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Friday, October 21, 2022

Alaska GAPP showcases their efforts to to strategically build awareness of Wild Alaska Pollock National Fisherman by Jeremiah Karpowicz - October 18, 2022 As previously reported, Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP) held their annual meeting on October 17, 2022, to detail the results of their ongoing efforts that measure U.S. consumer awareness and familiarity with Wild Alaska Pollock. Held at the Westin Seattle, the event showcased how much has changed with the perception and reality of Wild Alaska Pollock in a few short years but also highlighted where opportunities still exist with the product and for the fishery. Saint Paul Island Residents “Reeling” From Crab Season Closures in the Bering Sea by Peggy Parker - October 19, 2022 Since the Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G) closed the Bering Sea snow crab and Bristol Bay red king crab (BBRKC) seasons, reactions from the fleet, processors, buyers and consumers have been expressed in mainstream and social media. Yesterday, the City of Saint Paul issued a statement about how the unprecedented events would impact them. “Without the taxes derived from crab processing our municipal government will struggle to support essential municipal services such as public safety, road maintenance, and emergency medical services,” said Saint Paul Island Mayor Jacob Merculief. “We may need to cut municipal staff.” Saint Paul Island’s economy is nearly 90% dependent on the snow crab fishery. Harvesting and delivering crab to the Trident Seafoods plant is the primary source of municipal taxes and local revenues. In a year when the plant is open to process snow crab, it can process halibut for the local fleet and Trident’s own customers. It sustains the harbor and other fisheries-related infrastructure built on the island. To make matters worse, the BBRKC fishery – a portion of which is delivered and processed on Saint Paul Island in the fall months – will remain closed for a second year in a row. In normal years, the City of Saint Paul Island collects on average about $2,700,000 in fisheries taxes. In 2023 it will only collect about $200,000. The Central Bering Sea Fishermen’s Association (CBSFA) is the local Community Development Quota (CDQ) group for Saint Paul Island, and is one of the primary engines of economic activity and investment in the community. CBSFA is allocated 20% of the total Bering Sea snow crab that is set aside for the CDQ program. The non-profit entity is one of the six groups that together make up the CDQ program, established in 1992 by federal statute to manage Bering Sea fisheries assets to promote social and economic development in the communities they serve. In addition to its two crab vessels, CBSFA has made substantial investments in crab processing and harvesting shares in the rationalized crab management program in the Bering Sea, and is highly dependent on revenues from snow crab, Bristol Bay Red King Crab and other crab species. “Rationalized” fisheries are based on the principles of an initial allocation of “shares” to eligible stakeholders, and a limited free market system in which shares can be bought or sold. The closure of the snow crab fishery is the first in the 40-year history of the fishery and responds to ADFG scientists’ concerns about the poor status of this stock. That’s why last week’s announcement sent the largely Aleut community of about 400 residents reeling, the city’s statement explained. The closure means CBSFA will suffer another massive drop in revenues. Last year, when the snow crab Total Allowable Catch went from 45 million pounds to 5.6, an 87% drop, caused a 65% drop in CBSFA’s total annual revenues. The closures mean 2023 crab revenues will be less than half of this years and less than one-sixth of the five-year average. The projected crab revenue from 2023 reflects a 91% drop from 2021, the last year with a healthy snow crab fishery. “This disaster will make it very challenging for CBSFA to fulfill CDQ program objectives for Saint Paul Island, including funding many of the community infrastructure, educational, research, and social programs CBSFA supports,” said CBSFA COO Ray Melovidov. Saint Paul Island is not alone; crab-dependent communities in Alaska fear that with only a small Bairdi crab season ahead, there may be insufficient crab poundage to keep existing crab processing capacity engaged. Depending on the duration of the snow crab and red king crab downturns, this could be devastating to communities such as Saint Paul Island that host large- capacity processing operations. As processing costs and availability in Saint Paul Island are affected, it also affects the processing availability for halibut, the other major fishery that takes place around Saint Paul Island – and has a cascading effect on that fishery and on the community residents that participate in it. With CBSFA and Saint Paul Island residents asked the North Pacific Fishery Management Council to take