Alaska Snow crab and other premium crab saw huge retail growth in 2020 Anchorage Daily News by Laine Welch - April 19, 2021 “Insatiable” is the word being used to describe the demand for snow crab as the world’s largest fishery got underway on April 5 in eastern Canada. And while more snow crab will be available this year, buyers expect a tight supply. https://www.adn.com/business-economy/2021/04/19/snow-crab-and-other-premium-crab-saw-huge-retail-growth-in-2020/ International JAPAN: Hokkaido Surimi Production Keeps Decreasing, but Brisk Sales in February SeafoodNews.com by Tom Asakawa - April 20, 2021 The National Surimi Manufacturers Association announced on March 25 that the February production of land-based surimi produced in Hokkaido continued to be sluggish. Shipments were favorable, and inventory at the end of the month further decreased. It was the second-lowest inventory level since 2010. According to the announcement, Alaska pollock surimi production in February was 494 tons, down 29.1% from the same month of the previous year. Atka mackerel surimi tripled to 10 tons. The total, combined with a small amount of other surimi, was 537 tons, a decrease of 28.3%. Since July last year it has been below the previous year's level for eight months. The production shortfall was due to the slump in pollock landings, which is the mainstay. In the cumulative amount of January and February production, pollock surimi decreased by 25.8% from the same period of the previous year to 1361 tons. The amount of small-quantity Atka mackerel decreased by 6.7% to 14 tons. All surimi production for the period, including other fish surimi, decreased by 27.0% to 1418 tons. The amount of Pollock landed in Hokkaido slowed down in the second half last year, in contrast to the first half, which was strong last year. The total landing of the year eventually totaled 105,100 tons, which was 13.4% higher than the previous year. But the decrease has prolonged since the reopening of the fishing season after summer. The trend continues into the beginning of the year. The January catch of Alaska pollock in Hokkaido announced at the same time was 7415 tons, which was a decrease of more than 20% from about 9,500 tons the previous year. From Northern Hokkaido to the Sea of Okhotsk to Kushiro, the total landing by trawling has decreased significantly. Landings in Rausu, which seems to be by the inshore fishery, improved, but the raw materials for surimi fell significantly. On the other hand, while the supply side of surimi was sluggish, shipments remained strong, and the association members' shipments in February were 843 tons, up 11.5% from the same month of the previous year. Since it increased by more than 40% in January, the cumulative total from January to February increased by 27.2% to 2029 tons, showing a significant increase for the second consecutive month. As a result, inventories decreased further, and at the end of February they totaled 679 tons, continuing to be well below 1000 tons. The year-on-year stock fell by 66.2%, of which Alaska pollock down 80.3% to 507 tons, and Atka mackerel 149 tons, up 30.7%. The inventory of the mainstay pollock surimi is in crisis. In some cases, the total end-of-month inventory has fallen below 1000 tons, but this is the second-lowest since 578 tons in November 2016, of which 480 tons were Pollock and 2 tons Atka mackerel. https://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1196999/JAPAN-Hokkaido-Surimi-Production-Keeps-Decreasing-but-Brisk-Sales-in-February Labeling and Marketing Alaska Seafood Hits the Big Time with Four Minutes on the Today Show SeafoodNews.com by Peggy Parker - April 20, 2021 Launching their Down to Earth celebration for Earth Week yesterday, the Today Show visited Alaska with a live segment on Alaska seafood. Al Roker, Hoda Kotb, and Carson Daly peppered Hannah Heimbuch, third-generation commercial fisherman who “specializes in sustainable fishing practices” as the show’s preview says, on how to find sustainable seafood, and how to prepare it.
“Navigating the fish department can be a little tricky,” Roker said after he noted that national nutrition experts recommend two to three meals of seafood each week. "That's right and today we are going to the state where about 66 percent of all wild seafood is havested and 95 of wild salmon is caught, and that place is of course Alaska," Carson Daly said. "We're with Hannah Heimbuch in Kodiak. Hannah, great to see you!" “A lot of us when we go fish shopping and we don’t know which is the freshest? How is that one caught? What would be your ABC’s on how to chose properly?” Kotb asked. “As a lifelong commercial fishermen from Alaska, I totally understand how important it is to know where your food comes from. Shopping sustainably can be confusing, but one of the best ways to know you’re getting the best is simply to chose seafood from Alaska because that's a guarantee that it's wild and sustainable. Ands because it’s actually written into our state constitution that our management is based on science and sustainability. "We trust our scientists to tell us how much we can catch responsibly and that’s what we do. Part of the reason you can trust that is that Alaska fishing communities have been doing this for generations. My Indigenous neighbors have been thriving on seafood for nearlyten thousand years, so healthy fish and sustainable fisheries are super personal to us,” Heimbuch said. "Healthy fish and sustainable fisheries, it’s really personal to us," she said. The session was lively covered ways to prepare seafood and displayed half a dozen iconic Alaska seafood species, including yard-long king crab legs. Whitefish, halibut, pollock, Heimbuch’s ‘personal favorite’ wild Alaska cod, a source of "super-lean protein", salmon with high levels of Omega 3 fatty acids, and king crab. "This is absolutely gorgeous," Heimbuch said as she walked over to the pile of king crab legs on the table. "It’s a meal, it’s an activity, it’s just a great treat,” which brough laughs from the Today Show hosts in New York. "A lot of folks are intimidated when it comes to seafood, but it is pretty simple. Give us some simple ideas,” Roker asked. Heimbuch did, describing the ease of oiling a pan then searing a filet four minutes on each side and adding a favorite sauce, than said, "Something that really suprises most people is you can You can cook seafood right from frozen and doesn’t compromise the quality at all." “Wait, a frozen block of fish you can put right in the oven?" asked Kotb. "I did not know that!" Daly closed the segment with "Very educational! Thank you, Hannah. And I guess the best tip is just ask if it’s from Alaska,” Daly said. The segment was arranged by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute and their public relations contractor Edelman & Associates. Since it was a live feature, filming began in the kitchen of Kodiak-resident Theresa Peterson, who is the Fisheries Policy Director of the Alaska Marine Conservation Council at 3:00 a.m. for the live segment at 4:30 a.m. This wasn't the first time Heimbuch has introduced an audience to Alaska, she said, but "I’m pretty sure it’s my first time on national TV. Though once when I was 14 I was one of those kid reporters for a PBS show. We took a boat out to Gull Island in Kachemak Bay and interviewed a scientist about sea birds. Maybe that counts too?" https://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1197020/Alaska-Seafood-Hits-the-Big-Time-with-Four-Minutes-on-the-Today-Show FYI’s Annual blessing remembers Sitkans ‘who go down to the sea in ships’ KCAW by Robert Woolsey - April 16, 2021 A spring tradition resumed in Sitka on Friday (4-16-21) — on what felt like the first real day of spring in Southeast: The Annual Blessing of the Fleet. https://www.kcaw.org/2021/04/16/annual-blessing-remembers-sitkans-who-go-down-to-the-sea-in-ships/ Senate committee to hear public testimony on Board of Fisheries Cordova Times - April 19, 2021 The Alaska Senate Resources Committee is hearing public testimony Monday, April 19 at 3:30 p.m. regarding Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s appointees to the Board of Fisheries. https://www.thecordovatimes.com/2021/04/19/senate-committee-to-hear-public-testimony-on-board-of-fisheries/
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