Alaska Anticipation builds for official start of Alaska’s 2021 salmon season Anchorage Daily News by Laine Welch - May 11, 2021 Alaska’s 2021 salmon season officially starts on Monday, May 17, with a 12-hour opener for reds and kings at the Copper River. All eyes will be on early Cordova dock prices for Alaska’s famous “first fresh salmon of the season” as an indicator of wild salmon markets. COVID-forced closures in 2020 of high end restaurants and seafood outlets tanked starting prices to $3 per pound for sockeyes and $6.50 for king salmon, down from $10 and $14, respectively the previous year. https://www.adn.com/business-economy/2021/05/10/anticipation-builds-for-official-start-of-alaskas-2021-salmon-season/ Alaska Supreme Court upholds legality of fish landing tax KTOO by Jacob Resneck - May 11, 2021 A raw fish tax that has pumped tens of millions of dollars into coastal communities over the past decade has survived a legal challenge before Alaska’s highest court. https://www.ktoo.org/2021/05/11/alaska-supreme-court-upholds-legality-of-fish-landing-tax/ International Fishermen, Processors Prepare for Pacific Whiting Season in Wake of No Canada/U.S. Agreement SeafoodNews.com by Susan Chambers - May 11, 2021 For the second year in a row, the U.S. and Canada did not agree on a coastwide whiting total allowable catch, leading to some frustration and anxiety heading into the summer fishery that starts May 15 in the U.S. Each country subsequently established their own TACs for this year's fishery: 104,480 mt for Canada and 369,400 for the U.S. According to the 2021 stock assessment, the median estimate of the 2021 relative spawning biomass is 59 percent and has declined since 2017 due to the aging of large cohorts in 2010, 2014 and 2016. Additionally, the industry has seen four years of above-average harvests. Canada has argued for more conservative harvest specifications last year and this year. In an April letter to the Pacific Fishery Management Council, Canada's Head of the Delegation, Paul Ryall, said Canada has argued for more conservative catch limits to smooth the transitions between periods of high and low recruitment. "In the absence of agreement at this year's [Joint Management Committee] for a 2021 coastwide TAC, we would like to notify the [PFMC] that Canada's JMC is recommending that Fisheries and Oceans Canada establish a Canadian TAC of 1.4480 [mt], which equates to a coastwide TAC of 400,000 [mt], had an agreement been reached," Ryall wrote. "This is the same TAC limit that Canada established in 2020, and is a 30 per cent reduction from the TAC adopted by the Council in 2020 (575,000 [mt])." NMFS countered in the proposed rule that Canada's precautionary stance is unnecessary. "However, we excluded the Canadian delegation's proposed TACs from further consideration because according to the stock assessment they are not necessary to support a sustainable Pacific whiting resource. Members of the JMC and [Advisory Panel] also identified that these TACs would have a disproportionally negative economic impact on the U.S. fishing fleet compared to the Canadian fishing fleet," NMFS said in the May 4 proposed rule. Through the proposed rule, NMFS would issue interim allocation amounts in time for the season to start. Those allocations are based on the lowest value of the 2021 Pacific whiting Canada/U.S. total allowable catch of 475,000 mt identified in an earlier proposed rule. In essence, this was the lowest figure for which NMFS would consider setting U.S. harvest specifications for the 2021 season, anticipating a higher TAC for the final rule. Ultimately, NMFS said it will base this year's harvest specifications on the higher TAC of 500,000 mt. "We expect the interim allocations will provide sufficient fishing opportunity for the whiting fleet until we publish the final rule establishing the 2021 coastwide and U.S. Pacific whiting TACs," NMFS said in an announcement. The agency will allocate any additional amounts of Pacific whiting to each sector after the final rule establishing the 2021 U.S. TAC, tribal allocation, and set-asides for research and incidental mortality is published. Ultimately, the 500,000 mt coastwide TAC would result in 73.88% of that for the U.S.: 314,320 mt plus a carryover adjustment of 55,080 mt for a total of 369,400 mt. For comparison, the 2020 U.S. TAC was 424,810 mt, including carryover. The subsequent 2021 sector allocations include: Tribal: 64,645 mt Catcher/Processor Co-op Program: 103,362 mt Mothership Co-op Program: 72,961 mt Shorebased IFQ Program: 127,682 mt https://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1198643/Fishermen-Processors-Prepare-for-Pacific-Whiting-Season-in-Wake-of-No-Canada-US-Agreement Russia Puts Big Hopes on Forthcoming Salmon Fishing Season This Year SeafoodNews.com by Eugene Gerden - May 11, 2021 Russia is putting big hopes on the forthcoming salmon fishing season this year, planning a significant increase of its catch, compared to some previous unsuccessful years. As Igor Melnikov, Deputy Head of the Pacific Branch of the VNIRO Russian Federal Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography, said during a recent meeting of the Far Eastern Scientific and Industrial Council, the results of surveys carried out in 2020 in the Bering Sea show that the number of pink salmon fingerlings, as of now, has exceeded 1 billion specimens, which is a good figure for the industry. It is planned, under favorable wintering conditions, that the total catch of pink salmon in the Pacific Ocean can reach about 322,000 tonnes. In addition, the increase of catch is planned in the case of other, more valuable salmon species. Experts hope this year's weather conditions in major salmon-producing areas of Russia will be significantly better than those in 2020 when high water temperature and the lack of feed led to poor salmon catch in Kamchatka. Moreover, a comprehensive research program, designed for the period of 2022-2025, as part of state plans, should help to predict a future dynamics of salmon catch both in the Russian territorial waters and the World Ocean. The program is currently being worked on at the Pacific branch of VNIRO, being associated with the huge volumes of research work, which includes aerovisual observations, the use of artificial intelligence, drones, and genetic methods for studying salmon stocks. https://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1198647/Russia-Puts-Big-Hopes-on-Forthcoming-Salmon-Fishing-Season-This-Year FYI’s World Food Prize goes to nutrition expert for fish research AP News by David Pitt - May 11, 2021 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A nutrition expert who pioneered innovative ways of raising fish rich in micronutrients and fatty acids and incorporating them into diets in developing countries was named the recipient of the World Food Prize on Tuesday. https://apnews.com/article/us-news-united-nations-europe-lifestyle-science-5e81a0c0047cf5d4cb286d6a43fc13b4
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