Alaska/Pacific Coast

The buried treasure that’s tearing Alaska apart
CNN by Bill Weir – October 27, 2017
It is the question that pits neighbor against neighbor, tribe against tribe, and Republican against Republican.
Should America risk the last great salmon run on Earth to dig what could be the richest mine on the planet?

West Coast, Alaska Senators Urge Disaster Aid for Multiple Fisheries

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Susan Chambers – October 31, 2017
In a bipartisan push led by Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., all eight West Coast senators — Merkley, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash; Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska; Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.; Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.; and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif. — this week called on congressional leaders and the Trump administration to include disaster aid for fisheries in the next 2017 disaster funding package.

As the senators pointed out in letters to Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney and to congressional appropriations leaders, commercial fishing is a bedrock of the economy in many coastal communities, and leaving recent fisheries disasters unaddressed could have negative ripple effects for years to come.

“While the impacts of an extremely low run in a fishery or a complete fishery closure are harder to visualize than the impact of flood or wind damage, a collapsed fishery is indisputably a disaster for local and regional communities,” the senators wrote. “Fishermen and women can make their yearly living during a single fishing season, and must continue to pay mortgages on their vessels, mooring fees, maintenance and feed their families while their income is almost entirely eliminated during a fishery closure or disaster.”

“It is essential that the Senate treat fishery disasters appropriately, and provide emergency funding that can enable fishermen and communities to recover from lost catches in the form of grants, job retraining, employment, and low-interest loans,” the senators concluded.
Eight fishery failure requests since 2015, including the 2015-16 Dungeness crab and rock crab in California, the Klamath River fall Chinook fishery (Yurok Tribe) in 2016 and the Washington Salmon Ocean Troll fishery in 2016 have been formally declared failures. Eight others, including the Klamath River fall Chinook tribal fishery and California and Oregon ocean troll salmon seasons for 2016 and 2017 are pending. Two others, California sea urchin and sardine fisheries, have been requested by the governor but it is not clear yet whether the Department of Commerce will consider them.

As fishery seasons move forward in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic, it is likely there will also be fishery disaster declarations in those regions, the senators said in a press release.

The senators noted that seafood industries supported 1.6 million full- and part-time jobs in fishing and across the broader economy in 2015 and contributed $97 billion to the U.S. GDP.

The California Dungeness crab request from Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. estimated a loss of at least $48.3 million from the 2015-16 season. The season was delayed by months due to domoic acid.

This year’s commercial seasons also are concerned about the presence of domoic acid. Testing in October showed some areas of California with elevated levels, but at levels not nearly as high as those in 2015. Oregon and Washington crab industries and managers are starting their testing for meat content and domoic acid in preparation for a possible December 1 opening.


SFP report: Better management happening for reduction fisheries
Seafood Source by Cliff White – October 27, 2017
Sustainable Fisheries Partnership has released its annual sustainability overview of reduction fisheries for 2017, showing an overall improvement in their management.

Russian Fishery First to Build 300 ft. Factory Trawlers in Russia, Aims to Get 500,000 Tons of Quota

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Eugene Gerden – October 31,2017
Russian Fishery Company aims to become the largest white fish producer in the world
The Russian Fishery Company (RRPK), one of Russia’s largest fish producers, plans to receive additional quotas on fish catch in the domestic territorial waters, through the building of six fishing trawlers at Russian shipbuilding companies in the coming months, according to the company.

That will be part of the existing ‘quotas under the keel’ scheme, which is implemented by the state in the Russian fishing industry and which involves allocation of part of quotas for fish catch in Russia to enterprises which build their fishing trawlers at the domestic shipyards.

To date, RRPK has already signed a contract with the Admiralty Shipyard, one of Russia’s largest shipyards for the building of trawlers for its needs.

That will be large freezing fishing trawlers of the ST-192 project. The length of the vessel is 108.2 m, while width – 21 m, displacement – 5333 tonnes. In Russia there is no practice of building large fish trawlers, while RRPK will become a pioneer, says the vice-president of the Russian Fish Association Alexander Fomin.

