Alaska/Pacific Coast

Commercial fishermen protest Navy War Games
Over 100 Vessels surround local fuel dock to raise awareness of impacts of US military Northern Edge trainings to habitat and marine species
Cordova Times by Jennifer Gibbins – May 16, 2015
Over 100 commercial fishing vessels turned out today to raise awareness and speak out against the U.S. Navy’s upcoming trainings in the Gulf of Alaska. Vessels paraded from Cordova’s harbor to the local fuel dock where they rafted up in a peaceful protest against the Navy’s “war games.”


Unalaska Council supports smaller bycatch reduction, mayor says
Bristol Bay Times by Jim Paulin – May 15, 2015
Even without a formal resolution, the Unalaska City Council does agree with the mayor that any cuts to halibut bycatch allowed to trawlers should not exceed 10 percent, according to Mayor Shirley Marquardt.


Big Year Classes will boost Pollock Catch in Sea of O., but Western Bering Sea is Overfished
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Eugene Gerden – May 15 2015
Moscow – The Russian government is considering designing a package of measures to increase of the volume of pollock and herring catch in the Far East, according to an official spokesman of the Russian Federal Fisheries Agency (Rosrybolovstvo).

According to Ilya Shestakov,  head of Rosrybolovstvo, the government plans to avoid poor pollock fishing during the next several years, as well as the situation of underfishing, i.e. not catching the full quota.

As part of these plans, particular attention will  be paid to the conduction of  research activities in the industry.

According to Anatoly Smirnov, an official spokesman of the Pacific Scientific Research Fisheries Center, one of Russia’s major research center in the field of fisheries,  the current situation with pollock catch in the Okhotsk Sea remains relatively good, which is reflected by the high level of the use of quotas, which is close to 100%.

According to Smirnov, the results of studies in the Sea of Okhotsk, conducted in 2014,  have confirmed the growth stocks of pollock and the production of two abundant year classes, which, on the one hand, brings hopes for stable fishery in subsequent years, but will also increase of the share of juveniles in the by-catch  during the period of 2016-2017 years.

However, according to Rosrybolovstvo, during last fishing season there were some problem areas in the Russian Far East, where the production of pollock was below the expected figures, especially the West Bering Sea zone (Navarino area), as well as the South Kuril area and there is a possibility that these problems will continue to exist this year.

According to scientists, due to more rapid warming of waters in the north-western part of the Bering Sea, pollock moves faster into Russian waters.

This results in its early return to the south-east zone, which is in US waters.  Due to this, the volume of pollock underfishing in the Russian Far East this year is predicted for about 50,000-55,00 tonnes, while the most complex situation is currently observed in the West Bering Sea zone.

According to scientists, in recent years there has been a decrease in forage (by 2-2.5 times) for all groups of plankton in the West Bering Sea zone, which resulted in more active migration of fish out of the zone.

A shortage of pollock population, due to overfishing in recent years, currently remains one of the most serious problems, associated with pollock fishing in the Bering Sea.

This is mainly due to the decision, taken by Rosrybolovstvo in the 2000s to unite the reserves of Navarino and West Bering pollock. That decision resulted in the increase of the volume of catch of West Bering pollock by more than 2-4 times, compared to recommended amount, which is now posing a threat of potential shortage during the next several years, due to this overfishing.


Alaska Air Cargo Delivers 18,000 Pounds of Wild Copper River Salmon to Seattle
Seattle’s top chefs compete in sixth annual Copper Chef Cook-off
CNN – May 15, 2015
SEATTLE, May 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — A fish-filled Alaska Airlines jet touched down at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport shortly after 6 a.m. today, carrying 18,000 pounds of wild Alaska Copper River salmon — about 4,500 more pounds than the weight of a Learjet 31. A second plane carrying an additional 30,000 pounds is scheduled to arrive in Seattle around 10:20 a.m. Today officially marks the start of the salmon season that is anticipated by seafood lovers throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

Emmylou Harris headlines Salmonfest 2015
Three days of fish love and music are coming to the Kenai Peninsula July 31-Aug 2
Cordova Times  by Margaret Bauman – May 15, 2015
Grammy Award winners Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell will headline three days of fish, love and music this summer, at Salmonfest, also featuring several dozen more bands and soloists to the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds at Ninilchik.

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
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Phone: 206.281.1667
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May 18, 2015