Alaska Peter Pan latest processor to announce COVID-19 vaccine mandate Alaska Journal of Commerce by Elizabeth Earl - September 8, 2021 After two seasons of closed campuses, rigorous COVID-19 testing and masks, Alaska’s seafood processors are increasingly turning to vaccine mandates for employees in a bid to keep their facilities open. https://www.alaskajournal.com/2021-09-08/peter-pan-latest-processor-announce-covid-19-vaccine-mandate Alaska Fisheries Report September 09, 2021 KMXT - September 9, 2021 On This Week’s Alaska Fisheries Report with Terry Haines: Big Fines Over a Tiny Railroad, Fisherman Nominated to Board of Fish, Chignik Struggles with Poor Runs https://kmxt.org/2021/09/alaska-fisheries-report-september-08-2021/ National NOAA Awards $2.2 Million to Support Bycatch Reduction Projects Urner Barry by Ryan Doyle - September 10, 2021 NOAA Fisheries has awarded $2.2 million in grants to support 12 projects under its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program. Out of the 12 projects, 5 were awarded to the Greater Atlantic Region totaling $1.07 million. NOAA said the program follows its National Bycatch Reduction Strategy and bycatch remains a top priority. NOAA explained that “bycatch can contribute to overfishing, can threaten endangered and threatened species and protected marine mammals, and can close fisheries, significantly impacting U.S. economic growth.” In 2021, the projects focus on several priority bycatch issues related to a variety of species, including whales, turtles, sharks, sturgeon, and halibut. “Projects in the Greater Atlantic Region will focus on developing gears to reduce interactions between whales and turtles in vertical buoy lines, reducing the capture of Atlantic sturgeon in large mesh gillnets, and increasing our knowledge of porbeagle bycatch in the groundfish bottom trawl fishery,” NOAA wrote in a bulletin. https://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1207704/NOAA-Awards-2-point-2-Million-to-Support-Bycatch-Reduction-Projects USDA Provides $50 Million Through Seafood Processors Pandemic Response and Safety Block Grant Urner Barry by Ryan Doyle - September 10, 2021 The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is set to publish Requests for Applications (RFAs) for a new grant program - the Seafood Processors Pandemic Response and Safety Block Grant (SPRS) program. The $50 million SPRS goes alongside the $650 million Pandemic Response and Safety (PRS) Grant. Together, the programs will support agriculture stakeholders who have yet to receive “substantial federal financial assistance” during the COVID-19 crisis. These grant programs will provide assistance to small businesses in certain commodity areas, including small-scale specialty crop producers and processors, shellfish, aquaculture and other select producers, meat and other processors, distributors, farmers markets, seafood facilities and processing vessels, per the USDA. “As the economy continues to gain strength after the Biden Administration’s historic vaccination and economic relief efforts, USDA is working with agricultural and food businesses to ensure they have the resources and tools to thrive in 2021 and beyond,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “The funding associated with USDA Pandemic Assistance is meant to serve as a bridge from disruptions associated with the pandemic to longer-term investments to help build back a better food system. Financial relief to these essential producers, distributors, processors and other small agricultural businesses is critical to get our food system back on track.” In regards to the Seafood PRS grants, the USDA said it will allocate block grant funding to U.S. states and territories based on a formula that considers economic activity as demonstrated through commercial fisheries landings. Eligible entities are state agencies as detailed in the Seafood Processors Pandemic Response and Safety Block Grant Program forecast, USDA-AMS-TM-SPRS-G-21-0012. Following the allocation, state agencies will provide funds to processing facilities and processing vessels. The USDA said entities should apply directly through their State agency; seafood processors and processing vessels should not apply through PRS and should instead contact their state agency for financial assistance once USDA awards funds to states. Updated information regarding the PRS and Seafood PRS programs will be available on the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) website: www.ams.usda.gov. A list of state contacts has been made available on the USDA website. The Department also noted that Tribal government-owned eligible entities may apply directly to USDA, details of which will be developed through tribal consultation in conjunction with the Office of Tribal Relations. https://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1207700/USDA-Provides-50-Million-Through-Seafood-Processors-Pandemic-Response-and-Safety-Block-Grant International Russia nets two new MSC certifications for shrimp and pollock Seafood Source by Ivan Stupachenko - September 9, 2021 Two Russian fisheries – shrimp and walleye pollock – have obtained full Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification and a right to use the eco-label on their products. https://www.seafoodsource.com/news/environment-sustainability/russia-nets-two-new-msc-certifications-for-shrimp-and-pollock Environment/Science EPA considers more permanent protection for Bristol Bay by resuming Pebble ‘veto’ process Alaska Public Media by Liz Ruskin - September 9, 2021 The Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday morning that it will resume a process that could result in permanently blocking the proposed Pebble gold mine at the headwaters of Bristol Bay. https://www.alaskapublic.org/2021/09/09/epa-considers-more-permanent-protection-for-bristol-bay-by-resuming-veto-of-pebble-mine/ EPA to protect Alaska’s Bristol Bay, blocking major gold mine The Biden administration’s move to invoke its Clean Water Act authority marks a major blow for the project, which is near the world’s largest sockeye salmon run Washington Post by Dino Grandoni and Joshua Partlow - September 9, 2021 The Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday that it would restore protections for Alaska’s Bristol Bay, blocking the construction of a massive and controversial gold mine near the world’s largest sockeye salmon run. https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2021/09/09/biden-bristol-bay-gold-mine/ *may require subscription FYI’s NN Cannery wins national recognition Listing in National Register of Historic Places honors cannery workers Cordova Times by Margaret Bauman - September 6, 2021 A 131-year-old cannery on the shoreline of South Naknek in Bristol Bay has been named to the National Register of Historic Places, after a years-long effort by the daughter of a former superintendent of the fish plant, who worked her way through college on the slime line. https://www.thecordovatimes.com/2021/09/06/nn-cannery-wins-national-recognition/
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