We wish everyone a wonderful holiday season! PSPA updates will resume on January 2.
Year in Review: A dismal year for salmon and halibut in the Gulf, Bristol Bay booms, battles over hatcheries
Alaska Journal of Commerce by Elizabeth Earl - December 21, 2018
This summer was a disappointment for salmon fishermen across the Gulf of Alaska, both in the timing and in the numbers.
Fisherman: Waterway Closures for Spaceport Disrupt Fishing
Fishermen say the closures of waterways during launches at the spaceport on Kodiak Island are disrupting commercial fishing operations.
U.S. News by Associated Press - December 21, 2018
KODIAK, Alaska (AP) — The closures of waterways during launches at the spaceport on Kodiak Island are disrupting commercial fishing operations, fishermen claim.
PWS directed pollock fishery opens Jan. 20
Cordova Times - December 23, 2018
Directed fishing for walleye Pollock using pelagic trawl gear in the Prince William Sound registration area opens at noon on Jan. 20, with a guideline harvest level of 6.6 million pounds.
Modern Fish Act passes House: Industry wonders what happened to Magnuson?
National Fishermen by Samuel Hill - December 20, 2018
The U.S. House voted to pass the Modern Fish Act on Wednesday, just two days after the Senate approved it unanimously, swiftly sending the bill to President Donald Trump’s desk for a signature.
New Farm Bill Clarifies What “Buy American” Means When it Comes to Alaska Pollock in Schools
SeafoodNews.com by Peggy Parker - December 20, 2018
The 2018 Farm Bill passed by strong bipartisan support in both houses of Congress last week and included an important clarification for school lunch purchases of fish sticks, a staple in school cafeterias across the country.
In a report aired yesterday by Alaska Public Media’s Liz Ruskin, the national requirement to purchase American seafood products for the nation’s school districts, had a loophole when it came to fish sticks, which are made of pollock.
“There was a major loophole,” Alaska’s Senator Dan Sullivan explained. “Major. That allowed, for example, Russian-caught pollock, processed in China with phosphates, sent back to the United States for purchase in the U.S. School lunch program.”
It is a problem the Alaska pollock producers have been working on for years.
Jim Gilmore, director of public affairs at the At-Sea Processors Association, said up to half of the pollock served in schools now is from Russia. Gilmore credits Sullivan for getting a provision in the farm bill that closes the school lunch loophole, or clarifies what many thought the Buy American requirement meant all along.
“We wanted it to be unambiguous, absolutely clear that product has to be U.S. harvested seafood in order to qualify for food purchases for school when you’re using federal dollars,” Gilmore said.
Gilmore says an exception remains that allows school districts to buy foreign product if it’s substantially cheaper.
“So schools will still have that opportunity if we can’t be competitive on price,” he said, “but we’re confident we can be competitive on price.”
The new law didn’t change the labeling rule that allows Russian pollock that is breaded in the U.S. to be sold as “Product of the USA.” Gilmore said that’s a larger fight for another day, according to the APM report.
PWS cod seasons: a closure and an opener
Cordova Times - December 22, 2018
The parallel Pacific cod season for pot gear and the state waters seasons for longline and jig gear ends at midnight Dec. 31 and the parallel P-cod season opens immediately on Jan. 1 to vessels using pot, jig and longline gear.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Trawl Rationalization Program; 2019 Cost Recovery
A Notice by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 12/26/2018
This action provides participants in the Pacific Coast Groundfish Trawl Rationalization Program with the 2019 fee percentages and MS pricing needed to calculate the required payments for the cost recovery fees due in 2019.
Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
A Notice by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 12/26/2018
The Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Pacific Council) Highly Migratory Species Management Team (HMSMT) will hold a meeting, which is open to the public.
NOAA issues the most protective authorizations to date on marine mammal impacts from Navy Training and Testing
NOAA - December 20, 2018
The following was released by NOAA: The National Marine Fisheries Service today issued final authorizations under the Marine Mammal Protection Act to incidentally, but not intentionally, “take” marine mammals during Naval training and testing in the Pacific. This is the third in a series of five-year incidental take regulations for the Navy’s Hawaii-Southern California Training and Testing activities. The final regulations put in place measures that are more protective and include a larger area than those in the proposed regulations or previous regulations.
Association of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers Appoints Craig Morris As New CEO
Urner Barry by Amanda Buckle - December 21, 2018
Craig Morris, Ph.D., has been appointed the new CEO of the Association of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers, effective January 14, 2019.
“On behalf of the entire GAPP Board of Directors, we are thrilled to welcome Craig to the help,” GAPP Chair Mikel Durham said in a press release. “Craig’s passion for protein, his creativity and his experience understanding the marketing of protein products in the U.S. and abroad were the perfect match for our goal of raising the profile of Wild Alaska Pollock.”
Morris joins the Association with over 20 years of experience in animal protein, having most recently served as the Vice President of International Marketing for the National Pork Board. In his role with the National Pork Board, Morris was responsible for overseeing the organization’s largest-ever international marketing budget and working with pork producing leaders to use those resources effectively. In addition, Morris helped identify emerging export markets to help manage the U.S. pork industry’s risk, as well as diversify its export opportunities.
“I have no doubt that Craig will help GAPP chart a new course for the benefit and betterment of the entire U.S. Wild Alaska Pollock Industry,” Durham added.
Morris’ appointment comes a couple months after GAPP announced that they had reorganized and committed additional funds to stimulate global market opportunities for Wild Alaska Pollock. The reorganization included expanding membership to “all those involved in the fishing and primary processing of Wild Alaska Pollock,” in addition to a “commitment to a CEO-level board of Directors able to make swift decisions, and a minimum commitment of $10 million in new marketing initiatives.”
“I’m excited to join the Association of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers at such a pivotal time for the organization, and the industry,” Morris said in a statement. “Pollock has a great story to tell – one of brave American fishermen, model sustainability practices, nutritional credentials and adventures on the Bering Sea. I think consumers – especially millennials hungry for food with purpose and promise – will gravitate to that story both here and abroad. I can’t wait to work with the industry to tell it.”
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