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Friday, September 22, 2023

Alaska NFI, Seafood Producers Draft Sign On Letter Highlighting Priorities For 2023 Farm Bill Urner Barry by Amanda Buckle - September 21, 2023 The National Fisheries Institute (NFI), the Seafood Harvesters of America (SHA), Pacific Seafoods, Pacific Seafood Processors Association (PSPA), the At-Sea Processors Association (APA) and Trident Seafoods have drafted a national sign-on letter that highlight three priorities for U.S. seafood producers to be included in the 2023 Farm Bill. According to the United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, Congress passes legislation that “sets national agriculture, nutrition, conservation, and forestry policy” every five years. This is commonly referred to as the Farm Bill. As the 2023 Farm Bill is drafted, the above mentioned seafood industry groups and companies wrote a letter to urge members of the U.S. Senate Committee to take the following three things into consideration: 1. "Create an Office of Seafood Policy and Program Integration in the USDA Office of the Chief Economist.” 2. "Promote greater seafood procurement across USDA nutrition programs.” 3. “And extend the eligibility for certain USDA grants and loans to U.S. seafood producers and supporting businesses.” “The U.S. seafood sector faces challenges similar to those that confront American farmers and ranchers,” the letter explains. “Crushing market shifts, cost burdens, supply chain vulnerabilities, and foreign market access challenges have caused a crisis throughout the U.S. seafood supply chain. Lost opportunities to participate in programs that support food production and resilient food supply chains harm the entire seafood sector and put U.S. producers at a competitive disadvantage at home and abroad. This has become an especially acute problem in recent years, during the hardships of the pandemic and its aftermath.” The seafood producers say that they need the USDA to step up to provide “clear and consistent leadership for seafood as a priority domestic food commodity.” You can read the 2023 Farm Bill Sign-On Letter here. You can sign your name to it here. Everything You Need To Know About Alaska’s Red King Crab Fishery In 2024 Urner Barry by Amanda Buckle - September 21, 2023 There are a lot of questions surrounding Alaska’s lucrative red king crab fishery. And because there are four stocks, news of closures or openings can become confusing. The fishery is managed by NOAA Fisheries, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G). Management is based on the size, sex, and the season, meaning that only male crabs of a certain size can be harvested, and that fishing can not take place during mating and molting periods. Harvest limits are set based on crab abundance. And while none of the stocks of red king crab are subject to overfishing, low abundance has resulted in closures. The red king crab fishery in the Pribilof Islands has been closed since 1999 “to avoid bycatch of the overfished Pribilof Islands blue king crab.” The red king crab fishery in the western Aleutian Islands has also been closed for a while now. ADF&G announced earlier this month that they were closing the commercial red and blue king fishery in Southeast Alaska for the sixth year in a row due to a dismal stock assessment that has yet to be released. The fishery would normally open November 1 and run through March. As SeafoodNews Editor Peggy Parker reported, scientists gathered data that indicated only 119,000 pounds of legal male red king crab are available for harvest, which is significantly less than the required 200,000 lbs guided harvest limit (GHL) that triggers an opening. But while the numbers were not ideal, they were higher than the 2022/2023 GHL of 95,700 lbs and the 91,000 lbs GHL from 2021/2022. As for Bristol Bay? Well, that’s still up in the air. In September 2021 the ADF&G announced that they would be closing the Bristol Bay red king crab fishery for the 2021/2022 season due to too few mature females. This was a big blow to a fishery that was last closed in 1994/1995. However, the survey and preliminary stock assessment model for 2021/2022 showed that mature female abundance had continued on a downward trend and dipped below the 8.4 million threshold that is required to open the fishery. The fishery closed for a second year in a row in 2022 due to conservation concerns amid a warming, more acidic and rapidly changing ecosystem in the Bering Sea. However, there is a possibility that the season may reopen for 2023/2024. A decision will be made by the ADF&G in early October during the North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s meeting, which is when crab annual catch specifications are made. At the Council’s recent Crab Plan Team meeting in Seattle, the stock assessment for 2023 reported a biomass of mature male Bristol Bay Red King Crab at 33.02 million pounds, less than last year’s 40.44 million pounds and 2021’s 30.47 million pounds, which resulted in a season closure. As for the market situation in the U.S., due to the ban on Russian imports, Russian red and golden king crab has not been imported into the market since late June 2021. Urner Barry market quotations are still listed but market reporter and editor Janice Schreiber reports that inventories are dwindling as replacement product out of Russia is not an option. Currently, the market is full steady and a few higher