Alaska/Pacific Coast

Statewide salmon harvests break records
Chums exceed high mark while kings harvested at historic low
Juneau Empire by Kevin Gullufsen – October 16, 2017
As commercial salmon fishing season wraps up for the summer, numbers recently released by the Alaska Department of Fish & Game show a tale of two species.
http://juneauempire.com/state/news/2017-10-14/statewide-salmon-harvests-break-records

Fish traps were banned, but some now say ‘it’s the future’ for Columbia River salmon

Back in the 19th century, fish traps brought in big hauls of Columbia River salmon. Retooled for the 21st century, could they be part of a more sustainable future for commercial harvests?
Seattle Times by Hal Bernton – October 16, 2017
CATHLAMET, Wahkiakum County — More than eight decades after their demise, fish traps are getting a fresh look from researchers convinced they offer a more sustainable way to catch Columbia River salmon.
https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/fish-traps-for-columbia-river-salmon-get-another-look/

International

Sustainable fisheries solution earns prestigious environmental prize for UBC economist
Rashid Sumaila is awarded 2017 Volvo Environment Prize for his radical solution to making the world’s wild fisheries more sustainable.
Vancouver Sun by Randy Shore – October 16, 2017
A University of B.C. economist who has proposed radical solutions to save the world’s wild fisheries will receive a coveted environmental prize for his work, just as one of his recommendations is being implemented.
http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/sustainable-fisheries-solution-earns-prestigious-environmental-prize-for-ubc-economist

Environment/Science

American Fisheries Society Strongly Objects to EPA’s Recent Effort to Reverse its Own Protection of
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Peggy Parker – October 16, 2017
Last Friday the American Fisheries Society (AFS) sent a strongly worded letter to Administrator Scott Pruitt of the Environmental Protection Agency in response to a proposal to withdraw the EPA’s July 2014 Clean Water Act 404(c) Proposed Determination to “restrict the use of certain waters as disposal sites for dredged or fill material associated with mining the Pebble deposit in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed.”

The group, representing over 7,500 professional fishery scientists and resource managers, objects to the withdrawal and recommends that the EPA “use its authority to prevent the elimination and/or impairment of waters and wetlands supporting the extraordinarily prolific, sustainable, all-wild Bristol Bay salmon fisheries.”

AFA urged the EPA to consider its own report, “An Assessment of Potential Mining Impacts on Salmon Ecosystems of Bristol Bay, Alaska” as justification for not reversing the determination.

In his letter to Pruitt, Douglas J. Austen, PhD and Executive Director AFS, calls the report an “indispensable resource to inform decision-makers of the costs, benefits, and risks to public salmon resources from proposed mining activities in Bristol Bay.”

The report, Austen writes, “recognizes that Bristol Bay is extraordinary because it produces about half the world’s wild Sockeye Salmon supply with runs averaging 37.5 million fish per year.

“The wild salmon fishery in Bristol Bay has been managed in a sustainable manner since 1884, and was valued at $1.5 billion U.S. in 20101. In addition to Sockeye Salmon, Bristol Bay and the watershed support one of the world’s largest remaining wild Chinook Salmon runs and healthy Coho, Chum and Pink Salmon runs.

“These salmon, as well as resident trout, sustain lucrative commercial and recreational fisheries and provide jobs and food security to 25 rural Alaska Native villages and thousands of people. Bristol Bay represents a rare, unaltered living laboratory where we can learn how healthy salmon ecosystems function.”

Austen points out that EPA’s recent settlement agreement with the Pebble Limited Partnership will clear the way for a project whose impacts to fisheries and the watershed cannot be adequately reduced or mitigated.

The letter reminds Pruitt of the catastrophic failure of the Mount Polley tailing pond dam in 2014, “a breach that occurred on a sunny summer day, not after an earthquake or a major storm event.”

When the tailings dam failed, “24 million cubic meters of water and mine tailings [flowed] downstream into a tributary of British Columbia’s Fraser River with contamination reaching previously pristine Quesnel Lake.

“The Mount Polley Mine tailings dam was the same type of tailings dam proposed for Pebble Mine. However, the Pebble Mine and associated dams are projected to be more than 100 times larger than Mount Polley, will be in a geologically and hydrologically less stable area, and in acid generating rock.

“Given those facts and the best available scientific information, the potential exists for a more serious catastrophe at Pebble Mine than what occurred and continues to occur at Mount Polley.

“Therefore, AFS recommends that the EPA use its authority under section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act to preemptively prevent elimination and/or impairment of waters and wetlands supporting the extraordinarily prolific, sustainable, all-wild Bristol Bay salmon fisheries.

“AFS also recommends implementation of an independent statistically and ecologically rigorous monitoring program (as an intensified part of EPA’s National River and Stream Assessment23) to document the current status and the spatial and temporal trends of the area’s fish populations and their physical and chemical habitat,” Austen concluded.
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1079298/American-Fisheries-Society-Strongly-Objects-to-EPAs-Recent-Effort-to-Reverse-its-Own-Protection-of

Labeling and Marketing

Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute Marketing Update
ASMI – October 2017
Alaska Salmon Has Banner Year, New Economic Value Report shows Alaska Seafood Industry Continues as Economic Cornerstone, ASMI Executive Director Presents at World Seafood Congress in Reykjavik, Kamirin Couch takes First Place in the First Alaska Seafood Commercial Fishing Video Contest, Alaska Seafood Month Proclamation, Retailers Across the U.S. Promote Alaska for National Seafood Month …
http://mailchi.mp/alaskaseafood/alaska-seafood-marketing-update-asmi-leaders-speak-at-women-in-seafood-2655677

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
Office Manager
1900 W Emerson Place Suite 205, Seattle, WA 98119
Phone: 206.281.1667
E-mail: pspafish@gmail.com; Website: www.pspafish.net
Our office days/hours are Monday-Friday
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October 17, 2017