Alaska/Pacific Coast

Upper Cook Inlet’s Sockeye Harvest Smallest in 10 Years
The Upper Cook Inlet had a scarce sockeye salmon harvest this year, but commercial fishers caught more coho, chum and pink salmon than expected.
US News by Associated Press – October 6, 2017
KENAI, Alaska (AP) — The Upper Cook Inlet had a scarce sockeye salmon harvest this year, but commercial fishers caught more coho, chum and pink salmon than expected, the Peninsula Clarion reported (

High salmon prices and huge catch made for a ‘tremendous’ fishing season, state says
Alaska Dispatch News by Annie Zak – October 6, 2017
Alaska’s commercial salmon fisheries saw a boom this season.
Preliminary 2017 harvest statistics from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game show the “ex-vessel” value — what’s paid to fishermen by processors — for all species was about $679 million, nearly 67 percent higher than last year’s $407 million.

Alaska Fisheries Report
KMXT by Kayla Desroches – October 5, 2017
Coming up this week on the Alaska Fisheries Report, the red king crab population in Southeast Alaska is looking up. That means, for the first time in six years, Southeast will open to commercial fishing for the crab. But whether it’ll be profitable is another matter.

Bristol Bay red king crab quota set at 6.6 million pounds
Cordova Times by Margaret Bauman – October 5, 2017
Commercial harvesters of Bristol Bay red king have been given a total allowable catch of 6.6 million pounds for the fishing season slated to begin Oct. 15, with 5.94 million pounds apportioned to those with individual fishing quota and 660,100 pounds for community development entity quota.

NOAA proposes halibut reallocation program
RQE would be allowed to hold those quota shares indefinitely
The Cordova Times – October 5, 2017
A proposed rule filed with the Federal Register would authorize formation of a recreational quota entity that could purchase and hold commercial halibut quota shares for use by charter anglers in Southeast and Southcentral Alaska.

Bering Sea Snow Crab Quota Set at 18.9 Million Pounds; Small Bairdi Fishery Also Will Open
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by John Sackton – October 5, 2017
The Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game has announced Opilio (Snow Crab) quotas for 2017-18.

Total allowable catch will be 18.961 million pounds.  Of this 1.896 million is allocated to CDQ fisheries, and 17.064 million is allocated to IFQ holders.

This is the lowest snow crab TAC in Alaska since the crab rationalization program was put in place in 2005.

In fact, it is the lowest level of harvest since 1971.

In the past four years, Opilio crab TAC’s have declined precipitously, from near 70 million pounds in 2014-15 to 21.57 million pounds in 2016-17.  This year, although recruitment has improved, the TAC remains low.

However, there was positive news from the summer crab survey, which showed an increase in all categories.

This may be the year that snow crab harvests in Alaska bottom out.

In addition, the ADF&G announced a small Bairdi (Tanner crab) fishery of 2.5 million pounds, only in the district West of 166 longitude.  The Eastern Bering Sea district remains closed to Bairdi.  Those vessel fishing for Bairdi in the West may retain snow crab up to 35% of their catch weight of Bairdi.

The snow crab market has been steady over the past couple of months, and this announcement by Alaska should not change any market behavior.


FISHY BUSINESS US Aldi and Walmart shoppers ‘may have inadvertently been funding Kim Jong-un’s nuclear programme’ by buying food packed by North Korean state workers
The rogue state sends tens of thousands of workers across the world to help bring in an estimated £150m to £350m a year
The Sun by Jon Lockett – October 5, 2017
Many work in factories in China packing fish for sale in household name stores across the US and Europe. A large chunk of their wages goes straight to the despotic regime.
It’s feared a sizeable portion of that cash then goes towards building Kim Jong-un’s nuclear arsenal.

GAA joins seafood certification elite
The Global Aquaculture Alliance’s (GAA) Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) is the world’s first aquaculture certification program to be recognized by the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI).
The Fish Site by Rob Fletcher – October 4, 2017
It joins a select group, as only three wild fisheries certification programs — the Alaska Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) Certification Program, the Iceland Responsible Fisheries Management (IRFM) Certification Programme and the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) – are already GSSI-recognized.


Bristol Bay braces for long awaited Pebble Mine plans
KDLG by Dave Bendinger – October 3, 2017
On Thursday, Pebble CEO Tom Collier is expected to roll out details of the company’s smaller plan to mine the copper and gold deposit northwest of Iliamna. Bristol Bay’s residents and leaders, including some of Pebble’s loudest opponents, are gearing up to finally get a look behind the curtain of this proposed project.


Saint Paul wins $1.5M grant for commercial fishing industry
News Miner – October 5, 2017
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Federal officials say a $1.5 million grant is being awarded to the Aleut community on Alaska’s Saint Paul Island for its commercial fishing industry.

Statewide fish donations go toward hurricane recovery
KMXT by Kayla Desroches – October 4, 2017
Fish from across Alaska and the Lower 48 is going toward recovery from hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Walruses adapt to loss of sea ice and are not endangered, feds say
Alaska Dispatch News by Lisa Demer – October 4, 2017
Blubbery, clam-loving Pacific walruses are surprisingly resilient to the dramatic loss of polar sea ice as the planet warms and won’t be listed as an endangered species, the federal government announced early Wednesday.

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October 6, 2017