actions that would help crab stocks stabilize and recover. The Council and ADF&G are now expected to focus on the issues that could compromise recovery of BBRKC and snow crab stocks. “Climate change and the changing environment in the Bering Sea are clearly impacting the ecosystem overall, putting significant strain on crab stocks. CBSFA will remain diligent in working with the NPFMC and ADFG as they develop a rebuilding plan for opilio, and protections for molting and mating BBRKC,” said Jeff Kauffman, CEO of CBSFA’s wholly owned subsidiary, Saint Paul Fishing Company. The City is calling for managers and scientists to further identify and protect the centers of crab abundance. Managers are just beginning to start on a rebuilding plan, and the residents of Saint Paul support habitat protections for king crab in the meantime. Stakeholders have advocated for Council consideration of management that specifically protects molting and mating crab from fishing impacts, adjusts the minimum bycatch limit at low snow crab abundance, and estimates unobserved fishing mortality using best available information. All sectors are subject to Section 304(e) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), which requires consideration of the “needs of fishing communities” and allocations of “both overfishing restrictions and recovery benefits fairly and equitably among sectors of the fishery” while action is considered and taken to rebuild the affected crab fisheries, the statement pointed out. To help preserve their unique Bering Sea community, the City of Saint Paul plans to request a commercial fishery failure declaration under provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. If it is approved by the Secretary of Commerce and funded by Congress, disaster funding would help keep Saint Paul Island’s lights on while the community works toward developing a new economy – and waits for a rebound in crab stocks. “God has given us a privileged location amidst some of the richest commercial fisheries in the world,” noted Mayor Merculief. “We are a resilient community and have been through crises before. With some help, I hope that my people will be able to continue making a living from the resources of the Bering Sea as we have done for thousands of years.” West Coast American Seafoods plans ‘next-generation’ pollock new-builds, eyes fishing M&A American Seafoods has engaged a Nordic naval architect to design a 'next-generation' pollock and Pacific hake factory trawler, while also looking at upstream acquisitions, executive advisor and incoming CEO Einar Gustafsson told Undercurrent News. Undercurrent News by Tom Seaman - October 19, 2022 SEATTLE, Washington, US -- American Seafoods Group (ASG) has engaged a Nordic naval architect to design a "next-generation" pollock and Pacific hake factory trawler, while also looking at upstream acquisitions. *Subscription Required National Experts Share How to Make the Wild Choice as Consumers Are Hungry for Seafood Education Eighty-two percent of consumers choose seafood because it’s wild-caught Business Wire - October 19, 2022 JUNEAU, Alaska--(BUSINESS WIRE)--On behalf of the nation’s largest source of wild domestic seafood and in celebration of National Seafood Month, the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) today unveils their latest efforts to help consumers Make the Wild Choice. Studies show that 82 percent of consumers prefer seafood that is wild and sustainable1, but are still craving more clarity on how to ensure the seafood on their plate is the best choice. That’s why ASMI is bringing together an Alaska Seafood Ambassador network to educate consumers and is giving them a chance to experience the wild of Alaska for themselves through a nationwide social sweepstakes. U.S. GAO Report Finds NMFS Data Challenges Complicating Fisheries Management Urner Barry by Ryan Doyle - October 18, 2022 The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) shared findings from its study of federal efforts to prevent overfishing and the management of overfished stocks. The GAO shared that its report, focused on the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), looked at the number of stock assessments conducted from 2011-2020, along with the number and status of overfishing and overfished stocks during this period. GAO reviewed “NMFS policies and documents; interviewed NMFS regions, Councils, and relevant stakeholders based on factors such as familiarity with different regions of the United States; and analyzed data from NMFS’ Species Information System database.” The report shared how commercial and recreational fisheries are critical to the U.S. economy, contributing $118 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product and supporting 1.8 million jobs in 2019. Following its deep dive into federal management efforts, the GAO found in its analysis of NMFS’ data that the number of stock assessments from 2011 through 2020 varied by the six NMFS regional fisheries science centers and that many stocks were not