Fishery observer survey seeks answers for high turnover Alaska Journal of Commerce by Elizabeth Earl - May 29, 2019 Many of Alaska’s commercial fisheries depend on observers having a place on board, but fewer than a fifth of them feel appreciated by the industry, according to a new survey. http://www.alaskajournal.com/2019-05-29/fishery-observer-survey-seeks-answers-high-turnover Wild Alaska Pollock Groups Laud Partnerships Behind Sustainability Success Story SeafoodNews.com by Peggy Parker - May 24, 2019 The Association of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP) joined with NOAA Fisheries, At-Sea Processors Association and Marine Stewardship Council for a briefing gathered for a briefing to Congressional staff and NGO representatives connected to the seafood industry. The event, hosted by the Oceans Caucus Foundation (OCF), highlighted the partnerships that serve to protect the species and provide for a vital business Wild Alaska Pollock is the best example of how good business and healthy fish stocks go hand in hand was the message from the panelists. It is the seafood industry’s largest, certified sustainable fishery, accounting for thirty percent (by weight) of all the fish caught in the U.S. every year. “Wild Alaska Pollock landings average around 2.5 billion pounds per year over the past 40 years,” said Jim Gilmore, Public Affairs Director for the At-Sea Processors Association. “Wild Alaska Pollock can be found in everything from the favorite McDonalds Filet-o-Fish sandwich to your California roll. Over 70% of what we produce is exported around the world, giving our fish an important global footprint in Asia and the EU.” Panelists discussed how the current management systems under which the Wild Alaska Pollock fishery operates came to be. Laurel Bryant of NOAA Fisheries explained that the management has evolved with fishery observer coverage and an emphasis on an ecosystem-based approach to management as best practices and the Marine Stewardship Agreement has evolved. The Alaska groundfish fisheries, in many ways, set the example of best practices that other U.S. fisheries have adopted. All panelists also emphasized work to help the consuming public understand Wild Alaska Pollock and its sustainability success. Brian Perkins with the Marine Stewardship Council emphasized their work to help consumers understand what its MSC certification and “little blue fish” stands for, connecting consumers directly to Wild Alaska Pollock’s sustainability story at the point of purchase. “We’re working on a major communications effort around National Seafood Month, in October, to help consumers understand what the little blue fish means,” said Perkins. “People doing things right in the marketplace need to be rewarded and the hope is that this will raise all boats.” Similarly, Bryant, Perkins and GAPP CEO Craig Morris all noted the efforts that meet consumers where they are and help them get excited about both the story that makes this protein so popular, and the current industry innovations making it available to more consumers in more ways. “Increasingly we are seeing Wild Alaska pollock found on white table cloth restaurant menus, featured in recipes developed by such celebrities as Martha Stewart and Netflix celebrity chef Antoni Porowski, and finding its way into innovative products such as the recently launched Protein Noodles by Trident Seafoods or the first-ever chilled Wild Alaska Pollock Product, the Perfect Pollock Portions from American Seafoods,” said Morris. Panelists took questions from the audience of the packed meeting room on a variety of topics. “As a result of our partnerships that have evolved under the U.S. fisheries science-based management system, our nation is recognized as a global leader in sustainable seafood. Whether fished or farmed, U.S. seafood is a blue planet protein that helps power our blue economy.” “What excites me most about the Wild Alaska Pollock industry is our unparalleled story,” added Morris. “One of being well managed, one of a public-private partnership with NOAA Fisheries and other agencies that ensures that our natural resource is preserved and protected, one of hardworking fishermen who are harvesting that natural resource off the shore of picturesque Alaska and turn that fish into products—both food and otherwise—using the entire animal. That’s a story we now need to work together to tell.” https://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1142568/Wild-Alaska-Pollock-Groups-Laud-Partnerships-Behind-Sustainability-Success-Story National Catch shares lead to consolidation of Alaskan fisheries Food & Environment Reporting Network by Claire Kelloway - May 28, 2019 A recent study documenting consolidation and specialization in Alaska’s fisheries over the past three decades illustrates a broader trend taking hold in coastal communities across the country. Catch share programs, a new fisheries management system, are turning fishing rights into tradable commodities, driving up the cost to fish and consolidating fishing rights into the hands of a few wealthy owners. For instance, in Alaska’s Bering Sea crab fishery, just four companies own 77 percent of the rights to fish a single crab species. https://thefern.org/ag_insider/catch-shares-lead-to-consolidation-of-alaskan-fisheries/ The truth behind US seafood stats Fish Site by Rob Fletcher - May 29, 2019 “Far more than 10 percent, likely 35–38 percent, of seafood consumed in the United States is of domestic origin,” according to a new study. Writing in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Jessica Gephart et al point out that the 90 percent statistic is regularly rolled out by the press and politicians to justify changes in policy. https://thefishsite.com/articles/the-truth-behind-us-seafood-stats International To create sustainable seafood industries, the United States needs a better accounting of imports and exports Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Jessica A. Gephart, Halley E. Froehlich, and Trevor A. Branch - May 27, 2019 Global seafood trade nearly doubled in recent decades, fueled by decreasing transportation costs, advances in preservation and processing technologies, and open trade policies and is now among the most highly traded commodities. The United States is currently the world’s top seafood importer and among the top five exporters. It is often quoted that 90% of seafood consumed in the United States is imported, implying only 10% is of domestic origin. https://medium.com/proceedings-of-the-national-academy-of-sciences/to-create-sustainable-seafood-industries-the-united-states-needs-a-better-accounting-of-imports-9a040985f686 Environment/Science Ocean Cleanup experts ready to test new upgraded designs Cordova Times - May 29, 2019 Backers of the world first ocean cleanup system say they are heading back to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in June to test new upgraded system designs, using what they learned from System 001 in efforts to clean up the mass of ocean garbage. https://thecordovatimes.com/2019/05/29/ocean-cleanup-experts-ready-to-test-new-upgraded-designs/ Chemical Signatures Tell Critical Story About Habitat Fishermen's News - May 29, 2019 A new study by University of Washington fisheries researchers documents how chemical signatures imprinted inside the ears of fish show that two of Alaska’s most productive salmon populations and the fisheries they support depend on the entire watershed. http://fnonlinenews.blogspot.com/2019/05/chemical-signatures-tell-critical-story.html Federal Register Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings A Notice by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 05/29/2019 The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Pacific Council) and its advisory entities will hold public meetings. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/05/29/2019-11150/pacific-fishery-management-council-public-meetings Western Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings A Notice by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 05/29/2019 The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold its 132nd Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) meeting, Fishery Data Collection and Research Committee (FDCRC), 178th Council meeting and associated meetings to take actions on fishery management issues in the Western Pacific Region. A portion of the Council's Executive, Budget and Legislative Standing Committee meeting will be closed to the public for a briefing on litigation by counsel. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/05/29/2019-11149/western-pacific-fishery-management-council-public-meetings
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