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Friday, November 5, 2021

Alaska Alaska COVID Cases Remain High Among Rampant Misinformation and Distrust by Peggy Parker - November 4, 2021 As a new federal vaccination mandate for employees of large companies takes effect today and vaccines for children in Alaska began yesterday, Alaska’s case count remains at daily high levels while hospitals show only slight relief from the overcrowding seen a few weeks ago. Despite urging from doctors and hospital administrators, Alaska’s governor will not specifically encourage the state’s residents to get vaccinated or wear masks, but does urge them to seek guidance from their doctors. The mayor of Anchorage recently spoke at a gathering featuring national skeptics of mainstream COVID-19 treatments. He, along with many who attended last Saturday’s “The Alaska Early Treatment Medical Summit” are at odds with standard practices of avoiding and treating the virus. Mayor Bronson has repeatedly said masks don't help. He vetoed the Anchorage Assembly’s mask rule only to have it overridden by the Assembly the next day. The alert level for Alaska remains “High” everywhere except the sparsely populated Aleutians West Census area, which is now at a “Moderate” level. Alaska had the highest case rate in the nation Monday. For the past seven days, Alaska had 623.5 cases per 100,000 people, more than four times the national rate, reported the Anchorage Daily News on Monday. The next two states with high case rates were Montana and Wyoming, with 494 and 476 cases per 100,000 people respectively. Last weekend the state reported three more COVID-19 deaths and 1,547 new cases. On Saturday, the state reported 625 cases, plus 564 on Sunday and 358 on Monday. On Tuesday 499 new cases were reported along with six deaths. Hospitalizations number 196, down from recent levels of 230 and higher. Yesterday 655 new Covid cases were reported and three deaths. Today about 60.5% of Alaskans are fully vaccinated. State epidemiologists estimate at the current slower rate of infection, it will take 55 days for the case count to be half what it is today. Today, Alaskans are reading that tens of millions of Americans who work at companies with 100 or more employees will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 4 or get tested for the virus weekly under government rules issued today. The new mandate will be enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and include a requirement that unvaccinated workers test negative for COVID-19 at least once a week and wear a mask while in the workplace, reported the Associated Press. Tougher rules will apply to another 17 million people who work in nursing homes, hospitals and other facilities that receive money from Medicare and Medicaid. Those workers will not have an option for testing — they will need to be vaccinated, reported the AP today. None of this is a surprise to Alaska’s seafood industry, which began instituting similar measures more than a year ago. Their plans require rigorous testing, quarantining during transit, and vaccinations to keep the crew on the distant-water fleet, at sea for several months at a time, safe and healthy. On shore processors adopted similar measures to keep both their plants and the communities safe and virus-free. Individual fishermen in Alaska's coastal communities adopted similar protocols. Alaska’s top medical official, Dr. Anne Zink penned an editorial in the Washington Post criticizing the disinformation that is part of the problem in Alaska. “Opinion: Alaska did well early in the pandemic. Then the misinformation and distrust kicked in.” describes “the deadly combination of misinformation and disinformation in a broken health-care system, in a country of broken trust." Pat Dougherty, a long-time editor of the Anchorage Daily News who is now retired, recently published “Alaska’s medical board needs to act on misinformation” that criticized the board that gives licenses to doctors and other health care officials in the state. Dougherty, who retired in 2014, asked the board to address “ …doctors who give clearly inaccurate and possibly life-threatening misinformation to the public in order to promote their personal political or institutional agendas...” by clarifying guidelines as to acceptable behavior. He urges readers to write to the Alaska State Medical Board and “ … tell its members that Alaskans want clear guidelines that prevent doctors from dispensing distorted, misleading and outright false medical information to advance their personal political agendas. Their email is" Environment/Science NOAA requesting input on Biden administration's "30 by 30" goals Seafood Source by Steve Bittenbender - November 4, 2021 NOAA is asking the public for input on additional steps it should take regarding a Biden administration initiative to conserve 30 percent of the country’s lands and waters by 2030. The U.S. agency that includes NOAA Fisheries announced via the Federal Register that it will accept written comments through 28 December on the government’s Federal eRulemaking Portal for the next two months. In addition, NOAA leaders will host two virtual public forums for individuals to comment. Those virtual events will take place on Monday, 8 November, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET and Tuesday, 16 November, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Registration and participation details are available at NOAA’s website. FYI’s All Hands on Deck 2021 begins November 9th Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute - November 2021 Each year, the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute invites members from across the Alaska seafood industry to join us for the annual All Hands On Deck conference. Have you registered yet? FDA Updates Advice For Serving Fish to Children, Pregnant Women Urner Barry by Amanda Buckle - October 29, 2021 The FDA is once again updating their advice about eating fish for young children and women who are pregnant. As the FDA notes, their overall advice about eating fish has not changed. No fish were added or deleted from their charts and they did not change how they categorize the different types of fish. One small change is that they noted a subset of the “Best Choices” list that are even lower in mercury. This change can help government food programs and others who feed children to provide the amounts of fish recommended in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. One other small change is the clarification of how much fish a child should eat. In the latest constituent update, the FDA explains that children who are one year of age can eat about 1 ounce of fish, two times a week. That fish should be from the “Best Choices” list, which includes options like scallops, American and spiny lobster, catfish, clams, cod, crab, haddock, salmon, shrimp and canned tuna. A full list of “Best Choices” can be found here. Other minor updated advice includes: -Fish intake during pregnancy is recommended because moderate scientific evidence shows it can help your baby’s cognitive development. -Fish provide key nutrients that children need for their brain, immune system, and spinal cord development. The nutrients omega-3 and omega-6 fats, iron, iodine, and choline support brain development. Choline also supports the development of the baby’s spinal cord. Iron and zinc support children’s immune systems. -Strong evidence shows that eating fish as a part of a healthy diet may help your heart health. Moderate scientific evidence shows that healthy diets that include fish are associated with lowering the risk of becoming overweight or obese and the risk of hip fractures, colon cancer, and rectal cancer. The FDA’s last update was issued in 2019. That document highlighted the “many nutritional components in fish, many of which have important roles in growth and development during pregnancy and early childhood.” Additional information on the 2019 update can be found here. 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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