assessed. “For example, on average, the Southeast Science Center assessed about 10 percent of the 153 stocks it supported each year, while the Alaska Science Center assessed about 78 percent of its 64 stocks,” the GAO shared in its report highlights. With the NMFS using stock assessments as a way to determine if a stock is being overfished or if overfishing has occurred, the GAO found that the number of stocks with that status varied by science center and many stocks held “unknown statuses.” The GAO found that challenges that come along with fisheries data collection and resource challenges impacted the “availability and quality of the data.” “For example, trawl surveys, which are used to collect fisheries data, are challenging and costly to conduct over large geographic areas. These challenges were a key source of the variability in the number of stocks assessed and one of the reasons why many stocks may have unknown status,” the GAO wrote. Issues were linked to the Species Information System database that prevented conducting certain multiyear trend analyses. According to the GAO, the NMFS has “not documented these structural limitations or developed general guidelines for how to complete such analyses.” NMFS has begun a pair of projects to improve the functionality of its database. However, the GAO found that these projects don’t include “key project management elements, such as written goals and timelines." “Developing a plan that includes these elements could help ensure completion of the projects and help NMFS conduct additional analyses that could be used to support management measures to prevent overfishing and manage overfished stocks,” the GAO wrote. Find the GAO’s recommendations following its review of federal efforts to prevent overfishing and manage overfished stocks below: “GAO is making two recommendations to NMFS on the structural limitations of the Species Information System database, including developing guidelines for conducting certain multiyear analyses, as well as incorporating leading practices into its database improvement plans. The agency agreed with GAO’s recommendations.” International Russia mulling ban on exports of salmon, salmon roe Seafood Source by Ivan Stupachenko - October 19, 2022 Russia is considering a ban on exports of salmon and salmon roe as a drop in catch compared to 2021 is driving up prices. NOAA, Partners Unveil Five-Year Strategy to Combat IUU Fishing Urner Barry by Ryan Doyle - October 20, 2022 The U.S. Interagency Working Group on IUU Fishing released its wide-reaching National Five-Year Strategy for Combating Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing. The new strategy “details U.S. priorities and plans over the next 5 years to combat IUU fishing and promote maritime security.” Specifically, the strategy outlines measures to increase governmental and regional capacity to enforce domestic regulation and international rules and norms to limit IUU’s impact. The group which created the plan is a 21-member agency that was established in 2019 to create a suite of tools to combat IUU fishing, which NOAA described as an “insidious problem,” and prevent the import of IUU fishing and fish products to the U.S. NOAA also shared that the Working Group will work with “five priority flag states and administrations” which include Ecuador, Panama, Senegal, Taiwan and Vietnam. Dr. Kelly Kryc, Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Fisheries, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Professor Maxine Burkett, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans, Fisheries and Polar Affairs, U.S. Department of State, Rear Admiral Jo-Ann F. Burdian, Assistant Commandant for Response Policy, U.S. Coast Guard said the following in a joint agency statement: “We will focus our efforts in helping foreign partners in their ongoing efforts to combat IUU fishing and related threats,” NOAA wrote. “These flag states and administrations were selected in large part due to their demonstrated willingness and interest to take effective action against IUU fishing activities associated with their vessels.” Agencies involved, which include NOAA, the USDA, the State, Labor and Justice Departments, will use existing tools and develop new technology to improve the U.S.’ governance, conservation and management measures. “Our focus on public-private partnerships is especially promising and recognizes the important role industry must play for change to endure,” per the joint statement. “The emphasis on partnerships within the United States, between foreign governments, and with non-government organizations and industry will increase the effectiveness of ongoing efforts. It will help foster better communication and coordination on a global scale.” The strategy announcement comes a few months after President Joe Biden sent a strong message to 11 Cabinet members and executive agencies yesterday, directing them “to work toward ending forced labor and other crimes or abuses in IUU fishing; promote sustainable use of the oceans in partnership