Alaska/Pacific Coast

Bristol Bay fishermen tour the East Coast
KDLG by Molly Dischner – March 16, 2016
Bristol Bay drifters were among the ten young Alaska fishermen who toured the East Coast this month.
During a whirlwind east coast tour this month, a group of young Alaska fishermen had the chance to visit the Boston Seafood Show, participate in Slow Fish in New Orleans, and share their concerns with Alaska’s congressional delegations.
http://kdlg.org/post/bristol-bay-fishermen-tour-east-coast

Alaska’s Commercial Halibut Season to Get Going March 19 With Slightly Higher Quota
SEAFOODNEWS.COM – March 17, 2016
Alaska’s commercial halibut season gets underway this weekend on March 19 with a slightly higher quota.

In January the joint Alaska and Canadian quota set by the IPHC was 29.89 million up 2.3 percent from last season.

Alaskans will commence commercial IFQ halibut fishing on Saturday. The Alaskan share of the quota is set at 21.45 million pounds, up 235,000 pounds from last year.  This includes halibut for the charter sector.

In Southeast Alaska’s Area 2C the commercial catch its 3.94 million pounds. The quota in Area 3A in Southcentral Alaska is set at 7.336 million pounds.

The season will run from March 19 through November 7 in all areas of the state.
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1011800/Alaskas-Commercial-Halibut-Season-to-Get-Going-March-19-With-Slightly-Higher-Quota

International

Strong Demand for Alaskan Sockeye in Japan Seen as Local Inventories Dwindle
SEAFOODNEWS.COM – March 17, 2016
A strong demand for Alaskan sockeye has developed in Japan as other salmon inventories dwindle.

Failure of local Japanese salmon fisheries is leading to a big boost in Alaskan sockeye imports.  For the current salmon year (May 2015 to April 2016) Japan’s domestic fall chum season has been poor, and the supply of farmed coho from Northern Japan has also declined.

Meanwhile, Alaskan sockeye imports are up 320% over the prior year for the October-December period.

Industry buyers expect these strong shipment levels to continue through March at levels substantially higher than last year, as the salmon inventory situation in Japan will be cleared prior to the new season.

Imports of Chilean coho also increased during this period, and are expected to continue.  However the recent algae bloom in Chile has also cut coho production, which may impact Japan’s salmon supply later in the year, and could also be a positive development for Alaskan sockeye.

The overall supply of salmon in Japan in 2015/16 is predicted to be somewhat above a year before.

During the end-of-the-year sales season, demand for “tokishirazu” chum and fall chum expanded backed by consumers’ strong liking of Japanese salmon.

Wholesalers seemed to have hard time in procuring Japan-produced salmon amid dwindling supply.
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1011803/Strong-Demand-for-Alaskan-Sockeye-in-Japan-Seen-as-Local-Inventories-Dwindle

Labeling and Marketing

Push to label GE food, including salmon, has staunch opponents
APRN by Liz Ruskin – March 16, 2016
Since the FDA approved AquAdvantage, a genetically altered salmon, as safe to eat last fall, Sen. Lisa Murkowski has been working on a labeling mandate that would inform consumers the fish is genetically engineered. This morning, the U.S. Senate considered a bill that would make that impossible. The bill didn’t get enough votes to advance, but the debate shows the forces Murkowski is up against when it comes to labeling genetically modified organisms.
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2016/03/16/push-to-label-ge-food-including-salmon-has-staunch-opponents/

The Culinary Institute of America Nears Full Sustainability in Seafood Purchasing
FSR Magazine – March 14, 2016
The Culinary Institute of America’s New York campus spends about $750,000 a year on seafood. Five years ago, around 25 percent of those purchases were of species considered unsustainable. On the eve of the 2016 International Sustainable Seafood Day, March 18, that figure is down to 5 percent by volume.
https://www.fsrmagazine.com/sustainability/culinary-institute-america-nears-full-sustainability-seafood-purchasing

 

Federal Register

Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing Permits
A Notice by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 03/16/2016
We have made a preliminary determination that an Exempted Fishing Permit application contains all of the required information and warrants further consideration. This EFP would allow two commercial fishing vessels to trawl for summer flounder using an experimental Turtle Excluder Device to test target species catch retention rates, and exempt the vessels from minimum size requirements and possession limits found at 50 CFR part 648 in order to sample the catch for scientific purposes.
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/03/16/2016-05823/magnuson-stevens-act-provisions-general-provisions-for-domestic-fisheries-application-for-exempted?utm_campaign=subscription+mailing+list&utm_medium=email&utm_source=federalregister.gov

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
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March 17, 2016