Alaska Fisheries Report
KMXT by Maggie Wall - October 10, 2018
Bering Sea Crab opens on the 15th.
Alaska fishermen get a break on China tariffs as some products dropped from the list.
Community Based Monitoring Program
KYUK by Petra Harpak - October 10, 2018
He’s originally from South Florida and has been living on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta for 51 years.
Chamber seeks local questions for candidates for governor
KMXT by Maggie Wall - October 8, 2018
Gubernatorial Fisheries Debate is Monday, Oct. 22 in Kodiak
Kodiak is Alaska’s number two fishing port behind Dutch Harbor, and what happens in state-related fisheries issues often has a major impact on Kodiak’s fishermen and the community at large.
Alaska-caught salmon removed from proposed tariffs
KTVA by Manny Creech - October 10th 2018
The trade war between the United States and China continues, but Alaska seafood producers could be getting a break thanks to the work of Sen. Lisa Murkowski, and the rest of Alaska's Congressional delegation.
China Fisheries Show, Largest in World, Fully Sold Out, with Foreign Participation up 12% This Year
SEAFOODNEWS.COM - October 11, 2018
With more than a month to go before the 23rd annual China Fisheries & Seafood Expo, the show organizers say the show had sold out, filling all 10 exhibit halls at the Qingdao International Expo Center. This year’s show dates are November 7-9.
A record 1,600 companies from 50 countries will be exhibiting this year. With 45,000 square meters, in terms of exhibit space China Fisheries & Seafood Expo is now the largest seafood trade show in the world. Some 25,000 visitors from 100 countries are expected to attend.
The number of Overseas Exhibitors at CFSE has increased about 12 percent over the 2017 show, says Jennie Fu, the show’s marketing manager. “We added space in a new hall for Overseas Exhibitors this year,” she says. In addition to individual companies the show has 19 international pavilions, many of which booked additional space this year.
“The basic market forces that have now made CFSE the largest seafood show haven’t really changed,” says Peter Redmayne, president of Seattle-based Sea Fare Expositions, Inc., the co-founder and overseas organizer of the show. “China’s population is increasingly affluent, they love seafood and the logistics of their distribution systems keep improving.”
What has changed in China, Redmayne says, is it’s getting much easier to import seafood. China has signed numerous Free Trade Agreements with seafood-producing countries around the world, which has greatly reduced tariffs, in many cases to zero. Local customs clearance has also become much more efficient and shipments of live seafood, for example, can be cleared through Chinese customs, often in less than a few hours. Finally, there is much more air freight capacity as nonstop flights from Europe, North America and Asia now serve second and third tier cities, in addition to the major international hubs of Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing.
Getting seafood to the kitchens of Chinese consumers is also getting much easier, says Yang Hong, general manager of Beijing-based Sea Fare (China) Ltd. Supermarkets are proliferating at the same time as the once ubiquitous wet markets are disappearing. The internet giant, Alibaba, for example, plans to open 2,000 of its high-tech Hema stores in the next five years. Shoppers at these stores, which showcase seafood, can purchase at the store, select their food at the store and have it delivered, or simply order online and have it delivered. If the consumer lives within 3 kilometers of a store, delivery time is 30 minutes or less.
“The Chinese government knows it will have to rely more and more on imported seafood to meet the country’s growing demand,” says Redmayne. “That’s because Beijing has adopted increasingly strong measures to conserve and better manage its own fisheries resources and reduce the negative environmental impacts of aquaculture. That’s great news for seafood producers around the world who are looking for new markets.”
For more information on China Fisheries & Seafood Expo, visit www.chinaseafoodexpo.com
High-res data offer most detailed look yet at trawl fishing footprint around the world
UW News by Michelle Ma - October 8, 2018
About a quarter of the world’s seafood caught in the ocean comes from bottom trawling, a method that involves dragging a net along the ocean’s shelves and slopes to scoop up shrimp, cod, rockfish, sole and other kinds of bottom-dwelling fish and shellfish. The technique impacts these seafloor ecosystems, because other marine life and habitats can be killed or disturbed unintentionally as nets sweep across the seafloor.
Icicle’s Jessie Keplinger Named First Female President of Halibut Association of North America
SEAFOODNEWS.COM- October 11, 2018
The Halibut Association of North America (HANA), a trade group representing processors in Canada and the United States, recently elected its first female president in its 57-year-old history.
The election of Jessie Keplinger, Fresh Sales Account Manager at Icicle Seafoods, as the group’s highest officer, came after a period of several months spent reviewing the organization’s mission and considering a shift in priorities.
HANA was formed in 1961 to promote Pacific Halibut and work with the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) to ensure the resource’s sustainability. That effort shifted away from promotion to regulatory issues after the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute was formed in the late 1970’s. Today, HANA members and the Board of Trustees are revisiting the potential of a promotional program.
Keplinger steps in as former President Blake Tipton, who led the organization through the last seven years, prepares for retirement. During those years, HANA expanded its involvement in halibut issues addressed by the IPHC, the regional fisheries management councils, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and ASMI.
Since its inception, HANA has worked closely with the International Pacific Halibut Commission. In the mid-1990s we formed the Processors Advisory Group, now called the Processors Advisory Board. HANA has also served for decades on the Halbut/Sablefish Committee at ASMI, and has been a member of IPHC’s Management Strategy Advisory Board for the past five years.
The organization is the only group that represents processors in both Canada and the U.S. The countries share the Pacific Halibut resource under a treaty that was first penned in 1923. HANA members purchase about 80 percent of the Pacific halibut harvested in the two countries’ EEZs.
