Alaska Fisheries Report
KMXT by Maggie Wall - March 7, 2019
The Coast Guard releases its report on the sinking of the F/V Destination, the Bering Sea crabber that went down with all hands two years ago. Among the causes cited, stability issues, overloading, fishing in icy conditions and crew fatigue. We’ll have details on this week’s program.
PWS commercial shrimp pot fishery opens April 15
Cordova Times - March 10, 2019
Registration is open through 5 p.m. on April 1 for the Prince William Sound commercial shrimp pot fishing season, which opens April 15, with an allocation of 68,100 pounds.
New Local Fish Fund To Invest In Alaska Fishing Families
SeafoodNews.com by Peggy Parker - March 5, 2019
A new collaborative effort will change the paradigm for young Alaskan fishermen who want to be quota share owners operating their own fishing boats.
The Local Fish Fund, an innovative fisheries loan program offering alterantive loan structures that will improve upward mobility of crewmen to quota share owners, will also strengthen Alaska coastal communities.
The idea behind the Local Fish Fund, in the works for more than a decade, is a collaboration of five entities who brought unique skills to the alternative lending enterprise. Spearheaded by the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust, a Sitka-based nonprofit organization that protects and promotes fishing and fisheries, the team includes The Nature Conservancy, Craft3, Rasmuson Foundation, and Catch Together.
In Alaska as elsewhere across the nation, America’s fishing fleets are aging. For many wanting to move from crewmember to ownership status, financial barriers are much higher than they have ever been. In Alaska particularly, the halibut and sablefish quota values have risen to heights that make conventional loans unobtainable, especially for crewmen who may understand how to catch fish but have little collateral.
“The cost and risk involved in accessing Alaska’s quota share fisheries are comparable to purchasing a hotel as a first step in home ownership,” says Linda Behnken, commercial fisherman and founding member of the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust. “As a result, the number of young rural residents entering the fisheries has dropped over the past 15 years. Local Fish Fund aims to change that trend by lowering barriers to entry while engaging the next generation of community-based fishermen in resource conservation and management.”
The Local Fish Fund loan structure was developed after close consultation with commercial fishermen in Alaska to increase local ownership of halibut and sablefish quota. They identified problem areas with traditional loans -- such as fixed payments -- that present substantial risk for entry-level commercial fishing businesses because catch and fish price can vary dramatically from year to year.
But the Local Fish Fund loans use a “revenue participation” approach in which loan repayment is based on fish landings rather than a fixed loan repayment structure. The Local Fish Fund offers loans with competitive interest rates and reduced down payment options, and allows fishermen to build sufficient equity to eventually access conventional loans.
In addition to providing easier access to quota purchase, this loan program incentivizes increased marine stewardship and leadership capacity for sustainable fisheries management. Loan recipients will be able to participate in a flexible set of conservation programs that support sustainable fisheries management by collecting better scientific data; engaging in policy and management decision-making; and working on conservation education and outreach.
“Alaska has some of the most sustainably managed fisheries in the world,” says Christine Woll, the Southeast Alaska program director for The Nature Conservancy. “This is due in large part to Alaskans having an active voice in how our fisheries are managed. Encouraging local participation in our commercial fisheries helps foster a long-standing Alaska tradition of community-based stewardship of our natural resources.”
The launch of this loan fund was made possible by a unique collaboration that brought together varied expertise across fisheries, conservation, and finance. In addition to the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust, the launch of the fund was supported by the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association, which has a long history of leadership in Alaskan fisheries management; The Nature Conservancy, which has worked with fishing communities to develop economic incentives for fisheries conservation in communities across the globe; and Craft3, a community development financial institution, which provides loans to benefit Pacific Northwest communities, and is originating and servicing loans on Local Fish Fund’s behalf. Project partners The Rasmuson Foundation and Catch Together have capitalized the loan fund at a current level of $1.5 million for a series of loans over the next two to three years.
