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Wednesday, June 24, 2020


Alaska Salmon Fishery Recertified to RFM Standard Perishable News by Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute Seafood - June 23, 2020 On June 2, 2020 the Alaska salmon fishery successfully achieved recertification to the Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) Certification program. This is the first fishery to be assessed using Version 2.0 of the Alaska RFM Fisheries Standard. The Alaska salmon fishery originally received RFM Certification in March 2011. Norton Sound Fishers Focusing on 220,000 Pounds of Cod Instead of Red King Crab KNOM by Davis Hovey - June 22, 2020 More commercial fishers in the Norton Sound will be catching cod rather than crab this summer, as an unusual fishing season for the region gets underway. 12 seafood workers in Dillingham are diagnosed with COVID-19 as number of cases in Alaska continues to rise Alaska Public Media News - June 23, 2020 Twelve seafood workers in Dillingham have tested positive for COVID-19 while under quarantine, the Bristol Bay hub town announced late Monday, sparking anxiety in the small community. Pandemic throws a wrench in salmon market The possibility of significant outbreaks at processing plants, and a decrease in consumer power, poses big questions about the reliability of both supply and demand this season. KDLG by Sage Smiley - June 23, 2020 "Let's hope this is one hell of an anomaly," says Gunnar Knapp, professor emeritus of economics at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Bristol Bay on Brink of Opening as Escapement Counts Increase, PMTF Data Scant to Date by Peggy Parker - June 22, 2020 “Wood River sockeye salmon escapement is increasing to the point that we need to be prepared to respond to a sudden increase in fish movement into the Wood River,” ADF&G managers announced yesterday, June 21. “The drift and set net fleets are advised that they should be ready to respond on short notice to fishing openings as early 2:00 a.m. Tuesday morning, June 23.” Wood River cumulative escapement was over 25,000 sockeye yesterday; total projected escapement for the season is 1.53 million over the next six to eight weeks. During that time, an additional 6.72 million sockeye are forecasted to be harvested. The Wood River is part of three river systems -- Igushik and Nushagak are the other two -- that make up the Nushagak District, a recent over-performer in Bristol Bay’s storied salmon return. This year, Nushagak is expected to produce 9.72 million sockeye, second to the Naknek-Kvichak District with a 12.34 million sockeye forecast. Bristol Bay's overall forecasted harvest for 2020 is 34.56 million sockeye. The Nushagak sockeye salmon escapement was 10,250 fish on Saturday for a cumulative of 51,255. The Nushagak king salmon escapement was 70 yesterday for a cumulative of 9,320 king salmon. This low king salmon escapement is the reason ADF&G managers want to wait longer before opening the fishery. Egegik escapement has been encouraging. Setnetters have fished there since June 1 and have harvested 24,000 sockeye as of last Friday. Escapement as of yesterday was 21,000 sockeye, prompting ADF&G to open the area to drift gillnetters yesterday for six hours and today for a five-hour opener. The Egegik fleet is on stand by for another opener announcement tomorrow. The Port Moller Test Fishery has been hit with extremely bad weather, and a last minute change in the second charter vessel, both contributing to no stock composition data yet. The research vessel Pandalus has been replaced by the F/V Americanus. “Yesterday’s conditions on the transect were the worst fished since I (Michael [Link, PMTF manager]) have been paying close attention to the project beginning in 1998. The barometric pressure gradient over the south end of the transect late last night was really something; the [Ocean Cat] OC steamed through 17-20’ seas to get through it,” noted Link. The researchers have had at least two unfishable days due to the weather, but have caught enough fish to send to Anchorage for stock composition results by late today. An example of how difficult getting the samples from the water to the lab is illustrated in these notes from Link: “The tissue and scale samples from fishing 6/19-20 arrived in Port Moller at 415am this morning, were on a Lake Clark Air plane by 1230pm, and arrived in Anchorage in the last hour – a record <24 hours since the last fish in this sample came out of the water at Station 8. We’ll take victories in all forms these days.” National Trump visa ban excludes "essential" seafood industry SeafoodSource by Steve Bittenbender - June 23, 2020 On Monday, 22 June, U.S. President Donald Trump issued an executive order to temporarily suspend foreign seasonal workers from entering the United States. However, the order carves out an exception for workers who provide “services essential” to the country’s food supply chain.

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