A Covid-free Sitka to quarantine incoming seasonal workers KCAW by Katherine Rose - April 15, 2020 The Sitka Assembly has passed a controversial ordinance that would place tight restrictions on seasonal workers coming to Sitka — tighter, in fact, than already required under a mandate from the governor. And while most on the assembly believe tough rules are necessary right now, there is concern over whether the city might be overstepping its bounds, and facing a legal challenge from state government. https://www.kcaw.org/2020/04/15/a-covid-free-sitka-to-quarantine-incoming-seasonal-workers/ Alaska Fisheries Report — April 16, 2020 KMXT by Maggie Wall - April 16, 2020 The COVID-19 pandemic has slowly begun to spread into rural Alaska, and it’s forcing fishermen and processors to take a hard look at the summer fishing season. Three tribes in Bristol Bay have joined Dillingham in asking the governor to consider closing the fishery. Meanwhile processors have presented a plan to address local concerns about keeping small fishing communities, and the fishery, safe. https://kmxt.org/2020/04/alaska-fisheries-report-april-16-2020/ Alaska trade group provides seafood industry updates on COVID-19 protocols, new benefits for fishermen Anchorage Daily News by Laine Welch - April 15, 2020 How can fishermen be sure their vessels are clean of coronavirus contamination? Where can they find out about relief funds that are newly available for fishermen? COVID-19 has Alaska’s seafood industry traveling in uncharted waters as more fisheries continue and get underway, and fishermen and processors prepare for a salmon season that’s just a month away. Information in an upside down world changes daily, making it tough to plot a course. https://www.adn.com/business-economy/2020/04/14/alaska-trade-group-provides-seafood-industry-updates-on-covid-19-protocols-new-benefits-for-fishermen/ Bering Sea commercial fleets taking extra precautions during pandemic Seafood Source by Madelyn Kearns - April 15, 2020 Commercial fishermen who have embarked on the Bering Sea for the 2020 season are taking extra precautions in light of the COVID-19 pandemic that has moved much of the world into isolation. https://www.seafoodsource.com/news/supply-trade/bering-sea-commercial-fleets-taking-extra-precautions-during-pandemic As Alaska fishing season set to begin, fearful communities and seafood industry try to prevent spread of coronavirus Seattle Times by Hal Bernton - April 17, 2020 TACOMA — Early next month, Trident Seafoods vessel-operations manager Tod Hall will bid his wife goodbye, then leave his Lakewood home for the start of a six-month season catching and processing fish off Washington and Alaska. This year, instead of boarding the 316-foot Island Enterprise now moored at a Tacoma dock, he first will check into a hotel on the outskirts of Seattle. For the next 14 days, he will remain quarantined in his room with all meals delivered and even an occasional hallway stroll off-limits. https://www.seattletimes.com/business/as-alaska-fishing-season-set-to-begin-fearful-communities-and-seafood-industry-try-to-prevent-spread-of-coronavirus/ Federal Register List of Fisheries for 2020 A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 04/16/2020 The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) publishes its final List of Fisheries (LOF) for 2020, as required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). The LOF for 2020 reflects new information on interactions between commercial fisheries and marine mammals. NMFS must classify each commercial fishery on the LOF into one of three categories under the MMPA based upon the level of mortality and serious injury of marine mammals that occurs incidental to each fishery. The classification of a fishery on the LOF determines whether participants in that fishery are subject to certain provisions of the MMPA, such as registration, observer coverage, and take reduction plan (TRP) requirements. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/04/16/2020-06908/list-of-fisheries-for-2020 FYI’s Southeast Alaska fishermen's group works to feed families affected by COVID-19 KTUU by Grant Robinson - April 15, 2020 ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - With thousands of Alaskans out of work because of coronavirus mandates and other economic effects, fishermen and processors in Southeast Alaska are working to ensure families in need have access to food. https://www.ktuu.com/content/news/Southeast-Alaska-fishermans-non-profit-working-to--569672521.html A virtual expo of smarter fish processing Marel Live - April 21-22, 2020 This interactive online event will cover a range of topics – from traceability software that improves food safety to robotic solutions that automate your processes and help save on labor costs – and includes a virtual tour of our Brussels expo stand. https://marel.com/events/a-virtual-expo-of-smarter-fish-processing/ North Pacific Council Meets for First Time Online, Agenda Released SeafoodNews.com by Peggy Parker - April 15, 2020 After cancelling its April meeting, the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council will meet for the first time by web conference for its June meeting. The agenda, which includes some items that were to be addressed this month, has been released. NPFMC meetings are usually ten days long with any spare time spent in hallways, meeting rooms, and nearby restaurants discussing issues and negotiating solutions. Replacing that ongoing face-to-face contact with anything else will be difficult and likely challenge even the most robust social media platforms. The schedule, as usual, places meetings of the Council’s two advisory bodies prior to the plenary sessions which are from June 8 to June 10. That truncated period for Council actions -- which are normally a week -- will be another first-ever event. The Science and Statistical Committee (SSC) and the Advisory Panel (AP) will meet June 1-5, 2020. Items on the agenda for June include the scallop SAFE report, Cook Inlet Salmon management plan, and two reports on which little action is expected: Essential Fish Habitat 5-year review workplan and marine mmamal status, a review that will be part of the SSC report. All of these issues were to be heard at the April meeting cancelled last month. On the original agenda for June are reports from the Crab Plan Team on three crab stocks in the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands, the 2019 Observer annual report, and final action on the St. Matthew Blue King crab rebuilding plan. Added to the June meeting is a sablefish apportionment evaulation [https://www.npfmc.org/wp-content/PDFdocuments/meetings/April2020/SablefishApportionmentSummary.pdf] of alternative sablefish apportionment strategies. The evaulation looks at ten alternative apportionment strategies in an effort to reduce variability in apportionment that is not being achieved currently. What has been dropped from the June meeting, as of today, are reports from the Fishery Monitoring Advisory Commitee, the Trawl Electronic Monitoring Committee, The Comunity Engagement Committee, the Social Science Planning Team, a NOAA Enforcement report, the Adak Red King Crab EFP, final action on the BS/AI Pacific cod pot CP and a preliminary BSAI Pacific cod trawl CV LAPP. Also off the agenda are an initial review of the Bycatch Reporting Method, and the BS/AI Halibut Abundance Base Management issue. Other informational items will be posted as they are released. The following are listed as being available for review but will not be brought before the council in the meeting. The Seabird report will be posted end of May. Marine mammal status report will be rescheduled as an informational presentation to the SSC. There will be no written material. The Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) 5-year review is posted now. The salmon genetics reports has been delayed and will be posted when available. Pollock Incentive Plan Agreement reports: Inshore Salmon Savings IPA is available now. Catcher processor and mothership salmon savings incentive plan agreement (IPA) reports are also available. Groundfish and BSAI Crab Cooperative Reports for 2019 are, like the IPA reports above, are listed on the Council webpage. Stakeholders can submit and review comments on each Agenda Item, as before. The deadline for comments is midnight (Alaska time) Sunday, June 7, 2020. More information about how to join the webconference will be posted in May on the Council’s website NPFMC.org. Stakeholders with questions about the logistics of the meeting or concerns about logging in can email firstname.lastname@example.org. https://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1168917/North-Pacific-Council-Meets-for-First-Time-Online-Agenda-Released
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