2018 Dungeness crab fisheries in Southeast Alaska best in years
KFSK by Angela Denning - January 22, 2019
The commercial fishery for Dungeness crab in Southeast Alaska was cut short in 2017 because harvests were low. 2018, however, has proven to be one of the best years in the last decade. From KFSK in Petersburg, Angela Denning reports:
Quinault Pride Seafood buys into Pacific Harvest Seafood
KXRO News - January 22, 2019
Quinault Pride Seafood has placed stake in the Seattle market.
In a release, Quinault Pride Seafood, the tribal seafood processor based in Taholah, announced that it has acquired an ownership stake in Pacific Harvest Seafood. Pacific Harvest is based in the Seattle area and is a seafood marketing firm “specializing in domestic and global sales” of wild salmon and other seafood from the Pacific Northwest.
New research is rewriting the history of Klamath-Trinity Chinook Salmon
‘Run time gene’ upends historical narrative of spring vs fall runs
Times Standard by Philip Santos - January 22, 2019
Recent research has identified a genetic variation in Klamath-Trinity spring-run Chinook salmon which is upending prevailing scientific narratives about the fish.
Halibut Commission to Address a Request for Minimum Area Allocation Next Week
SeafoodNews.com by Peggy Parker - January 23, 2019
The agenda for the week-long annual meeting of the International Pacific Halibut Commission is brimming with new ways to look at catch limits, new tools to assess risk, and new ideas for research, but the issue grabbing the most attention is allocation of this year’s fishery.
Which regional area gets how much of the coastwide catch is a perennial topic, but it’s sharper this year by a stock that remains low compared to a decade ago, little sign of recruitment, and the yet unresolved issue that created an impasse between Canada and the U.S. at last year’s meeting.
Indeed, progress at the 2018 meeting to reach an agreement on catch limits ran aground on the issue of Canada’s catch limit allocation. British Columbia longliners fish waters off the Canadian west coast that make up 12-13% of the total coastwide area fished by both countries. Yet their catch limit has persistently been higher than that based on the argument that much of B.C.’s halibut are resident and the Canadian authorities long ago implemented a robust accounting program for all mortalities, compared to what is being used in Alaska.
The two sides have met throughout the year since and are now considering a handful of options to use this year. Those options, and perhaps more, will be discussed at the meeting that begins Monday, January 28. The meeting is complicated by the US government shutdown. Two US commissoner terms expired at midnight on Thursday, and they will not be available to vote on final motions Friday. As a result, the Commission may skew its agenda so that all votes take place before the US Commissioners go poof.
This year’s meeting has only two stakeholder proposals, both from the Pacific Norwest, or Area 2A. The first, a request for a minimum fixed amount of 1.5 million pounds for commercial and sports fleets. That fishery amount would mean a total mortality of 1.67 mlbs, including subsistence, bycatch, and other incidental mortalities.
The proposal was initially made by the Makah Tribe but now has the support of most stakeholders in Washington, Oregon, and California.
Because it is the first official regional request for a catch limit floor -- a minimum that fleets and processors can expect for years to come -- it has garnered attention and prompted comments that if they are allowed a guaranteed miminum, what about other areas?
Supporters of Proposal 2A say conditions in that region support establishing a floor and add that 1.67 mlbs. is only a small percentage of any coastwide total. They say -- and the IPHC agrees -- that the proposal presents no conservation problems because of that.
“The Tribe’s proposal is based on, but less than, the average total removals from Area 2A during the seven-year period before the current coastwide stock assessment and distribution methodology was implemented in Area 2A in 2009. During that period, total removals from Area 2A averaged 1.79Mlb,” Patrick Depoe said in his proposal.
That is precisely the issue for Canada as well. When the IPHC moved from a regional to a coastwide assessment in 2009, there were winners and there were losers. Canada lost 5-7% of their average share of their apportionment. They have compensated for it ever since by setting higher than recommended catch limits for their area, 2B, than IPHC staff suggests.
The second stakeholder proposal was submitted by Michael Pettis, a Newport, OR longliner, and is in response to the IPHC's request for a change from the current 10 hour derby fishery to a more extended fishery for safety and business planning reasons. The change would not affect that group’s allocation.
