Humpy catch hits 7.4M
Cordova Times by Margaret Bauman - July 22, 2019
Humpy harvests in Prince William Sound jumped from 3.4 million to 7.4 million, as the overall wild salmon harvest for the Sound rose to over 14 million fish.
Pink Salmon Harvest Slows Down, Southeast Way off Pace of 2017
SeafoodNews.com by John Sackton - July 23, 2019
In the latest weekly salmon report from ASMI, pinks are down overall about 6% lower than 2017, the last off year. However, pink production is down much further in both PWS and the Southeast. Cook Inlet volume is about 27 percent less than 2017, PWS is down 40 percent, and Southeast is down 87 percent. It is still early in the season for pink salmon, but the last two weeks have been particularly slow.
Meanwhile, over 80 million salmon have been harvested commercially in Alaska through July 20th. The YTD harvest is slightly ahead of the long-term (odd year) average of 75 million fish. The increase is due to sockeye, which are the only species to have exceeded their forecast.
Alaska’s sockeye harvest is now 6 million fish above ADF&G’s forecast of 42 million. Of the last 12 seasons, only 2017 exceeds 2019 for YTD sockeye harvest. With Bristol Bay past its peak, statewide production of sockeye should drop quickly over the next two weeks. Kodiak, Cook Inlet, and other regions will continue to produce modest sockeye volume, and there is hope Chignik will see improvement before the end of this year’s run.
ASMI also reports that Keta production remains about 25 percent behind 2018. Keta harvest-to-date is about 8 million fish, 27 percent of the 29-million-fish forecast. PWS continues to be the only bright spot for keta; all other areas in Alaska are behind 2018.
Canada gives First Nations role in Fraser salmon management
Cordova Times - July 22, 2019
Canadian government officials have announced a landmark agreement with First Nations people to collaboratively manage Fraser River fisheries, which are known for their runs averaging 20-50 million salmon annually.
The Legacy of the Blob
From California to Alaska, animals born during the infamous Blob are coming of age.
Hakai Magazine by Gloria Dickie - July 22, 2019
In 2013, a mass of unusually warm water appeared in the Gulf of Alaska. Over the next three years, the Blob, as it became known, spread more than 3,200 kilometers, reaching down to Mexico. This freak marine heatwave, combined with a strong El Niño, drastically affected the Pacific Ocean ecosystem killing thousands of animals and changing the distribution of species along the coast.
Labeling and Marketing
3MMI - Alaska Summer Salmon Season At The Halfway Point
TradexFoods - July 22, 2019
The question on everyone’s mind is - where are the 2019 Alaska Chums? Current Chum Salmon harvest in Alaska are not living up to its expectations. This can be attributed to the poor landings out of Southeast Alaska where this area’s harvest makes up the majority of the Alaskan Chum Salmon run...
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reapportionment of the 2019 Gulf of Alaska Pacific Halibut Prohibited Species Catch Limits for the Trawl Deep-Water and Shallow-Water Fishery Categories
A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 07/23/2019
NMFS is reapportioning the seasonal apportionments of the 2019 Pacific halibut prohibited species catch (PSC) limits for the trawl deep-water and shallow-water species fishery categories in the Gulf of Alaska. This action is necessary to account for the actual halibut PSC use by the trawl deep-water and shallow-water species fishery categories from May 15, 2019 through June 30, 2019. This action is consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska.
Glenn Reed Retires from PSPA; Chris Barrows to Become President in 2020
SeafoodNews.com by John Sackton - July 23, 2019
Pacific Seafood Processors announced that Glenn Reed will be retiring as President at the end of this year, and the new president of the organization will be Christopher Barrows.
Glenn has been the face of the PSPA for more than 20 years, and leaves at a time when processors throughout Alaska are facing increasing challenges, some of which have been caused by the government. Not only has the trade war with China had an impact, which could get worse, but also the lack of support for fishery programs has put more stress on an industry that has in the past stepped into the breach and funded the research necessary for optimum fish management.
The new President, Chris Bowers, is a 25 year veteran of the US Coast Guard. He brings years of leadership and management experience, along with a significant ocean and fisheries policy background, to PSPA.
