Trump administration COVID-19 task force urges Alaska to require masks for seafood plants and hot spots Anchorage Daily News by Zaz Hollander, Morgan Krakow - July 30, 2020 The state should mandate masks, especially in seafood processing plants and places with high or rising case counts, to slow Alaska’s explosive coronavirus infection rates. https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/2020/07/29/trump-administration-covid-19-task-force-urges-alaska-to-require-masks-for-seafood-plants-and-hot-spots/ Faced with a pandemic, fishing activists call for more government support After a summer plagued by a pandemic, plummeting prices, and a global recession, fishing activists are calling for changes to governmental protections for fisheries in Alaska and across the country. KDLG by Sage Smiley - July 30, 2020 Before this year’s salmon season, federal disaster funding was mostly unavailable to small-boat fishing businesses. Congress amended the Paycheck Protection Program at the beginning of July so that fishermen could apply, and a little later it extended the program’s application deadline. That was a big relief for many fishermen in Alaska. https://www.kdlg.org/post/faced-pandemic-fishing-activists-call-more-government-support Bristol Bay catch lifts sluggish Alaska summer salmon season Seafood Source by Brian Hagenbuch - July 29, 2020 Alaska’s summer salmon season drifts into its second half as Bristol Bay’s sockeye fishery is winding down from another strong catch of around 38 million fish, leaving pink salmon to take center stage. https://www.seafoodsource.com/news/supply-trade/bristol-bay-catch-lifts-sluggish-alaska-summer-salmon-season Golden king crab test fishery set for autumn Winning bidder will be awarded a contract to harvest and purchase 15,000 pounds of crab The Cordova Times - July 29, 2020 More than 30 years after the last commercial harvest of golden king crab in Prince William Sound, Alaska Department of Fish and Game researchers are preparing for a test fishery set for Sept. 1 through Oct. 30, to determine whereabouts and abundance of the species. https://www.thecordovatimes.com/2020/07/29/golden-king-crab-test-fishery-set-for-autumn/ IPHC Grants a Fourth Halibut Opener for Area 2A Commercial Fishery Next Week SeafoodNews.com by Susan Chambers - July 29, 2020 Low vessel limits for halibut vessels in the directed commercial fishery on the West Coast and limited participation have resulted in a fourth opener next week. The International Pacific Halibut Commission has established fishing period limits for all licensed vessels for the fourth opener from Aug. 3 to Aug. 5. An estimated 47 metric tons -- about 104,000 pounds -- remain to be harvested, according to the IPHC. The 2020 total allocation for the halibut fishery off of Washington, Oregon and California is 115.41 metric tons, or 254,426 pounds. Fishermen harvested an estimated 21 mt, or 45,000 pounds during the first opener in June. The second opener during July 6-8, with higher individual vessel limits, resulted in only 27 mt, or 59,000 pounds being landed. The third opener in late July also resulted in only 21 mt harvested, or roughly 46,000 pounds. The fourth fishing period will begin at 8 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 3, to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug., south of Point Chehalis in Washington. The following fishing period limits for the fourth opener are identical to those for the third opener: Vessel Class A, 1-25 feet, 2,263 pounds (same as the third opener vs. 1,810 pounds in the second opener and 905 pounds in June) Vessel Class B, 26-30 feet, 2,263 pounds (same as the third opener vs. 1,810 pounds in the second opener and 905 pounds in June) Vessel Class C: 31-35 feet, 2,263 pounds (same as the third opener vs. 1,810 pounds in the second opener and 905 pounds in June) Vessel Class D: 36-40 feet, 3,410 pounds (same as the third opener vs. 2,728 pounds in the second opener and 1,364 pounds in June) Vessel Class E: 41-45 feet, 3,410 pounds (same as the third opener vs. 2,728 pounds in the second opener and 1,364 pounds in June) Vessel Class F: 46-50 feet, 4,545 pounds (same as the third opener vs. 3,636 pounds in the second opener and 1,818 pounds in June) Vessel Class G: 51-55 feet, 4,545 pounds (same as the third opener vs. 3,636 pounds in the second opener and 1,818 pounds in June) Vessel Class H: 56+ feet, 5,113 pounds (same as the third opener vs. 4,090 pounds in the second opener and 2,045 pounds in June) The fishing period limit applies to the vessel, not the individual fisherman, according to an IPHC press release. The limits are for halibut with dressed, head-on weight, and stakeholders are reminded that regulations require that all Pacific halibut be landed with the head naturally attached. https://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1177021/IPHC-Grants-a-Fourth-Halibut-Opener-for-Area-2A-Commercial-Fishery-Next-Week National The Biggest Takeaways From NOAA’s 2019 Status of Stocks Report Urner Barry by Amanda Buckle - July 29, 2020 This week NOAA released their 2019 Status of Stocks Report to Congress. The 10-page document highlights efforts being made to ensure the sustainability of fisheries and the fishing communities, “while maximizing fishing opportunities.” And according to the government agency, the number of stocks on the overfishing list reached an all-time low. Check out the biggest takeaways from the report here: Overfishing According to NOAA, 2019 concluded with 22 stocks on the overfishing list. In comparison, 2018 ended with 28 stocks on the overfishing list. Overfishing is defined by NOAA as a “stock having a harvest rate higher than the rate that produces its maximum sustainable yield.” This year blueline tilefish (Southern Atlantic Coast), Chinook salmon (Columbia River Basin: Upper River Summer), Gray snapper (Gulf of Mexico), Hogfish (Florida Keys/ East Florida), Lane snapper (Gulf of Mexico), Summer flounder (Mid-Atlantic Coast), Tilefish (South Atlantic Coast), White marlin (Atlantic), Yellowtail flounder (Cape Cod/ Gulf of Maine) and Yellowtail flounder (Southern New England/ Mid-Atlantic) were all removed from the overfishing list. There were only four stocks added to the overfishing list: Gray triggerfish (Gulf of Mexico), Greater amberjack (Gulf of Mexico), Greater amberjack (Southern Atlantic Coast), and Red grouper (Southern Atlantic Coast). Overfished While the overfishing list decreased, the overfished list increased slightly from 43 in 2018, to 46 in 2019. Overfished is defined by NOAA as a “stock having a population size that is too low and that jeopardizes the stock’s ability to produce its maximum sustainable yield.” Yellowtail flounder (Cape/Cod Gulf of Maine) was the only stock removed from the overfished list in 2019. Meanwhile, Bluefish (Atlantic Coast), Pacific Sardine (Northern Subpopulation), White hake (Gulf of Maine/ Georges Bank) and Winter flounder (Georges Bank) were added to the overfished list. Rebuilt Stocks As for stocks rebuilt, that number increased from 45 to 47 in 2019. A rebuilt stock is defined by NOAA as a stock that was “previously overfished and that has increased in abundance to the target population size that supports its maximum sustainable yield.” American plaice (Gulf of Maine/ Georges Bank) and Cowcod (Southern California) were the two stocks that were rebuilt last year.
Find the full Status of Stocks Report for 2019 here.
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