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Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Alaska Young fishermen build valuable connections while learning about the Alaskan fishing industry Alaska Native News by Kate Barber - Alaska Sea Grant - January 29, 2024 Over fifty fishermen from around the state gathered in Anchorage this December for the tenth Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit. Sponsored by Alaska Sea Grant, this three-day event brings early career fishermen together with leaders in the industry to teach business skills, the fisheries regulatory process and other topics important to the Alaska seafood industry. Alaska Sea Grant had the opportunity to follow up with a few of the attendees, Anchorage-based Andrew Hill and Zachary Burris, and Matthew Martushev from Homer. https://alaska-native-news.com/young-fishermen-build-valuable-connections-while-learning-about-the-alaskan-fishing-industry/72302/ Continued Change, Low Predictability Results in IPHC Lowering 2024 Pacific Halibut Catch by 4.57% SeafoodNews.com by Peggy Parker - January 29, 2024 The Pacific halibut stock showed no emerging changes this year — the population is on a flat trajectory with natural mortality about the same as last year, and catches in 2023 lower than the catch in 2022, with 2024 catch limits set at almost 5% lower than last year.Catch limits and season dates, as well as a few regulatory changes, were made at the annual meeting of the International Pacific Halibut Commission last week in Anchorage, AK.The problem, said IPHC’s senior Quantitative Scientist Dr. Ian Stewart, is “the hand we’ve been dealt on recruitment is just bad.”  It could change, but right now there is no evidence of another year class other than 2012, which for a few years now has shown it to be a potentially large producer.Thirty-two inches long is the legal size for commercial catches of Pacific halibut, and it is about the size — and age — that Pacific halibut become sexually mature to start adding to the overall population. Even when surveys find high abundances of young fish, there’s no guarantee they will live to spawning age and, hopefully, beyond. After they become sexually mature, Pacific halibut may live another 30 or 40 years producing young each year. The uncertainties of climate change, ocean warming and acidification, and the resultant shifts in migration make the forecasting even more difficult.The stakeholders at the IPHC annual meeting — the 100th year since the IPHC treaty was signed by Canada and the U.S. — remember when there were years of fishing on multiple year stocks. In 1987, the stock produced an enormous batch of hatchlings that grew quickly and lived long. That year class provided over 220 million fish in the 35-plus years it was part of the wider population. Nothing has come close to that in our lifetimes, but during the growth of the ’87 year class there were contributions from other year-classes. We haven’t seen much other than the 2012 year class coming up for about three years.The 2024 catch limits in Alaska, British Columbia, and the U.S. West Coast will be 35.29 mlbs, down 4.57% from last year’s total. The breakdown in catch is:Area 2A (Washington, Oregon, California) — 1.65 mlbsArea 2B (British Columbia) — 6.47 mlbsArea 2C (Southeast Alaska) — 5.79 mlbsArea 3A (Gulf of Alaska) — 11.36 mlbsArea 3B (western Gulf of Alaska) — 3.45 mlbsArea 4A (eastern Aleutian Islands and Bering Sea) — 1.61 mlbsArea 4B (western Aleutians) — 1.25 mlbsArea 4CDE (Bering Sea) — 3.70 mlbs https://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1270458/Continued-Change-Low-Predictability-Results-in-IPHC-Lowering-2024-Pacific-Halibut-Catch-by-4-point-57-percent-

National US government issues USD 42 million in fishery disaster relief funding Seafood Source by Nathan Strout - January 30, 2024 The U.S. Department of Commerce has allocated USD 42 million (EUR 39 million) in financial relief for fishery disasters NOAA Fisheries has determined took place. https://www.seafoodsource.com/news/supply-trade/us-government-issues-usd-42m-in-relief-for-fishery-disasters Environment/Science North Pacific heat waves speed hatching, increasing mortality of juvenile cod National Fisherman - January 30, 2024 Marine heat waves appear to trigger earlier reproduction in juvenile Pacific cod, leading to higher mortality in the species’ early life stages and fewer juvenile fish surviving in the Gulf of Alaska, according to research from the Oregon State University. https://www.seafoodsource.com/national-fisherman/north-pacific-heat-waves-speed-hatching-increase-mortality-of-juvenile-cod Gulf zooplankton is hot topic for AMSS keynote presenter Cordova Times by Margaret Bauman - January 29, 2024 Oceanography professor Russ Hopscroft of the University of Alaska Fairbanks will deliver a keynote address on Monday before the 2024 Alaska Marine Science Symposium (AMSS) on exploration of zooplankton deep in the Gulf of Alaska. https://www.thecordovatimes.com/2024/01/29/gulf-zooplankton-is-hot-topic-for-amss-keynote-presenter/

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