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Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Alaska Alaska’s newest gold rush: Seaweed Washington Post by Juliet Eilperin - July 31, 2023 CORDOVA, Alaska — Dune Lankard piloted the gleaming gill-net fishing boat to Simpson Bay, where eight buoys bobbed in the sunlight. The bright orange inflatables, connected by lines and spread out across five acres, provided the only indication of the ocean farm that lay beneath the water’s surface. Alaska Salmon Season at Halfway Mark With 101.6 Million Salmon Landed, Pinks Lagging by Peggy Parker - August 2, 2023 As of July 31, more than 101.6 million salmon have been landed in Alaska, 54% of the preseason forecast of 189.6 million fish. The total includes 47 million sockeye, about 98% of the forecast; 41 million pink salmon, a third of the projected 122.2 million predicted; and 12 million chum so far, 75% of the 16 million predicted pre-season. Chinook landings dropped dramatically in early July and now total 160,000 fish, about two-thirds of the preseason forecast of 242,000 king salmon. The timing on pinks could be concerning if the drop from two weeks ago to last week continues this week. Historically, pink salmon landings drop off Statistical Week 33, but this year the first dip in the graph occurred in Stat-week 30. Even so, “… the [pink] harvest remains up 5% in estimated weight from 2021,” noted Sam Friedman of the McKinley Research Group. Friedman compiles the 2023 Weekly Salmon Harvest Update for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. “Last week Russia's federal fishery agency announced wild salmon harvests are up 46% year-to-date from 2021. Because most of Russia's salmon harvest is pink salmon, this will mean more pink salmon on the world market this year if Russia's harvests continue to exceed expectations,” Friedman wrote. “The Russian pre-season forecast this year was 375,000 mt of pink salmon, nearly twice the Alaska pink salmon forecast.” Catches of chum (also called keta) salmon dropped last week but is still up 70% from last year, Friedman wrote. Big producing areas for pink salmon is Prince William Sound with 24.9 million pinks landed of the statewide total of 41 million. More than 4.4 million pinks have been landed in the Alaskan Peninsula so far, edging out their landings of sockeye, at 4.0 million. Southeast Alaska has produced just over 10 million pinks by the end of July. Copper River has landed 842,000 sockeye, but with another 700,000 landed from Coghill and Eshamy, a total of 1.9 million sockeye is coming out of the PWS/CR district. Fishing for red salmon in Bristol Bay is nearly over as the fleet begins the transition to cohos, but their legacy of highest producing area in the state is safe with 39.2 million salmon as of July 30, 38.9 million of them sockeye. The Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association (BBRSDA) will host a town hall meeting for Bristol Bay fishermen today to discuss market conditions, the BBRSDA Price Mediation Petition, and options for future actions. The petition asks for mediation on fish prices this year and going forward, and to have more transparency and pre-season settlements on price in the future. The petition can be read here. International NMFS Re-opens Nominations for Whiting Treaty Management Committee by Susan Chambers - July 28, 2023 A surprise announcement by one member of the U.S. Whiting Treaty Joint Management Committee earlier this month has spurred NMFS to consider additional nominations for the group. The JMC was established as part of the Agreement (Treaty) between the U.S. and Canada for management of Pacific hake. It reviews the advice of two scientific bodies and an advisory panel, also established by the treaty, and recommends the coastwide total allowable catch of Pacific whiting each year. Four individuals represent the U.S. on the JMC: one official from NOAA, one member of the Pacific Fishery Management Council, one representative of the treaty Indian tribes with treaty fishing rights to Pacific whiting, and one representative from the commercial fishing sector of the whiting fishing industry concerned with the offshore whiting resource. For more than a decade, Pacific Whiting Conservation Cooperative Executive Director Dan Waldeck served as the representative from the commercial fishing sector. His surprise resignation from the JMC on Monday, July 10, three days after the original nomination period closed on Friday, July 7, caused concern among some whiting industry participants that a sufficient suite of applicants had not been nominated. Many presumed Waldeck, who garnered the respect from both the shoreside and at-sea fishing sectors over the years, would continue. However, his resignation from the JMC and PWCC in July shocked a number of people in the West Coast whiting fishery -- and the West Coast groundfish fishery as a whole. His leadership and dedication to successful and sustainable fisheries is well known beyond the West Coast. For that reason, a number of whiting participants requested NMFS re-open the nomination period for the commercial whiting position -- and NMFS agreed to a 15-day extension. The Federal Register notice was published on July 26 for the single position. Nominations are open for 15 days, due August 10, 2023, according to NMFS. Details on position qualifications, nomination package materials, and how to submit nominations can be found in the Federal Register notice. Additional information about the Treaty and advisory committees can be found online at: . Federal Register Control Date for Pacific Cod by Catcher Vessels Greater Than or Equal to 60 Feet Length Overall and Catcher/Processors Using Pot Gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area A Proposed Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 08/01/2023 At the request of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), this document announces a control date of August 1, 2023, that may be used to determine future participation in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) Pacific cod fishery by license limitation program (LLP) license holders, vessel owners and vessel operators of catcher/processors (C/Ps), and vessel owners and vessel operators of catcher vessels (C/Vs) greater than or equal to 60 ft (18.3 meters (m)) length overall (LOA), who participate in Federal groundfish fisheries with pot gear in the BSAI. This document is necessary to inform interested parties that the Council is considering a future action that may affect or limit the number of participants in this fishery and that participants should locate and preserve all fishing related documents. This control date corresponds to the date of publication of this advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR). This document provides notice to the public that any person participating in the applicable sector after the control date may not receive continued access to this fishery under a future management action. This document is intended to discourage speculative entry or fishing activity in this fishery while the Council considers whether and how access to the fishery may be further limited under a future management action. Permanent Advisory Committee To Advise the U.S. Commissioners to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission; Meeting Announcement A Notice by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 08/01/2023 NMFS announces a public meeting of the Permanent Advisory Committee (PAC) to advise the U.S. Commissioners to the Commission for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPFC) on October 2–3, 2023. Meeting topics are provided under the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice. Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan; Amendment 32; Modifications to Non-Trawl Area Management Measures A Proposed Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 08/02/2023 NMFS announces that the Pacific Fishery Management Council submitted Amendment 32 to the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan to the Secretary of Commerce for review. If approved, Amendment 32 would: create a new type of Essential Fish Habitat Conservation Area that prohibits fishing with non-trawl bottom contact gear for all groundfish fisheries and the non-tribal directed commercial halibut fishery; remove the Cowcod Conservation Area seaward of California for commercial and recreational groundfish non-trawl fisheries; create and authorize the use of Groundfish Exclusion Areas as a new type of Groundfish Conservation Area; authorize the use of Block Area Closures for groundfish non-trawl fisheries, and make necessary administrative changes to relevant sections of the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan. Altogether, these changes are anticipated to provide additional fishing opportunity to groundfish non-trawl fishery sectors while continuing to protect rebuilding yelloweye rockfish and mitigating fishing impacts to sensitive areas. 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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