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Friday, March 3, 2023

Alaska State waters P-cod season opens to longline gear Cordova Times - March 3, 2023 The Prince William Sound state waters Pacific cod season will open to longline gear at noon on March 10, concurrent with the individual fishery quota halibut season opening date, provided under the Prince William Sound Pacific Cod Management Plan. Alaska Sea Grant posts workshops for March, April Cordova Times - March 3, 2023 Alaska Sea Grant has posted 10 upcoming workshops and other events in its latest Fishlines newsletter, a monthly publication of research and educational events in support of Alaska’s marine resources, coastal communities and businesses. Alaska Board of Fish Ends Week-Long Meeting with Few Happy Fishermen by Peggy Parker - March 2, 2023 In one of the most difficult fisheries management challenges -- allocating multi-stock salmon runs over time and areas hundreds of miles away -- the seven-member Board of Fisheries deliberated for a full week on everything from management details to legal obligations to manage stocks for all areas. In the end, one proposal was adopted that will allow a 76-hour no-fishing window in Area M that is designed to allow chum salmon to reach Western Alaska rivers. The chum run in the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim area of Alaska has not met escapement goals for several years, despite fishing shutdowns for all sectors — including subsistence. Area M, located hundreds of miles south of AYK around the Alaska Peninsula, is an interception fishery, meaning some of the chum destined for AYK will be landed by commercial fishermen there. On Sunday, Feb. 26th, the Alaska Board of Fisheries adopted Proposal 136 with substitute language found in RC 190 on a vote of 4-3. The Area M management area will see implementation during the 2023 salmon season in the following ways: * Reduces the first June opener to 68 hours for seiners and the second opener to 66 hours, which creates a new 76 hour ‘no fishing’ window; the final two periods will be 88 hours; * Implements a harvest trigger of 300,000 on June 18 that if reached or exceeded by this date will result in a closure of 44 hours in the third period; * and a trigger of 450,000 at the end of the third period or June 23, which, if exceeded, would close the seine fleet fishery for the remainder of June; * All harvest numbers reported from the seine, set gillnet, and drift gillnet gear groups will accrue against the triggers; * The Sanak Island, a known chum hot spot, will be closed to commercial fisheries for the month of June to lower chum harvest. These measures did not address the concerns of the Association of Village Council Presidents (AVCP), whose leadership testified before the panel in support of Proposal 140, which was rejected in a 4-3 vote.The AVCP issued a press release earlier this week, saying they are “committed to keeping up the fight and finding real solutions to help end the salmon crisis which is devastating Western Alaska.” Marit Carlson-Van Dort, chair of the BOF, voiced strong support on Prop140 prior to the final vote, during a discussion about management details. “Triggers may or may not work. Time may or may not work. But there’s got to be a combination of both to meet our obligation under the law,” Carlson-Van Dort said. “We are not providing enough fish into the AYK — it doesn’t matter at this point to me whether it is 20 fish or a million fish, we need to take that into consideration. I don’t think that a mere cap gets us there. It has to be a combination of time and trigger but the department is hell-bent on a trigger,” she added. “This is very disappointing, but we are strong people and we have only just begun to bring this crisis to the attention of people who care about Natives and our subsistence way of life,” AVCP Chief Executive Officer Vivian Korthuis said. “Subsistence needs are being ignored, treaties between the United States and Canada are being ignored and the commercial fishing industry is driving the bus.” Last year the Area M fleet voluntarily adopted a strategy that required standing down from fishing when necessary to avoid chum, even at a loss of sockeye harvest. The Eastern Aleutian Fisheries Coalition issued a press release focused on Proposal 136, which passed the Board of Fish, and built on the strategy employed last season. “While we didn’t come away from this meeting with everything we sought, we maintained sufficient time and area to allow the Area M fishery to survive another season, and continue to feed communities and families across Alaska, and around the world,” said Kiley Thompson, President of the Area M Seiners Association and leader with the Eastern Aleutian Fisheries Coalition. “We’re losing fishing time above and beyond what we had already lost, which will be hard. But we came to this meeting ready to negotiate, and with that, some compromise. We met with stakeholders from the AYK region this week and continue to hold that door open for future dialogue. We are all Alaskans who care deeply about our communities and natural resources.” “After a long contentious road, the Alaska Board of Fisheries accepted a fluid-type of management similar to what the seiners did last year,” said Aleutians East Borough Mayor Alvin Osterback. “In 2022, they had 100% participation in a voluntary stand down to let the chums go by. That’s what we were hoping would happen.” “We’re pleased with the Board’s decision in the South Peninsula June fishery. We believe that decision was informed by the best science available to us,” said Steve Brown, President of the Concerned Area M Fishermen. “At the same time, we acknowledge the lack of subsistence opportunities for summer chum salmon on the Yukon and we are participating in fleet efforts to