Surveys portend bad season ahead for Bering Sea crabbers
Seafood Source by Charlie Ess, National Fisherman - July 28, 2022
Surveys of Alaska’s Bering Sea king crab and opilio fisheries are portending another dismal season.
Norton Sound Red King Crab Summer Fishery Reports Record Ex-Vessel Value of $3.7 Million
Urner Barry by Amanda Buckle - August 2, 2022
The 2022 Norton Sound red king crab fishery wrapped up last week, concluding the first harvest for the summer fishery since 2019.
The season opened on June 15 and ended on July 24 with 26 permit holders participating. Alaska’s Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) reported that the open access fishery harvest was 291,553 pounds, with an additional 25,620 pounds harvested in the CDQ fishery.
As for the ex-vessel value, ADF&G says that adjusting for inflation only the late 1979s and early 1980s had a higher ex-vessel value during the “big boat” fishing years when the commercial fishery started in Norton Sound. A record $12 per pound was paid for crab this summer. Couple that with the best harvest since 2017, and the fishery brought in a record ex-vessel value of $3.7 million
The Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation (NSEDC) resumed purchasing red king crab this summer after taking a couple of years off. The summer and winter commercial fisheries for Norton Sound red king crab had closed in 2020 after a poor commercial season in 2019. Then in 2021, despite the regulatory reopening of the fishery, the NSEDC decided not to purchase crab due to concerns that a commercial harvest would hinder the recovery of the population.
Alaska “Round Two” CARES Act Funding Now Available to Seafood Sector and Charter Operators
SeafoodNews.com by Peggy Parker - August 2, 2022
The second round of fisheries assistance for COVID-related losses was announced on July 29 for Alaska fishermen, processors and charter operators. The amount of $39.3 million was similar to the first round of funding and is intended to reimburse losses incurred in 2020 due to the pandemic.
As with the first round, only those who can certify that they incurred a greater than 35% of their 2015-2019 average in fishery participation gross revenue between March 1 and December 31, 2020, may apply.
Applicants for second round funding will have “at least” 90 days to apply, according to ADF&G’s announcement. More details, including a current deadline of October 31, 2022, are included in that link.
While each of the nation’s coastal states came up with details on allocating funds, Alaska’s final program differed from NOAA guidance significantly by raising the allocation to the sports sector at a cost to commercial harvesters and the processing sector. In round one funding, which has already been paid, that resulted in an average payout to those in the sport sector of $10,895.15 per share and to commercial harvesters of $3,208 per share.
The allocation of the second round will be done under the same percentage scheme: 27% to the sports charter sector (compared to NOAA’s suggested 5.5%), 35% to commercial harvesters (NOAA’s recommendation was 35.2%), and 32% to the processing sector (compared to NOAA’s 59.3% which covered “processors, dealers, wholesalers, and distributors”). Alaska also added 6% to the subsistence sector, where NOAA provided no guidance for that group’s share.
Because this is the last relief coming for 2020 COVID-related losses, a requirement of recipients known as “Cannot Be Made More Than Whole” will be looked at closely here.
“Once share values are calculated, applications will be reviewed to ensure applicants will not be made more than whole by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 payments. If an applicant will be made more than whole, the payment will be reduced accordingly. Excess funds will be distributed between remaining eligible applicants using the established share system for the sector. If excess funds still exist after all applicants have been made whole, they will be shifted to the subsistence sector,” Alaska’s program notes.
Further information on the Washington program can be found here.
Salmon remains top seller in US, despite inflation
Seafood Source by Christine Blank - August 1, 2022
Salmon remains one of the top-selling seafood items in U.S. grocery stores despite rising prices in recent months.
US restaurants suffering from a decline in traffic
Seafood Source by Christine Blank - August 2, 2022
U.S. consumers cut back on their restaurant visits in the second quarter of 2022 due to inflation and rising prices, according to data from The NPD Group.
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