with other nations and the private sector; and advance foreign and trade policies that benefit U.S. seafood workers,” as SeafoodNews’ Peggy Parker wrote. Environment/Science NOAA Awards $18.9M for Harmful Algal Bloom Research, Monitoring by Susan Chambers - October 20, 2022 Red tides. Domoic acid caused by an abundance of Pseudo-nitzschia diatoms. Harmful algal blooms, or HABs, affect fish and shellfish and can disrupt seafood supplies to the public. HABs have become more prevalent as the climate changes upends the planet's delicate balance. To help monitor HABs, NOAA is providing $18.9 million in funding for research projects and monitoring activities throughout U.S. coastal and Great Lakes waters. HABs can produce toxins or cause other harmful effects that can damage ecosystems, disrupt seafood supplies, impact economies and threaten human health, NOAA said in a press release. Marine and fresh waters of the U.S. are increasingly impacted by HABs, with blooms reported in every state. They cost the U.S. economy millions of dollars each year, and costs from a single major HAB event can reach tens of millions of dollars, according to NOAA. Investments in these projects represent a coordinated effort between NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System Office within NOAA’s National Ocean Service to advance the ability to observe, monitor, forecast and manage blooms. NOAA's Ocean Acidification Program, under NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, has also partnered with NCCOS to advance understanding of interactions between acidification and HABs in coastal waters and the Great Lakes. NCCOS has allocated $16.1 million to fund harmful algal bloom research in fiscal year 2022, including $3.3 million for six new research awards, $10.4 million for 23 continuing awards and $2.4 million for two Community-Directed Spending projects. Four of the new competitive research awards are funded in partnership with NOAA’s OAP. Funded projects will determine interactions between HABs and ocean acidification; establish a U.S. Harmful Algal Bloom Control Technology Incubator; enhance detection of toxins and improve forecasts; and investigate the social and economic impacts of harmful algae. “Harmful algal blooms and ocean acidification are two issues that impact coastal resources and we need to understand how they interact,” David Kidwell, director of NOAA’s NCCOS Competitive Research Program, said in the statement. “In addition to better detection methods, we want to continue the development of technologies for controlling HABs, and enhance and improve our forecasting and monitoring abilities. These grants will help with those goals.” A full list of the new NOAA NCCOS grant awards is available here. The U.S. IOOS Office has allocated $2.8 million in fiscal year 2022 for pilot projects for the nascent National Harmful Algal Bloom Observing Network and a related Ocean Technology Transition project. Those funds will be distributed across all 11 IOOS Regional Associations for three new and eight continuing projects to enhance the nation’s capacity for monitoring and detection of harmful algal blooms. The new IOOS HAB projects will focus on expanding and improving HAB observations and testing capabilities; community coordination and service delivery for stakeholders; improving and optimizing HAB forecasts; testing new technology for the detection of HABs; and funding ongoing operation and maintenance of the HAB testbed and existing infrastructure. “We will continue to enhance our network’s capacity to monitor and detect these blooms using our expertise across regions,” Carl Gouldman, director of the U.S. IOOS Office, said. “We want to push out even further and provide complete end-to-end HAB detection and monitoring systems. These efforts provide critical decision support nationwide using the best data available.” A full list of the IOOS new grant awards can be found here. Federal Register Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pacific Cod in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 10/21/2022 NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amount of Pacific cod from trawl catcher vessels to Amendment 80 trawl catcher/processors in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to allow the 2022 total allowable catch (TAC) of Pacific cod to be harvested. FYI’s Kenai Peninsula students raise salmon in the classroom, from egg to fry KBBI by Hope McKenney - October 18, 2022 Dozens of students oohed and aahed on a cold morning in Anchor Point as biologists spawned a pair of coho salmon and fertilized their eggs. Study suggests tailoring seafood diets to individual populations Seafood Source by Nicki Holmyard - October 20, 2022 Seafood is more nutritious than terrestrial animal protein and has a lower carbon footprint, according to a study published in September 2022 in the research journal Communications Earth and Environment. 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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