New client confirmed for Alaska salmon MSC certificate
SeafoodSource by Madelyn Kearns - October 17, 2019
The Pacific Seafood Processors Association (PSPA) successfully transferred the clientship and Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certificate for Alaska salmon over to the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation (AFDF) as of 1 October.
Crabbers face another round of harvest cuts
Alaska Journal of Commerce by Elizabeth Earl - October 16, 2019
Bering Sea crabbers started their 2019-20 season this week with a mixed harvest bag and an uncertain future for their fisheries.
A fish mystery solved using genetic testing
KTUU by Kristen Durand - October 16, 2019
ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - The population of cod in the Northern Bering Sea has increased immensely since 2010, and scientists are using fish DNA to find out why.
Proposed Roadless Rule Exemption Puts Salmon Habitat in Jeopardy
Fishermen's News - October 16, 2019
The US Forest Service has released its draft Roadless Rule for Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska, with a preferred alternative calling for repeal of the rule for the Tongass.
Forest Service proposes logging in salmon habitat
National Fisherman by Jessica Hathaway - October 17, 2019
More than 9 million acres of Southeast Alaska’s 16.7 million-acre Tongass National Forest could lose clearcutting protections with a proposed repeal of the 2001 Roadless Rule.
A vast heat wave is endangering sea life in the Pacific Ocean. Is this the wave of the future?
The huge expanse of warm water is about six to seven times the size of Alaska.
NBC News by Denise Chow - October 16, 2019
A vast region of unusually warm water has formed in the northeastern Pacific Ocean, and scientists are worried that it could devastate sea life in the area and fuel the formation of harmful algal blooms.
NOAA Fisheries Releases Report to Congress on Recovering Threatened and Endangered Species 2017-2018
SeafoodNews.com by Peggy Parker - October 18, 2019
NOAA Fisheries announced yesterday the release of their report on efforts to recover all transnational and domestic species under their jurisdiction from October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2018.
The report summarizes the status of each species that has or will have a recovery plan, the status of the recovery plan, and the completion date for the last 5-year review.
The report had not been posted on line at press time, but should be available here shortly.
The summary gives the status of each species that has or will have a recovery plan, the status of the recovery plan, and the completion date for the last 5-year review.
NOAA Fisheries strategic approach focuses resources on species for which immediate, targeted efforts are needed to stabilize their populations and prevent extinction.
The report highlights recovery progress for eight of nine species identified in the Species in the Spotlight initiative. They are:
• Atlantic salmon Gulf of Maine distinct population segment (DPS)
• Central California Coast coho salmon evolutionarily significant unit (ESU)
• Cook Inlet beluga whale DPS
• Hawaiian monk seal
• North Atlantic right whale
• Pacific leatherback sea turtle
• Sacramento River winter-run chinook salmon ESU
• Southern resident killer whale DPS
• White abalone
For all nine species, the best available information points to their extinction in the near future due to rapid population decline or habitat destruction. These species need focused intervention to stabilize their population and prevent their extinction. For some, their numbers are so low that they need to be bred in captivity; others are facing human threats that must be addressed to prevent their extinction.
Thse species also conflict with construction, developmental projects, or other forms of economic activity. The agency’s goal is to focus recovery actions and motivate partners and interested citizens to work with us on these actions to turn this situation around.
During the two years covered in this report, the number of listed species under NOAA Fisheries jurisdiction increased 10 percent. A total of 97 domestic species 66 foreign species are managed in the report. Ninety transnational and domestic species for which a recovery plan has or will be developed, including two newly-listed transnational species:
• Giant Manta Ray (Manta birostris), which was listed as threatened on January 22, 2018.
• Oceanic Whitetip Shark (Carcharhinus longimanus), which was listed as threatened on January 30, 2018.
In January 2017, NOAA Fisheries delisted the distinct population segment (DPS) of the canary rockfish. New genetic analysis indicated the population did not meet the segment DPS criteria; thus, the original listing was in error.
Of the 90 listed species for which a recovery plan has or will be developed, 54 had final recovery plans, two had a draft recovery plan, and 25 had plans in development. Nine species recovery plans had not been started. Because there are multispecies plans, as well as multiple plans for one species (for example, sea turtles), the number of plans doesn’t correspond to the number of species.
