Alaska/Pacific Coast

Discussion Begins On Guidelines For Producing More Kuskokwim Fish Through Hatcheries
KYUK by Anna Rose MacArthur – May 11, 2018
With king salmon runs declining on the Kuskokwim River, at least one village has expressed interest in developing a hatchery. But without a government-recognized plan, the Kuskokwim can’t develop such a resource. A group is gathering to change that and has begun the long process of creating what’s called a “salmon production plan.”

Murkowski pushes for more icebreakers
Cordova Times – May 10, 2018
A push for additional icebreakers to protect Alaska’s border continues in Congress, to assure about $1 billion for what will be the first new heavy polar icebreaker built in the United States in over 40 years.

Sealaska Corp. Sees First Profits Since 2003 Due to Its Seafood Investments
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by John Sackton – May 10, 2018
Sealaska, the Southeast Alaska Native corporation, and is the largest in of the 13 native corporations in Alaska, representing 22,000 shareholders.

The corporation has struggled with poor investments and lack of profitability, but adopted a turnaround plan in 2012.

Before that the company had been hit by failed investments in Hawaii.  The CEO at the time, Chris McNeil Jr., resigned, and was replaced by Anthony Mallot.

As reported by the Juneau Empire in an interview with Mallot, part of the turnaround plan was investing in more local businesses relevant to Southeast Alaska.

“We need to bring more of the success back home to our shareholders and our communities,” said board chairman Joe Nelson told the paper.

Mallot said “You have to tie financial success to increased shareholder benefits, because who cares if we’re high-fiving about a $43 million income year when the shareholders don’t feel it?”.

The company recently distributed its annual report to shareholders.  Its revenue comes from four areas: Natural resources, which means timber, services, which means government contracting, Food, and Investments.

The Food sector is the largest component of the company’s holdings, more than timber, and is primarily from seafood companies in Seattle, where Sealaska is a minority shareholder.

Sealaska bought into Independent Packers, a Seattle based custom processor that primarily handles salmon in 2015.  This has proved to be a great fit.

In 2017, they bought Odyssey Seafoods, which subsequently merged with Orca Bay.  This expanded their seafood footprint.

Many years ago Sealaska owned Seattle Seafoods and Seafood Packers, Inc., but sold off these companies in the 1980’s.

Now being back in the seafood business seems to have paid off.

So far this year, the company has authorized a $10 million deposit into the scholarship endowment for shareholders, and a dividend to $23.1 million, more than twice the size of the one last spring.


The Bigger The Mother Fish, The More Babies She Has
NPR by Christopher Joyce – May 10, 2018
When it comes to motherhood, at least if you’re a fish, big is better. Bigger fish produce more far more offspring pound for pound than smaller fish. And that can mean more on your plate.

‘We’ve fallen off a cliff’: Scientists have never seen so little ice in the Bering Sea in spring
A record-shattering decline in Bering Sea ice this winter and spring has threatened the very way of life in Alaska’s coastal villages, where people rely on ice cover for navigation and hunting. “Fellow Americans are suffering from a natural disaster,” says a climate scientist.
Washington Post by Jason Samenow – May 3, 2018
In the middle of February, one-third of the ice covering the Bering Sea off Alaska’s West Coast vanished within a week when an enormous pulse of heat swept over the Arctic. Scientists were stunned.

Labeling and Marketing

ASMI improves its fisheries standard – May 11, 2018
The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) announced it has issued Version 2.0 of the RFM Fisheries Standard as part of its continuous improvement commitment of its fisheries certification.


Meet the new head of Alaska’s Coast Guard
Juneau Empire by Kevin Gullufsen – May 9, 2018
In Wednesday Change of Command ceremony, Rear Admiral Michael F. McAllister passes command to Rear Admiral Matthew T. Bell, Jr., a ‘shipboard guy’

Derelict vessel bill heads to Gov. Walker’s desk
KBBI by Aaron Bolton – May 4, 2018
Boat and fishing vessel owners will likely be required to meet new registration and title requirements next year. The change is part of Senate Bill 92, which passed through the state Legislature this week. The bill aims to give the state, municipalities and individuals more tools to hold owners of derelict and abandoned vessels legally liable.

Bristol Bay Fish Expo agenda keeps growing
Cordova Times – May 11, 2018
The second annual Bristol Bay Fish Expo June 8-9 at Naknek, has a growing list of sponsors, from the Naknek-King Salmon Chamber of Commerce to air carriers, processors and gear producers Grunden and NOMAR.

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
Office Manager
1900 W Emerson Place Suite 205, Seattle, WA 98119
Phone: 206.281.1667
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May 11, 2018