Alaska/Pacific Coast

Alaska Fisheries Report
KMXT- May 21, 2015
Coming up this week, a look at salmon fry heading out to sea, learning where salmon come from by looking in their ears, and Petersburg’s new dock gets dedicated. We had help from KFSK’s Joe Viechnicki in Petersburg, KTOO’s Matt Miller in Juneau and KDLG’s Hanna Colton in Dillingham.

Pacific Seeking to Expand Salmon Footprint with Purchase of Inlet Fish
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by John Sackton – May 20, 2015
John Garner, COO of North Pacific Fisheries, and one of the most experienced salmon executives in the world, confirmed today that his company is in advanced talks to purchase Inlet Fish.

Inlet Fish, located in Kenai, processes salmon from Cook Inlet, Prince William Sound, and also  from the Yukon-Kuskokwim River Deltas in two plants, one in Kenai, and one in Kasilof.  They employ about 250 people during the salmon season.

The purchase would expand North Pacific’s salmon processing to seven plants covering the entire state, as they already operate plants in Bristol Bay, Kodiak, and Southeast Alaska.

Garner says that he is optimistic about the future of salmon in Prince William Sound, where the resource is quite robust and well managed, and he says that Cook Inlet, although in a current down cycle, will also likely return to higher levels.

The deal is not finalized.  “I hope it comes together,” said Garner.


This Time, Senate Votes to Advance Trade Pact
New York Times by JONATHAN WEISMAN – MAY 21, 2015
WASHINGTON — A flurry of last-minute deal-making on the Senate floor Thursday rescued President Obama’s ambitious trade agenda from defeat, advancing legislation that would empower the president to complete a sweeping, 12-nation Pacific trade accord.


For pollock surveys in Alaska, things are looking up
To help estimate fish populations, scientists experiment with seafloor-mounted sonar systems that monitor fish in the water column above

NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service – May 21, 2015

IMAGE: The bottom-mounted sonars produce high-quality data. This image shows the abundance of pollock as viewed by the upward-looking sonar at a spawning site on March 15th, 2015. The colors in… Credit: NOAA

Shelikof Strait, in the Gulf of Alaska, is an important spawning area for walleye pollock, the target of the largest–and one of the most valuable–fisheries in the nation. This year, a team of NOAA Fisheries scientists went there to turn their usual view of the fishery upside-down.

Maps from the 1930s Help Find Potential Fish Habitat in the Digital Age

NOAA AFSC News – May 20, 2015
For years, researchers, fishermen, and policy makers have had to rely on low-resolution navigational charts with limited fish habitat information to analyze fish habitat in Alaskan waters. But now, with the help of technology, detailed survey data from the 1930s may help to improve fish habitat analysis and help us learn more about important commercial fish stocks.


NOAA Releases Cook Inlet Beluga Recovery Plan
KBBI – Homer by Quinton Chandler – May 20, 2015
NOAA Fisheries has a draft recovery plan to rebuild the population of Cook Inlet beluga whales. The end goal is to one day remove Belugas from the endangered species list. Mandy Migura with the National Marine Fisheries Service says the agency wants to use public comment on this initial draft to create the final version.

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
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May 22, 2015