"I am honored to be selected by PSPA to carry forward these important messages. I enjoyed my time in the U.S. Coast Guard patrolling the waters off Alaska and in the North Pacific Ocean as well as living in Juneau and traveling throughout Alaska to coordinate Coast Guard activities and develop lasting partnerships. I look forward to the opportunity to address future challenges facing the industry as well as to help ensure the continued sustainable management of fisheries resources."
Throughout his career, Chris represented the United States Coast Guard at multiple international, national and regional fisheries organization including the North Pacific Anadromous Fisheries Commission, International Pacific Halibut Commission, North Pacific Fisheries Commission, US-Russia Intergovernmental Consultative Committee on Fisheries, US- Canada Bilateral meetings on Ocean and Fisheries, Southeast Alaska (USCG) - British Columbia (DFO, Canada) Maritime Enforcement Coordination Committee, North Pacific Coast Guard Forum, United Nations' Consultative Process on the Oceans and the Law of the Sea, and United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Chris brings with him a great deal of experience. He has an undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and a master’s degree in Marine Affairs from University of Rhode Island. Chris will be based at the PSPA office in Seattle, where he and his family relocated after recently retiring from his final USCG posting in Naples, Italy.
PSPA’s Chairman of the Board, Tom Enlow said, “The Board of Directors at PSPA is very pleased to welcome Chris to the organization. Chris possesses the necessary skillset to lead PSPA well into the future and we look forward to working with him to address the issues facing the seafood processing industry in Alaska.”
Enlow continued, “the PSPA Board is very grateful for Glenn’s leadership as President of PSPA for the past 20 plus years. His tireless advocacy for PSPA’s member companies, Alaska seafood processing, and the coastal communities dependent on the rich Alaskan seafood resources, will be missed. We congratulate his retirement and wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”
Puget Sound Orcas Looking Healthier as Industry, Managers Work Through Options
SeafoodNews.com by Susan Chambers - July 23, 2019
Researchers have seen fewer southern resident killer whales in Puget Sound this year, but the ones they have seen are looking fatter and more robust, according to a recent story on KUOW.
The plight of the orcas has become more pronounced in recent years as the whales appear thinner and more stressed, prompting fears about negative population growth. Two lawsuits were filed relating to salmon and the proposed designation of SRKW critical habitat outside of Puget Sound. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee also convened a task force to determine what can be done to increase Chinook salmon, the orcas' primary prey, and ensure a healthy, growing orca population.
Researchers suspect the orcas aren't hanging around because Chinook runs have dropped off dramatically over the past few seasons, particularly on the Fraser River, so they're traveling elsewhere to find food.
University of Washington killer whale researcher Deborah Giles saw some of the whales foraging earlier this month.
“The ones that we saw looked actually really more robust than I’ve seen them looking in a while,” Giles was quoted as saying in the KUOW story. Samples of whale poo also indicated healthier subjects, she noted.
Lawsuit put on hold
At the same time, state and federal fishery managers are meeting in Vancouver, Wash., this week to continue work on the draft risk analysis and identify any data gaps and questions from earlier meetings of the Ad Hoc Southern Resident Killer Whale Workgroup.
The Pacific Fishery Management Council/NMFS workgroup's public meeting today and Wednesday will reassess the effects of Council-area ocean salmon fisheries on the Chinook salmon prey base of southern resident orcas.
In light of the fishery managers' work, the Center for Biological Diversity has agreed to put a lawsuit on hold.
The Center's press release Friday said a federal judge approved the settlement and stayed the case until May 1, 2020, or sooner if NMFS completes the new biological opinion that will include mitigation measures.
The order comes at the same time as some robust whales are showing up in Puget Sound and two other whales have gone missing. If the orcas known as J17 and K25 don’t survive, that would leave just 74 orcas, the Center said in the release.
“These orcas are starving to death, so more Chinook salmon can’t come soon enough,” Center attorney Julie Teel Simmonds said in the statement. “Updating the outdated fishery analysis with the latest science is a crucial step forward."
The Ad Hoc Workgroup will provide an report on its progress to the Council in September when it meets in Boise, Idaho.
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