Alaska/Pacific Coast

Yukon Salmon Forecast Expects Weak Chinook, Strong Chum Runs
KNOM by Matthew F. Smith – May 8, 2015
Another poor run of Chinook salmon is expected to make its way up the Yukon River this summer. While that means similar restrictions to last year when it comes to catching kings, officials with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game predict a strong summer and fall chum run should provide plenty of fish to fill drying racks all along the river, as well as some strong commercial openings.
http://www.knom.org/wp/blog/2015/05/08/yukon-salmon-forecast-expects-weak-chinook-strong-chum-runs/

Seafood Plants Offset Wage Hike Through Room & Board
KUCB by Annie Ropeik – May 8, 2015
In the next few weeks, thousands of seafood processors will return to Unalaska for pollock B season. They’ll be earning more money, thanks to the state’s minimum wage hike — but they’ll also be paying more to live.
http://kucb.org/news/article/seafood-plants-offset-wage-hike-through-room-board/

Politics

Unalaska city council ducks halibut bycatch issue
Bristol Bay Times by Jim Paulin – May 8, 2015
When Mayor Shirley Marquardt goes to bat for the industrial fishing fleet in the struggle over halibut bycatch next month in Sitka, she won’t be speaking on behalf of the Unalaska City Council. And while the city will pay her airfare, it will save on the usual cost of hotel rooms because they’re all sold out.
http://www.thebristolbaytimes.com/article/1519unalaska_city_council_ducks_halibut_bycatch

International

Arctic-spanning fiber-optic project moves ahead in Alaska
Alaska Dispatch News by Alex DeMarban – May 10, 2015
Alaskans are playing a bigger role in an international project that seeks to link Europe and Asia with a fiber-optic cable running along the Arctic Ocean, with anticipated offshoots to remote Alaska communities and the oil-field complex of Prudhoe Bay.
http://www.adn.com/article/20150510/arctic-spanning-fiber-optic-project-moves-ahead-alaska

Environment/Science

Arctic climate changes’ impact widespread
The Arctic Sounder by Carey Restino – May 8, 2015
What happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic.
That was the message of a presentation earlier this week by two federal scientists focusing on satellite imagery and fisheries.
http://www.thearcticsounder.com/article/1519arctic_climate_changes_impact_widespread

Labeling and Marketing

Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute Board Announces Responsible Fisheries Management Program Improvements by Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute
Perishable News –  May 8, 2015
Juneau, AK – To continue to provide the highest assurance of responsible fisheries management of Alaska’s fisheries, the Board of Directors of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) voted to enhance the Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) Certification program.
http://www.perishablenews.com/index.php?article=0044394

Alaska Producers Seeking to Rejoin MSC Offer to Pay 100% of Certification Costs
SEAFOODNEWS.COM  by John Sackton – May 8, 2015
Alaska’s smaller salmon producers are facing a critical issue, as MSC’s failure to address discrimination by the existing Silver Bay Client Group threatens to prevent many Western Alaska and village based small fisheries from selling MSC certified salmon into European markets this year.

At this time the ten companies, including such smaller producers as Kwik’Pak from Emmonak, Yukon Gold, and Triad Fisheries, are still not being offered a path to join the existing client group.

At the time of their application over a month ago, the MSC website specified that the client “will share the certification with eligible salmon fishermen, seafood processing companies and other qualified individuals or entities, subject to their consenting to a cost-sharing mechanism for the expenses associated with obtaining and maintaining the MSC certification.”

To remove any obstacles related to cost sharing, the ten companies seeking to join the client group have offered to pay 100% of the actual costs of certification, including retroactive costs back to 2012 when the assessment documents were prepared, and covering the assessment program costs for the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

In prior cases where addtional companies have had problems joining MSC client groups such as in Newfoundland shrimp and Maine Lobster, the arguments were over cost sharing, and how much of the sunk costs of the original users the new clients would pay.  But  by offering to pay 100% of the sunk costs of the current Alaska Salmon certification, any discussion of cost sharing formulas is moot.

Stefanie Moreland, speaking for the group, said the offer includes “the full cost of the assessment and annual audits incurred to-date by PSVOA and ASPA as certificate holders. The offer includes administrative expenses and would be contingent upon the client group extending the certificate to any other eligible fishery participants.”

“This approach is intended to expedite negotiations since a fight over equitable distribution of costs is not necessary if new entrants are willing to absorb 100 percent.”

Moving forward, the group would expect an equitable distribution of future costs among all users.

At this point, the group has tried to comply with every requirement the MSC has documented, so further delay would seem to show MSC unwillingness to stand behind its public commitments, including a committment to follow FAO Ecolabel Guidelines regarding non-discimination.
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/974916/Alaska-Producers-Seeking-to-Rejoin-MSC-Offer-to-pay-100-percent-of-Certification-Costs

FYI’s
Shell wins injunction keeping Greenpeace away from Arctic drilling fleet
Alaska Dispatch News by Yereth Rosen – May 8, 2015
Greenpeace protesters must stay away from Royal Dutch Shell’s drill ships and support vessels, the anchor lines and buoys attached to them and the Barrow airport hangar and terminal that Shell is seeking to use to support its planned oil-exploration operations in the Chukchi Sea, a federal judge ruled Friday.
http://www.adn.com/article/20150508/shell-wins-injunction-keeping-greenpeace-away-arctic-drilling-fleet
Opinion

When Humans Declared War on Fish
New York TImes by PAUL GREENBERG and BORIS WORM – May 8, 2015
ON Friday we humans observed V-E Day, the end to one part of a global catastrophe that cost the planet at least 60 million lives. But if we were fish, we would have marked the day differently — as the beginning of a campaign of violence against our taxonomic classes, one that has resulted in trillions of casualties.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/10/opinion/sunday/when-humans-declared-war-on-fish.html?emc=edit_tnt_20150508&nlid=20943403&tntemail0=y&_r=1

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May 11, 2015