Alaska/Pacific Coast

Salmon acceleration up Copper River may be due to early breakup
KUAC by Dan Bross – May 10, 2016
An early break up on the Copper River may accelerate salmon moving upstream. Glenallen area state sportfish biologist Mark Sommerville says little ice remains and water levels are unusually low, conditions that may lead to warmer water and trigger early fish migration.
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2016/05/10/salmon-acceleration-up-copper-river-may-be-due-to-early-breakup/

Cooke Aquaculture will purchase Icicle Seafoods
Canadian firm pledges support to small coastal fishing towns
Cordova Times by Margaret Bauman – May 10, 2016
Cooke Aquaculture, a Canadian fisheries firm based in New Brunswick, said May 9 that the company has signed a definitive agreement to purchase Icicle Seafoods.
http://www.thecordovatimes.com/article/1619cooke-aquaculture-will-purchase-icicle

International

Russia hard hit by Chile Salmon Crisis as 50% of Imports from Chile; Will Turn to Faroes, Far East
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Eugene Gerden – May 11, 2016
Russia may face a shortage of salmon this year due to massive kills of the fish in Chile, the country, which provides the majority of Russia’s annual needs in salmon.  Chile became Russia’s primary supplier after the introduction of an embargo on supplies from Norway and other Western countries.

According to Russian media reports, salmon prices at Chile’s SalmonEx increased by more than 50% to GBP 5.4 per pound last month,  mainly due to the bloom of toxic algae, caused by ocean warming.

According to Alexander Fomin, president of the All-Russian Association of Fishery Enterprises, Entrepreneurs and Exporters, prior to the Russian embargo, the majority of salmon imports to Russia were supplied from Norway, however the introduction of the ban resulted in the increase of Chile’s share in the total structure of salmon imports to Russia of up to 50%.

According to estimates of the Chilean government, the losses of local salmon producers estimated at 100,000 tons of fish this year. This will result in the decline of salmon production in the country by 20-25% during the period of 2016- 2017.

In the meantime, to face the ever growing threat of salmon shortage in Russia, the Russian government is considering alternative sources of supplies. Part of these plans is to increase imports of chilled salmon from the Faroe Islands, as well as the Russian Far East.

At the same time, in the case of domestic production, according to earlier predictions of Vasily Sokolov, deputy head of the Russian Federal Agency of Fisheries (Rosrybolovstvo), this year the volume of catch of Pacific salmon in the Russian Far East is expected to reach 332,000 tonnes, which is by 1.5% less than in 2014. That will not be enough to cover the domestic needs in the fish.

The same position is shared by Alexander Fomin, according to which both Faroe Islands and the Russian Far East will be unable to compensate the reduction of salmon supplies from Chile, as, according to him, the Russian Pacific salmon (pink salmon)  is very different from those of Chilean and can not be positioned as a perfect alternative to its imported analogue, as its quality is significantly lower. At present Chile remains the world’s second largest producer and exporter of salmon after Norway.
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1018176/Russia-hard-hit-by-Chile-Salmon-Crisis-as-50-percent-of-Imports-from-Chile-Will-Turn-to-Faroes-Far-East

Environment/Science

Scientists investigate social patterns of salmon
KDLG by Molly Dischner – May 10, 2016
Each summer, millions of fish return to Bristol Bay, and then swim on to the stream where they were born to spawn, and die. Exactly what compels them to return to the right spot is unknown. But scientists think that some hatchery-raised steelhead in Oregon might hold a clue.
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2016/05/10/scientists-investigate-social-patterns-of-salmon/

Labeling and Marketing

Press Release: The Wait is Over: Wild Alaska Salmon Season Kicks Off May 16
PRNewswire by Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute – May 10, 2016
JUNEAU, Alaska — The highly-anticipated harvest for the five species of wild Alaska salmon kicks off on May 16 with the first of the season sockeyes and kings making their way into retailers and restaurants nationwide. The harvest season for pink, keta, and coho salmon will follow in late May and continue through October meaning flavorful wild Alaska salmon will be available all summer long. One of the most popular fish in the country, more than 90 percent of the wild salmon harvested in the United States comes from the pristine, icy waters of Alaska resulting in unparalleled flavor, exceptional quality, and fishermen following some of the best sustainable fishing practices in the world.
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-wait-is-over-wild-alaska-salmon-season-kicks-off-may-16-300265496.html

Some optimism for this year’s catch: market trends “better than they were a year ago,” say guests
KDLG by Dave Bendinger – May 11, 2016
The dollar has weakened against the euro and yen, last year’s wild frozen and canned inventory is moving smoothly, and an expected 6-7 percent decline in farmed Atlantic production might help drive the price for Bristol Bay’s catch back up.
http://kdlg.org/post/some-optimism-years-catch-market-trends-better-they-were-year-ago-say-guests

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
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May 11, 2016