2019 Preliminary Alaska Commercial Salmon Harvest - Blue Sheet
Alaska Department of Fish and Game - August 2019
The Blue Sheet reports cumulative salmon harvest during the commercial fishing season in thousands of fish. Historically, this information was updated each Friday between mid-May and September. Beginning with the 2013 season, these harvest estimates will be updated twice daily. Please note, inseason harvest estimates published in this report are preliminary and subject to change. Confidential catch information is not included in these cumulative totals. For more information on the Blue Sheet, inseason summaries, and harvest timing charts please see our Blue Sheet, Inseason Summary, and Harvest Timing Charts Overview page.
Chignik Bay is ‘hanging by a thread’ after a second year of scant fishing
KDLG by Alex Hager - August 3, 2019
CHIGNIK BAY -- In the village of Chignik Bay, it’s all about salmon. It’s a tiny Alaska Peninsula outpost with a population of about 200 during the summer and about 70 during the winter, and the economy has been built on fishing for over a century.
Less overfishing, more overfished: NOAA report reveals environmental impacts to stocks
Seafood Source by Chris Chase - August 2, 2019
The 2018 NOAA report on the status of U.S. fisheries has been released, and reveals that environmental factors are having the most impact on stocks that are overfished.
The report, which NOAA puts together every year, indicates that less species were subject to overfishing in 2018 than in 2017 – 28 versus 30 – a year that saw all-time low numbers of overfishing and overfished stocks. That means more than 90 percent of stocks are being fished at a sustainable level.
However, the number of overfished stocks has increased, with eight more stocks on the list. While one of those stocks – the Atlantic mackerel fishery in the Gulf of Maine/Cape Hatteras – was previously un-assessed, almost every other stock added to the list was likely the result of environmental factors.
Chinook salmon, in both the Sacramento and Klamath river fall runs; coho salmon, in Puget Sound Snohomish area and the Washington coast Queets and Straight of Juan de Fuca areas; and blue king crab were all added to the overfished list. All six fisheries have been impacted by multiple environmental factors from droughts to the “the Blob,” an area of Pacific waters feature higher-than-average temperatures.
“Some of the salmon stocks listed there have been subject to disaster determinations under recent years,” Alan Risenhoover, director of the NOAA Fisheries Office of Sustainable Fisheries, said during a press conference on 2 August. “Overall if you think of things like salmon along the west coast, where we have five stocks that have been added to the overfished list, there’s a number of things going on.”
Coupled with the warmer Pacific water, droughts along the coast can affect how well salmon can reach their spawning areas. Lower river levels can lead to higher water temperatures and more difficult passage for salmon.
“There’s a variety of general environmental conditions that are affecting the stocks,” Risenhoover said.
The last of the eight stocks added to the overfished list, Atlantic bigeye tuna, was largely related to factors outside of NOAA or the eight regional fisheries management council’s control. International harvesting, the report states, has a large impact on the fishery, but the U.S. only accounts for 1 percent of the total landings of the species.
In terms of fisheries management, however, the report reveals that the Mangusson-Stevens Act has been successful in curbing the amount of overfishing occurring, Risenhoover said. For 2018, eight fisheries – bigeye tuna, Western Central Pacific; coho salmon, Puget Sound: Stillaguamish; Caribbean spiny lobster, Puerto Rico; Puerto Rico triggerfishes and filefishes complex; greater amberjack, Gulf of Mexico; gray triggerfish, Gulf of Mexico; and red grouper, Southern Atlantic Coast – were taken off of the overfished list.
One stock is now considered rebuilt. The Gulf of Maine smooth skate fishery is now considered rebuilt, after a nine-year rebuilding plan – including a prohibition on landings – successfully boosted the population to sustainable levels.
Of the species added to the overfishing list, Atlantic mackerel was added after the first assessment ever in the fishery. The other four were: Chinook salmon, Columbia River Basin: Upper River, summer; gray snapper, Gulf of Mexico; lane snapper, Gulf of Mexico; and yellowfin tun, Eastern Pacific.
Overall, according to Risenhoover, the report highlights that the science-based approach to fisheries management is working, but it also needs to adapt as environmental factors affect where the majority of stocks are distributed.
“The places we’ve done our stock assessments and gotten our data from in the past may need to adapt as well,” he said. “There’s a number of places where I think our environment is having an effect, and we need to make sure our management is keeping up with it.”
New Bering Sea Bottom Trawl Survey Group Supervisor for the Groundfish Assessment Program
NOAA Fisheries is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Lyle Britt to the position of Bering Sea Bottom Trawl Survey Group Supervisor for the Groundfish Assessment Program.
NOAA Fisheries - August 1, 2019
NOAA Fisheries is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Lyle Britt to the position of Bering Sea Bottom Trawl Survey Group Supervisor for the Groundfish Assessment Program. This position is within the Resource Assessment and Conservation Engineering Division of NOAA Fisheries’ Alaska Fisheries Science Center in Seattle, Washington.
Labeling and Marketing
Fortune, American Seafoods Launch New Wild Alaska Pollock Products
Urner Barry by Ryan Doyle - August 6, 2019
American Seafoods, the world’s largest at-sea processor of Wild Alaska pollock, teamed up with Fortune to launch three new Wild Alaska Pollock products.
The companies announced the release of Perfect Pollock Portions, in a 3.8 or 5.1 oz. variety and Wild Alaska Pollock loins.
The new offerings should appeal to every level of at-home cook. Pollock can be thrown in the oven tossed on the grill, or prepared in several other ways. American Seafoods highlighted the versatility of pollock in many recipes.
American Seafoods focused on its experience with at-sea processing, along with efforts protecting the Wild Alaska Pollock fishery.
The companies crew handles nearly every step of the process. They catch, process, package, and freeze their catches within hours. With the operation down to the exact science, American Seafoods has one of the premier products on the market.
When it comes to sustainability, American Seafoods has an active policy. They focus on four ways to ensure that Wild Alaska Pollock is sustainable.
First, the company fishes in the Bering Sea, one of the most well-known and monitored fisheries in the world. Second, American Seafoods catches 15 percent of the population, as it collaborates with fishing regulators, biologists, and other parties who have interests in sustaining the fishery. The company also features technology that limits its impact on the environment. Lastly, the company can trace every box to exactly where the fish were caught — giving consumers peace of mind.
Alaska ferries resume sailing after striking workers ratify new contract
Alaska Public Media by Jacob Resneck - August 5, 2019
The first state ferries resumed sailing Sunday following the ratification of a contract by striking members of the Alaska Marine Highway System’s largest union.
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