First Gulf of St. Lawrence Grid Closure Announced Less Than A Month After Start of Snow Crab Season
Urner Barry by Amanda Buckle - April 27, 2021
The snow crab season in the Gulf of St. Lawrence kicked off earlier this month and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans already announced the first grid closure related to North Atlantic right whales.
“Spotted: North Atlantic #RightWhales are officially back in Canadian waters,” the official DFO Twitter tweeted Monday. “Our 2021 fisheries measures are now in place to help protect these whales for the duration of their stay in Canada.”
Beginning April 29, 2021 at 5 p.m., grids GY55, GY56 GY57, GZ55, GZ56, HA56 and HA57 will be closed for 15 days. A portion of grid HA55 will also be closed for this time period. The grids are in fishing areas 12F, which has a TAC of 1,192.24 tons.
As SeafoodNews reported last year, the DFO introduced new measures to protect endangered North Atlantic right whales from ship strikes and entanglement in fishing gear. The move came after a total of 10 right whales died in 2019, nine of which were in Canadian waters. The rules specified that once a whale was detected that grid had to temporarily close and required fishermen to remove their gear. If whales were detected multiple times in the grid within a 15-day window then the grid would be closed for the season. By June 11, 2020 there were over 40 season-long grid closures in the Gulf of St Lawrence due to the presence of right whales.
The DFO announced their 2021 fishery management measures regarding North Atlantic right whales earlier this year and there are a couple of updates.
“This year, a right whale will need to be visually or acoustically detected again in the closed area during days 9-15 of the closure before an extension is triggered,” the notice explained. Looking specifically at the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the DFO said that if a whale is detected again in a closed area during days 9-15 then a season-long closure will be implemented, and that area will remain closed until November 15, 2021.
Consumers Say They’ve Got The Seafood “Habit”
Seafood News by Laine Welch - April 27, 2021
This is Alaska Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Seafood has become a new habit among consumers. More after this –
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Americans have gotten the seafood habit one year into the Covid pandemic and it’s not likely to change anytime soon.
In surveys, Grocery tracker Numerator found that new buyers of fresh seafood said they were 78% more likely to have formed a seafood habit. Fresh salmon was the biggest seller in March, boasting sales of $184 million.
In other good news for fresh, SeafoodSource reports that retailers continue to invest in a much broader assortment. The average number of items per week per store increased from 42.2 in March 2020 to 43.2 in March of this year.
Fourteen percent of new frozen seafood buyers also said they’ve got the habit. Frozen seafoods continued to dominate grocery sales last month, surging to $340 million.
But those who closely track food purchases say they are unsure if retail seafood sales will continue their significant growth, as more people get vaccinated and start moving out to school, work, vacations and gatherings with family and friends. That could shift more buying to foodservice, meaning companies that sell prepared meals to restaurants, school and hospital cafeterias, airlines and other outlets.
However, remote work continues at a high level and last month 44% said they will continue to do so, even after getting the Covid vaccine.
Also, 45 percent of younger school-aged children and 52 percent of teenagers are participating in virtual education only. That means a continuation of more at-home meals.
The Numerator survey also found American consumers were the most concerned about both health and finances, with 44%in the United States being the “most-anxious” compared to 34 percent internationally.
The pandemic also is fueling concerns about sustainability.
Eighty percent of consumers internationally and 71% in the US said they are more concerned about the environment, with 28% of Americans saying those concerns affect their purchasing decisions.
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Fish Radio is also brought to you by OBI Seafoods, an Alaska corporation proudly supporting Alaska’s coastal communities and the Alaskans who depend on fishing for their livelihoods and culture. www.oceanbeauty.com In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Catcher Vessels Using Trawl Gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 04/28/2021
NMFS is prohibiting 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 prevent exceeding the B season apportionment of the 2021 Pacific cod total allowable catch (TAC) allocated to catcher vessels using trawl gear in the BSAI.
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