top of page

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Alaska A vaccinated workforce means an easier start to the Alaska pollock 'A' season Intrafish by Rachel Sapin - January 11, 2022 'If people are vaccinated and boosted if eligible, they are highly protected against hospitalization, severe disease and death,' Dr. Ann Jarris, CEO of Discovery Health MD, told IntraFish. * Requires Subscription Sockeye, pink salmon lead strong Alaska summer salmon season Seafood Source by Brian Hagenbuch - January 12, 2022 Alaska’s summer salmon season in 2021 showed significant recovery over a lackluster 2020. ASMI’s Latest Industry Economic Report: AK Seafood Adds $15 Billion to National Economy by Peggy Parker - January 12, 2022 The latest “Economic Value of Alaska Seafood Industry” was released today by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, for the 2019 season with some data from 2020 and a brief look at the 2021 season. The full report was prepared by McKinley Research, the fourth update of the original 2013 report that covered the 2011 season, and has been updated in 2015, 2017, 2020 and 2022. The series shows trends generally upward, allowing for price fluctuations, on harvests, processed product, and economic contributions to Alaska, the nation, and worldwide. It shows again how essential Alaska’s seafood industry is to the state’s economy. For instance, it directly employs 62,200 workers annually in Alaska, more workers than any other private sector industry, and contributes $5.7 billion to Alaska’s economy. “Alaska’s seafood industry continues to play a vital role in supporting Alaska’s economy,” said Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) Executive Director Jeremy Woodrow. “The economic value of Alaska seafood stretches well beyond the docks and is spread across Alaska’s communities and throughout our nation.” Among other facts, the report includes details about the following: ● Approximately 5.7 billion pounds of seafood worth $2.0 billion was harvested in 2019. Processors turned this harvest into 2.8 billion pounds of product worth $4.7 billion. ● The seafood industry directly employs 62,200 workers in Alaska each year, including over 31,300 skippers and crew and 27,100 seafood processing employees. ● The Alaska seafood industry directly employed an estimated 26,400 Alaska residents in 2019, with over 19,800 resident fishermen and over 6,500 resident processors. ● Seafood is Alaska’s largest international export by volume and value. Export markets typically account for two-thirds of sales value, with the U.S. domestic market buying the remaining third. ● Seafood processing accounts for 70% of Alaska’s manufacturing employment in 2019, making it the largest manufacturing sector in Alaska. The sector employs 27,100 workers in 160 shore-based plants, 52 catcher-processors and approximately 30 floating processors. For the first time, this year’s report focuses on only one year — 2019 — because 2020, the first year of the pandemic, was not a normal representation of annual effort or output. “In 2020 the industry suffered from widespread COVID-19 impacts and other factors in several key fisheries,” said Jim Calvin, Vice President of McKinley Research Group (formerly McDowell Group) who first published the biennial report in 2013. “While the report includes some 2020 data, averaging 2019 data with the pandemic-disrupted 2020 season would not produce an accurate picture of the seafood industry’s economic impact in Alaska. Preliminary 2021 data reflect a partial rebound further indicating 2020 as an outlier.” Alaska harvests two-thirds of the nation’s seafood, more wild-caught seafood than all other states combined, and is a key component in the national seafood industry: ● Nationally, the Alaska seafood industry creates over 100,000 full time equivalent jobs, $6 billion in annual labor income and $15 billion in economic output, including $6.4 billion in direct output associated with fishing, processing, distribution, and retail and an additional $8.6 billion in multiplier effects generated as the industry's direct output circulates throughout the U.S. economy. ● Just under 1 million metric tons (2.2 billion pounds) of Alaska seafood was exported in 2019, bringing $3 billion in new money from foreign buyers into the U.S. economy. ● Alaska is home to nine of the top 20 U.S. fishing ports by value and eight of the top 20 U.S. ports by volume. For the state, seafood provides economies of scale and economic activity which lowers the cost of utilities, shipping, fuel and local taxes for residents in many Alaska communities. More than 6,500 fishing vessels are owned by Alaska residents, each fishing operation represents a business generating new income from a renewable resource. The industry is the economic foundation of many communities and the processing facilities, integral to many coastal economies, also provide infrastructure that in many cases would not be there. A key contributor to infrastructure is the commercial seafood industry revenues collected in the form of taxes, fees and self-assessments. A total of $163 million was collected in FY2019; of that amount, the industry returned $81 million to state government (49%), $45 million to local governments (27%), $27 million to salmon enhancement operations (17%), and $11 million to the federal government (7%). While Alaska produces 60% of the nation’s seafood annually, it also produces 43% of the global supply of pollock, 26% of the global supply of halibut, and 24% of the world’s flatfish. The value of Alaska’s seafood production has exceeded $4.0 billion since 2010, with 2020 an exception due to the pandemic. The industry typically harvests between five and six billion pounds of seafood each year. While 2020 saw participation and revenues in sharp declines, a partial recovery has been seen in 2021. “Much of Alaska’s seafood economy made at least a partial recovery in 2021. Seafood industry value is expected to be up in 2021 from the lows reported in 2020.