Unalaska fish biologist working limited hours during shutdown
Bristol Bay Times by Jim Paulin - January 25, 2019
The sole federal fisheries biologist in Unalaska is back to work on a part-time basis in the nation's busiest fishing port, despite the shutdown of much of the national government.
GAPP Receives Commitment from USDA on Record Purchase of Alaska Pollock
SeafoodNews.com by Peggy Parker - January 28, 2019
Last Wednesday, the new CEO of the Association of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP) issued a statement about the record USDA purchase of Alaska pollock.
”Today the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) notified the Association of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP) of their commitment to purchase an additional 30 million dollars of Wild Alaska Pollock products to support the nation’s food banks and food assistance recipients,” siad Craig Morris, CEO of GAPP.
“GAPP, on behalf of the entire wild Alaska pollock industry, commends and thanks the Administration and the USDA for this commitment and strong support
for our nation’s fishermen and women—especially as they, just several days ago, left the shores of Alaska to officially commence the Wild Alaska Pollock season,” Morris added.
Last November, USDA announced the purchase in response to an original request, submitted by ASMI, for a purchase value of $100 million in Alaska pollock. The request was justified due to the tariffs imposed on Alaska pollock products by the US and China as part of their trade war.
Since then, both Alaska pollock and pollock produced in Russia have been exempted. On the Chinese side, there is no additional tariff on pollock brought in to China for re-export, only on pollock that stays within the country. On the US side, all pollock products, including both Russian and Alaskan, are exempt from the tariffs the US imposed on almost all other seafood items imported from China.
“Alaska Pollock is a significant and lucrative market for Alaska and the United States, accounting for one-third of our country’s seafood output. Unfortunately, in light of the retaliatory tariffs imposed by China on Alaska Pollock products, many of those involved in the industry have suffered,” said Alaska’s Sen. Lisa Murkowski.
“I’m encouraged to know that the USDA, under the leadership of Secretary Perdue, has approved this purchase of Alaska Pollock, which will provide a healthy protein source for American households and help safeguard the livelihoods of so many fishermen and coastal communities across our state.”
Details of the purchase are not yet known, but Morris notes that the purchase will be used “to feed America’s most food insecure populations, providing them with a delicious, nutritious and incredibly versatile protein that comes from the icy cold depths of the Bering Sea and the largest, most sustainable fishery in the world.
“Thanks to this purchase commitment, Wild Alaska Pollock being harvested off the Alaska coast this year will reach even more homes, and even more hungry consumers,” Morris said.
“This purchase could not have come at a better time for GAPP and the broader Alaska Seafood Industry, especially as we seek to build awareness and overcome competition both domestically, and in foreign markets. The recently announced GAPP increased marketing investment, coupled with this significant purchase, will further support the producers of Wild Alaska Pollock by presenting Americans of all ages with new, exciting ways to use this perfect protein and helping them to fully understand the great story of nutritious, delicious and sustainable Wild Alaska Pollock.”
A non-profit Alaska corporation formed in 2003, GAPP is working to promote Genuine Alaska Pollock in major whitefish markets around the world, with a focus on Europe, North America and Japan.
Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon Brand Wraps Up a Successful Year
Urner Barry by Amanda Buckle - January 29, 2019
2018 was a big year for the Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon Brand.
Developed by the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association (BBRSDA) in 2016, the branding program initially launched in Boulder, Colorado, before going nationwide in 2017. The program provides retailers with high-quality digital assets, point-of sales materials, as well as promotion support to “showcase Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon’s iconic red flesh and delicious taste.” A year later the branding program can be found in over 1,000 stores – and retailers can’t stop raving about it.
“I am extremely pleased with the Alaska/ Bristol Bay promotion results,” Pavilions Meat and Seafood Sales Manager Mark Angulo said of the program. “Adding store excitement while educating consumers is a win-win situation. We received support in preparing and executing associate training, point-of-sale materials and consumer handouts. We could not ask for a better partnership.”
“Our stores loved the promotion,” QFC Meat and Seafood Manager Josh Dooley added. “Bristol Bay has a very strong brand that messages really well with our clientele who are more tapped into social responsibility and sustainability than ever before. Bristol Bay has beautiful point-of-sale and branding that aligns with those sensibilities.
With a successful 2018 behind them, the brand has many retail promotions lined up for 2019. Currently the BBRSDA is actively recruiting new retail and foodservice partners. You can visit the BBRSDA booth (#3450) and learn more about the branding program at Seafood Expo North America in Boston from March 18-20.
Steller sea lions, humpback whales recovering under ESA
Cordova Times - January 28, 2019
A peer-reviewed study published in mid-January in the academic journal PLOS ONE shows that eastern Steller sea lions, Hawaiian humpback whales, Southern sea otters and North Atlantic green sea turtles protected by the Endangered Species Act are in a recovery mode.
Alaska Longline Group Seeks Applicants for Crewmember Apprenticeship Program
Seafood News - January 24, 2019
The Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association (ALFA), a Sitka-based fishing group, is seeking applicants for its Crewmember Apprenticeship Program. The program aims to provide young people an opportunity to gain experience in, as well as an understanding of, commercial fishing and its importance to supporting coastal communities.
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