Alaska/Pacific Coast

Alaska lawmaker wants to limit seine vessel length
News Miner by Associated Press – March 4, 2015
JUNEAU, Alaska – A Ketchikan lawmaker is proposing that no seine vessels longer than 58 feet can fish in state salmon fisheries.
http://www.newsminer.com/news/alaska_news/alaska-lawmaker-wants-to-limit-seine-vessel-length/article_b8566df2-c2bf-11e4-9b1b-230a06657305.html

Questions raised about experimental fishery
Homer News by Cristy Fry – March 4, 2015
The experimental fishery to determine the feasibility of a seine fishery for pollock in state waters has finished up with mixed results.
http://homernews.com/homer-news/business/2015-03-04/questions-raised-about-experimental-fishery

Southeast trollers fight for chums at Board of Fisheries
Alaska Journal of Commerce by DJ Summers – March 4, 2015
Regulations to increase the chum harvest for southeast trollers fell short.
The Alaska Board of Fisheries held a meeting from Feb. 23 to March 3 to hear proposals regarding southeast Alaska and Yakutat finfish, which includes salmon, herring, and sablefish fisheries for commercial, sport, and subsistence harvest.
http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/March-Issue-2-2015/Southeast-trollers-fight-for-chums-at-Board-of-Fisheries/

National

As Oceans Become Killing Field, Fish We Eat Dwindle
NBC News by John Roach – March 3, 2015
The oceans have become a killing field. Thanks to giant trawlers armed with technology and massive nets, the seas are running low on the fish we like to eat, like halibut and cod, making room for the ones we don’t like.
http://www.nbcnews.com/business/economy/oceans-become-killing-field-fish-we-eat-dwindle-n312716

Labeling and Marketing

FDA Changes Scientific Name of Walleye Pollock, but Has Not Ruled on Market Name Change to ‘Pollock
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by John Sackton March 4, 2015

5aIn their list of updates made to the official FDA Seafood List for the second half of 2014, the FDA revealed that it has changed the official scientific name of Walleye pollock to Gadus chalcogrammus, from its former scientific name of Theragra chalcogramma.

This recognizes this fish is actually in the cod family, and its closest relative is actually Gadus Morhua, or Atlantic cod.  Other cods in the family are Pacific Cod and Greenland cod.

Evolutionary studies recognized by NOAA and the American Fisheries Society showed that walleye pollock was in fact most closely related to Atlantic cod, and these bodies adopted a formal name change for the species.

Now the FDA has followed suit.

But of more interest is how the FDA will rule on a petition to change the market name of pollock.  Currently the FDA allows both the designation ‘pollock’ and ‘Alaska pollock’ to be used as market names for this fish.

This contradicts FDA practice of restricting geographic designators like ‘Alaska’ from market names, and allowing their use only when they truly represent the geographic area where the fish species is actually caught.

Usual FDA labeling practice would be to restrict the market name of pollock to ‘pollock’ and allow geographic designators, such as Alaska Pollock or Russia Pollock.

The petition was submitted last September, along with letters of Congressional support.  So far there has not been any response from the FDA.
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/966528/FDA-Changes-Scientific-Name-of-Walleye-Pollock-but-Has-Not-Ruled-on-Market-Name-Change-to-Pollock

 

Federal Register

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands; 2015 and 2016 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish
A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 03/05/2015
NMFS announces final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications and prohibited species catch allowances for the groundfish fishery of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to establish harvest limits for groundfish during the 2015 and 2016 fishing years, and to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the BSAI (FMP). The intended effect of this action is to conserve and manage the groundfish resources in the BSAI in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/03/05/2015-05041/fisheries-of-the-exclusive-economic-zone-off-alaska-bering-sea-and-aleutian-islands-2015-and-2016?utm_campaign=subscription+mailing+list&utm_medium=email&utm_source=federalregister.gov

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska; Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Off Alaska
A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 03/05/2015
NMFS issues regulations to implement Amendment 100 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP) and Amendment 91 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA FMP). This final rule adds regulations to improve reporting of grenadiers, limit retention of grenadiers, and prevent direct fishing for grenadiers by federally permitted groundfish fishermen. This final rule is necessary to limit and monitor the incidental catch of grenadiers in the groundfish fisheries. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the FMPs, and other applicable law.
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/03/05/2015-05049/fisheries-of-the-exclusive-economic-zone-off-alaska-groundfish-of-the-gulf-of-alaska-groundfish-of?utm_campaign=subscription+mailing+list&utm_medium=email&utm_source=federalregister.gov

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Vessels Using Jig Gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska
A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 03/05/2015
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by vessels using jig gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season allowance of the 2015 Pacific cod total allowable catch apportioned to vessels using jig gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA.
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/03/05/2015-05063/fisheries-of-the-exclusive-economic-zone-off-alaska-pacific-cod-by-vessels-using-jig-gear-in-the?utm_campaign=subscription+mailing+list&utm_medium=email&utm_source=federalregister.gov

 

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
Office Manager
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E-mail: pspafish@gmail.com; Website: www.pspafish.net
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March 5, 2015