… These increases in value are driven in part by larger harvests (including much stronger salmon runs) but also due to pandemic-influenced increases in seafood prices and reductions in operating risks and costs compared to 2020,” according to the report. "Industry employment is also up in 2021, with preliminary data showing Alaska's peak seafood processing employment recovering roughly half of the losses seen in 2020, but still down more than 10% from 2019 levels.” Problems with supply chain disruptions and inflation continue, however. “High shipping costs are a key lingering consequence of the pandemic as of the end of 2021. International shipping costs for Alaska’s processors pandemic-impacted economy recovered and demand for goods soared,” the report said. And unfortunately, labor costs also continue to rise. “Labor costs for Alaska seafood processors have increased steadily for many years, but jumped even higher in 2021, as evidenced by a 28% increase in the "prevailing wage" rate set by the U.S. Department of Labor for H-2B visa workers,” according to the report. But riding out initial restaurant and retail closures proved to be a winning strategy for those who could. “... in the long run, the pandemic introduced more consumers to buying and cooking seafood at home, especially in the promising domestic market. “Grocery stores in the United States reported record seafood sales during the pandemic and these sales remained elevated above pre-pandemic levels even as foodservice spending recovered in summer and fall 2021," the report noted. West Coast West Coast Hake Fishery Enters RFM Assessment Certification Without Logo Licensing Fees by Susan Chambers - January 12, 2022 A fishery whose volume pales in comparison to Alaska's pollock fishery but also has a global reach is going for a Responsible Fisheries Management certification. The Pacific Whiting Conservation Cooperative, in collaboration with all sectors of the Pacific whiting fishery off the West Coast, is being assessed to the RFM fishery standard, the Certified Seafood Collaborative, owners of the RFM program, said in a press release in December. It's the first fishery outside of Alaska to be assessed to the RFM standard and covers the midwater trawl fishery that takes place in the EEZ off of Washington, Oregon and California. The Pacific whiting or hake fishery includes three sectors: catcher-processors, that catch hake and process it at sea; the mothership sector, whose processing vessels depend on smaller catcher vessels to deliver the whiting to the mothership for processing at sea; and the shoreside sector, which includes trawl vessels delivering to shoreside processing plants. “We couldn’t be more thrilled that PWCC sees the value RFM offers – credibility, plus an eco-label that features origin without logo licensing fees, helping drive costs down for the supply chain. It’s an exciting time to see our industry’s growing request for choice in sustainable seafood certifications,” CSC Chairman Mark Fina said in a press release. MRAG Americas Inc. is conducting the independent assessment for PWCC in partnership with the entire US whiting fishery. MRAG Americas is a newly approved RFM Fishery Standard certification body. Management of the coastal Pacific hake fishery is shared among the Joint Management Committee as established by the agreement between the governments of Canada and the United States. Both governments recommend the total allowable catch, and the National Marine Fisheries Service manages the fishery in the U.S, MRAG Americas noted in the assessment announcement. The assessment team will be led by Ms. Amanda Stern-Pirlot, who will also be primarily responsible for assessing fisheries impacts to the ecosystem. She is an M.Sc graduate of the University of Bremen, Center for Marine Tropical Ecology in marine ecology and fisheries biology. Stern-Pirlot joined MRAG Americas in mid-June 2014 and is now Director of the Fishery Certification Division and is currently serving on several different assessment teams as a team leader or a team member. Dr. Giuseppe Scarcella and Dr. Susan Hanna will serve as team members for the assessment. Scarcella, primarily responsible for assessing the stock assessment and fish biology, is an experienced fishery scientist, population analyst and modeler, with wide knowledge and experience in the assessment of demersal stocks. He is an author and co-author of more than 50 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals and more than 150 national and international technical reports, most of them focused on the evolution of fish assemblages in artificial habitats and stock assessment of demersal species. Dr. Hanna is professor emeritus of marine economics at Oregon State University. Hanna will be primarily responsible for assessing the management of the whiting fishery. Her research and publications are in the area of marine economics and policy, with an emphasis on fishery management, ecosystem-based fishery management, property rights and institutional design. Hanna has served as a scientific advisor to the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, National Marine Fisheries Service, Northwest Power and Conservation Council and the Pacific Fishery Management Council, among others organizations. “Sustainability of the Pacific Whiting fishery is of paramount importance to PWCC, Cooperative Executive Director Dan Waldeck said in a statement. "We recognize that sustainable seafood certification programs provide critical information to businesses and consumers as they make their seafood buying choices. We’ve witnessed the growth of RFM certified fisheries in Alaska and see the many benefits they have derived from their RFM certifications. “As RFM expands its reach and scope, PWCC is proud to be the first fishery outside of Alaska to pursue RFM certification. We expect our member companies, and other sectors of the Pacific Whiting fishery client group, to benefit from RFM certification," Waldeck