Alaska Alaska Fisheries Report March 18 2021 KMXT - March 18, 2021 On This Week’s Alaska Fisheries Report with Terry Haines: Proposed Bill Would Relax Conflict Rules for Board of Fish, Proposed Salmon Stamp Would Fund Crumbling Infrastructure, City of Homer Opposes New Rules by State and Fed https://kmxt.org/2021/03/alaska-fisheries-report-march-18-2021/ Gillnetters will get the first opportunity in areas of Togiak herring fishery — if they're ready Gillnetter participation has been low in recent years. This spring, Fish and Game will open to gillnetters first. But if there are none, it will open fishing to seiners. KDLG by Isabelle Ross - March 19, 2021 As spring returns to Bristol Bay, so too do Togiak herring. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game projects a biomass of 236,700 tons — the highest forecast since 1993, when the state started to use its current forecasting method. https://www.kdlg.org/post/gillnetters-will-get-first-opportunity-areas-togiak-herring-fishery-if-theyre-ready#stream/0 Bristol Bay Salmon: A “Vitally Important Economic Engine” New Economic Report Confirms Bristol Bay’s Salmon Stronghold Remains No Place for the Pebble Mine Natural Resources Defense Council by Taryn Kiekow Heimer- March 18, 2021 Bristol Bay, Alaska’s legendary salmon runs provide extraordinary economic value, a new report found. The report quantified the economic benefits of Bristol Bay’s wild salmon, which generate $2.2 billion in value, support 15,000 American jobs, and supply 57 percent of the world’s sockeye salmon. Bristol Bay’s wild salmon are also the lifeblood of Alaska subsistence culture, providing food security to the region. https://www.nrdc.org/experts/taryn-kiekow-heimer/bristol-bay-salmon-vitally-important-economic-engine Over 100 people diagnosed with COVID-19 daily in Alaska Cordova Times by Margaret Bauman - March 17, 2021 Slowly but surely, the number of new COVID-19 infections keep rising, even as more people are vaccinated against the virus and state and local social distancing restrictions are eased in an effort to revive Alaska’s faltering economy. https://www.thecordovatimes.com/2021/03/17/over-100-people-diagnosed-with-covid-19-daily-in-alaska/ Politics Sens. Wicker, Cantwell Reintroduce Bipartisan Fishery Disasters Bill SeafoodNews.com by Susan Chambers - March 18, 2021 Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Chairwoman Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Ranking Member Roger Wicker, R-Miss., this week reintroduced legislation to reform the National Marine Fisheries Service's Fishery Resource Disaster Relief program of the National Marine Fisheries Service. As proposed, the Fishery Resource Disasters Improvement Act will make improvements to provide fishermen with disaster relief more quickly. “I have met with local officials and seen firsthand how extensive flooding in Mississippi has created an economic and environmental emergency for my state and its coastal fisheries,” Wicker said in a press release. “Freshwater has devastated our seafood industry and spurred the growth of harmful algal blooms, further hurting our coastal economy. This legislation would expedite the process by which fishermen receive disaster relief. I hope my colleagues will move quickly to pass this bill and help our fishermen.” On the West Coast, fishery failures related to salmon, primarily, and Dungeness crab, sardines and red sea urchin have been approved in recent years. “In Washington, fisheries are a cornerstone of our maritime economy. Its related businesses and seafood processors, ship builders, gear manufacturers, support 60 percent of our maritime economy, which is about 146,000 jobs and 30 billion in economic activity,” Cantwell said in the statement. “Washington has experienced 17 fishery disasters since 1992, including crab, groundfish, and salmon. There are several pending fishery disaster determinations for my state, and our bipartisan bill includes deadlines to ensure that those fishery disasters are elevated and declared in a reasonable timeframe. Fishermen are tired of waiting.” The Fishery Resource Disasters Improvement Act would: · Maintain the authority of the Secretary of Commerce to determine the existence of a fishery disaster, after which the Secretary would make funds available to be used by state or regional groups to assess the impacts of the disaster and conduct other activities that support fishing activity; · Assign a 120-day timeline for the Secretary to evaluate a request, either upon receipt or immediately after the close of the fishery season; and · List the eligible uses of fishery disaster relief funds, including direct payments to affected members of the fishing community, habitat restoration and conservation, management improvements, job training, public information campaigns, and preventative measures for future disasters. It would prioritize hiring fishermen displaced by the fishery disaster for these tasks. Text of the full bill can be found online here. https://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1194564/Sens-Wicker-Cantwell-Reintroduce-Bipartisan-Fishery-Disasters-Bill Environment/Science Water Clarity Study Sheds Light on Bering Sea Change Innovative research looks beneath the surface to reveal new insight on the ecosystem that supports the nation’s largest commercial fisheries and subsistence and coastal communities across Alaska. NOAA Fisheries - March 17, 2021 In 2004, Alaska Fisheries Science Center biologists began attaching light sensors to Bering Sea survey bottom trawls to evaluate the effects of light on fish catchability. Fifteen years later, researchers looked at this unique dataset in a new light to reveal much more about the dynamic Bering Sea ecosystem. https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/feature-story/water-clarity-study-sheds-light-bering-sea-change Labeling and Marketing Support builds for labeling wild-caught Alaska seafood as 'organic' Legislation to label both wild-caught and farmed seafood as organic has largely stalled when it has previously been introduce in the United States Intrafish by Rachel Sapin - March 18, 2021 Several major seafood associations are lending their support to the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Organic Program (NOP), which is considering organic standards being applied to wild-caught seafood. https://www.intrafish.com/sustainability/support-builds-for-labeling-wild-caught-alaska-seafood-as-organic/2-1-983724 Federal Register North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting A Notice by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 03/19/2021 The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and its advisory committees will meet from April 5, 2021, through April 17, 2021. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/03/19/2021-05765/north-pacific-fishery-management-council-public-meeting FYI’s The Skagway Traditional Council teaches local kids about salmon with innovative fish-rearing program KHNS by Mike Swasey - March 15, 2021 Salmon in the Classroom is a program that started about nine years ago in Skagway, as a way to teach middle school kids about one of Alaska’s greatest resources, the salmon. The Skagway Traditional Council got involved with it about three years ago and brought in a fish expert named Reuben Cash. https://khns.org/the-skagway-traditional-council-teaches-local-kids-about-salmon-with-innovative-fish-rearing-program Maritime Publishing Acquires Professional Mariner, Ocean Navigator Magazines Fishermen's News - March 17, 2021 San Diego-based Maritime Publishing, the owner of Fishermen’s News and Pacific Maritime magazines, has acquired Professional Mariner and Ocean Navigator magazines from Portland, Maine based-Navigator Publishing, Maritime Publishing announced March 15. http://fnonlinenews.blogspot.com/2021/03/maritime-publishing-acquires.html ISER Webinar: Commercial fisheries and local economies Institute of Social and Economic Research - March 16, 2021 Fishing is big business in Alaska. Our fisheries produced approximately $4.4 billion in sales in 2015, ranking first in the U.S. in terms of production. Communities across the state are involved in fish harvesting, but research from ISER’s Brett Watson is the first to statistically quantify how much locals in those communities are benefiting economically. https://iseralaska.org/2021/03/iser-webinar-commercial-fisheries-and-local-economies/
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