Alaska USDA purchases $20M in Alaska pollock amid pandemic KTVA by Manny Creech - May 4, 2020 Alaska's congressional delegation has welcomed a $20 million purchase of Alaska pollock by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted food supply chains and impacted multiple industries nationwide, including Alaska's seafood sector, according to a Monday release from the delegation. https://www.ktva.com/story/42087956/usda-purchases-dollar20m-in-alaska-pollock-amid-pandemic Ask the Expert: Fishing under quarantine National Fisherman by Jessica Hathaway - May 5, 2020 We were honored to host Dr. Ann Jarris of Discovery Health MD for an in-depth presentation to help guide fishing captains and companies on developing protocols for onboard operations in the midst of covid-19. Today Dr. Jarris joined me for a follow-up Q&A to answer the questions we didn’t get to in the webinar. https://www.nationalfisherman.com/national-international/ask-the-expert-fishing-under-quarantine/ Seafood processing worker is Cordova’s first positive coronavirus case Anchorage Daily News by Michelle Theriault Boots - May 6, 2020 Cordova’s first positive case of the new coronavirus is an Ocean Beauty Seafoods worker who had recently traveled to the Prince William Sound community from outside of Alaska, officials announced Wednesday. https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/2020/05/06/seafood-processing-worker-is-first-positive-coronavirus-case-in-cordova/ West Coast At least 13 workers at Oregon seafood processing plant test positive for COVID-19 Bornstein Seafood’s entire workforce is being tested for the virus while its Astoria facilities are shut down. KGW Staff - May 4, 2020 ASTORIA, Ore. — An Oregon seafood company has closed its facilities in Astoria after at least 13 workers tested positive for COVID-19. https://www.kgw.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/workers-positive-covid-19-astoria-bornstein-seafood-processing-plant/283-0001d0ba-9fa4-443a-9de1-9123784984fb Politics 25 Senators Looking to Net $3 Billion for Seafood Industry in Next Round of COVID-19 Relief Urner Barry by Ryan Doyle - May 7, 2020 Led by U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Jack Reed (D-RI) a group of 25 lawmakers are pushing to secure more federal assistance to American fishermen and seafood processors who have been hammered by the COVID-19 pandemic. In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the delegation requests increased funding for the “critical industry.” “Our seafood processors and fishermen have been dealt a significant economic blow as a result of coronavirus and are in desperate need of federal assistance,” the senators wrote. “It has been reported that many of the nation’s fisheries have suffered sales declines as high as 95 percent. In addition, while many other agricultural sectors have seen a significant increase in grocery sales, seafood has been left out of that economic upside, as stores have cut back on offerings.” The Senators are calling for the allocation of $2 billion to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to purchase and redistribute seafood products to food banks, similar to what the agency is doing for other agricultural products. Earlier this week, the USDA announced a $70 million seafood purchase that would be directed to food banks. The Department purchased $20 million of Alaska pollock, $20 million of haddock, pollock and redfish (Atlantic) and $30 million of catfish products. Alongside the allocation to the USDA, the senators are asking for $1 billion for the Department of Commerce and NOAA to support direct payments to fisheries, seafood producers and processors. If the senators get their wish, this funding would go well beyond what the industry received in the federal government’s first round of relief. The seafood sector received $300 million in assistance from the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act in late March. The funds from the CARES Act have yet to be allocated to fisheries participants as both representatives and members of the industry wait for the government to act. “Not only do fisheries help Americans put food on the table for their families, they have long been the lifeblood of local and regional economies across the country,” a press release from Merkley’s office said. “In 2016, the industry supported over one million good-paying jobs and generated more than $144 billion in sales, adding an estimated $61 billion to the nation’s GDP. In addition to the jobs, families, and communities it supports along every part of our country’s coastlines, the seafood industry fuels jobs throughout the country in processing, distribution, and food service industries.” Merkley, Murkowski, and Reed were joined in sending the bipartisan letter by U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Mark Warner (D-VA), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Tom Carper (D-DE), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Angus King (I-ME), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Chris Coons (D-DE), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Mazie Hirono (D-HI). https://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1170706/25-Senators-Looking-to-Net-3-Billion-for-Seafood-Industry-in-Next-Round-of-COVID-19-Relief Federal Register 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 05/07/2020 NMFS is prohibiting retention of Pacific cod by American Fisheries Act (AFA) trawl catcher/processors in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary because the Pacific cod total allowable catch allocated to AFA trawl catcher/processors in the BSAI has been reached. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/05/07/2020-09800/fisheries-of-the-exclusive-economic-zone-off-alaska-pacific-cod-by-catcherprocessors-using-trawl FYI’s Foot-operated hand-washing stations installed in harbor Cordova Times by Zachary Snowdon Smith - May 5, 2020 Hand-washing stations have been installed at the tops of all ramps at Cordova Harbor, Mayor Clay Koplin announced Tuesday, May 5. These stations are entirely foot-operated and dispense both soap and water. More stations will be installed at the bottom of the ramps once parts arrive, Koplin said. https://www.thecordovatimes.com/2020/05/05/foot-operated-hand-washing-stations-installed-in-harbor/ Reluctant Fisherman Inn offers quarantine with room service Inn drops rates 50% for new arrivals undergoing mandatory 14-day self-isolation Cordova Times by Zachary Snowdon Smith - May 1, 2020 A stay at the Reluctant Fisherman Inn includes all the necessary amenities: meals delivered in sealed plastic bags, regular wellness checks and, of course, a complimentary mask to go with your pillow mint. https://www.thecordovatimes.com/2020/05/01/reluctant-fisherman-inn-offers-quarantine-with-room-service/ Dillingham subsistence permits available electronically this season KDLG by Isabelle Ross - May 6, 2020 Dillingham subsistence permits can be filled out on phones, tablets, or computers. The electronic option is an effort to reduce foot traffic to Fish and Game's office, which only allows two visitors in the office at a time. https://www.kdlg.org/post/dillingham-subsistence-permits-available-electronically-season
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