Alaska Fisheries Report
KMXT by Maggie Wall - August 8, 2019
Statewide fishing is all over the place – both literally and figuratively – salmon catches range from terrific in Bristol Bay while others, such as in Chignik are tragic. But salmon aren’t the only species Alaskans are fishing right now. We have an update on who’s catching what, where, and how it’s going.
Salmon astray: Wayward chums keep Alaska trollers at bay
National Fisherman by Charlie Ess - August 8, 2019
Southeast Alaska salmon trollers saw the greener grass on the other side of the fence but weren’t allow to taste it. In early August, a mass return of hatchery chums milled in the waters of West Crawfish Inlet, south of Sitka, in closed waters.
For the second year in a row, the chums congregated in waters that are closed each year as part of a silver salmon management plan. This year, the management plan called for an eight-day closure to ensure silvers make it from the depths of the outside waters to terminal areas where they spawn.
Washington Commission Supports $24.5M Budget Request Increase for WDFW
SeafoodNews.com by Susan Chambers - August 7, 2019
The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission approved moving forward on a request to the State Legislature to increase Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife funding.
It was the first meeting for two new members, Molly Linville and James R. Anderson, who joined five other commission members to approve the department's request to seek $24.5 million in increased operating funds, plus $26 million in capital funds, during the 2020 state legislative supplemental session, according to a press release.
The department seeks $6.6 million to continue serving the public at current levels. Department services related to fisheries at risk in 2020 without ongoing, additional funding include:
- Cuts to the staff who provide community and private landowner habitat conservation expertise;
- Cuts in fish production at eight salmon and trout hatcheries;
- Cuts to shellfish inspections for the benefit of public safety;
- Cuts in access to salmon and steelhead fishing on portions of the Columbia River and its tributaries; and
- Cuts to customer service.
These public services were also at risk in the last budget cycle, when state legislators provided enough funding for the department to carry the services forward for one year, according to the press statement. Now, the department is seeking ongoing funds to continue providing these services.
"People really value how this work improves their lives – we know that. We had widespread stakeholder support last year, and we believe we will again this year," Commission Chair Larry Carpenter said in the release. "We want to see all of these items funded not just for another year, but on an ongoing basis."
The commission also approved a request of $6.5 million in new, ongoing funding to address emergent needs. Some of those are directly related to commercial fishing, such as:
- Better monitoring of salmon in Puget Sound, the Nisqually River, and Skagit River to provide fishing opportunities;
- Removing sea lions feeding on Columbia River salmon;
- Meeting existing Columbia River commitments for commercial fishing and salmon recovery objectives;
- Salmon habitat regulatory protections; and
- Minimizing humpback whale entanglement with commercial crab pots.
The bulk of the funding request, $11.4 million, would help the agency address an ongoing structural deficit driven by legislated and unavoidable cost increases, such as the rising costs of wages and centralized state services, according to the Commission.
The commission will consider a second legislative proposal, to modify the department's enforcement civil authority, during its Aug. 23, 2019, meeting.
The commission also adopted rules that will require fishing guides to report their fishing activities on a monthly basis beginning Jan. 1, 2020. Fishing guides will provide WDFW with information such as the date and location of each guided fishing trip, the number of anglers onboard, and the number and type of fish species caught per trip.
Additionally, the commission directed the department to refine its state hatchery and fishery reform policy process timeline. The policy was originally adopted by the commission in 2009. Last year, commissioners called for a scientific review of the policy, which is intended to improve hatchery effectiveness, ensure compatibility between hatchery production and salmon recovery plans, and support sustainable fisheries. The commission directed WDFW staff to come back to the September meeting with a revised schedule that would better accommodate tribal co-manager engagement and public review.
Labeling and Marketing
Press Release: Rider and Heimbigner named directors for Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute
ASMI - August 8, 2019
JUNEAU, Alaska (August 8, 2019) – The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) has named two new directors. Megan Rider is the new domestic marketing director, and Ashley Heimbigner is the new communications director.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; “Other Rockfish” in the Aleutian Islands Subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 08/09/2019
NMFS is prohibiting retention of “other rockfish” in the Aleutian Islands subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary because the 2019 “other rockfish” total allowable catch (TAC) in the Aleutian Islands subarea of the BSAI has been reached.
