Alaska/Pacific Coast

The Alaska Fisheries Report
KMXT by  Pam Foreman – March 16, 2017
Coming up this week’s Alaska Fisheries Report… In Juneau, legislators debate the merits of raising the fuel tax. A measure would require skippers to collect taxes from their crew and send it to the State Revenue Department. And the Senate Resources Committee hears from several Alaskans nominated for the Board of Fish.
http://kmxt.org/2017/03/alaska-fisheries-report-110-5/

Harvesters Coalition Supports Small Boat Fishing Communities
Fishermen’s News – March 15, 2017
Commercial harvesters advocating for small boat fishing communities and sustainable fisheries were in Washington DC this past week, advocating for the proposed National Young Fishermen’s Development Program. The bipartisan initiative from the Fishing Communities Coalition focuses on tackling the high cost of entry, financial risk and limited entry-level opportunities for young men and women wanting to begin a career in commercial fishing.
http://fnonlinenews.blogspot.com/2017/03/harvesters-coalition-supports-small.html

International

Russian Fishing Industry Faces More Consolidation as Companies Prepare for 10 Year Quota Auctions
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Eugen Gerden – March 17, 2017
The Russian fishing industry is on the verge of further consolidation, due to the possible sale of the Russian Fishing Company (former Rysskoe More Dobycha), one of Russia’s largest fish producers, according to some sources close to Russian Rosrybolovstvo.

Among the potential bidders are some well-known Russian fishing producers and the major competitors of the Russian Fishing Company in the domestic market.

In recent years Russian Fishing Company has significantly strengthened the portfolio of its assets through the acquisition of some of Russia’s leading pollock producers. According to some analysts, the sale of the company could be part of the plans of the current owners of the company – Maxim Vorobyov and Gleb Frank –  to sell their fishing assets at the peak of their value.

According to Ilya Shestakov, head of Rosrybolovstvo, this move is likely due to other upcoming changes in assigning of fishing quotas.  The government plans a redistribution of quotas that will depart from historical catch history, but favor other factors like local investment. He says Russian Fishing Company is trying to consolidate the maximum possible volume of quotas as possible, in order to get the desired price. That takes place through the aggressive acquisition of smaller players.

According to some earlier reports of the Russian media, representatives of Russian Fishing Company already held talks with the Pacific Investment Group, another Russian leading fishing producer, (which is owned by Sergey Darkin, the former governor of the Primorye Krai), regarding with the possible acquisition of the company in the past, but were not able to reach a final agreement. The amount of the potential deal estimated at US$900 million.

In addition to this, Russian Fishing Company has also discussed the possibility of establishing a joint venture with Okeanrybflot, Russia’s second largest pollock producer, however these negotiations also failed.
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1054709/Russian-Fishing-Industry-Faces-More-Consolidation-as-Companies-Prepare-for-10-Year-Quota-Auctions

Environment/Science

Steller Watch Lets Anyone With Internet Access Play Wildlife Biologist
KUCB by Zoe Sobel –  March 15, 2017
In an effort to figure out what’s behind the mysterious decline of Steller sea lions, scientists are trying out crowdsourcing for the first time. The project is called Steller Watch. The idea is to convince the public to comb through pictures looking for sea lions.
http://kucb.org/post/steller-watch-lets-anyone-internet-access-play-wildlife-biologist

Federal Register

Fisheries Off West Coast States and in the Western Pacific; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Application for an Exempted Fishing Permit
A Notice by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 03/17/2017
NMFS announces the receipt of an exempted fishing permit (EFP) application for 2017 and 2018 that would continue work done in 2015 and 2016, and is considering issuance of EFPs for vessels participating in the EFP fishery. The EFPs would be effective no earlier than April 3, 2017, and would expire no later than December 31, 2018, but could be terminated earlier under terms and conditions of the EFPs and other applicable laws.
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/03/17/2017-05351/fisheries-off-west-coast-states-and-in-the-western-pacific-pacific-coast-groundfish-fishery

FYI’s

Port of Anacortes, Trident Seafoods receive clean air agency awards
Go Anacortes –  March 15, 2017
The Port of Anacortes and Trident Seafoods were among 35 entities earning awards through the Northwest Clean Air Agency’s Partners for Clean Air program for 2017.
http://www.goanacortes.com/news/article_ba5380e8-090f-11e7-9291-6bf6de16c8c5.html

