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Wednesday, November 22, 2023

**************************************** PSPA wishes you a safe and happy Thanksgiving. We will be closed Thursday & Friday, and updates will resume on Monday. ****************************************

Alaska 2023 Salmon Harvest Summary Alaska Native News by Forrest Bowers, ADF&G - November 22, 2023 (Juneau) — The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) has published preliminary harvest and value figures for the 2023 Alaska Commercial Salmon Fishery (PDF 921 kB). West Coast Whales, Meat Recovery Hamper Efforts to Open Dungeness Season on West Coast by Susan Chambers - November 20, 2023 Crab for Christmas? Maybe. Crab For Thanksgiving? Not likely -- at least, not in the quantities to satisfy California customers formerly used to traditional Thanksgiving dining fare. Fisheries managers from Washington, Oregon and California talked Friday and agreed to delay the opening of the 2023-24 Coastal Dungeness crab fishery from Point Area, California, north to the US/Canada border through at least December 15, according to an industry notice from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. "This decision was based on crab condition tests conducted by WDFW, ODFW, and CDFW which shows that test results at multiple sites across the region do not currently meet the minimum meat recovery criteria," the notice reads. A second round of meat recovery is scheduled to be conducted in early December. In California, the situation is complicated by whales in the region. California Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Charlton Bonham, in a Friday notice, said potential for whale entanglements would also delay the fishery opening until another assessment is completed the first week of December. “It’s hard,” John Barnett, president of the San Francisco Crab Boat Owners Association, said in a San Francisco Chronicle story Friday. “There’s not a whole lot we can do about it because of the presence of whales in the area.” CDFW's preliminary assessment indicated a high abundance of whales and exceedance of the rolling average for whale entanglement; thus a delay was necessary. The Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group discussed the preliminary assessment on Nov. 15 and agreed with CDFW. "There was broad support from the Working Group for [CDFW] Marine Region’s preliminary management recommendations for both the commercial fishery season delay and recreational crab trap prohibition," the Working Group's report reads. Working Group member Lisa Damrosch indicated the decision to delay was evident. “I think that it's important to know that the Dungeness crab fishermen are doing everything that they can to reduce entanglement risk,” Damrosch was quoted as saying in a Half Moon Bay Review story. “They change the best practices in how they fish – to reduce entanglements.” Dungeness crab remains a winter staple for multiple communities along the West Coast and is becoming more important as other fisheries are restricted, such as salmon fishing. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife noted that the 2022-2023 commercial Dungeness crab season was delayed and opened in stages due to low meat yield and biotoxin levels above the safety threshold. However, commercial fishermen in Oregon still landed more than 31.5 million pounds of crab at an ex-vessel value of $85 million. That compared to a 2021-2022 season in Oregon that produced roughly half the product - 17.2 million pounds -- but more ex-vessel revenue: $91.5 million. National NOAA Fisheries Seeks Further Review Re: Expanding Seafood Import Monitoring Program Fishermen's News - November 22, 2023 NOAA Fisheries has withdrawn a proposed rule to expand the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP), saying that instead, the agency will review the program to explore ways to enhance and strengthen its overall impact and effectiveness. Biden administration doubles H-2B work visas for 2024 Seafood Source by Nathan Strout - November 21, 2023 The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will provide an additional 64,716 H-2B temporary work visas in fiscal 2024, nearly doubling the number of available visas from the statutory cap of 66,000. International Murkowski Pushes Anew for U.S. Senate to Ratify UNCLOS Fishermen's News - November 22, 2023 Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is renewing her effort to win U.S. Senate passage of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which has long since been ratified by 168 nations and the European Union. Chinese seafood imports up overall but down in key markets Seafood Source by Mark Godfrey - November 20, 2023 Chinese customs authorities have confirmed that the country’s seafood imports are up 13 percent over the first three quarters of 2023, but that imports from important supplier markets are down over the same period, sending mixed signals to exporters on the status of the market overall. * Requires Subscription Alaska pollock price drops in Europe could be 'paying off' Discounts for US product in Europe have been offered this year to combat an influx of low-priced Russian product. Intrafish by Rachel Sapin - November 21, 2023 The sale of discounted Alaska pollock in Europe earlier this year to attract customers back to the category may be finally paying off. * Requires Subscription Federal Register Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Alaska Groundfish and Halibut Seabird Working Group; Public Meeting A Notice by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 11/21/2023 NMFS Alaska Groundfish and Halibut Seabird Working Group will meet to discuss seabird-fisheries interactions (vessel collisions), development of an Alaska coordinated strategic plan for reporting and monitoring fisheries interactions with seabirds listed under the Endangered Species Act, and an update on whether or not the short-tailed albatross is actually two distinct species. Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Two Groundfish Species in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 11/21/2023 NMFS apportions amounts of the non-specified reserve to the initial total allowable catch (ITAC) of Alaska plaice and skates in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) management area. This action is necessary to allow the fisheries to continue operating. It is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the fishery management plan for the BSAI management area. 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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