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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Alaska Trident, High Liner Among Firms to Land USDA Contracts for Salmon, Pollock Urner Barry by Ryan Doyle - November 29, 2021 USDA purchase awards were announced for Alaska pollock and canned pink salmon products with a few well-known firms netting contracts. The USDA purchased 88,160 cases of canned pink salmon products for $5.87 million. Much of the purchase was awarded to OBI Seafoods with the firm landing a $4.95 million contract. The rest was netted by Trident Seafoods for roughly $925,000. A total of $3.9 million in Alaska pollock was purchased by the USDA. In all, over 1.6 million pounds of product was bought. The largest contract was given to Trident Seafoods, which will sell nearly 987,000 pounds of frozen Alaska pollock sticks for $2.19 million. High Liner Foods will provide 608,000 pounds for $1.60 million. Lastly, Channel Fish Processing was awarded a piece of the pie with the USDA buying 38,000 pounds of pollock products for $121,000. Alongside the major salmon and pollock contracts, the USDA announced the purchase award for a recent catfish solicitation. The USDA will buy 456,000 pounds of product from America’s Catch for $3.1 million. Back in September, the USDA unveiled purchase awards for a variety of pacific seafood products following a September 1 solicitation. In all, the USDA purchased 121,500 cases of pacific seafood products including pacific rockfish, pacific shrimp, and pacific whiting for $16,474,671.90. Bornstein Seafoods (WA), Dulcich, Inc. (OR), and Ocean Gold Seafoods (WA), earned contracts from the USDA. Two Trawl Surveys in Northern Bering Sea Show Overall Decline in Many Species by Peggy Parker - November 29, 2021 Results from two annual surveys in the northern Bering Sea this summer, one using bottom trawl and one using a surface trawl, show a decline in sea temperatures since the 2019 survey. Last year’s surveys, conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations' Fisheries branch, were cancelled due to Covid-19. This year's surveys showed the precipitous drop in snow crab and “large declines in the Bering Sea include walleye pollock, saffron cod, and various types of jellyfish.” The presentations, reported by on November 10 and November 19, were part of the Strait Sciences program presented via Zoom reported Marion Trujillo of KNOM. The surveys cover a grid from Cape Wales, the westernmost point on the North American mainland in the Bering Strait south to Nunivak Island, west of Bethel, AK. “At this moment we’ve been in a very long stanza for warming. But we’ve dropped down a little bit. Both not only on the bottom temperatures but the surface temperatures. And I think there’s kind of a hope that maybe we are going to see us go into a cold stanza for a while, and start to cool down the Southeastern Bering Sea. But, this might also just be a little bit of variation, and (it will) jump back up. Next year is going to tell us a whole lot about what is happening,” NOAA research scientist Lyle Britt said in the presentation. The mean surface temperature in the northern Bering Sea since 2010 has been just above 9 degrees Celsius, according to a NOAA graphic published by KNOM. In 2019 it rose to approximately 11 degrees and this year was recorded at approximately 8.5 degrees. In the eastern Bering Sea, with a more complete set of sea surface temperatures, the mean also dropped this year from 9 degrees C to about 7. Bottom temperatures also dropped this year — in the northern Bering Sea from about 6 degrees C to 4 degrees, the mean average temperature since 2010. The eastern Bering Sea bottom temperatures showed a similar drop from just above 4 degrees C to about 3 degrees C, still above the average mean of 2.5 degrees over the past ten years. The bottom trawl survey covered 21 marine species, including snow crab, Pacific herring, Pacific halibut, Bering flounder, Alaska skate, Arctic cod, Pacific cod and Pacific walleye pollock. Britt reported an overall decline in all but a few species — Pacific capelin and Arctic cod showed an increase in the North Bering Sea while the northern neptune whelk, Bering flounder, purple orange sea star and rainbow smelt showed an increase in the East Bering Sea. Pacific halibut and red king crab also showed signs of increase. All other species, including walleye pollock, saffron cod, and various types of jellyfish, showed signs of decline throughout the Bering Sea, KNOM reported. Britt described the decline of snow crab since 2010. “… [S]ince that year, as conditions have warmed, that number has … dropped 29% in 2017 to 225,000. It dropped 159,000, another 29%, in 2019, and in 2021, it dropped 54%,” Britt said. “I get a little hesitant when I hear words like ecosystem collapse get thrown around. What we are seeing now in my mind is: this is an ecosystem that’s very much in flux. And so, we have very rapid change in distribution. We’re also probably having very rapid change in winners and losers on a kind of a regional scale. That stuff becomes really hard to add up. The ecosystem is quick to go to an equilibrium. When we are seeing so much change, I think it’s really hard to do that kind of calculation thing: ‘have we lost a carrying capacity.’ I think we need a little more data,” Britt said. A week later, NOAA research biologist Jim Murphy presented results from the surface trawl survey that showed decreasing fish populations occurring in several Bering Strait species. The survey’s preliminary estimates showed abundance of young Chinook salmon at low levels again this year. “Juvenile abundance was below average in 2021 and has been below average since 2017,” Murphy said. He also noted the distribution of chinook salmon observed this year was unusual. The chinook found by the survey were not distributed throughout the Bering Sea as has been typical, but found mostly near Alaska’s shores. Like chinook salmon, Murphy’s team observed chum salmon almost exclusively near Alaska’s shores. “And this is even more atypical for chum salmon as they tend to be much more broadly distributed than chinook salmon,” Murphy said. The good news is juvenile chum salmon populations have been above average since 2018, and 2021’s population is estimated to be one of the largest juvenile populations seen since then. Unfortunately, for chum salmon this does not mean a large returning adult population, as it does for other salmon species. In 2016, for instance, a large population of juvenile chum salmon was seen that has not appeared in returning chum salmon years later. Murphy and his team say this could be because chum salmon are dying at greater rates later in their lifecycle. That would explain the great decline of chum salmon in the Yukon river, in spite of the high juvenile populations observed in the survey. The same kind of low numbers and near shore distribution of pink salmon was seen in this summer’s survey. “With this model we are expecting to see low numbers of pink salmon returning to the region in 2022,” Murphy said. But coho salmon is a different story — NOAA’s preliminary biomass index of coho salmon was close to the highest in the history of the survey. This may result in a strong run of coho in North Bering Sea salmon next year, Murphy said. Besides salmon, capelin, saffron cod, young pollock and cod and pacific herring were found to be lower than average. Environment/Science Invasive green crabs are threatening local species. The solution? Eat them KDLG by Scott Simon - November 27, 2021 To save the crabs, you got to eat more crabs. Well, let's not oversimplify, but invasive green crabs have been increasing on the West Coast for more than 30 years, and researchers say the population of these European shellfish now threaten local species like the celebrated Dungeness crab. Labeling and Marketing Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute: Monthly Update Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute - November 2021 Alaska Seafood in the News, Salmon is a superfood of the sea - here’s how to choose the healthiest fillet possible, New halibut, crab, sockeye and pink salmon videos, ASMI is hiring!, Latest COVID-19 Briefing Paper Available, ASMI Activities Federal Register Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area; Cost Recovery Fee Notice for the Western Alaska Community Development Quota and Trawl Limited Access Privilege Programs A Notice by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 11/30/2021 NMFS publishes standard prices and fee percentages for cost recovery for the Amendment 80 Program, the American Fisheries Act (AFA) Program, the Aleutian Islands Pollock (AIP) Program, and the Western Alaska Community Development Quota (CDQ) Program in the Bering Sea Aleutian Islands (BSAI) management area. The fee percentage for 2021 is 1.43 percent for the Amendment 80 Program, 0.25 percent for the AFA inshore cooperatives, zero percent for the AIP program, and 0.83 percent for the CDQ Program. This notice is intended to provide the 2021 standard prices and fee percentages to calculate the required payment for cost recovery fees due by December 31, 2021. Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pacific Cod in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 11/30/2021 NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amount of Pacific cod from pot catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet (18.3 meters (m)) length overall (LOA) and trawl catcher vessels to catcher vessels less than 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear, pot catcher/processors, and American Fisheries Act (AFA) trawl catcher/processors in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to allow the 2021 total allowable catch (TAC) of Pacific cod to be harvested. FYI’s Veteran harvester to address Young Fishermen’s Summit Cordova Times - November 28, 2021 Veteran commercial harvester Theresa Peterson of Kodiak will be the keynote speaker at Alaska Sea Grant’s 2021 Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit, to be held virtually from Dec. 6-9. Pacific Seafood Processors Association 1900 W Emerson Place Suite 205, Seattle, WA 98119 Phone: 206.281.1667 E-mail:; Website: 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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