Salmon Culture Semester incubates young talent
KCAW - August 6, 2019
Angie Bowers join KCAW’s Rich McClear for a discussion about an upcoming program. Bowers is an assistant professor with the fisheries technology program at UAS in Sitka. This fall, she’s running something called the Salmon Culture Semester.
Safety net: What’s missing in mental health for fishermen
National Fisherman by Monique Coombs - August 8, 2019
Depression, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide are not uncommon in any fishing community no matter which coast you are on. It is an isolating, dangerous occupation full of uncertainty and expenses; it costs time, money, and many sacrifices to be a fisherman.
There are numerous mental health resources that exist for farmers and ranchers. A quick Google search of “mental health resources for farmers” offers about 128 million results. Surely, not all these results are relevant, but the first dozen is specific to resources for farmers and include articles about how current stresses in the environment and policy are affecting the mental health of farmers.
Annual group photo calls for salmon advocacy
Homer Tribune - August 8, 2019
The ninth annual Salmonfest aerial group photo took place on Aug. 3 in the rodeo arena of the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds. A central ground design was created with used fabric, then hundreds of festival attendees became part of the design by lying in formation around it?
Registration Open for First-Ever Wild Alaska Pollock Industry Annual Meeting
SeafoodNews.com by Peggy Parker - August 9, 2019
Mark your calendars! The first ever wild Alaska pollock industry-wide annual meeting is now open for registration. “Celebrating our Perfect Protein: Wild Alaska Pollock” is the theme for the event set for Tuesday, October 29th at the World Trade Center Seattle.
The Association of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP) announced the meeting yesterday and described what first-time attendees can expect.
“I think the theme for this first-ever event really says it all,” said Craig Morris, Chief Executive Officer of GAPP. “There has never been a more exciting time for this fish and it’s time that the entire industry came together to celebrate, collaborate and continue to build momentum for our perfect protein in the global marketplace today.”
The event is free to the industry and includes a wide-range of speakers providing updates on the state of the fishery, GAPP initiatives and projects, including the North American Partnership Program, and how overall awareness and demand is being built around the fish domestically and abroad.
The event will kick off at 10:00 a.m. on October 29th with a fishery and market update including an overview of current market conditions to help ground the audience in the opportunities for Wild Alaska Pollock in markets here and abroad.
The comprehensive market update will be followed by an in-depth presentation provided by GAPP public relations agency of record, Ketchum, who will walk attendees through the groundbreaking learnings about how best to market Wild Alaska Pollock—including insights from comprehensive consumer focus groups and stakeholder interviews that are underway this Summer and early Fall.
“I have no doubt that Ketchum will deliver incredibly meaningful insights about how to best build awareness amongst consumers about the benefits of Wild Alaska Pollock,” said Morris. “We are in the field right now doing that research—determining which of WAP’s many attributes we should highlight—and I can’t want to share those findings with our community so that we can all talk about Wild Alaska Pollock in the most effective way and truly make it a household name that consumers will to seek out and enjoy.”
The afternoon will feature presentations on topics ranging from sustainability to consumer trends and marketing. Speakers and more details on those sessions will be announced later, Morris said. The event will be free to the Wild Alaska Pollock community but space is limited, so interested attendees are encouraged to register early in order to secure their spot.
Sponsorship opportunities are available at various levels. For more information, companies may contact Morris directly at Craig.Morris@alaskapollock.org.
“We look forward to bringing the entire Wild Alaska Pollok community together to celebrate our fish and fishery and look towards the future with pride and excitement,” said Morris. “We hope to see you on October 29th—don’t miss it!”
GAPP is dedicated to the marketing of once-frozen pollock products, harvested and processed in Alaska. A non-profit Alaska corporation formed in 2003, GAPP promotes Genuine Alaska Pollock® in major whitefish markets around the world, focusing on seafood buyers and consumers in Europe, North America and Japan. Their website has more information on the benefits of wild pollock from Alaska.
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