Alaska Hatchery salmon production ending at Little Port Walter KFSK by Joe Viechnicki - July 12, 2021 A federal fisheries agency is phasing out production of hatchery king salmon at a remote field station in Southeast Alaska. https://www.kfsk.org/2021/07/12/hatchery-salmon-production-ending-at-little-port-walter/ Commercial fishing season picks up, king restrictions in place KDLL by Elizabeth Earl - July 12, 2021 Commercial fishing is underway across Upper Cook Inlet. Some fishermen to the north of Kenai have had their nets in the water since May, but permit holders in the setnet and drift gillnet fisheries are just getting into the heat of the season as the Kenai and Kasilof sockeye runs pick up. That’s where the majority of the harvest is. https://www.kdll.org/post/commercial-fishing-season-picks-king-restrictions-place#stream/0 Coast Guard inspectors complete two-week deployment to Bristol Bay KMXT by Dylan Simard - July 12, 2021 After a two-week deployment to Bristol Bay, Coast Guard inspectors in the Marine Safety Task Force returned to Anchorage late June, according to a Coast Guard press release. They were conducting missions to support the commercial fishing season. https://kmxt.org/2021/07/coast-guard-inspectors-complete-two-week-deployment-to-bristol-bay/ Bristol Bay Fleet Lands Another 5 Million Salmon Last Weekend, No Fishing in Chignik Yet SeafoodNews.com by Peggy Parker - July 12, 2021 Alaska's salmon landings as of July 11 stand at 43.2 million fish, or about 23 percent of the pre-season forecast for all five salmon species of 190.1 million. Bristol Bay’s fleet has caught 26.7 million of a forecasted 36.4 million sockeye salmon, and the surge that hit last week could very well continue in the Bay this week. The large statewide forecast of 190.1 million includes 124.2 million pink salmon. Odd years are dominant in wild pink salmon landings and this year's forecast is historically above average. Last year’s total harvest of pinks was 60.7 million fish statewide; 2019’s harvest of pink salmon was 108 million. Alaska’s pink salmon seasons peak, according to ADF&G timing statistics, is still five- to six-weeks away. Cumulative catch as of last week are 2.3 million pink salmon, which is about 74% of last year’s harvest on that date and less than half of 2019’s harvest at the same time. Of the current statewide landings, 78 percent or 33.7 million, are sockeye salmon. The sockeye total is made up of Bristol Bay’s current catch of 26.7 million to date, the Alaska Peninsula’s nearly 5 million sockeye catch so far, and the rest from Kodiak and the Copper River/Prince William Sound areas. The big news is in Bristol Bay, and the most recent developoment comes from the Port Moller Test Fishery. “Station 8 today produced an index of 404, the second highest single station index in 2021, so far,” Manager Michael Link emailed in an email last night. “The mean index from S[tations] 2-22 for today (61) was similar to what we saw on either side of the peak. This is quite something for July 11th.” That means that late this week or the weekend, there could be a surge of fish in the Bay. Which system may see it will be determined by the genetic testing of samples from Station 8 that will be done tonight in Anchorage. Results will be available this week. Last week, the numbers indicated a longer period of higher numbers in the total return. “Similar to yesterday and the days prior to being weathered off (July 2-4), a strong band of fish remains between Stations 8-12 indicating the tail of the run may not decline rapidly," Scott Rayborn, fisheries scientist for the Port Moller Test Fishery (PMTS) in Bristol Bay, wrote last week. Rayborn has worked with the PMTS for a decade or more along with Link. The two have worked to increase accuracy in the forecast and understand the dynamics of the returning salmon during the fishery. The salmon they sample are caught returning to the Bay but about 100 miles outside of the fishing grounds. The PMTF team uses DNA to determine which river system the salmon are returning to and index the numbers to show the population size moving through. That information predicts what will happen six-to-nine days later in the fishery. This year a new genetic testing lab on board one of two survey vessels, the R/V Ocean Cat, was installed. Researchers say the lab is the first of its kind, reported public radio station in Dillingham, KDLG.org. “During the feasibility study the Fish and Game lab folks called all over the world to find anybody who has done this,” Link told KDLG. In the past, samples were taken by boat to remote air strips and flown to a lab in Anchorage, where ADF&G's genetic lab would test it. Results were ready in a few days making the entire process take between three days at best and a week at worst. This year's on-board lab will "speed up result release if it works," Link told KDLG, "and then maybe we can do the whole thing a little less expensively, or we can in-fill with additional sample runs while we’re out there because one of our vessels spends 30 hours or more, 40% of its time getting its samples to shore,” he explained. As of yesterday morning, Bristol Bay's total landings reached 26.7 million salmon, an increase of over 5 million salmon just last weekend. All but 195,000 of those fish are sockeye; 192,000 are chum and 3,000 are Chinook. Leading