Alaska Huge harvest guideline but few buyers for Alaska’s herring fishery Seafood Source by Cliff White - January 5, 2024 The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) has posted a harvest guideline for the 2024 Sitka herring season of 81,246 tons, or approximately 162.5 million pounds. https://www.seafoodsource.com/news/supply-trade/huge-harvest-guideline-but-few-buyers-for-alaska-s-herring-fishery Alaska Board of Fisheries Meets Next Week in Kodiak to Address 30 Finfish Proposals SeafoodNews.com by Peggy Parker - January 5, 2024 The 7-member Alaska Board of Fisheries will meet in Kodiak, January 9–12, 2024, to consider new management proposals for salmon, herring, and sablefish. Proposals have been submitted by members of the public, fishing organizations, local Fish and Game Advisory Committees, and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. All portions of the meeting are open to the public and a live video stream is intended to be available on the board’s website. Stakeholders and other members of the public are encouraged to submit written comments or give oral testimony during the meeting. Anyone intending to testify must sign up at the meeting site in Kodiak, no later than 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 9. Proposals can be found at the ADF&G Board of Fisheries website. For the first time ever, the board will hear Traditional Knowledge (TK) reports from the public following the ADF&G staff reports. In a statement earlier this week, the agency encouraged anyone interested in providing a TK report to the board to sign up at the meeting site no later than noon on Tuesday, January 9. More information on this can be found in the board’s December 6, 2023 Supplemental Notice. The board will be considering 30 proposals, about half on salmon management around Kodiak Island and half on sports issues, subsistence proposals, and Groundfish species proposals.Two non-salmon proposals of interest are Prop 52 which establishes a new Kodiak Area commercial sablefish fishery on September 1 for pot, hook and line and jig gears. Author Dia Kuzman said “During the fall September Pacific cod fishery there is good amount of sablefish inside 3 miles. Currently there is no directed fishery, fisherman have to discard the sablefish which results in some dead loss. It will be a good opportunity for new entry younger generation fisherman to participate who don’t own any IFQ sablefish.”Prop. 57, from Bruce Schactler would create two herring seasons a year, the first in spring targeting sac roe as usual, and the second in the fall targeting herring for market in smoked, canned, pickled and other product forms that focus on the meat.“ As the sac roe market continues to decline and the need to diversify and bring new value to the herring fishery, management must be modified to allow harvest to take place when the herring are past their spawning phase, and into the high fat stage of life,” Schactler explained in his proposal. “New Product made from herring, be it canned, pickled, or smoked requires higher fat and better nutrition profiles. This can only be realized after the herring have been feeding for 5 or 6 months past spawning.“ Kodiak is unique in Alaska, having the right size herring (+-200 grams) and the geographical access during the fall and early winter where this nutritional profile is a at its peak," he wrote.Schactler noted that most allowable herring harvest in Alaska will go unharvested in 2024 due to the falling market. “To change the options and direction for unmarketable Alaska herring, management must change to being allowing access to these needed food grade herring,” he wrote.All meeting information including the agenda, roadmap, agency reports, and public and advisory committee comments will be available on the meeting website.The Kodiak meeting is the second of three between October 2023 and April 2024. The three year cycle of BOF meetings covers all fisheries in all areas of Alaska. It is as follows:For meeting years 2023-2024, 2026-2027, 2029-2030:Cook Inlet Area FinfishKodiak Area FinfishFor meeting years 2024-2025, 2027-2028:Prince William Sound Finfish and Shellfish (except shrimp)Southeast/Yakutat Finfish and ShellfishStatewide (except SE/Yakutat/PWS) ShellfishFor meeting years 2025-2026, 2028-2029, 2031-2032:Alaska Peninsula/Bering Sea-Aleutian Island/Chignik Areas FinfishArctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim Areas FinfishBristol Bay Area FinfishStatewide Provisions for FinfishThe BOF’s Committee on Board Process, Management, and Research Needs will meet on January 18 at 1 p.m. for a web conference on incorporating Traditional Knowledge reports in each meeting. The committee is made up of three board members: Märit Carlson-Van Dort (chair), Mike Wood, and Greg Svendsen.Finally, the BOF is accepting proposed changes to the subsistence, personal use, sport, guided sport, and commercial fishing regulations for Southeast and Yakutat finfish and shellfish, Prince William Sound finfish and shellfish (including the Upper Copper River and Upper Susitna River), and all other shellfish statewide for consideration by the board in its 2024–25 meeting cycle. The deadline for proposals is Wednesday, April 10, 2024. Proposals may be submitted online, by email or mail at: ADF&G, Boards Support Section P.O. Box 115526, Juneau, AK 99811-5526; or by FAX at (907) 465-6094. https://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1268937/Alaska-Board-of-Fisheries-Meets-Next-Week-in-Kodiak-to-Address-30-Finfish-Proposals National Lawmakers rally behind visa exemptions for seafood processors Seafood Source by Nathan Strout - January 5, 2024 U.S. senators are lining up behind legislation that would exempt seafood processors from the nation’s annual cap on H-2B temporary worker visas. https://www.seafoodsource.com/news/supply-trade/lawmakers-rally-behind-visa-exemptions-for-seafood-processors US Senate Republicans demand more clarity on NOAA fishery disaster determinations Seafood Source by Nathan Strout - January 5, 2024 Several U.S. senators want to be able to track fishery disaster determinations the same way consumers track packages throughout their shipping process. https://www.seafoodsource.com/news/supply-trade/senator-republicans-demand-more-clarity-on-noaa-s-fishery-disaster-determinations Wells Fargo analysts predict challenging start to 2024 for US seafood at retail after bright holiday season Seafood Source by Christine Blank - January 8, 2024 After a lucrative holiday season to end 2023 for U.S. retailers, some analysts are forecasting a tougher year ahead for the industry, with seafood sales likely to suffer from decreased demand due to higher prices and increased costs throughout the supply chain. https://www.seafoodsource.com/news/premium/foodservice-retail/wells-fargo-analysts-predict-challenging-start-to-2024-for-us-seafood-at-retail-after-bright-holiday-season *Requires Subscription
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