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Thursday, February 27, 2020

Alaska/Pacific Coast

Norton Sound Winter Crabbers Challenged to Find Buyers Fishermen's News - February 26, 2020 Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) managers at Nome have decided to go ahead with the Norton Sound winter commercial red king crab fishery, but harvesters will have to find their own markets before the fishery opens on Saturday, Feb. 29. International Russian Pollock Producers Deny U.S. Media Reports of their Major Expansion by Eugene Gerden - February 26, 2020 Leading Russian pollock producers have expressed their skepticism regarding recent reports from U.S. media outlets that the introduction of an embargo on the supplies of fish and seafood from the U.S. had a catastrophic effect on Alaskan fishermen and led to the influx of cheap fish and seafood from Russia in the U.S. market. In accordance with the February review, prepared by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI), the introduction of countersanctions on U.S. fish and seafood supplies by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in 2014 resulted in the reduction of annual profits of Alaskan fisherman by about US$40 million. According to ASMI, most of these supplies accounted for salmon caviar, as well as frozen salmon and surimi, which exports to Russia in 2013 set a new record, when they amounted to US$ 61.3 million. Before the embargo Russia was the second (after Japan) export market for salmon caviar from Alaska. The demand for these products is explained by the fact that Russian consumers considered the U.S. products as those of better quality than the domestic ones. In addition to the loss of a large sale market, in their report the Alaskan fishermen complained about the increased competition from Russian fisherman in their domestic market. Although the market of Russia is currently closed to suppliers of fish and seafood from the United States, the latter did not impose any restrictions on the imports of fish from Russia. Moreover, Russia imports part of its products to the U.S. without payment of any duties and fees, which provides additional advantages and benefits to its fisherman. In the meantime, Aleksey Buglak, president of the Russian Pollock Producers Association, believes the impact of the Russian embargo on the U.S. fish exports should not be overestimated by the U.S. side. According to him, these exports could be considered an “an extremely small amount” in the overall structure of the U.S. fish and seafood exports. Buglak believes the Russian countersanctions had a negative effect only on the exports of U.S. salmon caviar, as the country had only two key markets for it sales —Russia and Japan. According to Buglak, so far, it has not yet been possible to find a replacement for the Russian market, while salmon caviar is not in great demand in the U.S. domestic market. As Buglak said in an interview to the Russian RBC business paper, the report from AlSMI could be considered as “another information attack,” as part of the struggle of U.S. fishermen for global sale markets for their fish. According to Russian analysts, U.S. fishermen are trying to squeeze out imported fish from the domestic market or put it in a less favorable position. Buglak recalls almost a similar situation with U.S. restrictions on imports of pollock, which caused a serious debate between pollock producers of Alaska, on the one hand, as well processors and producers, who use pollock, on the other. Aleksey Buglak says: “The first will definitely receive some major benefits from such restrictions, however the second will suffer, as they use Chinese-made pollock fillets to produce their products and understand that this decision will lead to higher prices for them and the reduction of supplies of cheaper raw materials for their needs. Environment/Science Scientists gather to study risk from microplastic pollution AP News by Gillian Flaccus - February 24, 2020 PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Tiny bits of broken-down plastic smaller than a fraction of a grain of rice are turning up everywhere in oceans, from the water to the guts of fish and the poop of sea otters and giant killer whales. Labeling and Marketing Sustainability a factor of increased consumer desire for seafood Supermarket Perimeter by Andy Nelson - February 25, 2020 Last year was a great one for Alaskan seafood and for making consumers more conscious of sustainable sourcing, says Megan Rider, domestic marketing director of the Juneau-based Alaska Seafood and Marketing Institute (ASMI). FYI’s Alaska lawmakers seek oversight over ferry fleet’s fate KCAW by Jacob Resneck - February 25, 2020 A three-line piece of legislation would prohibit the state from selling, transferring or disposing of a state ferry without express approval by lawmakers. 12 finalists to compete for 2020 Seafood Excellence Awards Seafood Source by Madelyn Kearns - February 25, 2020 Twelve finalists will go head-to-head for the 2020 Seafood Excellence Awards on Sunday, 15 March, at Seafood Expo North America/Seafood Processing North America in Boston, Massachusetts, according to event organizer Diversified Communications.

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