Alaska/Pacific Coast

Sitka Herring Roe Fleet Catches 25 Percent of GHL in Three Hours
SEAFOODNEWS.COM – March 21, 2017
The Sitka Sound herring sac roe fishery opened March 19 for a three-hour-and-twenty-minute first opener, after being on a two-hour notice since March 17. Preliminary hails from processors put the total harvest at 3,500 mt of a total GHL of 14,649 mt.

The opening was based on three samples taken from the area with the following results: Mountain Point, 11.3% mature roe, 1.1% immature roe, 128 gram average weight; Rob Point, 10.9% mature roe, 0.4% immature roe, 120 gram average weight; and Rob Point, 10.7% mature roe, 1.6% immature roe, 112 gram average weight.

Following the short opener, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s plan was to stand down until today when, depending on results of roe sampling, vessel and aerial surveys, another opener may be announced.

ADF&G’s guideline harvest level (GHL) of 14,649 tons is based on a 20% harvest rate of a forecast mature biomass of 73,245 tons.

The forecast indicates that the mature biomass in 2017 will consist of 6% age-3, 6% age-4, 73% age-5, 2% age-6, 6% age-7, and 7% age-8+. This forecast uses spring commercial purse seine weights at

This forecast uses spring commercial purse seine weights at age from last year’s fishery but will not be updated with winter test fishery weights as has been done in previous years.

That change was made to save on costs associated with processing winter test samples and staff time developing and reporting an updated forecast and GHL. “The accuracy of the forecast is not expected to be impacted significantly by not updating the model with the winter test fishery weights at age due to the relatively small variability seen in weight at age,” ADF&G biologists note.

The herring roe fishery in British Columbia ended March 16 after 12 days of fishing, with a 9,700 mt catch from seine vessels and an 8,800 mt catch from gillnet vessels. Both amounts are less than total quotas assigned this year to each gear group.  The Department of Fisheries and Oceans set a quota of 13,013 mt for seiners and 15,171 mt for gillnet vessels.

Fish evolve quickly to take advantage of marine protected areas: UBC study
Vancouver Sun by Randy Shore – March 20, 2017
Fish can quickly evolve to get more benefit from the protection offered by marine protected areas, according to research from the University of B.C.

Federal Register

Pacific Fishery Management Council (Pacific Council); Public Meetings
A Notice by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 03/20/2017
The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Pacific Council) and its advisory entities will hold public meetings.


Boaty McBoatface, From Internet Joke to Polar Explorer
New York Times by Hannah Olivennes March 13, 2017
LONDON — Boaty McBoatface is back, but this time it’s serious.
The high-tech remotely operated yellow submarine, bearing a name that began as a joke, will begin its first mission this week through a deep current that starts in Antarctica and goes through the Southern Ocean.

Want to eat fish that’s truly good for you? Here are some guidelines to reeling one in
The Conversation by Keri Szejda – March 20, 2017
Seafood is very healthy to eat – all things considered. Fish and shellfish are an important source of protein, vitamins and minerals, and they are low in saturated fat. But seafood’s claim to fame is its omega-3 fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), all of which are beneficial to health. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans strongly suggest that adults eat two servings of seafood, or a total of eight ounces, per week.

Seavey wins Fish First award, again
Bristol Bay Times by Molly Dischner – March 18, 2017
For the second year in a row, a long-time Iditarod musher will take home the prize for being the first to make it to Kaltag.

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
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March 21, 2017