Alaska/Pacific Coast

Sitka Sound Herring GHL is 14,941 Tons
Fishermen’s News – March 2, 2016
Limited entry permit holders in the Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery will be heading out on the grounds in late March for what could potentially be the fourth largest harvest in the fishery’s 46 year history.

Kodiak Crab Research Awaits Completion
Fishermen’s News – March 2, 2016
In the wake of a second experimental scale release of hatchery reared red king crabs into Kodiak’s Trident Basin, NOAA scientists are working on the analysis of data to determine how release time and crab size affect the survival of the crab.


Gov’s bill would double strict liability commercial fines
Alaska Journal of Commerce by DJ Summers – March 2, 2016
Fishermen worry that Gov. Bill Walker’s industry taxes hikes may fall on them alone as a litany of fish bills stacks up.

Valley bills seek fishing dollars
Alaska Journal of Commerce by DJ Summers – March 2, 2016
Gov. Bill Walker’s commercial fisheries tax bill is stalled in committee, but legislators continue digging into the industry for revenue.


Toxic Algae Bloom Deepens Impact on Chile Salmon; Will Push Down This Year’s Production 13%
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by John Sackton –  March 2, 2016
Bergen – The first two speakers for the Salmon session at the North Atlantic Seafood Conference said that they were updating their loss estimates hourly as more news comes in about the impact of a toxic algae bloom, which began about two weeks ago in Chile.

Both Lars Liabo, Chairman of Kontali, and Jose Ramon Gutierrez, Chairman of Multi-Export Foods, said they were updating their figures hourly as more news came in from Chile about the impact of the bloom.

The upshot is that Chile’s production may fall by 40,000 to 50,000 tons, or 13% below what was expected from the inventory of fish in the water taken December 31st.

Chile’s salmon production is organized into ‘neighborhoods’ where due to currents and ocean conditions, the farms in that area are susceptible to the same impacts.

The neighborhood which has been hit hardest by the algae bloom contains about 25 million fish.  The type of algae is a particularly toxic one, and it is causing large scale mortality.

At the end of 2015 the Chilean salmon industry estimated a total production of Atlantic Salmon of 590,000 tons for this year.  According to Jose Ramon Gutierrez, chairman at Multiexport Foods, the estimate was based on an inventory of 139 million fish, of which 127 million are scheduled for harvest in 2016.  The average harvest weight is projected to be 4.65 kg, slightly less than the 4.81 kg achieved in 2015.

Estimates as of this morning are that  12 to 15 million fish will die, leaving the new estimate of total fish available at 112 to 115 million fish.   This equates to a loss of 40,000 to 50,000 tons, meaning that total expected harvest of Atlantics from Chile will be in the 520,000 to 540,000 to range.  This is a 13% reduction.

Prior to the algae bloom, Lars Liabo, chairman of Kontali Analysis, estimated that world production for 2016 would be 2.223 million tons, already down from 2015’s 2.310 million tons.

Now he has revised that estimate down further, to 2.170 million tons.  This is a prediction of a global decline of 6%, caused by problems in Chile.

Given the strong salmon consumption growth that has occurred in the US this past year due to lower pricing based on improved Canadian production, a market reaction appears inevitable.  Once again, strong US demand is going to hit a shortfall, which will certainly have price impacts based on these projections.

The uncertainty will be how well the strong dollar, and the success of US buyers in attracting product from other areas and markets will mitigate this market problem.

One other important point made by Gutierrez was that the new industry government agreement on improving salmon regulations is going to limit further growth in Chile for the next four or five years, as salmon densities will have to be reduced in many areas.  That means the industry will continue to produce far below its official capacity on the books.  Most producers are likely to look at measures forcing them to reduce production 10% to 30% if they get unsatisfactory scores on fish health and survival.

So out to 2017 the projections also are for flat volume or for a decrease, as 17% fewer smolts were put in the water in Chile for that year’s harvest.   In fact, Gutierrez implied that there was likely to be little growth in Chile’s production for about five years.


Fish board adopts new erosion criteria
KDLG by Molly Dischner – March 2, 2016
The state fish board has a new policy to help when tasked with considering changes to commercial setnet sites after erosion takes its toll.

Labeling and Marketing

MSC and ASC collaborate to set global standard for seaweed – March 1, 2016
The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) and Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) are working together to create a joint global standard for certifying seaweed operations.

Will consumers pay more for sustainable seafood?
Seafood Source by Christine Blank – March 2, 2016
While traceability , sustainability and other factors are now much more important to consumers when shopping or eating out, many consumers are not willing to put their money where their mouth is when it comes to these distinctions in seafood.

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
Office Manager
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Phone: 206.281.1667
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March 3, 2016