Alaska King Cove Renews Hope for Approval of Medical Access Road Fishermen's News - January 5, 2022 Residents of the Alaska Peninsula fishing community of King Cove say they’re hopeful that Interior Secretary Deb Haaland will visit their community on Alaska’s Aleutian Chain and remove barriers to completing a one-lane gravel road to the all-weather airport at nearby Cold Bay. https://fishermensnews.com/king-cove-renews-hope-for-approval-of-medical-access-road/ West Coast Off Washington state’s coast, crabbers get early start to season, haul in bounty of Dungeness crab Seattle Times by Hal Bernton - January 5, 2022 Some 60 vessels in Washington’s oceangoing crab fleet worked through a stormy December to bring in more than 4.69 million pounds of Dungeness in a strong start to the annual harvest. https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/off-washington-states-coast-crabbers-get-early-start-to-season-haul-in-bounty-of-dungeness-crab/ International Russia Will Consider Suspension of Controversial Reform of Domestic Fish Sector SeafoodNews.com by Eugene Gerden - January 3, 2022 Russia will consider suspension of the controversial reform of the domestic fish sector, which was proposed by the Ministry of Agriculture due to its opposition by some senior officials in the national government and the local anti-trust regulator – the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS). The reform suggests distributing 20% of the total allowable catch of pollock and herring in the Far East in 2023 in exchange for investments (for building of fishing vessels and processing complexes), as well as placement at auctions of up to 50% of quotas for crab catch and 100% quotas for sea urchins, scallops, trumpeters and trepangs. However, according to a recent report from the Russian Vedomosti business paper, so far, the reform has been faced with opposition in the Russian federal government. For example, the number of ministries have serious doubts regarding the need to distribute quotas for some seafood, such as shellfish, as well as have already asked to clarify what investment projects should be implemented for this biological resource. As for FAS, the agency believes the proposed reform can lead to the concentration of a large amount of domestic fish and seafood resources within the hands of a few large players. Therefore, it proposes to set the maximum size of quotas of aquatic biological resources, which can be assigned to one company or a group. For those companies which quotas will exceed the limit, an access to auctions should be limited. According to FAS, the maximum size of quotas should be limited by 50%. In the meantime, representatives of some leading Russian fish producers have supported FAS. As head of the All-Russian Association of Fisheries (VARPE) German Zverev told Vedomosti, it is unreasonable to conduct auctions for shellfish and the government did not set such a task. At the same time, according to some producers, crab auctions should be held no earlier than 2033, when the terms of existing contracts will expire. Otherwise, many of local crab catchers will face with serious losses. However, VARPE supports distribution of quotas for fish in the Far East (10% for the construction of a fish processing facility with refrigerating capacities and 10% for the construction of ships). In the meantime, Sergei Sennikov Deputy Director of Norebo Management Company, believes in case of the largest bioresources in volume terms (pollock and herring), the shares of individual groups of companies are still far from 50%, which is not associated with a real threat for competition, while dozens of producers work in different fishing areas. Some producers, however, believe there is a possibility that such restrictions could be introduced for crabs as this market has already been divided among several large groups, and new players are unlikely to appear there due to the high cost of auctions. Therefore, according to the results of auctions, the share of some companies may reach 50%. https://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1215722/Russia-Will-Consider-Suspension-of-Controversial-Reform-of-Domestic-Fish-Sector Environment/Science On Annual Inspection Tour, USCG Witnesses Climate Change in Alaska The Maritime Executive by Petty Officer 1st Class Nate Littlejohn - January 4, 2022 2021 marked a milestone for the Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Task Force initiative in Alaska. The seasonal MSTF initiative, first implemented in 2019, deploys Coast Guard teams to remote areas across the state to conduct vessel and facility inspections, provide operator training, improve maritime domain awareness, and conduct outreach for preparedness and safety programs. https://www.maritime-executive.com/editorials/on-annual-inspection-tour-uscg-witnesses-climate-change-in-the-arctic NOAA Fisheries Announces $2.4M Available for Bycatch Reduction Projects in 2022 SeafoodNews.com by Peggy Parker - January 3, 2022 Last month NOAA Fisheries announced nearly $2.4 in funding will be given to projects that find new ways to reduce bycatch in the nation’s commercial and recreational fisheries. The federal program is called Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program (BREP). Each of the projects will be capped at $250,000, providing for a minimum of nine fully capped projects. Last year the program funded a dozen projects around the country, all tasked with developing “technological solutions and changes in fishing practices” or finding “creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality” within federally managed fisheries. High-priority areas for Fiscal Year 2022 projects include: Researching new technology Encouraging technology adoption Reducing post-release mortality Avoiding habitat interactions Conducting international research Projects that have been funded in the past range from minimizing whale interaction with lobster pot lines to maximizing survival for catch-and-release caught cod. Applications from “non-federal researchers working on the development of improved fishing practices and innovative gear technologies” must be received by January 20, 2022. Full proposals are due April 4, 2022. Applications are available on the the NOAA Fisheries website. Eligible applicants include U.S. citizens; institutions of higher education; nonprofits; commercial organizations; foreign public entities; organizations under the jurisdiction of foreign governments; international organizations; and state, local and Indian tribal governments. Federal agencies or instrumentalities are not eligible to receive federal assistance under this funding opportunity. Last year, $2.2 million in funding went to a dozen bycatch reduction research projects. Just over $1 million went to the Northeast part of the country to fund five projects. About $900,000 went to Alaska and the West Coast. Under the Magnusen Stevens Act, bycatch is defined as fish that are harvested in a fishery, but that are not sold or kept for personal use, and includes both economic (fish discarded due to their size, sex, or quality) and regulatory (fish that are caught but discarded because regulations prohibit retaining them) discards. The MSA requires that bycatch and bycatch mortality — including the mortality of released fish be minimized to the extent practicable. https://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1215727/NOAA-Fisheries-Announces-2-point-4M-Available-for-Bycatch-Reduction-Projects-in-2022 Federal Register Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone off Alaska; Reclassifying Sculpin Species in the Groundfish Fisheries of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands and the Gulf of Alaska; Correcting Amendment A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 01/05/2022 https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2022/01/05/C1-2021-28232/fisheries-of-the-exclusive-economic-zone-off-alaska-reclassifying-sculpin-species-in-the-groundfish North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting A Notice by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 01/05/2022 The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) Bering Sea Fishery Ecosystem Plan Climate Change Taskforce will meet January 18, 2022 through January 20, 2022. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2022/01/05/2021-28593/north-pacific-fishery-management-council-public-meeting Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Catcher Vessels Using Hook-and-Line Gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 01/06/2022 NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher vessels using hook-and-line (HAL) gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season allowance of the 2022 total allowable catch of Pacific cod by catcher vessels using HAL gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2022/01/06/2022-00042/fisheries-of-the-exclusive-economic-zone-off-alaska-pacific-cod-by-catcher-vessels-using Pacific Seafood Processors Association 1900 W Emerson Place Suite 205, Seattle, WA 98119 Phone: 206.281.1667 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: www.pspafish.net Our office days/hours are Monday-Friday 8:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. 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