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Friday, January 22, 2021

Alaska Alaska Fisheries Report Jan 21 KMXT - January 21, 2021 How High Will The New Peter Pan Fly? SE Alaska golden king crab fishery opens Feb. 17 Cordova Times - January 21, 2021 The 2020/21 commercial golden king crab fishery in Registration Area A of Southeast Alaska is off and running, with a guideline harvest level of 76,500 pounds. So Far, 2021 Dungeness Crab Season A Mixed Pot KLCC by Brian Bull - January 19, 2021 Oregon’s commercial Dungeness Crab season is a little topsy-turvy, so far. KLCC's Brian Bull reports on how the market price for Dungeness crab has increased for some crabbers since fishing began. USCG Warns Fishermen, Particularly Crabbers, About the Perils of Turning Off AIS by Susan Chambers - January 21, 2021 Fishermen hoping to guard their favorite fishing holes by turning off their vessels' automated identifications system should think twice about that. Or think about a maximum penalty of up to $35,486 per violation. For a Dungeness crabber, that could be roughly 10,000 to 12,000 pounds of crab, depending on the ex-vessel price. The U.S. Coast Guard is issuing a warning to mariners and commercial fisherman about the dangers and legal consequences of disabling a vessel's AIS. The Coast Guard has seen an alarming increase of commercial fishing and crabbing vessels disabling their AIS, purportedly in an attempt to keep their fishing spots secret from competition. "AIS is a vital tool in a host of Coast Guard missions including Search and Rescue and Port Security," Lt. Collin Gruin, boarding team supervisor at Coast Guard Sector Columbia River, said in a press release. "It's not only illegal to turn it off but also incredibly dangerous." AIS is a maritime navigation safety communications system adopted by the international community to help save lives and facilitate safe transit of navigable waterways. It automatically transmits vessel information to shore stations, other ships, and aircraft. That includes vessel identity, type, position, course, speed, navigational status, and safety-related information. The regulation (33 CFR 164.46) in part states that all self-propelled vessels, 65 feet long or more, engaged in commercial service and operating on the Territorial Seas must maintain AIS in effective operating condition, which includes the continual operation of AIS and its associated devices (e.g., positioning system, gyro, converters, displays) at all times while the vessel is underway or at anchor, and, if moored, at least 15 minutes prior to getting underway. Effective operation condition also includes the accurate input and upkeep of all AIS data fields; an AIS encoding guide has been provided to facilitate complying with this requirement. "Crabbers may think that they are protecting their businesses, but they are actually making search and rescue efforts more difficult if an emergency happens at sea," Gruin said. National Food and Agricultural Workers Prioritized for COVID-19 Vaccine Under Phase 1b Urner Barry by Courtney Shum - January 22, 2021 The devastating effects of the pandemic on food and agricultural workers were on full display during the early stage of COVID-19 in the U.S. last year. Several processing plants in the nation experienced complications related to the virus, impacting thousands of employees and upending the food supply chain. Union representatives and the nation’s largest meat processors are pressing for food and agricultural workers to receive high priority for vaccinations. Phase 1a, the first priority group including health care workers and long-term care facility residents, is currently in progress. According to the CDC, food and agricultural workers are among the frontline essential workers who are recommended to receive the COVID-19 vaccination under Phase 1b. In a webinar hosted by the CDC, a panel of experts discussed updates on COVID-19 vaccine implementation for food and agricultural workers, vaccine safety and confidence, and recommendations for vaccine prioritization. Panelists included Dr. Janell Routh, Medical Officer, COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force, CDC; Dr. Michelle Colby, Co-Chair Government Coordinating Council, Food and Agriculture Sector, (USDA); Dr. LeeAnn Jackson, Co-Chair Government Coordinating Council, Food and Agriculture Sector, (FDA); Dr. Caitlin Boon, Associate Commissioner for Food Policy and Response, (FDA); and Dr. Kis Robertson Hale, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Public Health Service, (USDA). Dr. Routh began the webinar by noting that as of January 20, 2021, nearly 60 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been distributed in the United States. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been distributed the most, with the Moderna vaccine trailing behind. Routh stressed that the COVID-19 vaccination distribution program is dynamic and requires ongoing assessment of local jurisdiction needs and conditions. The CDC and Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has endorsed guiding principles for the distribution of the vaccine and encourages jurisdictions to determine vaccine allocation in accordance with local needs, including economic and ethical considerations. Dr. Boon followed up by noting that individuals can visit to access important information to consider before a large percentage of the population can get vaccinated. Boon said that the FDA has implemented a new data analysis tool called 21 FORWARD that gathers information on the estimated numbers and distribution of food and agriculture employees who work at FDA-regulated food facilities. This data will be used to help determine vaccine planning and distribution for states and cities. Dr. Hale highlighted that the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is in collaboration with CDC and other organizations as part of the pandemic-response team. Hale noted that the USDA is promoting timely vaccine distribution for both USDA establishment and FSIS members, including line inspectors. Distributing the vaccine to frontline workers presents several logistical challenges relating to the coordination and planning of vaccinating. Some workers may live in one state but work in another and may have difficulty receiving the second dose to complete the series. Dr. Routh notes that if an individual misses their second dose, they do not need to restart the series but should get the second dose as soon as they can. Furthermore, concerns for vaccine safety and awareness among food and agricultural workers present a need to have vaccine information available in multiple languages. Rural areas often have limited health care and may need to rely on community leaders to serve as trusted sources of information. Some missed days of work may occur due to post-vaccination side effects, so Dr. Routh recommends food and agricultural workers get vaccinated on their days off if possible. In the meantime, Dr. Routh hopes that vaccine prioritization is a limited problem and hopes to see expanded supply and access to the vaccine in the coming months. She encourages individuals to connect with their local health department and to visit their state’s website to see localized plans for the vaccine rollout. In a message from Dr. Boon, she thanks food and