Alaska Fish Factor: Halibut prices rise for first of the season fish Cordova Times by Laine Welch - March 26, 2021 Halibut prices for Alaska fishermen for 2021 started out significantly higher than last year, despite sluggish demand and transportation logjams in some regions. https://www.thecordovatimes.com/2021/03/26/fish-factor-halibut-prices-rise-for-first-of-the-season-fish/ State data shows 2020 Southeast salmon harvest was among worst on record KSTK by Sage Smiley - March 26, 2021 A special report released in March paints a stark picture of 2020’s salmon harvest in Southeast Alaska. https://www.alaskapublic.org/2021/03/26/state-data-shows-2020-southeast-salmon-harvest-was-among-worst-on-record/ The 2021 Sitka Sac Roe Herring Season Begins — Slowly SeafoodNews.com by Peggy Parker - March 29, 2021 For the first time in two years, the Sitka sac roe herring season is underway again, beginning with an 8-hour opener last Saturday and a modest catch of 2,300 tons. The guideline harvest level (GHL) for this year is 33,304 tons, but based on input from processors involved with the Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery, it is expected that the commercial harvest will not exceed 20,000 tons. Sunday a second opener, about 7-hours long, and an ADF&G test fishery occurred. Amounts harvested will be released later today. Aerial surveys on Sunday, flown in clear weather with “excellent visibility” showed large schools of herring in the area but no spawn. Vessel surveys done in closed waters yesterday showed an average weight 112 grams with 10.25% mature roe in two 50-ton sets, and one 75-ton set of an average weight of 108 grams, at mature roe of 11.8%. Throughout ADF&G’s announcements of survey results, biologists note their efforts “to ensure reasonable opportunity for subsistence harvest of herring roe would not be negatively impacted by test setting.” They note that before any test fishing is done, the department considers that test sites are “ …outside the commercial closed waters and core subsistence areas; 2) the fish encountered during test fishing in these areas represented a small fraction of the overall biomass within the areas; and 4) the number of test sets was kept to the minimum amount necessary to determine roe quality for a potential commercial opening.” These new protocols are the result of a court order to consider the priority of subsistence use of herring roe, on spruce branches and kelp, as an important food source for locals. More aerial surveys will occur today, weather permitting. The size of the forecasted 2021 age-5 herring cohort is unusually large and is more uncertain than other year classes. This extremely large year class has been observed in other herring populations throughout the Gulf of Alaska in 2019 and 2020. The forecast indicates that the mature population by number of herring in 2021 will consist of 2% age-3, <1% age-4, 86% age-5, 5% age-6, 3% age-7, and 4% age-8+. Because there was no commercial harvest in 2019 and 2020, the forecast used an average of the spring commercial purse seine weights at age from the 2017 and 2018 fisheries harvest: age-3, 79 grams; age-4, 92 grams; age-5, 109 grams; age-6, 126 grams; age-7, 144 grams; and age-8+, 165 grams. The forecasted average weight across all age classes is 112 grams. When asked if the fishery would be a co-op this year, Dupuis and management coordinator Troy Thynes told KCAW media in Sitka that state management is treating this year as a competitive fishery, though he said fishermen and processors may work out different arrangements. “We’re not making preference for co-ops,” Thynes said. “But if processors and fishermen or individual processors have plans worked out with the fleets or with boats that normally sell to them, to co-op that way, from my understanding there is that sort of co-op going on with individual processors and within the fleet there. That’s why we’re expecting a limited fleet.” https://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1195344/The-2021-Sitka-Sac-Roe-Herring-Season-Begins--Slowly Labeling and Marketing Alaska Seafood Marketing Update ASMI - March 2021 Alaska Seafood in the News, New Resources, Latest COVID-19 briefing available now, New sustainability webpage, New bleeding guideline poster available, Get the new Direct Marketer Toolkit, ASMI Activities... https://myemail.constantcontact.com/March-Update--Join-us-at-ComFish-next-week--plus-new-tools-and-global-outreach.html?soid=1101064654189&aid=tiCGaeCiuAI FYI’s COVID-19 webinar: Federal and State guidance and mandates for the Alaskan commercial fishing and seafood processing industries Alaska Sea Grant April 28, 12:00 pm–2:00 pm AKDT As Alaska gears up for another fishing season in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Alaska Sea Grant is assisting seafood processors and commercial fishing operations with accessing and understanding current safety operations guidance and mandates. https://alaskaseagrant.org/event/covid-19-guidance-for-alaskan-commercial-fishing-and-seafood-processing/ Application deadline extended for federal relief funding to commercial fishing, shellfish aquaculture, charter and seafood sector industry members Chinook Observer - March 26, 2021 OLYMPIA — Eligible commercial fishing, shellfish, charter and seafood sector industry members who have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic now have through April 9 to apply with the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC) for assistance. https://www.chinookobserver.com/coronavirus/application-deadline-extended-for-federal-relief-funding-to-commercial-fishing-shellfish-aquaculture-charter-and-seafood/article_2c48b6aa-8e45-11eb-b4f9-43e89cd1b335.html
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