Alaska/Pacific Coast

Longer season yields lower Copper River salmon harvest
PWS preliminary harvest totals 19 million salmon of all species
Cordova Times by Margaret Bauman – October 21, 2016
Through the end of July, the commercial salmon fishery in the Copper River District was open 96 hours more than the recent 10-year average, yet the sockeye salmon harvest of 1.14 million fish came in 22 percent below the previous 10-year average.

The Alaska Fisheries Report Oct. 20
KMXT by Jay Barrett – October 20, 2016
Coming up this week, we hear from the U.S. Senate candidates who faced off in Kodiak a week ago over the fisheries; Bering Sea crabbing kicked off over the weekend, but to no fanfare; and folks in Southeast are trying to make your food local. All that and more, coming up, on the Alaska Fisheries Report. We had help from KMXT’s Kayla Desroches in Kodiak, KUCB’s Laura Kraegel in Unalaska and KSTK’s Aaron Bolton in Wrangell.

State Department considers boundary water issues
Agency spokeswoman says U.S. is engaging with Canada to protect shared rivers
Cordova Times by Margaret Bauman – October 21, 2016
State Department officials say they are looking into possible approaches to present to Canada on boundary water issues between Alaska and British Columbia at their next meeting in late October.

Bristol Bay King Crab Prices at Record Levels, Similar to 2011
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by John Sackton – October 21, 2016
Bristol Bay king crab prices are at record levels again, equaling the prices of $20 per lb. last reached in 2011.

Preliminary reports from packers are that Ocean run king crab is available in Seattle at $20.10, with higher prices for over 900 gram and slightly lower for under 900 gram sections.

For Japan the price offer is $19.75 C&F, but we have not confirmed contracts at those prices.

The last and only other time prices hit $20 was in 2011, when a sharp cutback in the quota led to a surge in demand.

This year, the situation is different, since the quota reduction has been quite small.  Instead, there is simply a lot of demand for king crab, and prices have been rising for more than a year.

Chart:  John Sackton/Seafood Datasearch

Our chart shows how the market has adjusted, and since crab TACs began declining again in 2015, prices have continued to rise.

In 2011 over 40% of the king crab pack went to Japan, which was one of the reasons prices shot up so rapidly.  In the past four years, the percentage of the pack going to Japan has varied between 33% and 35%.

Back in 2011, the yen was very strong, and the $20 US price correlated to a price of Y 3850 per kg in Japan.  This year, the yen is trading around 103 per dollar so the $19.75 price would equate to nearly  Y 4500 per kg, which is by far a record price in Japan.

As a result, the Japanese purchases should remain in the 30% to 35% range from Alaska this year.

Once again, demand in the US market for Alaskan red king crab is driving the price.

Crab harvesters and boat owners are paid based on a price formula that returns more than 50% of the wholesale value back to harvesters.  So the dockside price will be well over $10.00, once the sales have been finalized and settlements are made.  In terms of total revenue, this means that the 2016 fishery will be more valuable to the fleet than the 2015 fishery, as the cutback in harvest was more than equaled by an increase in price.  Last year the ocean run price was around $15.00.  This year’s TAC was 8.469 million pounds, down 15%.  The prices are up by 33%.


Pebble mine issue separates Lindbeck, Young
While agreeing on several fisheries issues, Lindbeck opposes and Young takes no stand specifically against the mine
Cordova Times by Margaret Bauman – October 20, 2016
When it comes to issues critical to commercial fisheries issues, the views of U.S. House hopeful Steve Lindbeck and incumbent Rep. Don Young, R- Alaska, are similar on issues ranging from pirate fishing to the need for more fisheries research.


China Fisheries & Seafood Expo Ready to Surpass Brussels as Largest Global Seafood Trade Fair
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by John Sackton – October 21, 2016
The China Fisheries & Seafood Expo will open in Qingdao for the 21st year on November 2nd.  The show has steadily grown and will set a new record for exhibit space this year, with around 35,000 square meters sold.  This is a 16% increase over last year.  An estimated 25,000 visitors from 100 countries will attend.

The increase is being driven by overseas exhibitors who are increasingly seeing China as a major market.

The show is equal in size to the European Seafood Expo in Brussels, and next year should become the worlds largest seafood trade fair.

“Most of the growth in this year’s show is due to a healthy increase in the amount of exhibit space in the overseas halls,” says Peter Redmayne, president of Seattle-based Sea Fare Expositions, Inc., the co-founder and overseas organizer of the show. “We’ve seen another surge in the number of national pavilions,” he says. “This year, for example, we have a very large pavilion from the Russian Federation, as well as new pavilions from Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Spain. In addition we’re seeing a lot more individual companies exhibiting from Asian countries such as Korea and Japan, as they look to sales in China to replace declining sales in their traditional markets.” Overseas companies, he says, now account for about a third of the show’s exhibit space. The show has 22 national pavilions this year.

“Asia is the world’s largest consumer of seafood, so it’s logical that over time China Fisheries & Seafood Expo becomes the world’s largest seafood show,” says Yang Hong, general manager of Beijing-based Sea Fare (China) Ltd. “And, of course, China is driving the growth in Asian seafood demand. As China becomes more of a consumption and consumer-driven economy, this demand for seafood will grow even faster because Chinese people really love seafood for a variety of reasons and they’re willing to pay a premium for imported seafood.  They think it’s safer and the quality is better.”

The show is being held in a new exhibition hall built outside of Qingdao.–Seafood-Expo-Ready-to-Surpass-Brussels-as-Largest-Global-Seafood-Trade-Fair


Feds step up efforts to protect Puget Sound ecosystem
The Associated Press by Phuong Le – October 18, 2016
The Obama administration Tuesday stepped up efforts to protect Puget Sound, including forming a new federal task force to identify priorities for restoring one of the nation’s largest estuaries.

Labeling and Marketing

ASMI’s All Hands On Deck Board Meeting
ASMI’s All Hands On Deck Board Meeting is coming up on October 24-27, 2016,
at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage, Alaska. Find the agenda here. Please email or call 907-465-5560 for more information.

Federal Register

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Exchange of Flatfish in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 10/21/2016
NMFS is exchanging unused flathead sole and rock sole Community Development Quota (CDQ) for yellowfin sole CDQ acceptable biological catch (ABC) reserves in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area. This action is necessary to allow the 2016 total allowable catch of yellowfin sole in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area to be harvested.


Six Norton Sound firms win grants from CDQ
Cordova Times – October 21, 2016
Six Norton Sound entrepreneurs have been awarded a total of $160,000 in Small Business Initiative grants through a program now in its eighth year for the region’s community development quota entity.

CG readies Cold Bay winter fisheries FOLs
Cordova Times – October 20, 2016
U.S. Coast Guard crews from Air Station Kodiak have opened their seasonal forward operating location in Cold Bay in advance of winter fisheries.

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
Office Manager
1900 W Emerson Place Suite 205, Seattle, WA 98119
Phone: 206.281.1667
E-mail:; Website:
Our office days/hours are Monday-Friday
8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.

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October 21, 2016