reduce our harvest of western Alaska bound chum salmon.” “I commend the Board of Fisheries for taking science into consideration,” said Lena Hoblet, Tribal Administrator for the Native Village of False Pass. “We appreciate that the board really looked at the research and listened to the viewpoints based on science. I think the decision made was the right decision for science-based fishery management.” During the meeting, the AVCP from the AYK Area was joined by Natives from across Alaska looking for real change to address the salmon crisis. Proposal 140 would have reduced excessive harvest of migrating salmon in the Cook Inlet, Bristol Bay and AYK area, Korthuis said after the meeting. “They (the Board) did not compromise. Proposal 140 was compromise. We are going to now step back, regroup explore all of our options and go from there,” she said. AVCP leaders have already reached out to the office of Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy’s to express frustration with the process used by the Board this past week. Korthuis is set to address the salmon crisis later this week with members of the Federal Government. International Huge preliminary forecast released for Russia’s upcoming salmon season Seafood Source by Cliff White - February 28, 2023 A preliminary forecast is predicting a huge season for Russian salmon, with an expected total harvest of 511,000 metric tons (MT) of Pacific salmon expected to be caught in 2023. *Requires Subscription Japanese Importers Resist High Prices of U.S. Pacific Cod by Tom Asakawa - March 2, 2023 The domestic price of frozen dressed cod from Alaska (9/10 fish counts per 18/19 kilo block) reached the upper 900 yen/kg ($6.58/kg) level last fall but then declined. If the price in the United States is converted to the selling prices in Japan, it will be about 820 to 830 yen/kg ($6.00-6.07/kg)," said a trading company source. However, "Japanese importers are demanding further price reductions for the new fish caught this year, and negotiations have not been concluded. Full-scale imports into the country will probably begin in April or later." At the beginning of the year before last, the price was about 510 yen/kg ($3.73/kg). It later surged due to the recovery of demand in Europe and the United States, which has overcome the coronavirus crisis, and the harvesting of full fishing quotas. Last year's depreciation of the yen made it even higher. Demand in Japan is shifting to cheaper domestic and Russian products than U.S. products. According to the Finance Ministry's trade statistics, last year's imports from the United States decreased by 78% to 687 tons from the previous year, while those from Russia decreased by 32% to 4,745 tons. However, the U.S. domestic market has been weary of high prices since last year. Demand shifted from Pacific cod to rockfish, and the dollar price fell. The yen depreciation has slowed down, and import prices are falling. A source from a trading company said, "I think the producers are eyeing Japan as a destination for their excessive inventories." There are expectations for a price drop and a recovery in demand, including for Russia, which maintains a price 50 to 100 yen/kg ($0.36-0.73/kg) lower than the US. Federal Register Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Gulf of Alaska; Final 2023 and 2024 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 03/02/2023 NMFS announces final 2023 and 2024 harvest specifications, apportionments, and Pacific halibut prohibited species catch limits for the groundfish fishery of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to establish harvest limits for groundfish during the remainder of the 2023 and the start of the 2024 fishing years and to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP). The 2023 harvest specifications supersede those previously set in the final 2022 and 2023 harvest specifications, and the 2024 harvest specifications will be superseded in early 2024 when the final 2024 and 2025 harvest specifications are published. The intended effect of this action is to conserve and manage the groundfish resources in the GOA in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Catcher Vessels Less Than 50 Feet Length Overall Using Hook-and-Line Gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 03/03/2023 NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by for catcher vessels less than 50 feet (15.2 meters (m)) length overall using hook-and-line (HAL) gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season allowance of the 2023 total allowable catch (TAC) apportioned to catcher vessels less than 50 feet length overall using HAL gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA. FYI’s Kodiak’s commercial fishing trade show ComFish kicks off in 2 weeks KMXT by Kirsten Dobroth - March 2, 2023 Kodiak’s annual commercial fishing trade show ComFish kicks off in about two weeks – on Thursday, March 16. 2023 Seafood Expo Global/Seafood Processing Global set to be world’s largest seafood expo Seafood Source by Bhavana Scalia-Bruce - March 2, 2023 The 2023 Seafood Expo Global/Seafood Processing Global is set to become the world’s largest seafood trade expo. Now accepting booth space applications for Pacific Marine Expo 2023 National Fisherman - March 2, 2023 Coming off the heels of a very successful 2022 Pacific Marine Expo, over 80% of the current show floor has already been re-signed. Now, we are opening up the show floor to new exhibitors who didn’t participate last year. Aleutian Airways to add second route to regular service schedule KUCB by Maggie Nelson - March 2, 2023 The new regional airline announced Wednesday that it will offer two roundtrip flights per day starting in June. 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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