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Thursday, June 23, 2022

Alaska In victory for commercial fishermen, court orders Cook Inlet fishery to reopen KDLL by Sabine Poux - June 22, 2022 The area in question starts three miles offshore and extends south from Kalgin Island. Cook Inlet drift fishermen can fish the federal waters of the inlet this summer after all. https://www.kdll.org/local-news/2022-06-22/in-victory-for-commercial-fishermen-court-orders-cook-inlet-fishery-to-reopen Chum salmon counts are lower than ever in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta KYUK by Olivia Ebertz - June 22, 2022 Chum salmon counts are lower than ever this year in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta region. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) announced on June 21 that this summer has seen the lowest ever summer chum runs as of this date on the Yukon River. That’s according to a sonar at Pilot Station. The sonar has counted 843 summer chum salmon, which ADF&G said is below the median of 1,737 fish as of June 21. The department said that Chinook counts are well below average too. On the Kuskokwim, ADF&G said that this year’s chum run is tracking nearly identically to last year’s record lows. https://www.kyuk.org/science-and-environment/2022-06-22/chum-salmon-counts-are-lower-than-ever-in-the-yukon-kuskokwim-delta West Coast West Coast Lawmakers Raise Concerns Over Offshore Wind Siting Process SeafoodNews.com by Susan Chambers - June 23, 2022 The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is running into some headwinds on the West Coast when it comes to siting offshore wind. Several cities, counties and ports in Oregon and Washington have passed resolutions or wrote letters to BOEM, urging the agency to slow down the offshore wind leasing process at the least or outright opposing offshore wind at the most. Now, federal lawmakers are adding their voices to the mix. On Wednesday, Rep. Peter DeFazio and Sen. Ron Wyden, both Democrats, sent a bicameral letter to BOEM about their significant concerns with the ongoing siting process for offshore wind facilities off the southern Oregon coast. At the same time, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash.; Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Wash.; and Reps. Kurt Schrader and Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., authored a bipartisan letter to BOEM raising coastwide concerns about offshore wind. "We have heard from many of our fishe1men up and down the coasts of Washington, Oregon and California who have expressed frustrations with BOEM's outreach and engagement process," the four lawmakers wrote. "They believe their concerns are not being heard, and not taken seriously by the BOEM officials. We have also heard from tribes with concerns regarding offshore wind turbines' potential impact on their fishing access, rights and resources." BOEM has issued Call Areas for potential offshore wind leasing off Coos Bay and Brookings and Olympic Wind has submitted an unsolicited lease request for an area off Washington. The Call Areas are the first step in the leasing process and are meant to assess commercial interest and public input on offshore wind leasing activities in the designated areas. However, stakeholders have raised critical issues that need to be addressed before the process should move forward, DeFazio and Wyden said in a press release. In the letter, DeFazio and Wyden urge BOEM to: prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for wind energy off the entire Pacific Coast to address critical data gaps on environmental impact; move the Oregon Call Areas beyond a 1300-meter depth to minimize the impact on sustainable fishing operations; formally consult with all relevant stakeholders throughout the siting process; and fully collaborate with federal partners, including NOAA, the Pacific Fishery Management Council and the U.S. Coast Guard. The letter calls on the agency to take a thorough and collaborative approach to ensure that economic, environmental, and safety impacts of the nascent technology of floating offshore wind facilities in the Coos Bay and Brookings Call Areas are understood and mitigated before moving any further in the siting process. The Oregon members express concern that the Call Areas would significantly disrupt sustainable fishing operations. They wrote, “The seafood industry is economically critical to Oregon as a whole, and especially Oregon’s coastal communities. ... Fishing grounds have been steadily shrinking for decades and coastal communities up and down the Pacific coast continue to suffer economic and cultural loss. Further limiting Oregon’s fishing industry from the productive fishing grounds in the current Call Areas could spell economic disaster for these towns that have relied on harvesting seafood for generations.” DeFazio said alternative renewable energy sources would be better suited in the move away from fossil fuels. “I strongly support the use of renewable energy alternatives, like wind, solar, wave, and thermal energy to address the climate crisis, but the installation of these alternatives cannot be to the detriment of vitally important fisheries, mariner safety, near- and on-shore habitat, and endangered marine species," DeFazio said in the statement. "Any offshore wind leasing near Coos Bay and Brookings will have a significant impact on these coastal communities and the Pacific Coast ecosystem, but BOEM has a troubling history of ignoring the most immediate stakeholders on this issue. “BOEM needs to seriously revise its decision-making process to ensure that stakeholders have a full seat at the table and that the cumulative impact of Pacific coast offshore wind leasing is understood and mitigated before moving forward.” Wyden recognized the Oregon seafood industry as a key employer in coastal communities. “Fishing is an integral and iconic part of the coastal economy with job-creating benefits that ripple into communities throughout Oregon,” Wyden said in the release. “That’s why I’m working to make sure federal officials listen to concerned coastal officials and don’t inadvertently damage this core Oregon industry so it can continue to provide economic and recreation opportunities for generations to come.” Members of the seafood industry spoke to the issue of environmental responsibility when considering the impacts of offshore wind. “It does not make sense to risk an environmental catastrophe and create a food security issue trying to solve the climate crisis," Midwater Trawlers Cooperative Executive Director Heather Mann said in the release. "BOEM must slow down this process and the environmental and economic impacts must be known and understood upfront before leases are issued – at the end of the process, which is the current plan, is too late." DeFazio and Wyden focused on the California Current large marine ecosystem and the need for thorough study of the impact of siting, design and operation of energy projects "on this rich and rare natural resource," they wrote. "It is short-sighted at best and negligent at worst to develop floating offshore wind projects along the Pacific coast piecemeal without studying and planning for the system as a whole." https://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1228590/West-Coast-Lawmakers-Raise-Concerns-Over-Offshore-Wind-Siting-Process FYI’s North Pacific Research Board Looks to Fill Seats on Science Panel Fishermen's News - June 22, 2022 The North Pacific Research Board, created by Congress in 1997 to recommend marine research activities to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, is accepting applications through Aug. 22 to fill four seats on its science panel. https://fishermensnews.com/north-pacific-research-board-looks-to-fill-seats-on-science-panel/ Pacific Seafood Processors Association 1900 W Emerson Place Suite 205, Seattle, WA 98119 Phone: 206.281.1667 E-mail: admin@pspafish.net; 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. 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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