Of these 90 species, 27 (30%) were stabilized or increasing; 18 (20%) were declining; 9 (10%) were mixed, with their status varying by population location; and 36 (40%) were unknown, sufficient trend data to make a determination was missing.
Recovering threatened and endangered species may require:
• Restoring or preserving habitat.
• Minimizing or offsetting the effects of actions that harm species.
• Enhancing population numbers.
• A combination of the above.
Many of these actions result in healthier ecosystems, cleaner water, and more opportunities for recreation.
Partnerships with a variety of stakeholders -- private citizens, federal, state, and local agencies and tribes, and interested organizations -- are critical to achieving species recovery goals. NOAA programs also directly fund recovery actions, such as the Species Recovery Grants to States Program, the Species Recovery Grants to Tribes Program, and the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund.
Photo: An endangered North Atlantic right whale swims at the surface of the ocean.
Photo Credit: NOAA Fisheries
Cod or Haddock? UMass Amherst Taste Test Looks at ‘Name Bias’ and Fisheries Sustainability
SeafoodNews.com by Susan Chambers - October 18, 2019
Could you taste the difference between cod and other whitefish, such as haddock or hake, if you didn’t know what you were eating? The answer may have implications for supporting local fisheries and food sustainability in New England, says UMass Amherst environmental conservation graduate student Amanda Davis.
A research fellow at the UMass Amherst-based Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center, Davis is exploring the reactions of UMass Amherst students and staff born between 1980 and 2000, in a scientific sensory evaluation of five different whitefish species sourced straight from the Boston Fish Pier: cod, dogfish, haddock, hake and pollock.
The study, funded by a seed grant from the UMass Amherst Institute for Social Science Research, is designed to explore “name bias” in seafood choices. Davis will present results in January at the winter science meeting of the American Fisheries Society’s Southern New England Chapter in Cambridge.
The whitefish study grew out of Davis’s interest in promoting local, sustainable seafood in New England. She is director of Our Wicked Fish, a newly founded, Deerfield-based nonprofit that strives to revitalize New England’s fishing industry by educating consumers and connecting them with local seafood options.
It might come as a surprise, Davis noted in a press release, that despite the storied tradition of New England’s fisheries – Cape Cod was named after the once-abundant fish, after all – most seafood offered in the Northeast U.S. today is imported.
“We want to change that,” Davis said in the statement. “How can we get consumers interested in eating whitefish other than cod? Hake, pollock and haddock taste as good and are not as expensive.”
After decades of overfishing, the Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) population is being managed by NOAA Fisheries under a long-term sustainability plan that limits harvest, which affects price and the commercial fishing industry.
Davis hopes the study, a multidisciplinary collaboration among the School of Earth and Sustainability, the department of food science and UMass Dining, might show the UMass Amherst campus and beyond that it’s worth trying other whitefish, which in turn could increase the demand for these locally sourced fish at UMass Dining locations.
The study was conducted last week at the Hampshire Dining Commons, where assistant food manager and certified chef Geoffrey McDonald painstakingly prepared one-ounce portions of each fish, seasoned only with the same amount of salt. He steamed eight fillets per pan at the same temperature for the same period of time.
“I’ve always been interested in food science, and the sustainability efforts for seafood are very important,” McDonald said in the release. “I’m interested to see the results, especially for dogfish, because it’s still considered unusual but can be very tasty.”
The first session was blinded – the 68 participants did not know the identity of the fish they were tasting. On an iPad, they rated the fillets’ appearance, color, aroma, flavor and texture, and were asked if they would order the fish at a restaurant and at UMass.
“I like that students got to taste different fish and not have to worry about the price or the name,” Davis said.
Two days later, the participants returned to Hampshire Dining Commons to taste and rate the same five fish – but this time, each fillet was identified. Davis will be able to compare the results from the two taste tests to measure whether any name bias exists.
The project illustrates the multidisciplinary collaboration typical of UMass Amherst sustainability efforts. Ezra Markowitz, associate professor of environmental conservation, helped create a survey that all participants completed before the first sensory evaluation session. It gathered information about each participant’s seafood consumption behavior and evaluated their level of trust in different providers of seafood sustainability information, such as eco-labels, government agencies and scientists.
