Alaska/Pacific Coast

Ocean conditions throw uncertainty into salmon forecast
Peninsula Clarion by Elizabeth Earl – March 22, 2017
KENAI — After last year’s disastrously low pink salmon runs to drainages all across the Gulf of Alaska, the forecasts offer a little more hope for the 2017 season.
http://www.alaskajournal.com/2017-03-22/ocean-conditions-throw-uncertainty-salmon-forecast#.WNPeyI61s_U

GOA Military Training to be Discussed at ComFish
Fishermen’s News – March 21, 2017
Officers from the Alaskan Command and US Pacific Fleet will be in Kodiak on March 30 to discuss plans for the Navy’s Exercise Northern Edge 2017 (NE 17) in the Gulf of Alaska May 1-12.
http://fnonlinenews.blogspot.com/2017/03/goa-military-training-to-be-discussed.html

Herring fleet catches 1/4 of quota in Sunday opener
KCAW by Emily Kwong – March 21, 2017
The Sitka Sound Sac Roe herring fishery opened Sunday (March 19) for just over three hours. In that window, the fleet caught nearly a quarter of this year’s quota.
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2017/03/21/herring-fleet-catches-14-of-quota-in-sunday-opener/

At Winter Season’s End, King Crab Quota Nearly Reached
KNOM by Davis Hovey – March 22, 2017
Once the quota of 37,260 pounds of crab is reached today, the Norton Sound red king crab CDQ Fishery is set to close for the season. As of Sunday, over 40 Norton Sound residents have delivered about 71% of the quota to the Norton Sound Seafood Products (NSSP) fish plant, which is Nome’s CDQ fishery.
http://www.knom.org/wp/blog/2017/03/22/at-winter-seasons-end-king-crab-quota-nearly-reached/

Environment/Science

News Release: Some Alaska fishermen to test new, voluntary electronic monitoring program
NOAA Fisheries by Julie Speegle – March 22, 2017
NOAA Fisheries is proposing to integrate electronic monitoring (EM) into the North Pacific Observer Program. An EM system uses cameras and associated sensors to passively record and monitor fishing activities—work traditionally accomplished by a human fisheries observer.
https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/node/56678

UAF says ‘thanks, but no thanks’ to Kenai salmon research offer
Peninsula Clarion by Elizabeth Earl – March 22, 2017
KENAI — The University of Alaska Fairbanks turned down an offer for funding for research on Kenai River king salmon because it would only come from one side of Cook Inlet’s allocation war.
http://www.alaskajournal.com/2017-03-22/uaf-says-thanks-no-thanks%E2%80%99-kenai-salmon-research-offer#.WNPehY61s_U

Federal Register

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Integrating Electronic Monitoring Into the North Pacific Observer Program
A Proposed Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 03/23/2017
NMFS proposes regulations to implement Amendment 114 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area and Amendment 104 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA), (collectively referred to as the FMPs). If approved, Amendments 114/104 and this proposed rule would integrate electronic monitoring (EM) into the North Pacific Observer Program. The proposed rule would establish a process for owners or operators of vessels using nontrawl gear to request to participate in the EM selection pool and the requirements for vessel owners or operators while in the EM selection pool. This action is necessary to improve the collection of data needed for the conservation, management, and scientific understanding of managed fisheries. Amendments 114/104 are intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the FMPs, and other applicable laws.
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/03/23/2017-05753/fisheries-of-the-exclusive-economic-zone-off-alaska-integrating-electronic-monitoring-into-the-north

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
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March 23, 2017