The Pacific Council’s Groundfish Advisory Panel discussed the issue and supported an analysis of longer periods. Fishermen on the GAP also proposed assigning the entire commercial halibut quota to incidental catch in the sablefish fishery.
In November 2018, the GAP supported the option again, “if the IPHC does not move forward with a 5-, 10- or 20-day season as discussed in or inferred from its report.”
The five Newport fishermen who submitted the proposal to the IPHC have not supplied public comment to the PFMC or the GAP.
However, since Area 2A is entirely within the U.S. EEZ, management of any system would fall primarily to the federal government. Some industry members have suggested the NMFS cost of establishing a quota system for Area 2A would be far more than the fishery is worth.
On Friday February 1, catch limits for the 2019 season, as well as opening and closing dates, and any proposals that make it through the meeting, will be announced.
Imported Seafood Surged in China in 2018, Especially Salmon
SeafoodNews by Amy Zhong - January 24, 2019
In 2018, more and more seafood suppliers have targeted China as the most lucrative market, and would like to gain more market share. Norway has set a new record in its seafood export to China with export volume reaching nearly 0.15 million tons while the value about NOK 3.738 billion.
Among all seafood salmon is one of the biggest winners. Norway’s salmon export volume to China has skyrocketed by 207% from 2017 to 2018. Meanwhile, the export value has ballooned by 275% to reach NOK 0.826 billion. Many insiders have attributed the great increase to the elimination of restrictions regarding Norway’s seafood export to China in July of 2018.
Apart from that, the increase is also thanks to increasingly great demand for imported seafood such as salmon by Chinese foodies. Even Chile has also gained great outcomes in the huge market with its salmon export volume estimated to be about 40,000 tons in 2018. It is said that its salmon export has jumped by 112% in the first half year of 2018 to reach 20,458 tons. And the export is expected to continue to grow in this new year.
A number of Chilean salmon suppliers have emphasized the importance of Chinese market in public. And they have every reason to do so. According to statistics from customs, back in 2015, China has already bought 8,827 tons of frozen salmon from Chile, which was more than the total export of all the other countries combined. And the market even looks more tempting at the beginning of this new year when salmon prices have been on continual rise owing to shortage.
Chile is said to exert great influence on the Chinese market and supplies at least one-third frozen salmon there. Its supply determines price trend here. However, one thing is hindering the development of Chile’s salmon companies which is that its salmon products are not recognized by high-end consumers. The country has won great success in the oriental market but only with competitive prices as well as steady supply.
Many Chinese refer to salmon of any origin as Norway salmon, in the same way they call all North American lobsters Boston lobsters.
Almost all salmon brands in Chile have found a way to enter the large Chinese market, but it is just the beginning and it still takes some time and effort for them to establish market status and gain recognition in the high-end market. Different parties in Chile have started to take action to upgrade their market position in China.
Chile’s salmon association has urged that more efforts should be spent on marketing campaign and brand images. Its government has inked two agreements with China at the end of last year to help the market expansion. At the same time, some of its domestic companies start to acquire or merge with other salmon suppliers for more competitive edges and greater market influence.
The business model of large sales but low profits may seem suitable at the early stage when everything is new. However, it is definitely not acceptable in the long term for ambitious entrepreneurs, who intend to gain more with less. There are still uncertainties when Chile can finish the upgrade and start to be known for its elite salmon products. But it is an irreversible trend that increasingly great attention will be paid to high quality in China’s aquatic market with its new generation of consumers.
Ocean Acidification Impact on Phytoplankton Studied
Fishermen's News - January 23, 2018
Researchers from three universities are collaborating on a $954,000-plus National Science Foundation grant to determine the effect of ocean acidification on iron availability to phytoplankton in the eastern North Pacific.
Labeling and Marketing
ASMI Promotes Wild Alaska Seafood in Ukraine
Fishermen's News - January 23, 2018
The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) is partnering with Ukrainian celebrity chef and ASMI culinary mission participant Volodymry Yaroslavsky through January in a video promotion called GoodWine to promote wild Alaska seafood.
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