offers are noted as buyers are reported to be more actively pursuing the last bit of inventories available. In regards to other available king crab, there is not much for the U.S. buyer to take advantage of. Alaska does have a golden king crab fishery out of both the Eastern and Western Aleutian Islands which have quotas of 3,348,000 and 1,690,000 respectively. How much product has landed is confidential according to ADF&G, but as of this writing, 13 vessel landings are reported in the Eastern Aleutian Islands and six vessel landings in the Western Aleutian Islands. Southeast king, tanner crab task force to meet Cordova Times - September 20, 2023 State fisheries officials will hold a meeting of the Southeast king and tanner crab task force on Sept. 28 at the public library in Petersburg, with the option of virtual attendance via the Zoom platform. International Russian military conducts exercises in Bering Sea KUCB by Theo Greenly - September 20, 2023 The Russian military is running naval exercises in the Bering Sea, and the U.S. Coast Guard is keeping watch. FYI’s Secretary of Commerce Appoints Three New Committee Members to NOAA’s Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee The Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee advises the Secretary of Commerce and NOAA on all marine life matters that are the responsibility of the Department of Commerce. NOAA Fisheries - September 15, 2023 Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo appointed three new members to NOAA’s Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (MAFAC), bringing the group’s membership to the full complement of 21. The Committee advises the Secretary of Commerce and NOAA on all marine life matters that are the responsibility of the Department of Commerce. The three new members are: Seattle Sports Executives to Discuss Seafood’s Opportunity in Entertainment Venues at GAPP Meeting Association of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers - September 21, 2023 Seattle sports will take center stage at the September 28th Wild Alaska Pollock Annual Meeting during a panel focused on seafood’s opportunity in sports and entertainment venues nationwide, the Association of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP) announced today. Brian Carriveau of Climate Pledge Arena, Taylor Graham of the MLS Seattle Sounders Football Club, Chris Voigt of the MLB Seattle Mariners and Justin Moser of the DubSea Fish Sticks will join GAPP CEO Craig Morris on stage to talk about the missing ‘winning ingredient’: Wild Alaska Pollock in sports venues and entertainment concessions across the country. “There are a lot of consumers who are looking for healthy, but indulgent, options when they are outside of the home attending major events from hockey games to concerts,” said Craig Morris, GAPP Chief Executive Officer. “I’m excited to hear not only about the new consumer and what they’re looking for in their entertainment, but even more so, what they’re looking for in their food while being entertained—whether it’s cheering on their favorite team or bopping along to Taylor Swift or Coldplay.” Earlier in the day, Morris will also be joined by Chef Molly DeMers of Climate Pledge Arena who will share her candid thoughts about Wild Alaska Pollock and how her initial impressions of the fish have drastically changed over time by working with Wild Alaska Pollock products through the on-going partnerships with Trident Seafoods and GAPP. “One of the things I respect most about Chef Molly and Climate Pledge Arena is their discerning palates…they don’t work with just anyone or any product,” said Morris. “I’m excited for Chef Molly to share with this audience how she’s gone from skeptic to evangelist for our fish and how she can be a model for engagement with other chefs around the world.” It’s not too late to register to attend the Annual Meeting either virtually or in person. Thanks to GAPP’s generous sponsors, registration is complimentary and in-person registration includes all meals and entertainment. The meeting will once again bring together representatives across all segments of the Wild Alaska Pollock industry for a day-long agenda at the Four Seasons, Seattle. Registration is available here. GAPP would like to thank its current sponsors: USI Insurance Services (Title Sponsor); Alaska Airlines, Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, Arctic Storm Management Group LLC, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., Beck Pack Systems, Glacier Fish Company, Global Seas, and UniSea (Gold Level Sponsors); American Seafoods, Aquamar, Gorton’s Seafood, Highland Refrigeration, Lafferty’s EMS, Marine Stewardship Council, NORPEL, Port of Seattle, Trans-Ocean Products, Trident Seafoods, Urner Barry and Westward Seafoods (Silver Level Sponsors); Alaska Marine Lines, Alaskan Observers, Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association (APICDA), Baader Food Processing Machinery, Clark Nuber, Global Seafood Alliance, Golden Alaska Seafoods, High Liner Foods, ICR, Inc., Islandsbanki, Ketchum, Northwest Farm Credit Services, and Petro Marine (Bronze Level Sponsors); and Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation, Angulas Aguinaga, Bank of America, Coastal Villages Region Fund, Neptune Snacks, Perkins Coie LLP, and Restaurant Depot (Supporting Sponsor). 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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