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Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Alaska Alaska fisheries: pollock and crab rule the winter National Fisherman by Laine Welch - February 9, 2021 Freezing February weather doesn’t keep Alaskans off the fishing grounds from Southeast to Norton Sound. No king salmon fishing in Karluk and Ayakulik; limited rockfish for nonresidents KMXT by Jared Griffin - February 9, 2021 If you were hoping to fish for king salmon on the Karluk or Ayakulik rivers this year, you will have to wait at least another year. State, Pacific States Commission Make Washington CARES Act Application Available by Susan Chambers - February 10, 2021 Get out those calculators business records and sharpen those pencils because applications for Washington CARES Act funds are available. The only state in the area that includes Alaska and the Pacific islands that hasn't yet made applications available Is Alaska. Eligible commercial fishing, shellfish, charter and seafood sector industry members who have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic can now apply to the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission for assistance. Industry members who experienced a gross revenue loss from January through July 2020 greater than 35 percent of their 2015-2019 average are eligible to apply for federal relief funding, according to a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife press release. Washington-based commercial fishermen who fish in Alaska are also eligible. Congress provided $300 million in states to distributed to fisheries participants as part of the CARES Act funding package for relief related to the pandemic. NMFS allocated the funding to states and tribes, with Washington and Alaska receiving the highest amount, $50 million apiece. West Coast tribes received $5 million directly from the CARES Act funding; Washington allotted an additional $11 million from its state share to Washington tribes, leaving the non-tribal commercial, shellfish and charter industry to split $39 million. “Shellfish and commercial fishing has long been a vital component of Washington’s state and tribal economies and a core part of who we are – and I am so glad this funding is available to help so we can keep it that way,” Gov. Jay Inslee said in the statement. “The COVID-19 pandemic has had deep impacts on these industries, and this sorely needed relief will help protect our people, businesses and communities.” Washington fishery managers said they recognize it's been tough for the seafood industry this year and lauded state leaders and partners for helping champion the funding. “The relief is both warranted and needed," WDFW Fish Policy Director Ron Warren said in the press release. The Washington State Governor’s Office developed a plan for distributing the funding with assistance from the Washington departments of Fish and Wildlife, Agriculture, Commerce, and the Washington Office of Financial Management. State officials met virtually with commercial fishermen, shellfish growers and seafood processors last summer, around June, to better understand the consequences of COVID-19 on the industries. They also coordinatied with fisheries managers in neighboring West Coast states as well, according to the department. The Governor’s Office further convened discussions with the 24 treaty tribes to learn about their COVID-19 impacts to commercial, subsistence, cultural and ceremonial fisheries. WDFW is holding a virtual public meeting from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 23, for those who may qualify to learn more about the federal relief funding. Details will be available on WDFW’s website: More information, full eligibility details and application materials and instructions are available on the PSFMC’s website at: Applications are open through March 25, 2021. A second round of assistance is expected to cover losses incurred between August and December 31, 2020, made possible by another $300 million that Congress approved in December. NOAA Fisheries has not yet announced how this second round of funding will be divided between the state, territories and tribes. Federal Register Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Catcher Vessels Less Than 50 Feet (15.2 Meters) Length Overall Using Hook-and-Line Gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 02/09/2021 NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for catcher vessels less than 50 feet (15.2 meters (m)) length overall using hook-and-line (HAL) gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season allowance of the 2021 total allowable catch (TAC) of catcher vessels less than 50 feet (15.2 m) length overall using HAL gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA. FYI’s Three Alaska fisheries veterans join Sitka Salmon Shares Seafood Source by Madelyn Kearns - February 9, 2021 Community supported fishery Sitka Salmon Shares is expanding its team, bringing on Michael Kohan as its fisheries science and policy director, Steve Ricci as its fisheries and fleet director, and Lauren Mitchell as its Sitka fleet manager. American Seafoods Executive Rasmus Soerensen Joins SeaShare’s Board of Directors Urner Barry by Amanda Buckle - February 8, 2021 Rasmus Soerensen, the Executive VP of Global Sales and Marketing at American Seafoods Company, is the latest to join SeaShare’s Board of Directors. “Rasmus has been a friend, and a hunger-relief advocate, for years,” said Jim Harmon, SeaShare’s Executive Director. “I look forward to working with him, and American Seafoods, to feed even more families.” Soerensen has been with American Seafoods since February 2004, but has been working in the food industry since 1993. In recent years he’s been an active board member of the Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers, and has also served on the board of the National Fisheries Institute. He also volunteers on the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s Internal Marketing and Whitefish committees. Soerensen joins the SeaShare Board of Directors following an impressive year from the nonprofit organization. In 2020 SheaShare distributed 8 million servings of seafood. SeaShare’s network includes over 200 partners, from boats to processors, distributors and support companies. With donations and partners in freight, packaging and cold storage, SeaShare was able to send seafood to food banks in 22 states.

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