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Friday, March 13, 2020

Alaska/Pacific Coast

ComFish Alaska rescheduled to September because of coronavirus concerns KMXT by Maggie Wall - March 12, 2020 Concerns over the coronavirus has prompted the rescheduling of Alaska’s longest running fisheries trade show. Alaska Fisheries Report KMXT by Maggie Wall - March 12, 2020 Gulf of Alaska cod loses its sustainability certification. The loss of the blue sticker is not because of poor management. Rather it’s warmer waters which mean smaller fish and fewer young cod in the fishery. Cook Inlet setnet permit buyout bill stalled in Senate Alaska Journal of Commerce by Elizabeth Earl - March 11, 2020 Cook Inlet’s East Side setnetters are still looking for relief in the form of a permit buyback, but the bill that would allow it is stuck in the Legislature. National 2020 Retail Seafood Review: Sustainability Remains Key Concern Progressive Grocer by Bridget Goldschmidt - March 11, 2020 Even as demand rises for plant-based proteins, consumers haven’t lost their taste for seafood. In fact, they plan to eat even more of it. Federal Register Pacific Halibut Fisheries; Catch Sharing Plan A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 03/13/2020 The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), on behalf of the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC), publishes as regulations the 2020 annual management measures governing the Pacific halibut fishery that have been recommended by the IPHC and accepted by the Secretary of State. This action is intended to enhance the conservation of Pacific halibut and further the goals and objectives of the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) and the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC). Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Catcher/Processors Using Trawl Gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 03/13/2020 NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by American Fisheries Act (AFA) trawl catcher/processors in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A-season limit of the Pacific cod total allowable catch specified for AFA trawl catcher/processors in the BSAI. FYI’s WDFW Moves to Online Meetings in Response to COVID-19 Concerns Other management entities also considering virtual options by Susan Chambers - March 13, 2020 The coronavirus is taking its toll on fisheries management on the West Coast. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced Thursday it will shift public meetings to online or phone-based formats beginning March 16 and lasting through the first week of April in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19/coronavirus. “We are dedicated to providing an opportunity for the public to share their feedback on our work – that hasn’t changed,” WDFW Director Kelly Susewind said in a press release. “We encourage people to use the alternate methods we’re providing so they can still ensure that their voices are heard. We commit to giving these comments all the weight that our constituents convey when they participate in person. We’re taking the coronavirus outbreak in Washington state seriously and are thinking of the well-being of all Washingtonians as we make these difficult decisions.” Public meetings held as part of an annual process to set salmon seasons – commonly referred to as North of Falcon – will continue virtually, WDFW said. However, part of the salmon season-setting process also has a federal component. The Pacific Fishery Management Council is scheduled to take final action on West Coast salmon seasons at its April 4-10 meeting. As of today, the PFMC noted on its homepage that the April Council meeting will be conducted as planned, in Vancouver, Wash. "There are no Federal restrictions for domestic travel related to COVID-19; the CDC has issued guidelines which we will monitor for updates," the notice said. State fishery managers and Council staff have been working on contingency plans since late February. The March PFMC meeting took place in Rohnert Park, Calif., as planned. Attendees took precautions recommended by the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Organizing an online/virtual council meeting for any of the regional fishery management councils is an ambitious task. Advisory bodies frequently meet at the same time as the full council. Some of the advisory body members may not be as adept at using technology as managers and researchers. Meeting notices or changes to meeting formats must be published in the Federal Register with sufficient time to allow the public to participate. Those involved in the process were on alert Thursday when news broke that President Trump was considering travel restrictions in Washington and California. Most of the NMFS staff and scientists reside in those two states; their absence at an in-person meeting could hamper the regulations process, similar to what happened or was speculated to happen during the government shutdown between December 2018 and January 2019. Those domestic travel restrictions have not been implemented yet. Already, the Joint Management Committee, part of the Pacific hake treaty process between the U.S. and Canada, was conducted virtually this week. U.S. managers and industry met in Seattle; Canadian managers stayed in Canada and the two groups conducted negotiations via conference call and online meeting rooms. The Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission canceled its in-person meeting this week as well. Staff spent a portion of this week organizing an online meeting that will be held March 18. WDFW included in its press release that more information about the North of Falcon salmon season-setting meeting scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Monday, March 16, and future North of Falcon meetings will be available and regularly updated at Updated information on WDFW commission meetings, advisory group meetings, and other public meetings is available at This site will include updates, including a possible extension of how long these restrictions may last. Watch Us Eat! We Try 7-Eleven's New Wild Alaska Pollock Sandwich SeafoodNews - March 13, 2020 SeafoodNews Managing Editor Amanda Buckle and News Assistant Ryan Doyle are back with a new installment of "Watch Us Eat!" This week we're eating 7-Eleven's new Wild Alaska Pollock. “7-Eleven is always on the lookout for new and delicious fresh food that we think our customers will love and, once they’ve tried it, seek out again and again,” said Robin Murphy, 7‑Eleven fresh food product director. “Customers looking for a hot fish sandwich because they’re observing Lent dietary restrictions, or just because they love a good fish sandwich can find this limited-time offering in our hot cases.” Alaska pollock is one of the world's most abundant and sustainable species in the world. In Alaska, landings of pollock are part of a 23-species management plan in the Bering Sea that is constricted by a total species-wide cap of two million metric tons per year. Prices for Alaskan pollock adjusted higher throughout 2019 with upwards pressure attributed to tariffs and limited supply out of Alaska. 2020 is expected to see a 3 billion pound harvest from the Bering Sea and 250 million pounds from the Gulf of Alaska. Watch the video below!

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