The cost of such a vessel is US$90-100 million, while the standard construction period is 2-3 years. With one new trawler, the RRPK could claim for 25,000-30,000 tonnes of herring and pollock a year.

The goal of the RRPK is to gain quotas for the production of 500,000 tonnes of white fish in Russia, which will allow it to become the world’s largest company in this segment, Andrei Teterkin, general director of RRPK told in March of the current year.

A spokesman of RRPK said construction of ships will help to  reduce production costs and produce a wider range of products. He also added with investment quotas, new ships can pay off 1.5-2 times faster.

In the meantime, other leading fish producers believe the mechanism of investment quotas is controversial, as fishermen are forced to use this mechanism to keep quotas, although it is cheaper to build at foreign plants, according to them.

The application campaign for the building of fishing trawlers in Russia officially started in summer of 2017 after the preparation of all relevant by-laws by the Russian government and their approval by the Parliament.

Earlier this year President of the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) Aleksey Rakhmanov said total portfolio of orders of the company as part of the program are estimated “at the level of 100 trawlers and even more.”

RRPK currently remains one of the largest producers of pollock and herring in Russia. Its main owners are  Gleb Frank, a son-in-law of the Russian billionaire Gennady Timchenko’s and the brother of the governor of Moscow region Maxim Vorobyov.

The company has quotas for the production of 226,000 tonnes of pollock, 65,500 tonnes of herring and more than 2,400 tonnes of crab. In 2016, the company’s revenue was US$238.1 million.

Rosrybolovstvo promised to allocate 20% of all available fishing quotas in Russia for the quotas under the keel program. Quotas will be granted only upon the fact of commissioning a fishing trawler in each particular case.

Federal Register

Fisheries Off West Coast States; Highly Migratory Fisheries; California Drift Gillnet Fishery; Implementation of a Federal Limited Entry Drift Gillnet Permit
A Proposed Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 10/31/2017
NMFS is proposing regulations under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) to implement a March 2017 recommendation by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) to amend the Fishery Management Plan for U.S. West Coast Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species (HMS FMP). The proposed rule would bring the State of California’s limited entry (LE) drift gillnet (DGN) permit program under MSA authority. All current California DGN permit holders would be eligible to apply for, and receive, a Federal DGN permit, and no additional DGN permits would be created. The proposed rule is administrative in nature and is not anticipated to result in increased activity, effort, or capacity in the fishery.


Trident Seafoods Reaches 20 Million Meal Donation Mark in Partnership with SeaShare
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Amanda Buckle – October 31, 2017
Non-profit organization SeaShare is honoring Trident Seafoods for being the first seafood company to donate 20 million meals to the national food bank network. The milestone is something that has been in the works for 23 years, ever since the Seattle-based seafood company and SeaShare first became partners in the fight against hunger.

“I am honored to accept this award on behalf of the 8,500 employees of Trident, and I challenge others in the seafood industry to strive to reach this 20 million meal mark to feed hungry families,” Trident Seafoods CEO Joe Bundrant said in a statement.

According to Jim Harmon, the executive director of SeaShare, Trident did more than just donate sustainable seafood. The company provided support so that SeaShare could send seafood to food banks “as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

“Trident Seafoods’ generosity and leadership has been instrumental in building SeaShare into the largest seafood donor in the country,” added Harmon.

SeaShare is the only non-profit in the United States that is focused on delivering seafood to hungry families. The organization has donated over 220 million servings of seafood across the U.S.


Opinions: Alaska fisheries thrive — yet industry is on the edge
Alaska Dispatch News by Tim Bradner – October 30, 2017
It has been a really good year across most of Alaska’s commercial fisheries. Salmon prices are up, harvests are good, fuel costs are down, and there’s more: The world’s appetite for nutritious, wild-caught Alaska fish, caught in clean waters, is growing. Alaskans’ track record for managing fisheries in a sustainable manner, both near-shore and further at sea, reinforces our reputation for responsible stewardship. Life is good.

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
Office Manager
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Phone: 206.281.1667
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October 31, 2017