Alaska/Pacific Coast

The Alaska Fisheries Report
KMXT by Jay Barrett – September 2, 2016
Coming up this week, an ad for timber sales along salmon streams got the attention of folks in Southeast; meanwhile in Wrangell, the shift from a timber town to a maritime one hit a milestone recently, and it could hail an expansion in the boatyard. All that and more, on the Alaska Fisheries Report. We had help from KSTK’s Aaron Bolton in Wrangell, Alaska Historic Cannery Initiative’s Anjuli Grantham in Kodiak, Alaska Energy Desk’s Elizabeth Jenkins.

Motherships Get More Rockfish Bycatch to Continue Whiting Fishery
SEAFOOD.COM NEWS by Susan Chambers – September 2, 2016
The National Marine Fisheries Service has approved a Pacific Ocean perch rockfish transfer of 3 metric tons to the at-sea sectors to allow the Pacific whiting mothership sector to continue fishing this year.

The Pacific Fishery Management Council and NMFS in June agreed that unused fish, particularly POP, a species listed as overfished, that were set aside for research could be transferred if that fish were available after summer research activities. The remaining amount for research, 0.7 mt, is anticipated to go unharvested but not transferred to account of uncertainty in estimates of POP harvest in research.

The mothership sector is allocated 7.2 mt of POP as bycatch; the catcher-processor sector is allocated 10.2 mt.

Without the transfer, the mothership sector could have closed early, leaving several thousand metric tons of whiting unharvested. A high whiting TAC this year is partially to blame for the higher incidence of POP interaction. As of Sept. 1, the MS sector has harvested only 53 percent of its whiting allocation but 72 percent of its POP bycatch allocation. The mothership fleet has had to move its vessels, reduce fishing and adapt is fishing behavior this year. The catcher-processor fleet is in better shape, having used only 4 percent of its POP allocation.

The Pacific Fishery Management Council in September will consider changing the hard allocations of bycatch species in the at-sea sectors to set-asides, a change that would allow for more flexibility and avoid a whiting season closure in the future.

“The limited availability of overfished species that can be taken as incidental catch in the Pacific whiting fishery, particularly darkblotched rockfish, POP, and canary rockfish, led NMFS to implement sector-specific allocations for these species to the Pacific whiting fisheries. If the sector-specific allocation for a non-whiting species is reached, NMFS may close one or more of the at-sea sectors automatically … ,” the Federal Register notice said.

The shoreside sector has harvested 43 percent of its 126,727-mt allocation so far this year and the CP sector has harvested 46 percent of its 102,589-mt allocation.

Research fish wheels used for salmon mark and capture study
The Native Village of Eyak’s Chinook Escapement Monitoring Program began in 2001, with a feasibility study to determine if fish wheels could be used for mark/re-capture study on the lower Copper River
Cordova Times by Cinthia Gibbens-Stimson – September 2, 2016
Biologists and fisheries technicians with the Native Village of Eyak’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NVE-DENR) have had a productive summer season monitoring Chinook on the lower Copper River this year.

Seafood News Weekly Recap September 2,2016
SeafoodNews – September 2, 2016
Grim news for Alaska’s Bering Sea crab stock leads today’s show. Meanwhile, Oregon’s Dungeness crab season was one for the record books; why the 2016 Yukon River salmon season was a pivotal one for the industry and live lobster prices spike ahead of the Labor Day weekend.


No Sailors Needed: Robot Sailboats Scour the Oceans for Data
New York Times by John Markoff – September 4, 2016
ALAMEDA, Calif. — Two robotic sailboats trace lawn-mower-style paths across the violent surface of the Bering Sea, off the coast of Alaska. The boats are counting fish — haddock, to be specific — with a fancy version of the fish finder sonar you’d find on a bass fishing boat.

As Waters Warm, Arctic Fish Populations Change
KUCB by Zoe Sobel – September 2, 2016
A new report shows more fish are moving to Arctic waters. The U.S. Geological Survey and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management teamed up to create the inventory, which describes more than 100 species of fish found in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas — including 20 species new to the region.

Labeling and Marketing

3MMI – Only 9 Weeks Remain in the Halibut Fishery – Where’s the Catch & Market At?
TradexFood – September 5, 2016
3-Minute Market Insight:
As of August 23rd, the International Pacific Halibut Commission’s 5th Landing update showed 72 percent of the commercial fishery caught.

Federal Register

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Catcher/Processors Using Trawl Gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska
A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 09/06/2016
NMFS is opening directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher/processors using trawl gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to fully use the 2016 total allowable catch apportioned to catcher/processors using trawl gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA.

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pacific Cod in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 09/06/2016
NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amounts of Pacific cod from American Fisheries Act (AFA) trawl catcher/processors (C/Ps) to Amendment 80 C/Ps in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area. This action is necessary to allow the 2016 total allowable catch of Pacific cod to be harvested.


Get ready for ocean-focused fest Sept. 8-11
Homer News by Anna Frost – September 1, 2016
The Kachemak Bay Wooden Boat Society and Alaska Marine Conservation Council are teaming up to offer Homer one big maritime festival next weekend, Sept. 8-11.

How a fiber-optic cable could forever change life in Arctic Alaska
Alaska Dispatch News by Jeannette Lee Falsey – September 5, 2016
NOME — Summer construction on the first fiber-optic cable to cross the Arctic has rural Alaska telecom providers promising a huge market shift in a region that is on the underserved side of the digital divide.

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
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September 6, 2016