Kwik'pak Fisheries To Require Employees To Be Vaccinated Against COVID-19
KYUK by Greg Kim - May 5, 2021
Kwik’pak Fisheries in Emmonak, the only fish buyer on the Yukon River mouth, is requiring its employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Vaccine Clinics Coming to Seafood Companies, Ports, Ahead of Pacific Hake Season
SeafoodNews.com by Susan Chambers - May 6, 2021
Now that state and federal health agencies have re-approved the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, Ocean Gold has scheduled another vaccine clinic at its facility in Westport, Wash.
The clinic is timely, given the Pacific whiting season starts May 15 and an influx of workers will swell the employee rosters of major seafood processors on the West Coast through the summer.
This May 10 clinic follows an earlier successful clinic held in March. A subsequent clinic in April was postponed as federal regulators paused distribution of the J&J vaccine due to health concerns.
"We had a good turnout," Ocean Gold's Chief Operating Officer Greg Shaughnessy said of the March event, as 262 vaccines were distributed. "We opened it up to the fishing boats crews and their families, Ocean Gold team members and the community."
Ultimately, the county health department had enough vaccine to include people from other vendors, such as Englund Marine Supply, fuel vendors, gas stations, grocery stores, etc.
"Our second clinic was literally the day after the pause on J&J," Shaughnessy said, which led to some confusion and frustration. Ocean Gold is trying to educate its crew on the importance of getting vaccinated, especially now, since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Occupational Safety and Health Administration, along with state health agencies, cleared the one-shot J&J vaccine for use again.
The state and county coordinated distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines, focusing on agriculture and seafood workers, he said, and the community is working together to get everyone vaccinated as soon as possible.
Already, seafood processors, like other businesses, have had to redesign their work stations, break rooms and facilities to accommodate social distancing and other state and federal rules to keep their employees safe.
Shaughnessy ticked off just some of the items Ocean Gold has done: health/temperature checks every shift, expanded lunch rooms, covered break areas outside, filet lines reconfigured so workers aren't face to face, and more. That's not counting the truckloads of personal protective equipment in use and the mandate to change masks after every break.
A vaccine clinic is the logical next step. The vaccine clinic from 10 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 3 p.m. on May 10 is open to anyone in the seafood industry and community members. Those interested need to register online at: https://hipaa.jotform.com/211137697088161.
Shaughnessy sees this as a positive move to ensuring his workers stay safe and healthy and the supply chain of seafood to the public remains intact.
"We're all kind of working together on this," Shaughnessy said, noting the collaboration with state and county health agencies. "We're trying to keep our team members and community safe through education and offering vaccines."
Leaked US intelligence document calls for support of South American countries' fight against Chinese IUU
Seafood Source by Christian Molinari - April 1, 2021
A leaked document originating from the Office of Intelligence and Analysis – part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security – has recommended the creation of a multilateral coalition with South American nations led by the U.S. to challenge China's illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and trade practices.
Years After the Pacific Marine Heat Wave, Ecosystem Shifts Persist
Ecowatch by Hannah Thomasy - May 9, 2021
From 2014 to 2016, the Gulf of Alaska experienced the worst marine heat wave of the decade. From single-celled organisms to top predators, practically no level of the ecosystem was left unscathed. During the Pacific marine heat wave, tens of thousands of dead seabirds washed up on beaches, unusually low numbers of humpback whales arrived in their summer habitats, and toxic algal blooms spread along the West Coast of North America.
Labeling and Marketing
Retailers post prices for Copper River salmon
Cordova Times by Margaret Bauman - May 7, 2021
As commercial harvesters brace for the famed Copper River salmon fishery set to open in mid-May, with indications of a declining run, they’re hoping for the best, forecasts notwithstanding, and aficionados of the oil-rich fish are lining up to order.
Council responds on public comment changes
National Fisherman by David Witherell, Guest Author - May 10, 2021
I read NF’s op-ed “Cut off: Council makes sweeping changes on public input” on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council policy change on written public comments, and I would like an opportunity to clarify and answer the questions you pose.
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