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Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Alaska Hooked on Data How numbers guide Alaska’s commercial fisheries Akbizmag by Isaac Stone Simonelli - March 2022 Alaska fisheries run on data—data and the hard work of those in the Last Frontier’s seafood industry. Data inform every aspect of the management of the state’s fisheries, from policy decisions and regulations to how much fish can be caught in a season. Data also play a vital role in understanding the markets for Alaska’s various seafood products, as well as the economic impact of the sector. West Coast Orca Bay Foods Back in Action at Seafood Expo North America Urner Barry by Ryan Doyle - March 22, 2022 Seattle-based Orca Bay Foods featured a busy booth at last week’s Seafood Expo North America and the group was pleasantly surprised by how busy the team was during the event’s return. SeafoodNews spoke with Orca Bay’s Marketing Coordinator Rachel May to discuss the Expo, what the company was featuring and what conversations Orca Bay’s team members were having during the Boston Seafood Show. “Our tables have been full and our team has been taking a lot of meetings,” May explained. “There’s a lot of check-ins but there have been some pretty good leads which is exciting for us.” Orca Bay’s 2022 booth design was similar to past years with the aim of allowing attendees to see all of its brands to remind them that they are still around and providing a multitude of products for both retail and foodservice. May highlighted Orca's value-added products like its Pub-Style Battered Cod and Parmesan Encrusted Tilapia. The booth also featured various fillets including salmon and flounder alongside Mahi Mahi and Tuna Steaks. According to May, all of the products on display were retail-oriented. Many of the conversations May said her team had focused on reconnecting after the inability to meet in person due to COVID but talks did include big picture events impacting the seafood industry like the Russian invasion of Ukraine. May mentioned moves the company will have to make in reaction to what has already occurred in Ukraine and how Orca Bay can move forward. Orca Bay will certainly be impacted by the conflict as it does work with Russian crab. The company has 2021 Russian product already purchased, but it has halted buying anymore for the time being. “We already have the 2021 crab and we are not buying anymore,” May said. “What we already have is getting harder to move and it’s hard to see how long people are going to react over the next few weeks.” May said the company is gauging the situation to see if the company should hold onto the Russian product in case it comes back strong, or if they should attempt to get rid of it now and it never becomes an option again. Lineage Logistics President for North America West Brian Beattie described how crab and pollock were the two big species impacted from Lineage’s perspective but other commodities were also affected, in SeafoodNews' chat with Lineage Logistics during SENA. The seafood industry seems to be in a wait-and-see situation with Russia, as SeafoodNews reported last week. Governments across the world are levying sanctions on Russian seafood and a few companies have halted purchasing product even before that. Still, major firms like Trident Seafoods are holding lengthy meetings to determine the next steps. Colin Bornstein, CEO of Bornstein Seafoods explained the Russian invasion would direct actions the company made moving forward but he wanted to focus on the humanitarian component with colleagues in Ukraine who couldn’t make the trip to the Expo this year or focus on business in general amid the war. “We are working with long-term customers and we are worried about how they are going to survive,” Bornstein said. “Do they survive, do their businesses and livelihoods survive?” International Inflation eating away at US retail seafood sales Seafood Source by Christine Blank - March 22, 2022 Retail seafood sales have dropped thus far in 2022, according to new data, with inflation playing a key role in the decline. Environment/Science Bering Sea is focus of effort to accelerate data to Alaska fishery managers Alaska News Source by Taylor Burke - March 22, 2022 ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries is creating an integrated approach to studying the Bering Sea that will deliver more timely, actionable data on climate change’s impacts on ocean conditions. WPRFMC Scientists Discuss Next Generation Data Collection, New Strategy to Advocate for Fisheries by Susan Chambers - March 18, 2022 Fisheries data collection in remote areas, particularly islands spread hundreds of miles apart, is challenging. Scientists from Hawaii and those informing the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council are looking for answers. The Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center Director Michael Seki presented the NOAA Next Generation Data Acquisition Plan (NG-DAP) to the Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee this week. The Plan will guide data acquisition for the next 10 to 15 years. The fisheries and technologies to gather data have evolved and regional data needs have changed since the last plan was released in 1998, the Council said. The NG-DAP will use innovative technologies, modern fishery information collection systems, artificial and machine learning and advanced modeling tools to account for climate change, emerging ocean uses and ecosystem-based fisheries management. While the NG-DAP is a nationwide effort, the plan will point out regional needs and highlight opportunities for potential partners and collaborators. NOAA plans to hold public workshops later this spring to gather input from stakeholders. The SSC noted that meetings should include fishing communities in the territories. The Western Pacific Region is still challenged by data limitations due to little federal investment in collecting basic fishery-dependent data and life history information for the benefit of local underserved communities. The Council and SSC have, over the years, continuously identified research needs to the National Marine Fisheries Service, focusing on island and pelagic fisheries, ecosystems, protected species and human communities in order to sustainably manage fisheries in the region. For example, the Council led the effort to improve data collection in the region through creation of an electronic reporting app and piloting numerous data collection projects. The Council recently partnered with PIFSC and the American Samoa Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources to convene a series of data workshops in the territory that highlighted deficiencies in data collection and could be addressed in the Data Acquisition Plan. Advocating for fisheries The SSC also discussed a new strategy for addressing Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission issues through a holistic approach engaging multiple federal departments to advocate for fisheries. Council staff and the U.S. tuna industries developed a paper that emphasizes the importance of fisheries to Pacific Island communities and strategic importance to U.S. interests. The SSC recommended that U.S. delegations to WCPFC subcommittees coordinate to address objectives of the Pacific strategy and ensure that U.S. Pacific Island Territories and the Commonwealth take an active role in developing and implementing them. “The voices of smaller island nations, including American Samoa, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands should not be ignored in these discussions,” SSC member from the University of Guam, Debra Cabrera, said. Council Executive Director Kitty Simonds said the East-West Center in Honolulu and the U.S. House Pacific Islands Caucus have launched a “Pacific Islands Matter for America/America Matters for the Pacific Islands” initiative exploring similar issues. The Biden Administration is seeking public comment on development of an Indo-Pacific strategy. In December, the Council recommended any such Pacific strategy incorporate fishery interests into achieving national objectives. The Council noted that a lack of a favorable tropical tuna management measure for U.S. fisheries within the WCPFC indicates a loss of stature for the United States in the Pacific. Area-based management SSC member Ray Hilborn and Dan Ovando, both of the University of Washington, presented two studies on the utility of area-based management strategies, including marine protected areas, to achieve conservation objectives. The studies reinforce a need for monitoring and adapting MPAs to ensure they are achieving stated objectives, and that dynamic fishery closures are superior to static MPAs in meeting objectives with minimal costs to fisheries. “When closing 30% of fishing areas using a dynamic approach, bycatch can be reduced by 57% without sacrificing loss to optimal yield, compared to 16% reductions in bycatch using a static approach,” Hilborn said, speaking to the study he coauthored earlier this year. The studies include: Area-based management of blue water Fisheries: Current knowledge and research needs Assessing the population-level conservation effects of marine protected areas: Recommendations made by the SSC on these and other matters will be considered by the Council when it meets virtually next week. 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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