catch levels in the Bay is still the Nushagak District with 14.9 million sockeye (2.2 million landed over the weekend), followed by 5.5 million in Egigik (1 million over the weekend), and 5 million in Naknek-Kvichak, a big jump of over 2 million caught last weekend. With a pre-season forecast of 36.6 million sockeye harvest, the season has another few weeks to go. According to historical data, the salmon run in Bristol Bay is timing closely this year with 2019 timing. This year shows a cumulative harvest of 14.7 million sockeyes by the end of last week, compared to 14.5 million in 2019. But last year, the timing at the end of last week showed a cumulative catch of 18 million. On average, last week has been the peak of landings, with drops beginning this week and continuing for two more weeks. By the end of Week 31 (July 31), the season has traditionally been over. In the sockeye season in the South Peninsula, ADF&G reports that catch levels are "well above the recent 5- and 10-year averages, with 3,022,938 fish harvested through July 8. The 10-year average sockeye salmon harvest as of July 8 is 1,261,478 fish and the 5-year average is 1,122,703 fish. "There is one management plan in the South Alaska Peninsula Management Area that has allocative ties to another area," ADF&G reports in their in-season summary for the area. "The Southeastern District Mainland Salmon Management Plan (5 AAC 09.360) is based off the Chignik Management Area (Area L) harvest. No commercial salmon fishing has occurred in Chignik at this time." The pink salmon season, mostly a seine fishery, has shown increased landings just in the past few days. Six million pink salmon have been landed statewide so far, about 2 million just last weekend. The 2021 forecast is 124.2 million pinks, with the peak of landings historically caught in Statistical Weeks 33-34 in mid-August. The South Peninsula has been the highest producer so far, landing 3.3 million of the total. The pre-season forecast for that area this year is 12.9 million pinks. Prince William Sound landings are 2.4 million so far with a predicted catch of 55 million pink salmon. Also ahead is a forecasted catch of 28 million pinks in Southeast Alaska and 22.5 million pink salmon in Kodiak. Chum salmon landings are at 3.3 million to date (statewide), with a forecasted 15.2 million this year. The coho forecast for 2021 is 3.8 million; that fishery will get underway in September. https://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1203183/Bristol-Bay-Fleet-Lands-Another-5-Million-Salmon-Last-Weekend-No-Fishing-in-Chignik-Yet National President Biden Signs Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy Urner Barry by Amanda Buckle - July 13, 2021 On Friday President Joe Biden signed an Executive Order to promote competition in the American economy. The Executive Order was created with the intent to “lower prices for families, increase wages for workers, and promote innovation and even faster economic growth.” As the fact sheet for the Executive Order notes, in most U.S. industries, including agriculture, a small number of large companies control a lot of the business. This in turn drives up prices for consumers. At the same time, barriers to competition are “driving down wages for workers.” According to the Biden Administration, this has cost American households an estimated $5,000 per year. To reduce the trend of corporate consolidation, as well as increase competition and deliver concrete benefits to American consumers, workers, farmers and small businesses, President Biden signed the Executive Order to promote competition in the American economy. The Executive Order includes 72 initiatives to “promptly tackle some of the most pressing competition problems across our economy.” Besides making it easier to change jobs and raise wages, the Order will “empower family farmers and increase their incomes by strengthening the Department of Agriculture’s tools to stop the abusive practices of some meat processors.” The Order will also help increase opportunities for small businesses by “directing all federal agencies to promote greater competition through their procurement and spending decisions.” Further looking at what specifically impacts the seafood industry, the Order encourages the Federal Maritime Commission to “ensure vigorous enforcement against shippers charging American exporters exorbitant charges.” National Fisheries Institute President John Connelly issued the following response to the Executive Order: The National Fisheries Institute is pleased that the President’s Executive Order on competition and the economy directs the Federal Maritime Commission to, “vigorously enforce the prohibition of unjust and unreasonable practices in the context of detention and demurrage.” We believe deeply in a free market economy but this year alone we expect seafood companies to incur an estimated $88 million in extra port-related costs, an amount 20 times higher than last year. Skyrocketing detention and demurrage charges coupled with untenable delays is not about economics and competition it’s about a problem in the supply chain that needs to be addressed. https://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1203252/President-Biden-Signs-Executive-Order-on-Promoting-Competition-in-the-American-Economy
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