Alaska/Pacific Coast

Seafood industry plugs billions into economy
Study shows the 2015/2016 economic impact for Alaska was $5.2 B
Cordova Times – October 6, 2017
A latest economic report from the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute documents the continuing lucrative impact that the seafood industry has on state’s economy, with some 56,800 workers and a $5.2 billion economic output for 2015/2016.

Wild salmon harvest worth $678.8 million

Preliminary estimates show 2017 catch was worth 66.7 percent more than 2016 harvest
Cordova Times by Margaret Bauman – October 6, 2017
A new report from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game estimates the preliminary ex-vessel value of Alaska’s 2017 commercial catch of 224.6 million pounds of wild salmon at $678.8 million, up 66.7 percent from the 2016 value of $407.3 million.

Bering Sea Crab Fisheries Face More Cutbacks
KUCB by Zoe Sobel – October 4, 2017
For the second year in a row, crab fisheries in southwest Alaska are facing steep cuts and closures.

Walker speaks out against Pebble Mine as company announces new mine plan
News Miner by Erin Granger – October 8, 2017
FAIRBANKS — Pebble CEO Tom Collier announced the company’s first public plan for the Pebble Mine project Thursday morning, showing a smaller footprint than previous unofficial plans, with mining focused only in the Pebble West area.

Oregon, California Senators Urge NOAA to Declare Salmon Fisheries Disaster
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Susan Chambers – October 5, 2017
It’s been a tough year for the Southern Oregon and Northern California salmon industry after the seasons were closed earlier this year. But now they have four senators in their corner.

Oregon senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden joined with California senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris — all Democrats — this week, urging NOAA to support a a catastrophic regional fishery failure declaration requested by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and California Gov. Jerry Brown.

The fishery disaster declarations have been pending since May, when the governors made a combined request to the federal government. The Pacific Fishery Management Council and NMFS closed nearly 200 miles of the West Coast due to low forecasts of Klamath River fall Chinook returns.

In a letter to the NOAA Assistant Administrator Chris Oliver, the senators urged a fishery failure declaration be made by the end of the year.

This West Coast has had a bumpy ride with salmon over the years, with eight fisheries, including this one, pending declarations of fishery failures in recent times. Fishery failures for different areas of the West Coast, in different state, federal and tribal salmon fisheries, have been declared at least once every decade since the 1990s. The last fishery disaster to receive funding was in 2010, for West Coast salmon fisheries, which was a continuation of funding from the failures in 2008 and 2009. At that time, the Sacramento River runs were poor. The funding that ultimately came through then was $170 million.

“In both of our states, closed or curtailed salmon fishing seasons have resulted in severe economic hardship felt throughout the seafood supply chain,” the senators wrote. “Working waterfronts have been unable to address basic repairs and upkeep. Seafood processing jobs have been lost. Fishermen have left the industry, unable to make a living on the water. These additive effects have resulted in a weakening of our coastal communities which, if not provided for, may be lost.”

The closure affects nearly half of Oregon’s coastline, causing economic distress for already struggling coastal communities. Both states were also hit by a poor 2016 season, which resulted in millions in lost revenue.

“We strongly support these disaster declaration requests, which would make salmon fisheries in Oregon and California eligible for aid to relieve some of the losses sustained during poor 2016 and 2017 salmon seasons, as well as provide job retraining, employment, and low interest loans,” the senators wrote. “The disaster declaration also allows funds to go towards making fisheries more resilient through fishery data collection, resource restoration, research, and fishing capacity reduction programs to prevent or lessen the effects of future disruptions to fisheries.”

This commercial salmon fishing closure is expected to result in a total ex-vessel value decrease of 63 percent from the 2012-2016 average in Oregon. This closure follows a dismal 2016 season for Oregon salmon, when recreational catch of Chinook was 4,100 fish, which is 75 percent lower than the 2011-2015 average of 16,400 fish, the senators noted in the letter.

In California, the closure of the fall-run Chinook fishery on the Klamath and Trinity rivers is expected to result in a loss of $2.5 million in revenue. Again, this follows a poor 2016 season, when California’s statewide Chinook salmon revenue was only $5.3 million compared to the 2011-2015 average of $12.5 million, the letter said.

Once a fishery is declared a failure, the door is open for Congress to appropriate funds for disaster assistance.


US Customs vows to block imports made by North Korea workers
Associated Press by Martha Mendoza  – October 6, 2017
U.S. Customs and Border Protection says it is ready to block U.S. imports of seafood — as well as any other goods — produced by North Korean laborers who work in China.

Labeling and Marketing

3MMI – Severe Cod Shortages Deplete Inventories, Buyers Seeking Replacement Products…
TradexFoods – October 9, 2017
— Severe Pacific Cod shortages deplete single frozen inventories, with no fish and no production for the foreseable future.

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
Office Manager
1900 W Emerson Place Suite 205, Seattle, WA 98119
Phone: 206.281.1667
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October 9, 2017