Coast Guard leaves Aleutians after support of fishing fleet
Bristol Bay Times by Carey Restino - March 29, 2019
Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak aircrews demobilized forward operating locations in St. Paul and Cold Bay, March 15, concluding the supplemental coverage of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Chain.
King salmon numbers mean more conservation for 2019
KFSK by Joe Viechnicki - April 1, 2019
Management numbers for king salmon in Southeast Alaska are up slightly from last year but will mean similar conservation measures to protect low returns to the region’s rivers.
Dunleavy announces appointees to Board of Fish, Board of Game
Must Read Alaska by Suzanne Downing - April 1, 2019
Gov. Michael Dunleavy today announced his appointees to the Board of Fish and the Board of Game:
Alaska’s Salmon Forecasts for 2019 are Up By 85% Over Last Year as Pinks, Chums Rebound
SeafoodNews.com by Peggy Parker - April 2, 2019
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s salmon harvest forecast for the season is 213.2 million fish, some 97.5 million more than last year’s landings of 116 million salmon. The forecast was released late last week.
The increase is mostly due to larger harvests of pink and chum salmon compared to 2018. Harvest levels include:
112,000 Chinook salmon outside Southeast Alaska, 41.7 million sockeye, 4.6 million coho, 137.8 million pink, and
29.0 million chum salmon.
Odd-year returns of pink salmon have traditionally been higher than even-year returns, and this year is no exception. What is different, though, is the high uncertainty attached to this pink forecast, which is almost 100 million more pinks than 2018.
“We note that—except for Southeast Alaska—pink salmon forecasts are generally based on average returns from previous brood years,” notes management biologists who produced the report released last week. “The pink salmon run forecast for 2019 is partly an artifact of this method; there is a great deal of uncertainty in predicting pink salmon returns,” they wrote.
Compared to last year, there will be 8.9 million fewer sockeye or red salmon; 900,000 more coho salmon, and 87 million more chum salmon.
If realized, the projected commercial chum salmon harvest would be the largest on record for Alaska.
The phenomenal success in recent years of chum salmon returns in Southeast, Prince William Sound, Norton Sound, and Southcentral Alaska appears now to be a trend.
Very low expected harvests of pink salmon in Southeast Alaska may be offset by higher projected harvests in Prince William Sound. The point estimate for landings of pink salmon in SE Alaska is 18 million. In Prince William Sound nearly 11 million wild pinks and 22 million hatchery pinks are expected to be harvested with another several million coming from the Valdez Fisheries Development Assn.
Sockeye harvest in the Copper River, scheduled to begin in May, are expected to to just under 1 million pounds, at 955,000 sockeye. Those red salmon will be augmented by a bumper year at the Coghill River weir of nearly half a million sockeyes, much larger than historical averages.
A modest 3 million sockeyes are expected to be harvested this year in the Upper Cook Inlet.
Kitoi Bay pink harvest is projected at 6.6 million fish.
A total of 40.18 million sockeye salmon are expected to return to Bristol Bay in 2019. This is 10% smaller than the most recent 10-year average of Bristol Bay total runs (44.4 million), and 16% greater than the long-term (1963–2018) average of 34.2 million.
The run forecast for each district and landings prediction is as follows:
Run: 16.12 million to Naknek-Kvichak District (6.95 million to the Kvichak river, 3.97 million to the Alagnak river, and 5.21 million to the Naknek river) for a projected harvest of 7.84 million sockeyes; 9.07 million to the Egegik District with harvest projections up to 7.04 million reds;
3.46 million to the Ugashik District or harvest prediction of 2.38 million; 10.38 million to the Nushagak District (4.62 million to the Wood river, 4.18 million to the Nushagak river, and 1.58 million to the Igushik river) and a total harvest prediction of 7.97 million reds; and 1.15 million to the Togiak District which translates to 870,000 reds.
China's Seafood Trade Continues Growth Trend
SeafoodNews.com by Amy Zhong - April 1, 2019
China's seafood industry set new records last year for trade. Trading volume increase 3.33% to reach 9.544 million tons, while the value increased 14.44% to $37.188 billion USD. To be specific, its export volume contracted by 0.4% to only 4.322 million tons, but the value rose 5.56% to $22.326 billion USD. And the import volume rose by 6.64% to 5.222 million tons, while the value jumped by 30.99% to $14.861 billion USD.
With regard to exports, tilapia is still popular among foreign buyers and they have enjoyed increased exports thanks to new markets like Africa and Mexico. China's export volume has risen by 9.31% while the value rose by 11.64%. But due to great domestic demand, the export volume of freshwater crayfish dropped by 42.45%, while the value dropped by 11.52%.
Among its main buyers, there is increase in the export to the U.S., the E.U. and South Korea, according to media reports, but exports to Japan and the ASEAN declined. Most exported seafood has come from China’s coastal provinces such as Fujian, Shandong, Guangdong, Liaoning, Zhejiang and Hainan. Their export volume accounts for 98.4% of the total, and 96.86 percent of the value. Fujian and Shandong rank first and second in the list.
Regarding China's imports, there has been a great increase in consumer/edible seafood, but a reduction in the amount of fish meal. Among all suppliers, Russia, the ASEAN, Australia and Ecuador have witnessed increases in their sales to China. Specifically speaking, Russia’s export volume has risen 8.24% and the value by 42.85% last year. Its popular products include frozen cod and crabs. Meanwhile, the ASEAN has enjoyed an increase of 30.01% in export volume and 54.09% in its value. China’s import from Vietnam has ballooned.
In addition, the values of import from Australia and Ecuador has skyrocketed by 115.11% and 177.97% respectively last year. The hot sales are shrimps and lobsters. Apart from the two countries, Argentina is also a main shrimp supplier to China. Last year, there was an increase of 38.5% in China’s import of red shrimp, and more than 95% come from Argentina. Now China is the second largest importer of Argentine red shrimp, following pain. Its import volume has risen by 38.5% to 47,148 tons, while the value has ballooned by 51.7% to $336 million.
However, Vietnam’s import of Argentine red shrimp plummeted by 57.5% to only 4,824 tons, a good sign for legal importers in China. As statistics show, Argentina’s export of red shrimp has been on the rise since 2014 thanks to higher prices in the global market and greater demand in China. The average price is said to have increased by 7.1% last year worldwide. And though only the second largest buyer, China beats others regarding the growth rate of its imports.
Generally, last year was a success for both legal seafood importers and exporters in China. Although there was a contraction in export volume, the value has risen thanks to upgrades of its seafood products. Meanwhile, lower tariffs have encouraged the country to import more. According to statistics, the average tariff has dropped from the previous 15.2% to 6.9% since July 1 last year, while its disposable personal income has risen by 6.5%.
China also has established new partnerships with more countries thanks to its One Belt One Road Initiative and free trade agreements. More importantly, due to its customs operations against seafood smuggling last year, its legal seafood imports have ballooned and the seafood industry has ushered in a new era.
Alaska bakes under heat wave linked to climate change
Phys.org by Jocelyne Zablit - March 30, 2019
Alaska residents accustomed to subzero temperatures are experiencing a heat wave of sorts that is shattering records, with the thermometer jumping to more than 30 degrees Fahrenheit (16.7 Celsius) above normal in some regions.
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