Board leaves Chignik plans at status quo after 2018 fishery failure
Alaska Journal of Commerce by Elizabeth Earl - February 27, 2019
With a year of poor sockeye runs, unfavorable ocean conditions and allocation fights before them, the Board of Fisheries chose to mostly leave Chignik sockeye salmon management strategies alone for now.
Salmon gill net fishing ban narrows focus to Columbia River
A bill making its way through Olympia would ban the use of non-tribal gill nets to catch salmon on the Columbia River. Some say it will save wild salmon while others say it will do nothing but put fishermen out of business.
K5 News by Alison Morrow - February 26, 2019
A push to ban non-tribal gill net fishing for salmon on the Columbia River is no shock to Pete Knutson, who has witnessed several similar attempts like it in his lifetime.
Trade War with China Continues to Pressure Alaska Pollock Industry
SeafoodNews by Amy Zhong - February 28, 2019
Alaska pollock is of America’s most important fisheries, and it is renowned for large product volumes and popularity. However, as one of the five common fish in the U.S., its status is threatened due to the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China. If the situation continues or even worsens, drastic changes could occur to the global seafood industry, according to Chinese media reports.
Fishermen in the U.S. have been used to delivering seafood to China for further processing, then importing them back to America for consumption. Seemingly inefficient, such measures can actually help cut costs. But it may not be feasible any more due to the trade war and its corresponding tariffs.
The U.S. government announced that some fish are excluded from the list of seafood on which new tariffs are levied so that it will not harm the Alaska fisheries industry. But this is definitely not the solution, and it can only ensure the industry doesn't need to pay tariffs when the processed product comes back from China. The industry still has to pay to send the pollock to processing plants there.
However, this is terrific news for fishermen in other, competing, regions like Russia, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Those competitors can continue to transport pollock to China for further processing at lower costs. But then their pollock can enter the U.S. at lower or even zero tariffs. This in turn will bring them more competitive edges but make the competition more fierce for America’s industry participants.
In the beginning of this year, the U.S. government signed a purchase contract of Alaska pollock worth $30 million USD so as to reduce the influence exerted by the trade war. These fish will be sent to restaurants in the U.S. soon. In addition to the contract, fishermen in Alaska see more hope when they have found such new markets as Germany and Japan, especially since Alaska pollock industry is expecting a good harvest this year.
This is a good short-term solution, but more will have to be done to solve the problem fundamentally. And it remains uncertain what will happen to the new deal or the new markets.
Mo Johnson: A quiet fisherman with a large voice in fisheries policy
KCAW by Robert Woolsey - February 26, 2019
A Sitka fishermen landed a huge set of accolades, when he was presented with a state honor last week (Wednesday, 2-20-19).
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