No Delay in Bering Sea Groundfish Opener, Despite Government Shutdown
SeafoodNews.com by Peggy Parker - January 14, 2019
There will be no disruption in the start of A Season for the cod and pollock trawl fishery in the Bering Sea, thanks to “a very responsive” NOAA Fisheries agency and extraordinary efforts by the U.S. Coast Guard.
The first opening for the annual billion-dollar fishery in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands will be noon local time on Sunday, January 20, as scheduled. The partial government shut down meant the industry and federal agencies needed to find work-arounds for tasks that would otherwise have been done by now furloughed workers or citizen contractors, whose federal contracts have been terminated by the shutdown.
Safety inspections, required for all vessels in the Bering Sea fleet, were done by active-duty Coast Guardsmen who are not being paid. A spokesman for the Seattle sector said, "We did 15 inspections for the trawl fleet last week. That's what our mission was, to get the trawlers out of town."
The Seattle Coast Guard base is down to a skeleton crew with more than half of their service members furloughed. The remaining guardsmen are working without pay until the shutdown is resolved.
They are asking owners of other vessels who will be needing safety inspections as fisheries open this winter to give them more advance notice than usual so they can get everyone certified before they leave port.
Another approach was used, according to industry members and NOAA Fisheries, for scale inspections and vessel monitoring equipment inspections: cost-recovery funds.
Cost-recovery funds are collected from stakeholders to pay for the cost of administrating Limited Access Privilege Programs (LAPP). Those funds are not frozen as general budget funds are during a federal shutdown.
On Thursday, NOAA Fisheries issued a statement notifying the industry of the status of inspections.
“During the lapse in appropriations NMFS is able to provide services such as scale and observer station inspections only for participants in Limited Access Privilege Program fisheries. Using available cost recovery fees specific to these fisheries, NMFS has begun to provide required inspections for trawl catcher processors in Alaska's AFA and Amendment 80 fisheries,” Julie Kay Roberts, CEM, Director of Communications noted.
“The inspections are being conducted in the order they were originally scheduled. In these and other fisheries, observers are able to function to the extent that they are operating on contracts executed in FY18, although NMFS is able to provide only limited supporting functions for observers,” Roberts added.
As of last weekend, final inspections for the last two companies of the Seattle-based At-Sea Processors Association were scheduled or had been done.
“At this time, I’m not aware of any other impediments to the catcher/processor fleet commencing fishing on the 20th,” said Jim Gilmore, Director of Public Affairs for APA.
“NMFS has been very responsive,” added Stephanie Madsen, APA executive director.
The vessels owned by companies in the Groundfish Forum cooperative were also ready to head north with completed safety inspections and vessel monitoring inspections as of yesterday.
NIOSH, Coast Guard announce $6 million in safety research grants
Nataional Fishermen by Michael Crowley - January 10, 2019
Between 2010 and 2014, 60 fishermen lost their lives in East Coast fisheries. The lobster fishery topped that dismal list with 10 fatalities. Half of those were falls overboard.
Labeling and Marketing
Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute - Marketing Update
ASMI - January 2019
ASMI Seeks Candidates for Executive Director Position, SENA Appointment Reservations, Foodable Releases Final Two "Feeding the Future" Chef Demo Videos, Food Management features Wild Alaska Seafood at University of North Dakota, ASMI Chef Ambassador Showcases Wild Alaska Seafood in Online-to-Offline Promotion in Ukraine , Spanish Cooking Show to Feature Alaska Sablefish ...
Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute Executive Director Applications Due This Friday
SeafoodNews.com by Peggy Parker - January 15, 2019
With the resignation of Alexa Tonkovich last month, the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute has been accepting applications for the job. That part of the executive search will end this Friday, when submissions will be closed at 3 p.m. Alaska time.
Tonkovich left after nearly a decade at the marketing group to pursue a post-graduate degree in London. Jeremy Woodrow, ASMI’s Communications Director, was appointed interim executive director until the board makes a permanent appointment.
ASMI's executive director oversees a budget of $15- $22 million and manages a staff of 20 based in Juneau, and overseas contractors in a dozen or more countries.
The group is funded through industry assessments, federal and for many years, state grants. Currently state funding is at historic lows, but the state Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development (DCCED) continues to provide oversight.
ASMI’s mission is to increase the economic value of Alaska seafood through:
• Increasing positive awareness of the Alaska Seafood brand
• Collaborative marketing programs that align ASMI and industry marketing efforts for
maximum impact within the food industry
• Long-term proactive marketing planning
• Quality assurance, technical industry analysis, education, advocacy and research • Prudent, efficient fiscal management
The board of directors are looking for a candidate with strong management skills and experience running successful results-oriented programs and organizations.
“This person must be able to interact positively and effectively with a cross-section of senior Alaska seafood industry members, state, federal and local officials, press, and environmental non-governmental organizations (eNGO’s),” the announcement for the position reads.
“Strong budget management skills are needed along with experience in developing effective strategic plans. A background in fisheries or fishery related activity, and experience working with the legislature or state and federal agencies is highly desired.”
In addition, the executive director anticipates future needs and creates strategic plans to meet them, assesses risks and develops strategies to avert them, works with the ASMI Board of Directors and the State of Alaska Office of Management and Budget as well as the Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development and the Governor’s office to develop annual ASMI budgets.
Salary is set by the state at approximately $134,000 with a $64,000 benefits package.
For full details of the position and application requirements, click here.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Trawl Catcher Vessels in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska
A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 01/14/2019
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher vessels using trawl gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season allowance of the 2019 Pacific cod total allowable catch apportioned to trawl catcher vessels in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA.
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