“We know how important quota ownership is to fishing communities in Southeast Alaska, and we are pleased to be a financing partner to the Local Fish Fund and its program to keep quota in the hands of local fishermen” says Kelly Wachowicz, Managing Partner of Catch Together.
“Joining Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust and The Nature Conservancy to launch the Local Fish Fund makes perfect sense to Craft3. This effort expands on our decades-long commitment to sustainable fisheries, conservation, and community development,” stated Craft3 President & CEO Adam Zimmerman. “The Local Fish Fund’s flexible credit and conservation incentives will preserve local fishery ownership, build equity in communities and families, and sustain fisheries health. This can be a model for how private, nonprofit, and philanthropic partners can work together to invest in current and next generation fishermen committed to sustainability.”
“The Local Fish Fund relies on creative thinking – and strong local and national partners – to open up economic opportunities in one of Alaska’s most valued industries, fishing,” said Chris Perez, Rasmuson Foundation senior program officer.
The Rasmuson Foundation, based in Anchorage, was created in 1955 to “promote a better life for all Alaskans.” Over the past eight years, it has awarded grants that average more than $25m annually, in human services, arts, and education initiatives across all regions of Alaska.
The Sitka-based nonprofit Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust protects and supports local fishing businesses and sustainable fishing practices, revitalize fishing communities in Alaska.
The Nature Conservancy protects land and water through science-based initiatives (their staff includes more than 600 scientists) in 72 countries, partnering with individuals, governments, local nonprofits, private corporations and others.
Founded in 1994, Craft3 is a Pacific Northwest-based nonprofit with a long history of working with fishing communities to access capital and assistance that supports the resilience of the fisheries and seafood sector, fishing-related businesses/ entrepreneurs and their families. Craft3 conducts the Local Fish Fund’s loan underwriting and servicing activities under a fund management service agreement.
ALFA is an alliance of small boat, commercial fishermen committed to sustainable fisheries and thriving coastal communities. In 2009, ALFA launched a Fishery Conservation Network (FCN) that engages fishermen in conservation initiatives to improve best fishing practices and the viability of small-scale fisheries. Local Fish Fund borrowers will participate in identified FCN projects.
Catch Together invests capital to support fishermen, fishing communities, and ocean conservation by partnering with fishing communities in New England, the Gulf of Mexico, California, Washington, Alaska and British Columbia. In 2018, Catch Together launched the Catch Together Fishermen’s Loan Fund, and has financed a total of over $10 million of fishing quota to date.
US regulators clear path for genetically modified salmon
AP News by Candice Choi - March 8, 2019
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. regulators on Friday gave the green light to salmon genetically modified to grow about twice as fast as normal, but the company behind it may face legal challenges before the fish can be sold domestically.
Wild salmon plan panned by conservation groups
Strategy recommends increased hatchery production, seal cull, falls short on habitat protection: Skeena Wild
Vancouver Courier by Nelson Bennett - March 10, 2019
The B.C. government’s new wild salmon strategy is a missed opportunity, says the executive director of Skeena Wild Conservation Trust, because it does not contain strong enough measures in the one area where the province has jurisdiction: habitat protection.
Labeling and Marketing
3MMI - Arrowtooth Flounder Market Predicted to Soften
TradexFoods - March 11, 2019
Chinese processors indicated this week that raw material pricing on Arrowtooth Flounder is currently around $2,000 per metric tonne CFR China. If we look at the same time last year, raw materials were around $3,000 per metric tonne - we typically see about 5 to 10 cents come off the finished goods price when raw materials drop by $100...
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in Statistical Area 610 in the Gulf of Alaska
A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 03/11/2019
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 610 in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season allowance of the 2019 total allowable catch of pollock for Statistical Area 610 in the GOA.
Lent is Filet-O-Fish season at McDonald's
USA TODAY by Kelly Tyko - March 7, 2019
Lent and seafood go hand in fin.
And McDonald's Filet-O-Fish, a 54-year fixture, is one of the most popular menu items, especially on the Fridays leading up to Easter, a time when many Catholics forgo meat.
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