Alaska As most Alaska salmon fishing regions face another season of mediocre runs, Russia hikes competitive pressure Anchorage Daily News by Laine Welch, Fish Factor - February 24, 2021 Alaskans are preparing for another salmon season of poor to average runs in most regions. https://www.adn.com/business-economy/2021/02/23/as-most-alaska-salmon-fishing-regions-face-another-season-of-mediocre-runs-russia-hikes-competitive-pressure/ Alaska Fisheries Report February 25 KMXT - February 25, 2021 On This Week’s AFR with Terry Haines: Homer Will Pay to Remove Derelict, Marine Architects Question Icing Guidelines In Wake of Scandies Rose Sinking https://kmxt.org/2021/02/alaska-fisheries-report-february-25/ Permanent Protection for Bristol Bay: Jay and Bella Hammond National Fisheries Area? SeafoodNews.com by Peggy Parker - February 24, 2021 The United Tribes of Bristol Bay (UTBB), Bristol Bay Native Association and Bristol Bay Econimic Devlopment Corporation are spearheading an effort to get permanent protection of the Bristol Bay watershed, including land proposed for the Pebble Mine, by declaring it a National Fisheries Area. The distinction is a new one and would require Congressional action. The effort is supported by other organizations in the region and throughout the state, as a way to permanently bar mining but allow fishing, hunting and other traditional activities. The plan would amend Section 404 of the Clean Water Act to require hard rock mining proposals to meet a higher safety and environmental bar. Specifically, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) could veto a permit application if it resulted in: 1. Loss or degradation of 5 or more miles of streams capable of supporting anadromous fish occurrence, or the loss or degradation of 19 or more miles of streams or tributaries connected to streams capable of supporting anadromous fish occurrence; OR 2. Loss or degradation of 1,100 or more acres of wetlands, lakes, and ponds contiguous with either streams capable of supporting anadromous fish occurrence or tributaries of those streams; OR 3. Streamflow alterations greater than 20% of daily flow in 9 or more linear miles of streams capable of supporting anadromous fish occurrence. The draft language is so far only conceptual, but is getting plenty of attention from regional tribes, fleets, residents of Bristol Bay, and other who have opposed the open pit Pebble Mine proposal for decades. Bristol Bay is the world’s most productive area for wild salmonand includes nine river systems that produced a run of about 50 million fish last year. Earlier this month, UTBB presented a road map for the two-part plan at a town-hall type meeting. “Tribes in the region and BB leadership have came together once again, to revive their previous request for 404c action, and we put a proposal forward for both administrative and legislative action for Bristol Bay,” Lindsay Layland, UTBB executive director told Dillingham radio station KDLG. The proposal would go beyond the Clean Water Act “pre-emptive veto” that was proposed in 2014 by the EPA during the Obama administration. It was never finalized, though, and the Trump Administration withdrew the proposal. “Proposing and seeking out legislation that will offer similar kinds of protections from hard rock mining, through the creation of a National Fisheries Area,” is the approach to get permanent protections for the watershed, attorney Matt Newman explained. A National Fisheries Area in the region would be the first of its kind. The intent is to ban any large-scale mines from waste disposal in Bristol Bay’s waters. If developed, the area proposed would be called the Jay and Bella Hammond National Fisheries Area in honor of Alaska Governor Jay Hammond and his wife Bella, whose mother was Yupik. Jay and Bella met in Bristol Bay while both were fishing; Jay as a commercial drift netter and Bella as part of her family’s setnet site. After eight years in Juneau as Governor and Alaska’s first lady, the couple retired to their log cabin home on the shores of Lake Clark, in the center of the Bristol Bay watershed. After her husband’s death, Bella was active in the anti-Pebble movement. She died last spring and was buried next to her husband at their Lake Clark homestead. The National Fisheries Area designation would bypass the need for a state designation, Newman explained. “It’s something that is uniquely suited for a unique problem: Mining in Bristol Bay," he told KDLG. "By threading this needle carefully, we can achieve the protection of Bristol Bay and fisheries resources, but without land statuses like a park or reserve, which locals do not want to