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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Alaska For Copper River harvesters, the third time was the charm Cordova Times by Margaret Bauman - May 26, 2023 For more than 300 fishermen, the third 12-hour opener of the Copper River commercial salmon harvesters was the charm, with a big boost of harvests of sockeye, Chinook and chum salmon. https://www.thecordovatimes.com/2023/05/26/for-copper-river-harvesters-the-third-time-was-the-charm/ NOAA Fisheries Updates “Significant” Activity on WFC vs Quan Impact Against Alaska Trollers SeafoodNews.com by Peggy Parker - May 26, 2023 Earlier this week, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) filed a response to the May 2, 2023 court ruling on Wild Fish Conservancy v. Quan, ordering NMFS to correct portions of a 2019 NOAA Fisheries Biological Opinion that analyzed two actions related to salmon fishing in Southeast Alaska and a third action on a conservation program for habitat improvement and hatchery production to be implemented in the Pacific Northwest. The court ruling found for the plaintiff regarding portions of the BiOp, essentially shutting down the Southeast Alaska troll fishery for Chinook salmon in the winter and summer seasons. But it also ruled against the plaintiff for the habitat and hatchery program, which was to provide more Chinook salmon for the ESA-listed Southern Resident Killer Whales. The court ordered NMFS to address the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) deficiencies in the BiOp. The court also vacated portions of the incidental take statement (ITS) — the part that exempted harvest of Chinook salmon in the Southeast Alaska Troll fishery. Shortly after that court order was signed, the State of Alaska filed a motion for a stay pending appeal on the portion of the district court’s order vacating the ITS. The Alaska Trollers Association joined that motion. NMFS added their response last Monday which supported the State’s motion for a stay pending appeal. NMFS argued that a stay is warranted because the district court “gave undue weight to any conservation benefits from shutting down the commercial troll Chinook salmon fishery in Southeast Alaska, ignored the increased prey now available to Southern Resident Killer Whales through the prey increase program, and underestimated the severe economic consequences of vacating the ITS, which effectively closes the Southeast Alaska commercial troll fishery.” This fishery supports over 1,000 active permit holders in communities across Southeast Alaska, most of which are small and isolated and some of which are Alaska Native communities, NMFS emphasized in a statement released yesterday. Meanwhile, following the May 2 court order that only agreed in part with the plaintiff Wild Fish Conservancy, that group filed a motion for an injunction pending appeal to vacate the 2019 biological opinion with regard to the prey increase program. The State of Alaska, Alaska Trollers Association, and NMFS have all opposed that motion. NMFS argued on three points: that Wild Fish Conservancy continues to ignore the harm to Southern Resident Killer Whales if NMFS cannot implement the prey increase program, that NMFS has been analyzing and will continue to analyze the effects of the program on ESA-listed salmon through site-specific biological opinions and NEPA documents, and that the equities do not favor an injunction as the prey increase program specifically and directly benefits an endangered species (Southern Resident Killer Whales). "NMFS plans to fully address the deficiencies identified by the district court by offering better reasoning on remand, which NMFS has indicated it will complete by no later than November 2024," the agency said in yesterday's statement. As of May 23, all parties have also filed notices of appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The Defendant-Intervenors State of Alaska and Alaska Trollers Associations noticed their appeals on May 3, 2023, and May 5, 2023, respectively. Plaintiff Wild Fish Conservancy cross-appealed on May 4, 2023. And NMFS filed a notice of appeal on May 23, 2023. https://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1253721/NOAA-Fisheries-Updates-Significant-Activity-on-WFC-vs-Quan-Impact-Against-Alaska-Trollers Environment/Science US Supreme Court deals blow to EPA’s reach under Clean Water Act Seafood Source by Nathan Strout - May 30, 2023 The United States Supreme Court rolled back the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate wetlands under the Clean Water Act, ruling that the law only applies to wetlands that are indistinguishable from “waters of the United States.” https://www.seafoodsource.com/news/environment-sustainability/supreme-court-deals-blow-to-epa-s-reach-under-clean-water-act In Metlakatla, Southeast Alaskans learn how to watch for invasive green crabs KRBD by Raegan Miller - May 30, 2023 Invasive green crabs are in Alaska. And they are destructive, outcompeting native species and destroying essential eelgrass. At a workshop in Metlakatla last month, citizen scientists learned from experts how to look out for the invasive crabs in their own communities. https://alaskapublic.org/2023/05/30/in-metlakatla-southeast-alaskans-learn-how-to-watch-for-invasive-green-crabs/ Labeling and Marketing ASMI Monthly Marketing Report Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute - May 2023 And the beat goes on Harvesting may have seasons, but the work of promoting Alaska seafood is never done. Throughout the year, ASMI attends industry trade events around the world, runs promotions, sponsors conferences, develop resources, plans trips to familiarize partners with Alaska, and so much more. None of what we do would be possible without the hardworking fishermen and processors who work tirelessly to supply Alaska seafood and of course, ASMI’s board of directors and committee members who guide our activities. https://mailchi.mp/alaskaseafood/asmi-monthly-marketing-update-may-2023?e=fd023624e1 Federal Register Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Vessels Using Jig Gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 05/31/2023 NMFS is prohibiting retention of Pacific cod by vessels using jig gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary because the 2023 total allowable catch of Pacific cod apportioned to vessels using jig gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA has been reached. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2023/05/31/2023-11491/fisheries-of-the-exclusive-economic-zone-off-alaska-pacific-cod-by-vessels-using-jig-gear-in-the Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; 2023 Harvest Specifications for Pacific Whiting, and 2023 Pacific Whiting Tribal Allocation A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 05/31/2023 This rule implements the domestic 2023 harvest specifications for Pacific whiting including the 2023 tribal allocation for the Pacific whiting fishery, the non-tribal sector allocations, and a set-aside for incidental mortality in research activities and non-groundfish fisheries. NMFS issues this final rule for the 2023 Pacific whiting fishery under the authority of the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Pacific Whiting Act of 2006, and other applicable laws. These measures are intended to help prevent overfishing, achieve optimum yield, ensure that management measures are based on the best scientific information available, and provide for the implementation of tribal treaty fishing rights. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2023/05/31/2023-11466/magnuson-stevens-act-provisions-fisheries-off-west-coast-states-pacific-coast-groundfish-fishery FYI’s Aleutian Airways to start regular flights between King Salmon and Anchorage on June 1 KDLG - May 30, 2023 Bristol Bay’s busiest time of year is almost here, and thousands of people are expected to arrive in the region to fish and process salmon. Those travelers now have another option to fly between Anchorage and King Salmon. Aleutian Airways will begin flying the new route with a Saab 2000 on Thursday. https://www.kdlg.org/infrastructure/2023-05-30/aleutian-airways-to-start-regular-flights-between-king-salmon-and-anchorage-on-june-1 Pacific Seafood Processors Association 1900 W Emerson Place Suite 205, Seattle, WA 98119 Phone: 206.281.1667 E-mail: admin@pspafish.net; Website: www.pspafish.net 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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