Former HANA President Tipton is the buyer for S.M. Products (BC) Ltd., one of the largest producers of Halibut in the North Pacific.
“Jessie is the best person for this job,” said Tipton. “She is supported one- hundred percent by the members. The vote for her election was unanimous. She will bring fresh perspective as we face the challenges of changing dynamics in the ocean, at the regulatory level, and in the market.
“As the first Canadian president of HANA, I am delighted to pass the gavel to the first woman to be HANA’s President. It’s time!” he said.
“Blake Tipton has been a strong voice for the organization for many years,” Keplinger said, “and these will be very big shoes to fill. I am thankful to him and many others who have been so dedicated to successfully managing Halibut and are still willing to offer guidance.
“I am honored for the opportunity to work with such a dynamic group on advocating for the Halibut resource as well as taking on the new challenges in the marketplace. HANA has helped to keep a unified Processor voice for decades despite our many differences, providing a space for collaboration and compromise to speak for our needs in the industry,” Keplinger added.
Prior to joining Icicle Seafoods, Keplinger worked for Alaska General Seafoods, in their Seattle office and at their Naknek plant, for over six years.
Keplinger was born into a fishing family in Kodiak and as a young woman fished commercially and crewed on salmon tenders during the summer seasons.
OPINION: Science-based Management the Key to Alaska’s Successful Fisheries
SEAFOODNEWS.COM[Anchorage Daily News] by Tim Bradner - October 11, 2018
One of Alaska's great success stories is the resurrection of our salmon fisheries after a virtual collapse that occurred under federal management in the years before statehood.
When Alaska became a state in 1959, the fledgling state government immediately instituted science-based fisheries management using sustained yield principles. Improved management helped, but coastal communities and the state economy lagged as the slow recovery process took place. When salmon runs had failed to recover by the early 1970s, the Legislature took two actions. First, it enacted a limited-entry program to control overfishing. Second, in partnership with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, it created the framework for the state hatchery program.
The latter was part of a carefully developed plan to supplement wild stocks and offset wide swings in natural runs, particularly for pink salmon. Learning from the mistakes of the Lower 48, the program required hatcheries to be sited away from naturally occurring salmon stocks, required the use of only wild brood stock, and other steps to protect wild stocks. Stabilizing the salmon fisheries made it possible for harvesters to make a living, for processors to remain open, and for coastal communities to develop stable economies.
Nearly 50 years later, it is clear these initiatives have succeeded. Today, the state's salmon enhancement program with its with science-based management by the Fish and Game department, have helped to grow statewide salmon harvests since those lean years before statehood. From a salmon harvest of 25 million in 1959, we now routinely have catches of more than 100 million, which support thousands of fishermen and fishery-dependent businesses across Alaska.
Despite this success, and the stability that the hatchery program has provided the state and coastal economies, hatcheries are now being criticized by some who argue hatchery-produced salmon are overloading the ocean capacity, resulting in less food for king and sockeye salmon. The Alaska Board of Fisheries now has proposals before it to reduce current hatchery production and will meet on the issue Oct. 16.
Groups that submitted the proposals argue that the science on carrying capacity is settled, but scientists have actually been debating the issue of ocean capacity for decades and for now there's no hard evidence either way that the North Pacific is approaching its carrying capacity. As one scientist has noted, "trying to define ocean carrying capacity is like trying to catch a moonbeam in a jar."
It is clear that there are more salmon in the North Pacific, not just from Alaska but Japan, Korea, and Russia, and some researchers do believe that climate change and ocean warming could be creating effects exacerbated by increased salmon density. However, other scientists have doubts about significant adverse effects and warn of jumping to conclusions. In a recent paper submitted to the Alaska Board of Fisheries, two retired NOAA ocean researchers, Alex Wertheimer and William Heard, argue that the North Pacific marine biomass is so large that incremental increases of Alaska hatchery salmon have only minor effects.
Wertheimer and Heard also doubt juvenile pink salmon take food from juvenile king salmon, and say the king salmon's diet is different than pinks due to the depth at which they feed. The authors also find no correlation between the recent decline of king salmon with cyclical increases in wild and hatchery pink salmon. An intergovernmental organization, the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission, which aims to promote the conservation of anadromous stocks in the North Pacific Ocean, continues is addressing this question. New research is slated for next year. This organization includes Canada, Japan, Korea, Russia and the U.S., including advisors from the state fish and game department and NOAA.
Meanwhile, the economic value hatcheries create is important. Hatcheries are vital in bringing more stability to an industry that is cyclical and high risk. In some years of low cycles in wild salmon, hatcheries produced as much as 48 percent of the statewide harvest. In Prince William Sound, hatcheries have supplied as much as 80 percent of the harvest. What's important is that hatchery production has not harmed wild returns. State data indicates that years with high hatchery-origin pink salmon harvests are also years in which wild pink salmon harvests are high. The McDowell Group, the Juneau-based economics consulting firm, found recently that eight of the state's largest hatcheries produced $600 million in economic value in Alaska between 2012 and 2016, about a fourth of the value created by the state's total salmon harvest. Those eight hatcheries also created 4,700 jobs on an annualized basis, how seasonal jobs are calculated as if they were year-round.
With Alaska still in recession, curtailing hatcheries could cause real harm. Fortunately, Alaska's fisheries managers are prudent and not swayed by political pressure. They make decisions based on science. That's been the strength of our system since statehood. It's the reason we have strong fisheries, benefiting all Alaskans.
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