see.” The groups recognize the timing for federal protections in the region is good given a proposal by the Biden Administration to conserve 30% of land and water in the U.S by 2030, known as the 30x30 Executive Order. The Department of Interior listed Tribes and fishers as some of the key stakeholders. https://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1192799/Permanent-Protection-for-Bristol-Bay-Jay-and-Bella-Hammond-National-Fisheries-Area National Seafood sales up a whopping 28.4% in 2020 Category hits $16.6 billion in grocery sales, says FMI’s Power of Seafood report Supermarket News by Michael Browne - February 25, 2021 As grocery sales increased across the board during the pandemic, the seafood department proved to be a leader as the category saw a 28.4% increase in sales year over — exceeding the sales growth of the produce (up 11.3%), meat (up 18.7%) or deli departments (up 0.9%), according to the 2021 Power of Seafood Report released by FMI — The Food Industry Association. https://www.supermarketnews.com/seafood/seafood-sales-whopping-284-2020 Environment/Science University of Washington and SFP release comprehensive new FIP database Seafood Source by Brian Hagenbuch - February 25, 2021 The Hilborn Lab at the University of Washington and the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) have released an updated version of their Fishery Improvement Projects Database (FIP-DB). UW and SFP, which released the update on Wednesday, 24 February, are calling the database the “world’s most comprehensive resource for current and historical information on fishery improvement projects (FIPs),” with data from all the globe’s 249 FIPs. https://www.seafoodsource.com/news/environment-sustainability/university-of-washington-and-sfp-release-comprehensive-new-fip-database Preliminary Results of e-DNA Study Shows Promise for Improving Understanding of Nearshore Habitats for Fish and Crabs in Alaska Environmental DNA may help enhance understanding of coastal species diversity and abundance to support sustainable fisheries management. NOAA Fisheries - February 24, 2021 Many marine fish and crab species spend their critical early development stages of life in shallow, coastal waters. Scientists at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center’s Auke Bay Laboratories conducted a pilot study using environmental DNA (eDNA) techniques in 2020. They identified more than 40 species in nine sites around Juneau, Alaska. https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/feature-story/preliminary-results-e-dna-study-shows-promise-improving-understanding-nearshore Federal Register Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Removing the Processing Restriction on Incidentally Caught Squids and Sculpins in the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Groundfish Fisheries A Proposed Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 02/26/2021 NMFS issues this proposed rule to remove the regulatory restriction that limits processing of squids and sculpins to fishmeal only. This proposed rule is necessary to allow the processing and sale of squids and sculpins as products other than fishmeal and thereby to help prevent waste of the incidental catch of these ecosystem component species. This proposed rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the Fishery Management Plans (FMP) for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) and Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI) (Groundfish FMPs), and other applicable laws. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/02/26/2021-03900/fisheries-of-the-exclusive-economic-zone-off-alaska-removing-the-processing-restriction-on FYI’s Crab, Seafood & Wine Festival to be held virtually because of virus The Astorian by Alyssa Evans - February 24, 2021 The Crab, Seafood & Wine Festival will be held virtually in April, marking the second year the festival has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. https://www.dailyastorian.com/coronavirus/crab-seafood-wine-festival-to-be-held-virtually-because-of-virus/article_ffa6949e-76db-11eb-acd5-4fc610cbae07.html International Scientific Conference Held on Status of Pacific Salmon Stocks Fishermen's News - February 24, 2021 Fisheries scientists from Russia, the United States, Canada, Japan and the Republic of Korea gathered virtually at Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk on Russia’s Sakhalin Island this past week to ponder the status and redistribution of Pacific salmon stocks. http://fnonlinenews.blogspot.com/2021/02/international-scientific-conference.html
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