Alaska/Pacific Coast

Budget cuts result in lower allowable harvest
ADF&G errs on side of caution, lowers allocation to 22,943 tons
Cordova Times – October 7, 2016
State fisheries biologists hindered by no budget for data collection have set the 2017 Togiak herring fishery allocation at 22,943 tons, with 16,060 tons, or 70 percent for purse seiners, and 6,883 tons for the gillnet fleet.
http://www.thecordovatimes.com/2016/10/07/budget-cuts-result-in-lower-allowable-harvest/

Bristol Bay king crab fishery opens Oct. 15
Cordova Times – October 7, 2016
Commercial harvesters of Bristol Bay red king crab setting out on the fishery on Oct. 15 have been allocated a total catch of 8,469,000 pounds, down slightly from last year’s 9,974,000 quota and below the 2014-2015 quota of 9,986,000 pounds.
http://www.thecordovatimes.com/2016/10/07/bristol-bay-king-crab-fishery-opens-oct-15/

Dozens comment on annexation report
Bristol Bay Times by Molly Dischner – October 7, 2016
The discussion about how to handle Dillingham and Manokotak’s competing requests to annex additional land and water for their local government is continuing, but the next step for the state remains a few months away.
http://www.thebristolbaytimes.com/article/1640dozens_comment_on_annexation_report

Coming season is going for hurt for Alaska crabbers
Alaska Journal of Commerce by DJ Summers – October 7, 2016
Cuts and cancellations are causing anxiety for crab fisheries.
“I’m scared,” said Simeon Swetzof, mayor of St. Paul, a central Bering Sea island with considerable crab dependence. “I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
http://www.alaskajournal.com/2016-10-07/coming-season-going-hurt-alaska-crabbers#.V_saK9xOFA4

Environment/Science

Protections Making Whale of a Difference as Humpbacks Make Comeback
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association says nine of 14 Humpback populations are no longer endangered.
Patch by Colin Miner – October 6, 2016
After more than 40 years, big news for Humpback whales. The majestic creatures, often seen off the west coast of the United States, are coming back strong.
http://patch.com/oregon/portland/protections-making-whale-difference-humpbacks-make-comeback

Labeling and Marketing

3MMI – What Are China Packers Predicting for the New Year? Salmon, Haddock, Pollock…
TradexFoods – October 10, 2016
3-Minute Market Insight:
The China Fisheries Seafood Expo is in Qingdao from November 2nd to 4th this year, where many Chinese vendors will iron out any remaining production space before the factories close on January 20th.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uF9t5aPPMuQ

Alaska’s Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers Complete First Year of Marketing Campaign in Germany
SEAFOODNEWS.COM – October 10, 2016
The Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP)  launched a broad information campaign to improve German consumers perceptions of Alaska pollock, and to understand what is driving their purchase decisions.

They recently have analyzed some of the results from the first year.

New research conducted by the German market research institute Forsa shows that German consumers place the most value on transparency when making a seafood purchase decision. “In the past, all experts said the German consumer was interested in price above all else,” said Pat Shanahan, Program Director for the Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers. “Our research shows that German consumers value quality and sustainability more than a low price when choosing a seafood product,” she said.

“Alaska pollock from fishing area FAO 67 (the US side of the Bering Sea) has the sustainability and quality that are most important to Germans,” emphasizes Shanahan.

“Sadly, these characteristics have not always been communicated well in the market. Our program is designed to heighten the interest in and education about Alaska pollock and ultimately increase sales, by focusing on the benefits of Alaska pollock,” she added. “We hope that it will not only increase sales of Alaska pollock but also invigorate the whole category.”

The program was planned and undertaken after the Russian pollock producers were awarded MSC certification.  GAPP raised strong objections to this certification on the grounds that a double standard was being used, and Alaska’s pollock producers were held by the MSC to be operating at a much higher standards than their Russian counterparts.

For example, Alaskan pollock fishery operations are heavily constrained by bycatch avoidance of both salmon and halibut.  The Russian fleet has no requirement to avoid this bycatch.  Given the demands by the large German pollock producers for an MSC certified Far Eastern Pollock, the only alternative for Alaska was to try and differentiate their product further in the consumers’ mind in Germany.

Over the past year, the campaign has used various media channels and story angles to gain the attention of key journalists and consumers.

“We wanted to communicate the most important benefits of Alaska pollock from FAO 67 to create a higher value of our product in the minds of German consumers,” says Shanahan. “The biggest challenge was convincing consumers to care about a grocery category that has long been taken for granted,” she added.

The campaign started with the launch of a new website— www.alaska-seelachs.de—which provides a new and interactive platform with comprehensive information for consumers and journalists. Media outreach began in January, with a special hands-on workshop for journalists held in April. The workshop gave journalists the opportunity to learn directly from both Alaskan and German experts about the topics of sustainability and quality.

“Additional benefits, like the fact that Alaska pollock is a healthy source of protein or that it is a highly sustainable fish with a low carbon footprint, were great news for German journalists,” explains Shanahan. So far the campaign has resulted in a number of in-depth articles and stories featured in important German magazines, with a reach of over 85 million to date.

What’s new for 2017?
Building on the success of the first year, the campaign will continue in 2017. New initiatives will include participation in the International Green Week in Berlin and an expanded multichannel public relations program including bloggers and social media, as well as traditional media and input from German experts.

Shanahan sums up the vision of the program by concluding, “We want to spread the word about our great product and enable German consumers to make the right decision in favor of their most important values.”

The label on Iglo’s packaging translates as “Fair to the Sea.”
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1037046/Alaskas-Genuine-Alaska-Pollock-Producers-Complete-First-Year-of-Marketing-Campaign-in-Germany

FYI’s

White House honors Sitkan as champion of fisheries
Alaska Public Media by Liz Ruskin – October 7, 2016
The White House today honored Sitkan Linda Behnken as a “Champion of Change” for her work to improve fishing sustainability.
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2016/10/07/white-house-honors-sitkan-as-champion-of-fisheries/

White House Honors Oregon Man For Helping Make Fishing More Sustainable
KLCC – October 7, 2016
Sixteen years ago, the West Coast groundfish trawl fishery was declared a federal disaster.
The fleet’s catch limits on groundfish like rockfish, black cod and Dover sole, were dramatically slashed to protect severely overfished species.
http://klcc.org/post/white-house-honors-oregon-man-helping-make-fishing-more-sustainable

Opinion

Obama’s new ocean preserves are bad for the environment and for people
Fox News.com by Ray Hilborn – October 6, 2016
Who wants to save the oceans? Short answer: everyone, especially politicians. A less frequently asked question is whether their high-profile efforts always work.
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2016/10/06/obamas-new-ocean-preserves-are-bad-for-environment-and-for-people.html

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
Office Manager
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Phone: 206.281.1667
E-mail: pspafish@gmail.com; Website: www.pspafish.net
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October 10, 2016