In addition to support from Michelle Staudinger, science coordinator for the Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center, Davis also partnered with food science assistant and sensory expert professor Alissa Nolden, whose lab students helped serve the tasters and maintain the electronic data. UMass Dining sustainability director Kathy Wicks coordinated efforts to carry out the taste tests, a completely sustainable undertaking that created zero waste.
Photo: Certified chef and assistant food manager Geoffrey McDonald, left, prepares the whitefish for steaming with help from study lead researcher Amanda Davis. Credit: University of Massachusetts Amherst
Seafood Does Make You Smart: New Study Links Consumption to Higher IQ in Children
SeafoodNews.com by Peggy Parker - October 17, 2019
A systematic review of 44 different scientific studies since 2000, done by a group of 13 leading dietary fats scientists, found that children whose mothers ate seafood during pregnancy gained an average 7.7 IQ points compared to children of mothers who did not eat seafood.
The study “Relationships between seafood consumption during pregnancy and childhood and neurocognitive development: two systematic reviews” was released earlier this week in PLEFA, a journal on prostaglandins, leukotrienes, and essential fatty acids.
“Abundant data are now available to evaluate relationships between seafood consumption in pregnancy and childhood and neurocognitive development,” the study authors wrote.
“There is a lost opportunity for IQ when mothers are not eating enough seafood,” the paper’s lead author, Capt. Joseph Hibbeln, MD, Acting Chief, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, said at the State of the Science Symposium.
The 13 scientists formed a technical expert collaborative to address two questions posed by the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), and utilized the USDA’s Nutrition Evidence Systematic Review to evaluate the science following the DGAC prescribed review process.
Highlights from the paper, which evaluates studies on 102,944 mother-offspring pairs and 25,031 children, includes:
• Twenty-four studies reported that seafood consumption among mothers was associated with beneficial outcomes to neurocognition on some or all of the tests administered to their children. The beneficial outcomes appeared on tests administered as early as three days of age and as late as 17 years in age.
• This scientific review shows children gain an average of 7.7 full IQ points when their moms ate seafood during pregnancy compared to moms that did not eat seafood. The size of benefits for IQ ranged from 5.6 to 9.5 points.
• In addition to IQ, measures of neurocognitive outcomes included verbal, visual and motor skill development, scholastic achievement, and four specifically looked at hyperactivity and ADHD diagnoses. One finding showed that children of mothers not eating oily seafood had nearly three times greater risks of hyperactivity.
• Benefits to neurocognitive development began at the lowest amounts of seafood consumed in pregnancy (one serving or about 4 oz per week) and some studies looked at greater than 100 oz. per week. No adverse effects of seafood consumption were found for neurocognition in any of the 44 publications, indicating that there may be no upper limit to seafood’s benefits for brain development.
• Seafood contains protein, vitamins B-6, B-12 and D, and omega-3 fatty acids that as a whole package contributes to these important outcomes. This systematic review looks at seafood as opposed to any single nutrient.
“The risk is not eating enough seafood -- the benefits are so substantial for the development of baby brains, eyes and overall nervous system,” said J. Thomas Brenna, PhD, an author of the paper and a member of the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.
These findings are consistent with a technical report from the American Academy of Pediatrics earlier this year that emphasized the importance of fish and called attention to the fact that U.S. children are not eating enough seafood. Health Canada, the European Food Safety Authority, and World Health Organization have all stated the importance of seafood for brain development.
The authors of the paper, or the technical expert collaborative who conducted the systematic review, include: Capt. Joseph Hibbeln, MD; Philip Spiller, JD; J. Thomas Brenna, PhD; Jean Golding, PhD; Bruce Holub, PhD; William Harris, PhD; Penny Kris-Etherton, PhD, RDN; Bill Lands, PhD; Sonja Connor, MS, RDN, LD; Gary Myers, MD; J.J. Strain, PhD; Michael A Crawford, PhD; and Susan Carlson, PhD. None of the scientists were paid to conduct this review, all were voluntary, and do not have a conflict of interest.
An additional paper, “An abundance of seafood consumption studies presents new opportunities to evaluate effects on neurocognitive development,” published in PLEFA includes more background on the systematic review paper.
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