added. PWCC President Mike Luchino shares this desire for certification choice. “At PWCC, we believe the industry is better off having sustainable seafood certification program alternatives," Luchina said in a statement. "We anticipate adding the Pacific whiting fishery to the roster of RFM-certified fisheries will facilitate important growth of the RFM program by expanding its geographic scope, increasing the volume of RFM certified fish available to businesses and consumers, and in extending RFM's market reach.” Site visits for the fishery are occurring this week in Seattle, MRAG Americas said. National US fresh, frozen seafood retail sales set records in 2021 Seafood Source by Christine Blank - January 11, 2022 Sales of frozen and fresh seafood in the U.S. hit all-time highs in 2021, primarily driven by inflation. Labeling and Marketing Eat Seafood America! marketers report 800 percent return from campaign National Fisherman by Cliff White - January 12, 2022 The Eat Seafood America! marketing campaign, launched by the Seafood Nutrition Partnership and the Seafood4Health Coalition in 2020, has achieved an 800 percent return on investment, according to SNP. Federal Register North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting A Notice by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 01/13/2022 The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and its advisory committees will meet via webconference January 31, 2022 through February 11, 2022. FYI’s Seafood Expo North America taking place as planned in March Seafood Source by Chris Chase - January 12, 2022 Diversified Communications, the organizer of Seafood Expo North America/Seafood Processing North America, have announced that the event scheduled for 13 through 15 March at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC) in Boston, Massachusetts, will take place as planned. Peter Pan Seafood Pulls Out of Boston Seafood Show in March Due To Health and Safety Concerns Urner Barry by Amanda Buckle - January 11, 2022 Peter Pan Seafood announced on Tuesday that they have decided to pull out of Diversified Communications' Seafood Expo North America event due to health and safety concerns surrounding COVID-19. The event is scheduled to take place in Boston from March 13-15. The company noted that leading into the new year they made the commitment to begin attending industry trade shows again after evaluating increased vaccinations and declining case counts. However, after watching COVID case numbers increase in recent days, the company said that they are pulling out a of the Boston seafood show and "prioritizing the health and safety of their employees, partners (including fishermen, tendermen, customers and community members), and everyone at the event." "With COVID-19 cases rising, we agree this it is irresponsible to attend the seafood show in Boston this year," said Chief Growth Officer Rodger May. "This is not an easy decision and it's one we'll lose money on -- having already made meaningful investments to be at this year's event, while rolling out our new look and brand. For us, it boils down to what we've been saying all along -- nothing is more important than the health and safety of our team, our partners and loved ones. Attending this show, while it would be good for business, is not worth putting our employees, partners or loved ones at risk." The company noted that they've taken the pandemic very seriously, requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for all employees and requiring masks inside all facilities and mess halls. Peter Pan has also been operating their processing facilities as closed campuses, meaning that once employees, whether they are local or from out of state, arrive on campus, they can only leave for emergencies and that all visitors are limited. Diversified Communications has been continually updating their health and safety guidelines leading up to the event. As SeafoodNews reported a few weeks ago, Diversified announced that attendees, exhibitors, vendors and staff would all have to provide proof of full vaccination to attend, as per Boston’s “B Together” vaccine requirement for certain indoor spaces. In addition, everyone inside the building will be required to wear a mask. Diversified Communications, with the guidance of event industry associations UFI, AEO and SISO, have adapted the “All Secure Standards,” a set of best practices to ensure the health and safety of attendees. The “All Secure Standards” calls for physical contact restriction, stating that “participants should avoid physical contact including handshakes, hugs, and limit the distribution and exchange of printed materials and booth swag.” Diversified is also pushing contactless registration by encouraging participants to pre-register, as well as providing social distancing by additional signs for traffic flow, entrance and exits. Attendees can also expect “enhanced cleaning,” with continuous sanitation of event spaces and hand sanitizing stations placed throughout the venue. On the food service side, attendees can expect a limited amount of self-serve buffet style options. Instead, food vendors will offer boxed or wrapped individual meals when available. Diversified further added that they will be providing a “series of email communications to all participants with detailed information about what to expect at the event.” You can find Diversified’s “All Secure Standards” here. This is the first time that Seafood Expo North America, also known as the Boston Seafood Show, is being held in two years. Diversified initially put health and safety measures in place for the 2020 event, but exhibitors began pulling out due to concerns over the coronavirus in the weeks leading up to the show. In the past Seafood Expo North America has attracted more than 22,000 seafood industry professionals from around the country and the world. 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.


Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page