as a result of abnormal and EXTREMELY low harvests this season.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuOO9aL39Xs&feature=youtube_gdata

National

U.S. Announces Plan to Combat Illegal Fishing
New York Times By RON NIXON – MARCH 16, 2015
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has announced a plan to crack down on the multibillion-dollar global black market in seafood, an effort that would try to trace a fish’s story from where it was caught to how it was shipped.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/17/us/us-announces-plan-to-combat-illegal-fishing.html?emc=edit_tnt_20150317&nlid=60894292&tntemail0=y&_r=0

Global salmon industry produces 14.8 billion meals and 121,000 jobs
Fis.com – March 17, 2015
The International Salmon Farmers Association (ISFA) reported that 14.8 billion meals are annually produced and 121,000 jobs are created in coastal communities around the world.
http://fis.com/fis/worldnews/worldnews.asp?l=e&country=0&special=&monthyear=&day=&id=75260&ndb=1&df=0

Environment/Science

Study finds some West Coast fish can survive in low-oxygen ocean dead zones while others leave
US News by JEFF BARNARD – March 16, 2015
GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Scientists say they have found that some fish can survive in low-oxygen dead zones that are expanding in deep waters off the West Coast as the climate changes.
http://www.usnews.com/news/science/news/articles/2015/03/16/study-finds-some-fish-can-live-in-low-oxygen-dead-zones

Labeling and Marketing

US, Norway, Iceland, Canada Fisheries Regulators Meet in Boston about Normalizing Eco-Label Practice
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by John Sackton – March 17, 2015
A high level meeting involving the top fisheries officials in the US, Norway, Iceland, and Canada took place at the Boston Seafood Show yesterday to address the issue of regularizing or normalizing use of seafod ecolabels based on FAO criteria.

Attending were Russel Smith, deputy assistant secretary for International Fisheries at NOAA, Eileen Sobeck, Adminstrator of NMFS, Iceland’s Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, Mr. Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson, the Deputy Fisheries Minister of Norway, and in place of Gail Shea, the Canadian deputy minister, along with some US state officials, including Mike Cerne from Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute and Damon Morris from the Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries.

These four countries account for by far the largest share of all certified wild fisheries currently in programs that allow for ecolabels.

The purpose of the meeting, which will likely be continued at the Brussels Seafood Show next month, is to begin discussing the common interestes the four governments have regarding standards for ecolabels and how those are applied.

The governments supply virtually all of the funding for both the science and management on which the certifications depend, and there are varying degrees of concern within the different fisheries agencies about how the decisions about research and spending on fisheries management are guided, and to what extent external factors may come to drive spending and regulations.

The participants certainly don’t see their meetings as more than a discussion forum at this point, but it lays the groundwork for some common approaches to the Global Seafood Sustainability Intitiative benchmarks, and to future guidance for standards bodies to ensure they don’t violate FAO principles on trade, fishing, and ecolabels to which all the governments are parties.
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/968283/US-Norway-Iceland-Canada-Fisheries-Regulators-Meet-in-Boston-about-Normalizing-Eco-Label-Practice

Federal Register

Pacific Halibut Fisheries; Catch Sharing Plan
A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 03/17/2015
The Assistant Administrator (AA) for Fisheries, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), on behalf of the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC), publishes annual management measures governing the Pacific halibut fishery recommended as regulations by the IPHC and accepted by the Secretary of State. This action is intended to enhance the conservation of Pacific halibut and further the goals and objectives of the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) and the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC).
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/03/17/2015-06041/pacific-halibut-fisheries-catch-sharing-plan?utm_campaign=subscription+mailing+list&utm_medium=email&utm_source=federalregister.gov

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Sablefish Managed Under the Individual Fishing Quota Program
A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 03/17/2015
NMFS is opening directed fishing for sablefish with fixed gear managed under the Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Program and the Community Development Quota (CDQ) Program. The season will open 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), March 14, 2015, and will close 1200 hours, A.l.t., November 7, 2015. This period is the same as the 2015 commercial halibut fishery opening dates adopted by the International Pacific Halibut Commission. The IFQ and CDQ halibut season is specified by a separate publication in the Federal Register of annual management measures.
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/03/17/2015-06064/fisheries-of-the-exclusive-economic-zone-off-alaska-sablefish-managed-under-the-individual-fishing?utm_campaign=subscription+mailing+list&utm_medium=email&utm_source=federalregister.gov

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 17, 2015