Fish and Game optimistic about 2019 sockeye run Kenai Peninsula Online - January 5, 2019 After a poor sockeye return last summer, Alaska’s Department of Fish and Game is slightly more optimistic about 2019. https://www.peninsulaclarion.com/news/fish-and-game-optimistic-about-2019-sockeye-run/ Bristol Bay rides out a roller coaster year in 2018 Bristol Bay Times by Avery Lill - January 4, 2019 It was a rollercoaster of a year for Bristol Bay in more areas than one. This summer saw 62.3 million sockeye return to the bay, the largest run on record, and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has records dating back to 1893. The Nushagak District set a new record for the largest single district sockeye salmon harvest at 24.1 million sockeye, accounting for more than half the reds harvested in the bay this summer. The Togiak District also set a record for the sockeye return to its district. On the east side of the bay, the Naknek-Kvichak, Egegik and Ugashik districts, run timing was the latest on record. But in the end, every river made its escapement goal, and the $1.26 price per pound for sockeye drove the exvessel value up to a new record — $281 million for all salmon species. Bristol Bay's bounty this year is particularly remarkable when viewed in context of shockingly low sockeye runs around the rest of the state. http://www.thebristolbaytimes.com/article/1901bristol_bay_rides_out_a_roller_coaster_year An Extended Government Shutdown Threatens the Nation’s Billion Dollar Fishing Season SeafoodNews.com by Peggy Parker - January 7, 2019 In Alaska, the nation’s most valuable fishery should start in 13 days. But if the government shutdown is not resolved soon, the lack of administrative tasks like permiting and inspection could shut down the fishery for pollock, cod, and other groundfish that annual yields more than a billion dollars (first wholesale) in value to the nation’s economy and global seafood trade. The fleets that fish for the Bering Sea’s abundant groundfish stocks are for the most part multi-million dollar vessels that are members of closely managed, federally permitted cooperatives that include 83 American Fisheries Act (AFA) trawlers targeting pollock, 15 AFA catcher processors, 16 AFA motherships, 24 Amendment 80 trawlers targeting flatfish, 39 freezer-longliners targeting cod, and a dozen non-AFA trawlers. What’s needed immediately from federal administrators and inspectors are cooperative permits, scale and observer station inspections, and safety and/or ‘alternative compliance’ inspections. For all but the freezer-longliner fleet, who for the most part had their inspections conducted and permits issued earlier last year, these processes must occur before they start fishing. And most of it happens in Seattle, where the offshore fleet is moored, before they make the several-day journey north. Cooperative permits. This may be the easiest task to complete, once the federal employees responsible for it go back to work. The AFA catcher vessel sector and the Amendment 80 fleet require annual cooperative permits that for the most part have been applied for and approved, and are waiting for them to be printed and sent back. Scale and observer station inspections. These inspections are the foundation of accurate, more precise catch accounting methods that are at the heart of the nation’s sustainable fisheries. Vessel flowscales and shoreside plants scales need to be inspected annually to ensure the scales are properly installed, connected to displays and printers that are fully operational, conveyor belts leading to the scale are connected and operational, and test weights & test weight certification documents are available for inspection on platform scales. Without the federal inspector going onboard or into the plant to inspect the scale’s integrity, the vessel and processor plant cannot operate. This inspection also includes an evaluation of the vessel monitoring system and the federal observer station, from which data on catch and bycatch are generated. Safety inspections. The U.S. Coast Guard is responsible for these inspections. At the Coast Guard Base Kodiak inspectors are on active duty and available for these tasks. In Seattle, where the large fleet of at-sea trawlers and processing ships are currently moored, those inspectors are citizen contractors to the USCG and are furloughed. However, as of last week, qualified inspectors were being assigned these tasks by the USCG in Seattle. An update from captains of Amendment 80 vessels will be held later today to assess how far along that effort is. By most accounts, this is the week that is critical to whether or not Bering Sea fishing will start on January 20. If the season doesn’t start on that day, it will be the first time in 27 years. https://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1128255/An-Extended-Government-Shutdown-Threatens-the-Nations-Billion-Dollar-Fishing-Season National Government shutdown: How science research is grinding to a halt San Fransisco Chronicle by Kurtis Alexander - January 6, 2019 Writing scientific reports can wait, says ecologist Malcolm North with the U.S. Forest Service. But his applications for funding can’t. https://www.sfchronicle.com/science/article/Government-shutdown-How-science-research-is-13511432.php International China’s seafood sector rapidly growing more efficient and valuable Seafood Source by Mark Godfrey - January 3, 2019 There’s a lot of data being quoted recently by China’s government to show that these are prosperous times for China’s fishermen and fish farmers. https://www.seafoodsource.com/news/supply-trade/chinas-seafood-sector-rapidly-growing-more-efficient-and-valuable?utm_source=marketo&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_content=newsletter&mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTlRsa01UVTVaak5rTm1ZMCIsInQiOiJVejJIV1VpRTJkYXpGTnExOHdqSTFWR2RFZUd1ZWZnbThFTm1NdEZKNzZMMUV0alZNN25cLzh6MUFGUkd3WTBET0t2UFd3UUJlSms0a1VOSTliU2lXT0NLVlMyWEZGMDVNYTRaVkE2NXl0ZjFieU1nbEJsWVRHcEFBdmhvenQ3ankifQ%3D%3D Labeling and Marketing 3MMI - Shaky Start to Alaska Pollock Season TradexFoods - January 7, 2019 Pollock is on everyone's radar at the moment as talks of Quotas and delays circulate North America. The 2019 Total Allowable Catch for Pollock in the Gulf of Alaska was set at 141 thousand Metric tonnes, down quite a bit from 166 thousand metric tonnes last year... https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=UGwg8EYKE1I Federal Register Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Catcher Vessels Using Hook-and-Line Gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 01/07/2019 NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher vessels using hook-and-line gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season allowance of the 2019 Pacific cod total allowable catch apportioned to catcher vessels using hook-and-line gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/01/07/2018-28472/fisheries-of-the-exclusive-economic-zone-off-alaska-pacific-cod-by-catcher-vessels-using
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