Alaska/Pacific Coast

Pacific cod quota increase attracting boats to bay
Bristol Bay Times by Jim Paulin – March 25, 2016
The big increase in quota for the small boat state-waters Pacific cod fishery is attracting “quite a bit more” fishing boats to the Unalaska/Dutch Harbor area, according to groundfish biologist Justin Leon, of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Unalaska.

Fish and Game says 2016 another good year for herring biomass, but market may be iffy
Bristol Bay Times by Molly Dischner – March 25, 2016
As Southeast Alaska herring fisheries get started, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has offered a preliminary look at how the Togiak run may shape up this spring.

Bristol Bay Processors Will Have Plenty of Capacity for This Season’s Sockeye Season
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Peggy Parker – March 28, 2016
Twelve Bristol Bay processors have told Alaska’s Department of Fish and Game they will be be able to process 35.5 million sockeye this year, 6 million more than ADF&G forecasted last fall, and 1.4 million more than the University of Washington, Fisheries Research Institute’s forecast of 34.1 million sockeye, made in November.

Capacity survey results are almost identical to last year’s.

Processors say their daily capacity will be 2.6 million pounds per company, and that will be sustainable for about 17 days.

ADF&G’s survey report notes, however, that “The projected daily capacity exceeds most historic peak daily harvests. At the maximum projected daily harvest capacity of 2.6 million fish per day, the forecast 29.5 million fish harvest could be achieved in 12 days.”

This is no guarantee that harvesters won’t be put on limits during the height of the run, a practice that is applied during years of abundant runs, and every year recently.

As for tender capacity, of the 12 companies surveyed, 11 will provide tenders inside Bristol Bay waters. The tender fleet’s holding capacity is 39.1 million pounds, or 6.8 million salmon.

Ugashik was the only district that the surveyed processors were asked about specifically. The Ugashik District can be underserved by processing capacity. Surveyed processors bought an aggregated 99.9% of the total 2015 sockeye salmon harvest from the Ugashik District.

Out of the 12 companies surveyed, nine reported that they intend to operate in the Ugashik District in 2016. Of those 9 companies, 4 intend to purchase more salmon than in 2015.

ADF&G’s forecast for this year is a Bristol Bay harvest of 29.52 million sockeye and a South Peninsula harvest of 1.72 million fish. Within that regional forecast, the five river systems harvests are forecast to be: Naknet-Kvichak: 11.71 milion, Egegik: 5.74 million, Ugashik: 3.82 million, Nushagak: 7.82 million, and Togiak: .44 million for a total of 29.52.

Last year’s ADF&G’s forecast fell short by about a million and a half salmon in Naknek-Kvichak and about two million in Egegik. But Ugashik’s return and harvest were much hgher: 5.48 million fish caught compared to a forecast of 2.61 million. Nushagak and Togiak were both slightly under what had been projected. The entire run was nearly two weeks late last year.

Labeling and Marketing

3MMI – Fresh Rockfish Market Picks Up as Weather Clears; Halibut Season Underway
TradexFoods – March 28, 2016
3-Minute Market Insight:
– The fresh Pacific Rockfish market typically gets going this time of the year as the weather clears, so anticipate fewer fish hitting the freezers for a few months.
– If Pacific Halibut fishing picks up, expect the fresh market to plug up quickly, softening grounds pricing and bringing frozen to the market earlier.

Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s Responsible Fisheries Management certification nears GSSI recognition
Seafood Source by Cliff White – March 24, 2016
The Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative, which evaluates the reliability of seafood certification programs, is close to recognizing Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s Responsible Fisheries Management certification program.

Federal Register

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Inseason Adjustment to the 2016 Gulf of Alaska Pollock Seasonal Apportionments
A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 03/28/2016
NMFS is adjusting the 2016 seasonal apportionments of the total allowable catch (TAC) for pollock in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) by re-apportioning unharvested pollock TAC in Statistical Areas 610, 620, and 630 of the GOA. This action is necessary to provide opportunity for harvest of the 2016 pollock TAC, consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska.

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
Office Manager
1900 W Emerson Place Suite 205, Seattle, WA 98119
Phone: 206.281.1667
E-mail:; Website:
Our office days/hours are Monday-Friday
8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.

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March 28, 2016