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Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Alaska Set-net fishery to close weekends during dipnet season KDLL by Sabine Poux - April 11, 2022 The dipnet fishery on the Kenai opens July 10. East side set-netters will be unable to fish weekends during dip-net season this year. That’s according to the Upper Cook Inlet commercial forecast from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Into the ice: A crab boat’s quest for snow crab in a Bering Sea upended by climate change KUCB by Hal Bernton/Seattle Times - April 12, 2022 This story was reported in partnership with the Seattle Times and the Pulitzer Center’s Connected Coastlines reporting initiative. ABOARD THE PINNACLE, Bering Sea — Through the wheelhouse window, captain Mark Casto spotted a white line on the horizon. The edge of an ice floe was illuminated by bow lights piercing the morning darkness of the Bering Sea. Sitka Sound Herring Fishery Closes With Record Landings of 26,490 Tons by Peggy Parker - April 13, 2022 A new record was set this year for landings of nearly 26,500 tons in the Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery, exceeding the previous record of 19,419 tons (in 2011) by 35%. This year was the third year for historically highest estimated biomass in Sitka Sound — 225,820 tons this year compared to forecasts of 210,453 tons of mature herring last year and 212,330 in 2020. The last two forecasts have been underestimated based on new data from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G), which puts the 2021 biomass at 245,302 tons. To put the numbers in perspective, the average for the previous ten year period was 73,000 tons and the average for the decade prior to that was 46,300 tons. But in those twenty years, the almost exclusively Japanese market has shrunk to a fraction of its traditional size, and buyers are interested in only large herring, six year olds weighing in at 136 grams, for instance. This year, 60% of the returning biomass was forecasted to be in that age and weight range. Market dynamics effectively closed the season in 2019 and 2020, despite high returns, due simply to smaller body size at the time of spawning. ADF&G mapped 102.3 nautical miles (nmi) of herring spawn in the Sitka Sound area during the spring of 2021, compared to the recent 10-year average of 60.6 nmi. The 2021 egg deposition estimate was the highest on record since the department began egg deposition dive surveys, for the second year in a row. The season closed for the season at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 10, 2022. The harvest estimate from the fishery that occurred on April 10 was approximately 470-tons of herring. Total harvest in the fishery through April 10 is approximately 26,350-tons of herring. Aerial surveys will continue, weather permitting, to monitor for any more herring spawn until it is determined that spawning activity has ended for the 2022 season. In recent years, the market was highest in 2009 and 2010, when the roughly 50 permit holders landed between 15,000 and 18,000 tons of herring, which sold for over $12 million each year, reported Alaska Public Media earlier this year. Since then, seiners have had some much bigger harvests that sold for far less. In 2018, seiners landed just over 11,000 tons, which sold for about $1 million. The Togiak herring season is next up, with a 2022 mature herring biomass forecast is 357,536 tons. That is the highest forecast since an age- structured assessment model was first used for the 1993 forecast. ADF&G has set the 2022 potential harvest is 71,507 tons in all fisheries and 65,107 tons in the Togiak sac roe fisheries (purse seine and gillnet). The large forecast is due to the largest estimated recruitment of age-4 fish on record in 2021 (about 1.5 times larger than the large recruitments seen in the early 1980s) and one of the largest recruitments on record in 2020. International ICES suspends Russia’s membership over invasion of Ukraine Seafood Source by Chris Chase - April 11, 2022 The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) has temporarily banned Russian delegates from participating in the organization’s activities until further notice in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine – a move Russia claims will backfire by hampering the council’s scientific research. Russian crab flows to South Korea amid sanctions, China’s lockdowns Seafood Source by Toan Dao - April 12, 2022 Exporters from Russia are shipping more crab to South Korea after being locked out of other international markets. Russian Fish Processors Call on State to Limit Fish Exports From Russia by Eugene Gerden - April 13, 2022 Leading Russian fish processors have called on the national government to limit exports of fish due to a possible shortage of raw materials for their needs. The initiators of the idea expect that this will allow them to reserve at least 2.9 million tons for the domestic market, which will prevent a sharp rise in prices and will allow them to stay afloat amid the current conditions. Alexander Panin, chairman of the Russian Fish Union, a public association which unites leading Russian fish processors, said in an interview with the Kommersant business paper that the temporary limits should be imposed on the exports of the most popular and affordable fish species, among which are herring, mackerel, pollock, pink salmon, and cod. According to him, for this purpose a specific control mechanism - quotas or duties - should be used by the regulator. Panin also added that the main task is to prevent a decrease in the supply of fish on the domestic market and, as a result, a sharp rise in prices. The Fish Union estimates the volume of fish consumption in Russia in 2021 at 2.9 million tons with a catch of 5 million tons. In the first two months of this year about 770,000 tons of fish and seafood were produced in the country. In the meantime, representatives of the Russian Federal Agency of Fisheries (Rosrybolovstvo) said there are also plans for any quoting in the Russian fish market. According to Rosrybolovstvo’s spokesman, the domestic market is fully provided with fish products. At the same time, the surplus of the resource must be directed for exports to increase the inflow of foreign exchange earnings. Environment/Science Snow crabs in the Bering Sea have been hard to find — partially due to climate change KNKX by Ayesha Rascoe - April 11, 2022 AYESHA RASCOE, HOST: Crabbing in the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska is grueling and dangerous - 20-hour shifts, rough seas, jackhammering tons of ice off the boat. But now the industry has another challenge - a huge population drop in historically lucrative snow crab. Scientists think that one significant driver is likely climate change. Hal Bernton of The Seattle Times has covered the fishing industry for decades. He went out on a crab boat in the Bering Sea this winter to observe how these changes are affecting crabbers. He joins us now to share his reporting. Thanks for being here. Federal Register Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 04/13/2022 NMFS is opening directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher vessels using trawl gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI). This action is necessary to fully use the 2022 total allowable catch of Pacific cod allocated to catcher vessels using trawl gear in the BSAI. Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; 2022 Harvest Specifications for Pacific Whiting, and 2022 Pacific Whiting Tribal Allocation A Proposed Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 04/13/2022 NMFS issues this proposed rule for the 2022 Pacific whiting fishery under the authority of the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Pacific Whiting Act of 2006 (Whiting Act), and other applicable laws. This proposed rule would establish the domestic 2022 harvest specifications for Pacific whiting including the 2022 tribal allocation for the Pacific whiting fishery, the non-tribal sector allocations, and set-asides for incidental mortality in research activities and non-groundfish fisheries. The proposed measures are intended to help prevent overfishing, achieve optimum yield, ensure that management measures are based on the best scientific information available, and provide for the implementation of tribal treaty fishing rights. 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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