Alaska/Pacific Coast

15 Communities Share in NSEDC’s Fisheries Bounty
Fishermen’s News – May 16, 2018
Fifteen communities in Alaska’s Norton Sound area are getting a mid-year financial boost earned from the bounty of Bering Sea fisheries.

Pacific Whiting Fishery Opens Today to Same Harvest Levels as in 2017

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Susan Chambers – May 15, 2018
The Pacific whiting fishery opens today and the National Marine Fisheries Service has released the final harvest specifications and tribal allocatons.

Based on the most recent stock assessment and negotiations with Canada, the U.S, total allowable catch (TAC) for this year is 441,433 mt. The harvest specifications are identical to 2017.

Tribal allocation, 77,251 mt; research and bycatch set-aside, 1,500 mt; harvest guideline, 362,682 mt.

The HG s further allocated to the trawl sectors as: catcher-processors, 34 percent, 123,312 mt; motherships, 24 percent, 87,044 mt; and shoreside, 42 percent,152,327 mt.

NMFS said it will add Pacific whiting to shoreside quota share accounts this week.

U.S. and Canadian scientists and fishery managers met earlier this year to discuss the stock assessment and joint TAC. Last year, Canada caught more than 50 percent of its quota. The U.S. had a productive year as well, catching more than 80 percent of its quota. Bycatch was not as much of a problem in 2017 as it had been in 2016, they said.

Year classes from 2010 and 2014 continue to contribute to the high TACs and success of the fisheries.



U.S. Seafood Industry Urges USTR to Avoid Trade War With China
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Peggy Parker – May 15, 2018
National Fisheries Institute, Pacific Seafood Processors, and the At-Sea Processors Association warned the U.S. Trade Representative last week that any sanctions against China’s seafood industry would “badly harm” U.S. seafood exporters, harvesters, and processors.

Although seafood was initially not part of the list of Chinese products against which sanctions could be levied, they now may be because the Southern Shrimp Alliance has asked for 25% tariffs on all aquaculture products from China.

The call for industry input comes after a USTR investigation of “unreasonable or discriminatory acts, policies, and practices of China related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation.”

USTR Robert Lighthizer formally initiated the investigation in August of 2017. On March 22, President Trump announced that the USTR found such discrimination in those three sectors and proposed an additional duty of 25 percent on a list of products from China.

On April 17, Louisiana Senator John Kennedy requested that the government, as a punitive measure that would benefit the region’s shrimp industry, increase tariffs on Chinese crawfish and shrimp. The Southern Shrimp Alliance, in a comment letter to the USTR last week, expanded it.

“Further, the Southern Shrimp Alliance believes that the Administration should include all imports of merchandise produced through Chinese aquaculture in any Section 301 action,” wrote SSA executive director John Williams to Lighthizer.

Opposition to that was swift and vigorous.

“NFI urges the Administration to avoid action against China that would trigger a retaliatory response applicable to almost a quarter of all American seafood exports,” wrote John Connelly, president of NFI.

“Such action would badly harm U.S. seafood exporters, not only because China is a crucial current and future market for U.S. fish, but also because there is no ready substitute for the China market for U.S. and in particular Alaska and many New England seafood harvesters.”

Glenn Reed, president of the Pacific Seafood Processors Association, agreed.

“Any action by the U.S. Government to limit or restrict Chinese seafood exports to the U.S. would invite significant risk of retaliatory tariffs that could limit U.S. seafood exports to China, and the reverberations of such seafood trade barriers between our countries would reach all the way to Alaska’s remote communities that harvest and process sustainable U.S. seafood,” Reed noted.

“If the U.S. were to be excluded or limited from China’s seafood consumption markets, their demands would be met by substitutes from other countries. Once market access is lost, it is exceedingly difficult to regain, and Alaska’s fishing and processing communities would be relegated to less profitable markets,” said Reed.

Stephanie Madsen, executive director of the At-Sea Processors Association, pointed out how important the Alaska fishery was to the nation’s economy.

“APA member companies operate large-scale, U.S.-flag catcher/processor vessels in federally-managed groundfish fisheries that account for approximately half of all U.S. seafood landings annually,” Madsen explained.

“In 2017, seafood and marine product exports from the Anchorage and Seattle U.S. Customs districts totaled almost 1 billion pounds and generated over $1 billion in export earnings. Approximately one in three pounds of seafood products exported from this region is destined for China,” she added.

Madsen went so far as to ask for a reduction in duties and VAT rates (10% and 13% respectively) on U.S. seafood products. She also pointed out that China is APA’s preferred market for fishmeal, which is used in their aquaculture industries.

“For all of the above reasons, we urge that Chinese seafood exports, which are not remotely connected with the subject of the section 301 action, not be drawn into any U.S. actions affecting China trade,” she said.

Connelly had harsh words for those who wanted to target Chinese seafood exports.

“Never mind that China seafood exports to the United States have nothing whatever to do with the intellectual property and associated rights of U.S. exporters operating and investing in China – the rights that prompted this dispute in the first place,” he said.

“Never mind that by targeting China seafood exports the Administration will be raising food prices on American families. And never mind that by denying U.S. seafood companies competitive access to China seafood products, the Administration will undermine the roughly 42 percent of U.S. seafood industry jobs that, according to the National Marine Fisheries Service, are attributable to a fish sourced from overseas.

“If despite these facts it accedes to this request, the Administration will be inviting Beijing to widen the existing Section 301 dispute to encompass U.S. seafood exports,” Connelly emphasized.

The “almost certain” retaliation that would be triggered by the US putting tariffs on seafood from China, would result in “the severe and probably lasting detriment of American seafood companies, the fishermen and other workers those companies employ, and the communities they all support,” he said.

A public hearing on the issue will be held this morning by the Section 301 Committee in Washington DC. On May 22, post-hearing rebuttal comments will be heard.

GSSI working to benchmark social compliance; welcomes new members
Seafood Source by Cliff White – May 17, 2018
The Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI) is collaborating with the Consumer Goods Forum’s Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative in order to create a benchmark and recognition tool for social compliance schemes in the global seafood sector.

Pacific Salmon Treaty 3.0 looms for B.C. fishing industry
B.C.’s chinook troll fishery could be the big loser in renegotiated Canada-U.S. agreement – again
Business Vancouver by Nelson Bennett – May 15, 2018
It has been nearly 20 years since a renegotiation of the Pacific Salmon Treaty with the U.S. sparked a war between the B.C. government, Ottawa and the U.S.


Climate change sends many fish species north
Pacific rockfishes found to be among most affected
Cordova Times by Margaret Bauman – May 16, 2018
A new study by researchers at Rutgers University says climate change is forcing hundreds of ocean fish and invertebrate species, including Pacific rockfishes, through the end of this century.

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
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Phone: 206.281.1667
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May 17, 2018