Sea-to-table movement takes root with Alaska’s growing kelp industry
KTOO by Elizabeth Jenkins – March 16, 2017
In February of last year, Governor Walker signed an administrative order to help jumpstart mariculture, or sea farming, in the state. One Juneau couple is whipping up a recipe to make local kelp an enticing business and snack. They’re part of a growing number of startups that see Alaska seaweed as a marketable food.
http://www.ktoo.org/2017/03/16/sea-table-movement-takes-root-alaskas-growing-kelp-industry/

Is oily fish intake more beneficial to health than fish oil pills?
Fis.com – March 16, 2017
A team of researchers compared the health benefits of eating two portions of oily fish a week against taking a daily dose of fish oil pills for eight weeks.
http://fis.com/fis/worldnews/worldnews.asp?monthyear=&day=16&id=90564&l=e&country=0&special=&ndb=1&df=0

How to Tell If That Fish Behind the Counter Is Actually Fresh
Twice a week, your protein should come from fresh or salt water. Here’s our guide to smart shopping
Men’s Health by A.C. Shilton – March 15, 2017
You know fish is good for you, but shopping for it is dicey. Much of the fish behind the counter is mislabeled, or not exactly fresh. And even if you can trust the labels, there are just so many of them: Should you buy American or Chilean? Wild-caught or farmed? Follow these six steps to guarantee you bring home the freshest, tastiest, and healthiest filet.
http://www.menshealth.com/nutrition/guide-to-buying-fish

Oregon State Study Says Workplace Injuries Rising in Seafood Processing Sector
SEAFOODNEWS.COM – March 17, 2017
CORVALLIS, Ore. – A review of workers’ compensation claims indicates that workers in Oregon’s seafood processing industry are suffering serious injuries at higher rates than the statewide average, and the rate of injuries appears to be on the rise, researchers at Oregon State University have found.

Researchers examined 188 “disabling” claims, or claims from employees who missed work, were hospitalized overnight or whose injuries left them permanently impaired. They found that the average annual rate of claims was 24 per 1,000 workers, Laura Syron, a doctoral student in OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences and lead author of the study, said in a press release.

“Fortunately, Oregon’s seafood processing industry did not experience any fatalities during the study period, but the rate of injuries during that period is higher than Oregon’s all-industry average,” Syron said.

“This is an industry that merits more research and more support. Our goal is to use this information to assist seafood processing companies in the Pacific Northwest with protecting workers’ safety and health.”

The study is believed to be the first to examine worker safety and health in Oregon’s seafood processing industry. The findings were published this month in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.

OSU researchers collaborated with the Oregon Health Authority on the study. Co-authors of the paper are Laurel Kincl, an assistant professor of environmental and occupational health; Ellen Smit, an associate professor of epidemiology; environmental and occupational health doctoral student Liu Yang; and Daniel Cain, with the state of Oregon.

The study is part of a broader effort at OSU to understand and address hazards in the maritime industry.

“This important work compliments injury prevention my colleagues and I are conducting with commercial fishing fleets in the region,” said co-author Kincl, who is Syron’s advisor.

Seafood is the most-traded food commodity internationally, and the value of processed seafood products in the U.S. topped $10 billion in 2015. The dangers of commercial fishing have drawn a lot of attention over the years through reality television programs and highly-publicized disasters and safety incidents.

But there is limited research on occupational health and safety in onshore seafood processing, a food-manufacturing industry that includes cleaning, canning, freezing and other packaging and preparation. In Oregon, employment in the seafood processing industry grew steadily between 2010 and 2013, with 1,240 workers employed in the industry in 2013.

“Processing is a critical component of the seafood supply chain, and it does not get as much attention as the fishing itself,” Syron said. “Processing adds value to the product and it is also demanding work that can lead to significant injuries.”

The researchers’ review of workers’ compensation disabling claims accepted for compensation between 2007 and 2013 showed the rate of injuries among workers in the industry was more than twice that of Oregon industries overall. The most common injuries included traumatic injuries to muscles, tendons, ligaments or joints. The most frequent events that resulted in injuries were overexertion and contact with equipment or objects.

“The workers’ compensation data gives us insight into the most severe incidents and those that cost employers the most money,” Syron said in a statement.

The workers’ compensation disabling data doesn’t provide enough detail about the circumstances of the workers at the time of their injuries, so that is one area that warrants further study before prevention recommendations could be made, she said.

For her doctoral dissertation, Syron plans to examine seafood processing in Alaska, where seafood is an economically and culturally important natural resource. In that research, Syron will continue to explore injury reports in both at-sea and on-shore facilities. With interviews, she hopes to learn from companies’ safety and health managers and directors, whose roles are dedicated to protecting workers’ well-being.
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1054742/Oregon-State-Study-Says-Workplace-Injuries-Rising-in-Seafood-Processing-Sector

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, 2017