agricultural workers for courageously going to work to keep food on our tables and emphasizes that curbing the pandemic is a nationwide effort in which we all have a role. How the FDA is Supporting the Distribution of the COVID-19 Vaccination to Food and Ag Workers Urner Barry by Amanda Buckle - January 21, 2021 Stephen M. Hahn, M.D., Commissioner of Food and Drugs, and Frank Yiannas, M.P.H., Deputy Commissioner of Food Policy and Response, are speaking out on the importance of distributing the COVID-19 vaccine to food and agriculture workers. In an article posted to the FDA’s website, Hahn and Yiannas explain 21 FORWARD, the new data analysis tool that the agency created to help inform their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For those unfamiliar with 21 FORWARD, it was developed in a joint effort by the FDA’s Office of Food Policy and Response, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Office of Regulatory Affairs, and Center for Veterinary Medicine. Although there is no evidence that COVID-19 is transmitted by food, the goal of the tool is to help the FDA identify “where risks for interruptions in the continuity of the food supply may be the greatest because of the pandemic.” “Early on in the pandemic, workers in the food and agriculture sector were identified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency as being among essential critical infrastructure workers, meaning that their ability to do their job safely is critical to our society’s ability to function,” wrote Hahn and Yiannis. “The FDA, in partnership with CDC and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, has been working to provide food facilities the information and resources they need to help protect their workers against COVID-19 infection...Given the importance of the food and agriculture sector in feeding American consumers, it is not surprising that groups like the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the National Academies have recommended that workers in this sector receive high priority for COVID-19 vaccinations.” The FDA is now contributing information from its 21 FORWARD tool about the estimated numbers and distribution of food and agriculture sector employees who work at FDA regulated food facilities. According to the FDA, as vaccines are delivered across the country, the data from 21 FORWARD will “augment other data sources on food and agriculture workers.” “The goal is to help target vaccine distribution by providing state and local officials with information to help determine how many food and agriculture workers they have in each country and enabling them to quickly identify where those workers are located.” You can learn more about the FDA’s 21 FORWARD tool here. IPHC Publishes New Accreditation Process for Processor Advisory Board by Susan Chambers - January 21, 2021 The International Pacific Halibut Commission recently published an accreditation process for the Processor Advisory Board ahead of the 97th session of the IPHC Annual Meeting next week. As with other meetings, the IPHC annual meeting will be held virtually. Participants must register in advance. The Processor Advisory Board is a subsidiary body of the IPHC that represents the commercial Pacific halibut processing industry from Canada and the U.S., according to the IPHC. PAB members must be accredited; they are companies or associations, including sole-proprietorships, corporations, or partnerships whose direct business is purchasing, processing and selling Pacific halibut caught in Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon or California. The chairperson, Jessie Keplinger, from the U.S., and vice chairperson Carl Nordmann, Canada, are calling for all interested companies or associations whose direct business is purchasing, processing and selling Pacific halibut to complete the online accreditation form as soon as possible in preparation for the upcoming 26th Session of the PAB, meeting during the same week as the IPHC meeting. The PAB will meet Jan. 26-28. The IPHC said this information is being requested given the electronic format of the meeting in 2021 and the need for optimal organization, coordination, transparency and reporting. The accreditations will assist the chairperson, vice chairperson and the IPHC Secretariat in managing the meeting, as well as serve as a formal record of membership of the PAB moving forward. The IPHC said that former members or processors who attended previous PAB meetings should also complete the online form. The IPHC said once the form has been completed, each individual participant should register for the meeting using the PAB registration link. The chairperson and vice chairperson will review the submitted accreditation forms with all those present at the online PAB meeting on Jan. 26. According to the 2020 Terms of Reference and Rules of Procedure, the Halibut Association of North America serves as the organizational, administrative, communications, and recruitment facilitator. The IPHC said questions about the PAB accreditation should be directed to: International Major Shipping Entity Urges Vaccine Priority for Seafarers Fishermen's News - January 20, 2021 A major international trade association is calling for governments to give priority for vaccinations against the novel coronavirus pandemic to seafarers and frontline maritime shore workers, to protect the vital global supply chain. Federal Register Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Pot Catcher/Processors in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 01/22/2021 NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher/processors using pot gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season apportionment of the 2021 Pacific cod total allowable catch (TAC) allocated to catcher/processors using pot gear in the BSAI. FYI’s AMSS Keynote Speaker Include Fisheries Historian Bob King, Oceanographer Carin Ashjian Fishermen's News - January 20, 2021 Alaska fisheries historian Bob King and biological oceanographer Carin Ashjian are among the keynote speakers for the 2021 Alaska Marine Science Symposium, which is going virtual from Jan. 26 through Jan. 28. Navy Holds Virtual Public Meetings Regarding Future Military Training in Alaska Waters Fishermen's News - January 20, 2021 U.S. Navy officials are holding virtual public meetings in Alaska to inform the public and also to respond to questions regarding their proposed action to continue periodic military training activities in the Gulf of Alaska, events of major concern to commercial fish harvesters. ODFW seeks nominees for Pacific fisheries council Newport News Times - January 19, 2021 The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is accepting nominations for a seat on the Pacific Fishery Management Council. The deadline to request nomination materials is Feb. 19, and the three-year term begins Aug. 11. Pacific Seafood Processors Association 1900 W Emerson Place Suite 205, Seattle, WA 98119 Phone: 206.281.1667 E-mail:; Website: Our office days/hours are Monday-Friday 8:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. *Inclusion of a news article, report, or other document in this email does not imply PSPA support or endorsement of the information or opinion expressed in the document.


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