Alaska Fisheries Report KMXT by Maggie Wall - January 9, 2019 The federal shutdown is didn’t halt the start of several federal fisheries this month, but it has caused other problems, especially for fishermen wanting mandatory permits or inspections. http://kmxt.org/2019/01/alaska-fisheries-report-jan-10-2018/ Cook Inlet sockeye forecast improves; kings closed in North Alaska Journal of Commerce by Elizabeth Earl - January 9, 2019 After two disappointing sockeye seasons in a row, the 2019 season may look up for Upper Cook Inlet commercial fishermen. http://www.alaskajournal.com/2019-01-09/cook-inlet-sockeye-forecast-improves-kings-closed-north#.XDdqP_x7n_Q Federal Shutdown Not Yet Affecting Fisheries Fishermen's News - January 9, 2019 As federal government shutdown prompted by a dispute over a border wall heads into its third week, it is not currently affecting the seafood industry as harvesters and processors prepare for multi-million dollar groundfish fisheries in the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands and Gulf of Alaska. http://fnonlinenews.blogspot.com/2019/01/federal-shutdown-not-yet-affecting.html Politics Southeast purse seiners to hold another permit buyback vote Alaska Journal of Commerce by Elizabeth Earl - January 9, 2019 Southeast Alaska purse seine fishermen are preparing to vote on another permit buyback, with an eye toward making the fishery more viable in an era of more efficient vessels and smaller salmon runs. http://www.alaskajournal.com/2019-01-09/southeast-purse-seiners-hold-another-permit-buyback-vote#.XDdqsvx7n_Q International Russian King Crab Endure Convoluted Shipping Methods to China SeafoodNews.com by Amy Zhong - January 8, 2018 In late December of 2018, 53 tons of live king crab were shipped from Russia to Shanghai. Thanks to new technologies, most king crabs are still alive after the 6-day travel period. Russian seafood used to be flown to Shanghai or arrive there after a transfer in Dalian or Qingdao. But things have started to change since June 2017 when king crab were delivered to Shanghai by sea for the first time. This new mode of transportation not only brings fresher seafood but also lower costs and greater competitiveness. And to ensure freshness, local customs has updated inspection procedures and finished the clearance of this batch of crab in 25 minutes. These seafood products arrived at the pier about 1 p.m. that day, and by 5 p.m., some were on their way to temporary ponds, while some were shipped to other markets, according to some media reports. Russia is a preferred option for Chinese buyers while sourcing king crab because those from Norway and Switzerland have to be flown to China, and they are limited in number and high in costs. Chilean ones are mostly frozen before being sent to Shanghai due to a lack of direct flights. Importers have to shoulder higher risks while buying from Alaska. Despite the seemingly promising prospect, Chinese importers are faced with hindrances while buying from Russia. As a matter of fact, this is the second batch of king crab it purchased from its neighbor, which means that it has only bought one batch in a year since 2016. According to insiders, quite a number of king crabs available in China have been smuggled into the country through its northern cities and then sold to the south. Importers usually falsify either purchase prices, roughly 30 percent lower than the normal prices, or purchase volumes, about 40 percent lower than their true volumes. Although there is no guarantee about quality, they grab large market shares with low prices and take a toll on legal imports. In addition, when negotiating with Russian suppliers, Chinese importers compete with each other rather than work as a team. This kind of behavior weakens their influence and also pushes purchase prices upward. For example, it has led to peak-season prices, which are about 1.5 times higher than fishing-season prices, or sometimes are even more expensive. In spite of large purchase volumes, Chinese buyers have little control over prices and supply. And when king crab arrive in China, most are sold through retailers, who further raise prices to reap higher profits. As a result, retail prices are usually three times the wholesale price. To tackle these problems, some insiders have started to take action. This second batch of king crab are said to be imported by some state-owned enterprise in China with the help from China Aquatic Products Processing and Marketing Association (CAPPMA), the organization that drafted a controversial salmon standard last year. Imported seafood provides a solution to China’s insufficient seafood supply, and the association plans to set up its king crab subsidiary in mid-January 2019 to promote sustainable industry development, one association member was reported as saying. In this new year, Shanghai is expected to receive one shipment of king crab every month. A bright future awaits, and the association can play an important role in those plans, so long as it puts a limit on its ambition and refuses the temptation of coming up with a salmon-type standard for king crab. Meanwhile, industry prosperity also requires China’s customs continue its crackdown on illegal king crab trade. Prices may not be the determining factor for consumers in their shopping, but the story may be slightly different for traders and retailers. https://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1128361/Russian-King-Crab-Endure-Convoluted-Shipping-Methods-to-China Environment/Science Exxon Valdez oil spill legacy is topic of AMSS keynote The Cordova Times - January 9, 2019 Earthquakes, tsunamis, changing oceans and the scientific legacy of the Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster will be the topic of keynote speakers on the first day of the 2019 Alaska Marine Science Symposium, set for Jan. 28 through Feb. 1 in Anchorage. https://www.thecordovatimes.com/2019/01/09/exxon-valdez-oil-spill-legacy-is-topic-of-amss-keynote/ FYI’s NPFMC Agenda Might Change with Shutdown Fishermen's News - January 9, 2019 As the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) prepares for its meeting in Portland, Oregon Feb. 4-11, the staff is advising those planning to participate that the current federal government shutdown may create changes to its schedule. http://fnonlinenews.blogspot.com/2019/01/npfmc-agenda-might-change-with-shutdown.html
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