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Friday, August 27, 2021

Alaska Petersburg steam whistle blast a sign of stronger pink salmon harvest KFSK by Joe Viechnicki - August 26, 2021 People in Petersburg heard the steam whistle blowing at OBI Seafoods in Petersburg again on Wednesday. https://www.ktoo.org/2021/08/26/petersburgs-second-steam-whistle-blast-a-sign-of-stronger-pink-salmon-harvest/ Southeast Alaska whales bouncing back after marine heat wave KTOO by Claire Stremple - August 23, 2021 Humpback whales were hit hard by “the blob”—a warm water event that killed off all kinds of sea life in the North Pacific. https://www.alaskapublic.org/2021/08/23/southeast-alaska-whales-bouncing-back-after-marine-heat-wave/ As local streams warm, cold water inputs could be crucial for salmon KDLL by Sabine Poux - August 25, 2021 This particular pocket of Beaver Creek is not far from the road, just a short and muddy tromp away from a gravel parking lot between Kenai and Soldotna. But it’s home to several cold water inputs that could be crucially important for young salmon as they swim from the Kenai River to Cook Inlet. https://www.kdll.org/post/local-streams-warm-cold-water-inputs-could-be-crucial-salmon#stream/0 Alaska Nears 200 Million Salmon Landed, Final Numbers Could Put 2021 in Top Eight Historically SeafoodNews.com by Peggy Parker - August 26, 2021 By the end of this week, once the numbers are tallied, the state could surpass the 200 million salmon mark for commercial landings of all five species. Current numbers, which do not include all of this week’s harvests yet, are 196.46 million, made up of 132.84 million pinks, 53.58 million sockeye, 8.5 million chum salmon, 1.5 million coho, and 202,000 Chinook. These levels are above pre-season forecasts for sockeye (by 7 million) and pinks (8.6 million and counting) but well below for chums (just over half of the 15.3 million predicted) and coho (by 2.3 million). Chinook landings are just 67,000 fish below the pre-season prediction. The drivers this year for pink salmon have been Prince William Sound and Southeast Alaska. Prince William Sound seiners have now surpassed the region’s pre-season harvest forecast of 59.7 million pinks. This marks the third-largest harvest of Prince William Sound pink salmon (odd-year stock) in the past decade followed by 2013 and 2015, respectively. Wild stocks are returning stronger than anticipated given the uncertainty about spawning success from the 2019 parent year which was negatively impacted by drought conditions. To date, approximately 34.34 million wild pink salmon have been harvested in PWS seine fisheries. In Southeast Alaska, the latest inseason forecast was 39 million pink salmon, which is what the latest harvest figures from ADF&G now show. This is above the preseason forecast of 28.3 million and above the 5-year average harvest. The season continues in that region. But coho salmon harvests, which usually peak in late August, have declined for three consecutive weeks. The coho harvest is above the 2020 coho harvest now by about 200,000 salmon. Total landings to date put 2021 in close proximity to the top ten years for commercial salmon production in Alaska. The all-time record was made in 2013 when over 280 million salmon were landed commercially. In 2015, over 265 million salmon were landed, followed by 223 million in 2017 and 221 million in 2005. However, salmon were slightly heavier in each of those years, so while 2021 may be a high-ranking year in terms of numbers of fish, it will be lower based on pounds relative to those other high-producing years. Final value will be impacted by weight, but ex-vessel prices so far in 2021 have been relatively high, compared to recent years. https://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1206633/Alaska-Nears-200-Million-Salmon-Landed-Final-Numbers-Could-Put-2021-in-Top-Eight-Historically Federal Register Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Ocean Perch in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 08/27/2021 NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific ocean perch in the Western Aleutian district (WAI) of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI) by vessels participating in the BSAI trawl limited access sector fishery. This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2021 total allowable catch (TAC) of Pacific ocean perch in the WAI allocated to vessels participating in the BSAI trawl limited access sector fishery. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/08/27/2021-18512/fisheries-of-the-exclusive-economic-zone-off-alaska-pacific-ocean-perch-in-the-bering-sea-and FYI’s UFA’s executive director leaving to start lobbying firm KFSK by Jacob Resneck - August 26, 2021 The head of United Fishermen of Alaska — the state’s broadest fishing industry group — is stepping down at the end of the year to become a full-time Juneau lobbyist. https://www.kfsk.org/2021/08/26/ufas-executive-director-leaving-to-start-lobbying-firm/ NOAA Open Invitation: Public Listening Sessions on Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council August 25, 2021 — The following was released by the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council: NOAA invites you to a stakeholder listening session in response to Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful. This preliminary report, released by the White House in May, provides recommendations on how the United States should achieve the goal of conserving at least 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030, as directed by President Biden’s Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crises at Home and Abroad. https://www.savingseafood.org/news/council-actions/noaa-open-invitation-public-listening-sessions-on-conserving-and-restoring-america-the-beautiful/ NOAA Fisheries Names Kim Damon-Randall as Director of the Office of Protected Resources Urner Barry by Ryan Doyle - August 27, 2021 NOAA Fisheries announced Kim Damon-Randall as its new Director of the Office of Protected Resources. Damon-Randall will assume the role on August 29. Her career at NOAA began in 2001 holding several roles in the Greater Atlantic Regional Office. Her roles have included heading the Endangered Species Branch and Assistant Regional Administrator for Protected Resources. Most recently, she has served as GARFO’s Deputy Regional Administrator. She succeeds Ms. Donna Wieting who retired in March, NOAA explained. “Kim is a great choice for this position,'' said NOAA Fisheries’ Assistant Administrator Janet Coit. “She has the right skills and experience to drive us forward in the conservation, recovery, and management of protected marine species, one of our core mission areas at NOAA Fisheries.” NOAA explained that Damon-Randall has had extensive experience in conservation, recovery and management of protected species. In the past, she worked on responding to petitions to add species to the Endangered Species Act; alongside critical habitat designations. Damon-Randall also led outreach efforts including the International Year of the Salmon and Species in the Spotlight campaigns. “Kim has already helped us grapple with some of the most difficult species recovery issues the agency faces on a regional level, including North Atlantic right whale and Atlantic salmon. That experience will serve her well in her new job,” said NOAA Fisheries’ Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, Sam Rauch. “Serving as the Director of the Office of Protected Resources is my dream job. Protected species conservation and recovery has always been near and dear to my heart, and I am very much looking forward to working with the incredibly dedicated and talented staff in the office on the important issues and challenges facing species in the United States,” said Damon-Randall. https://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1206715/NOAA-Fisheries-Names-Kim-Damon-Randall-as-Director-of-the-Office-of-Protected-Resources

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