Alaska/Pacific Coast

Halibut bycatch tough to manage
Bristol Bay Time by John Messick – March 27, 2015
A lot has changed in Alaska since commercial vessels began fishing for halibut off the coastline in 1888, but in almost 130 years, halibut has remained a staple of the state’s fishing economy and culture. Along with salmon and crab, no species of fish captures the Alaskan imagination and fills Alaskan pocketbooks more than halibut.

Board sets new sockeye escapement goals for 2015
Bristol Bay Times by Hannah Colton – March 27, 2015
Last week the Department of Fish and Game adopted a wider range with raised upper ends for sockeye escapement goals in most Bristol Bay rivers. These new Sustainable Escapement Goals are accompanied by regulatory language that recommends Department of Fish & Game manage for escapement proportional to the size of the run in a given year.


Rabobank Releases 2015 World Seafood Trade Map
The Fish Site – March 27, 2015
GLOBAL – China is expected to remain a leading seafood exporter, with a total value of $20 million, and will also become an important importer of high-value seafood, according to a new World Seafood Trade Map 2015, produced by Rabobank.

Rising Surimi Prices a Bright Spot for Pollock Producers as A season Fillet Production Falls
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by John Sackton – March 30, 2015
Japan is proving to be the best market for pollock producers these days, and they are taking advantage of this by increasing surimi production and dropping block and fillet production.

With about 86% of the A season pollock quota taken through March 21st,  total surimi producction is up 6.3% through March 22nd, compared to production on March 21st last year.

Meanwhile, deepskin production is off 13.6%, and PBO block production is down 9.3%.  Overall, total harvests are down about 2% from the prior year at this time.

With strong price resistance in Europe due to the weakened Euro, Japan has emerged as a bright spot.

Further examination of total roe sales shows that prices were not that different overall from prior years.

And Japan has had more time to adjust to its weaker currency.  In contrast the the Euro which has dropped more than 30% in  few months, the Japanese Yen has only weakened about 7% against the dollar on average over the past year.

Further a number of Japanese manufacturers have annouced price increases for end use products made from surimi of 5 to 15%, helping them manage higher surimi raw material prices.

The other factor is that other sources of surimi, especially in Asia, are producing less this year, leading to more demand for Alaska pollock.

Overall, it appears surimi prices are up by about 10%, or 45 – 50 Yen for SA grade, which is fueling the effor tto shift production to surimi.

Producton stats are 35,418 tons of PBO fillets, down 9.% as of March 22nd; 15,421 tons of deepskin, down 13.6%, and 62,258 tons of surimi, up 6.3%.  These figures are across all sectors – inshore, catcher processor, and mothership.

Labeling and Marketing

Amazing aspirations at Boston Seafood Show
Team says Copper River Prince William Sound Salmon is the model that industry aspires to
Cordova Times Staff – 03/27/2015
Copper River/Prince William Sound Salmon were again the big draw at the annual Seafood Expo North America/Seafood Processing North America, the largest seafood trade event in North America.


Fish guts to meow mix
Juneau fish processors turn to byproduct pet food initiatives aimed toward 100 percent efficiency
Juneau Empire by Stephanie Shor – March 29, 2015
Two major Juneau fish processors are giving back to the cats and dogs with their fish waste. Mike Erickson, owner of Alaska Glacier Seafoods in Auke Bay, said the family-run operation is now using about 98 percent of the total incoming fish during processing.


News Release: WDFW seeks advisor for international groundfish panel
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife – March 27, 2015
Contact: Bill Tweit, (360) 902-2723
OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking nominations through April 17 to fill a vacancy on the Bering Sea Fisheries Advisory Board (BSFAB).

One qualified candidate will be chosen to serve on the advisory panel, which consists of five appointed members from Washington along with five from Alaska. Advisors are appointed by the U.S. Secretary of State.

The BSFAB was created by the U.S. Congress in 1988. It provides counsel to state and federal representatives to the United States-Russia Intergovernmental Consultative Committee on Fisheries (ICC), a bilateral forum for conservation and management of the marine resources that straddle the international boundary in the Bering Sea.

The BSFAB also advises federal and state representatives to the Convention for the Conservation and Management of Pollock Resources in the Central Bering Sea (also known as the Donut Hole convention), a six-nation body dedicated to management of pollock in the international waters of the Bering Sea.

Qualified nominees for the vacancy must be Washington residents, with knowledge of Bering Sea groundfish, living marine resources and fisheries. Members’ terms are undefined, serving at the discretion of the Secretary of State and the Governor of Washington state. Members are expected to attend two or three meetings per year. There is no compensation for service, but some travel expenses may be reimbursed.

“The fisheries of the Bering Sea are economically important to Washington state and we have a strong interest in preserving and sustaining a healthy Bering Sea ecosystem,” said Bill Tweit, a special assistant to the WDFW Director. “We’re looking for an advisor who understands the importance of international cooperation in preserving the health of the fisheries and the ecosystem.”

Along with members from Washington and Alaska, the panel also includes representatives from WDFW and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. State members are chosen by the governor of each state and confirmed by the U.S. Secretary of State. WDFW assists the governor in recruitment and selection of nominees.

Nominations to the advisory group must be received by WDFW no later than April 17, 2015.

Candidates should submit a resume, along with a statement of their fishery management philosophy and their potential contributions as an advisor to: Tina Nisbet, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA 98501-1091. Submission will also be accepted by e-mail ( or fax (360) 902-2947.

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 30, 2015