Trawl Survey Results Show Northern Bering Sea In Flux
KNOM by Davis Hovey - November 13, 2019
Norton Sound Red King Crab are moving, Arctic cod numbers have dropped significantly, and Pacific cod are continuing to increase as the Northern Bering Sea ecosystem undergoes drastic change. That’s all according to preliminary results from NOAA Fisheries’ trawl survey this summer in the Northern Bering Sea (NBS).
Adak Seeks Exclusive Registration Area for P-cod Fishery
Fishermen's News - November 13, 2019
A proposal to make the Aleutian Islands subdistrict an exclusive registration area for Pacific cod during the state waters season is slated for consideration when the Alaska Board of Fisheries meets in Seward Dec. 10-13.
FISH FACTOR: Overall salmon value jumps in 2019; Kodiak gets Tanner fishery
Alaska Journal of Commerce by Laine Welch - November 13, 2019
Alaska’s 2019 salmon season was worth $657.6 million to fishermen, a 10 percent increase from the 2018 fishery. Sockeye salmon accounted for nearly 64 percent of the total value, topping $421 million, and 27 percent of the harvest at 55.2 million fish.
Cantwell Language to Improve Legislation Getting Fisheries Disaster Aid to Fleets Passes Committee
SeafoodNews.com by Peggy Parker - November 15, 2019
Washington, D.C. -- Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) is determined to improve the process through which the nation’s fishing fleets survive fisheries disasters. Earlier this week, her provisions to reform the process passed the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Cantwell is a ranking member of the committeee.
In September, Cantwell highlighted issues with the current process, including small business charter fishermen being excluded from the 2016 Coho fisheries disaster, an event that cost Washington State an estimated $100 million.
Cantwell’s provisions would expand and protect Tribal eligibility for fisheries disaster assistance and require charter fishermen to be included in economic relief.
“This legislation will help improve the federal fisheries disaster management program that impacted fishermen in coastal communities so that they will get financial relief faster,” Cantwell said. “As we all know, fisheries issues impact lots of different aspects of our community. But certainly the commercial and recreational fishermen deserve to be compensated as well, and with communities on our Pacific Coast that are very dependent on charter activities, I want to make sure, in the case of a disaster, that they too can apply and receive funding.
“The Coho disaster impacted Tribes, commercial fisherman, charter and recreational fisherman… but not all groups received adequate funding from NOAA,” Cantwell said at the September hearing. “In a shift from previous policy, the administration determined that the charter fishermen should not be included in the economic determination. Thus, I believe Washington did not receive adequate funding for this disaster.”
Cantwell is no stranger to the issues facing West Coast and Alaska fishing fleets. In 2015, she introduced bipartisan legislation to create a national ocean acidification monitoring strategy to prioritize investments in ocean acidification sensors to areas that need it most. In 2018, she worked with colleagues in the House and Senate to secure $200 million in federal funding to help communities with declared fisheries disasters. She has also fought to protect Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed from harmful mining and opposed drilling off the coasts of Washington and Oregon.
Russian Fish Producers to Raise Prices to Offset Growing Fuel, Tax Costs
SeafoodNews.com by Eugene Gerden - November 8, 2019
Leading Russian fish and seafood producers have announced their plans for a significant increase of prices for their product ranges, due to the growth of production costs and the additional pressure from the state, according to recent statements by fishermen and analysts.
The forthcoming introduction of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships will result in the increase of fuel prices in Russia by at least 20%, they said. In addition, tax levies for the catch of fish and seafood in Russia will also increase at the beginning of next year, as part of the latest initiative implemented by the Russian Ministry of Finance.
As fisherman said, all these factors will lead to the increase of financial burden on the industry by additional RUB 20 billion–25 billion (USD $300 million-$350 million) and will force them to increase prices for their products in order to compensate losses.
Fuel prices have already started climbing upward with the biggest increase observed in the Russian Northern Fisheries Basin, they added.
Producers calculated the growth fuel prices will lead to an increase of their total costs by at least 6 to 7%. At the same time, the increase of taxes will result in the decline of their profitability to minimum values last seen at the beginning of 2000s.
So far, the Russian Association of Fish Producers has already sent an official petition to Ilya Shestakov, head of Rosrybolovstvo, asking to the government check the current situation and prevent the beginning of the crisis in the industry and the rise in prices.
Experts of the Association, however, also believe the growth in prices is inevitable, as fishermen will have to switch to a fuel of higher quality that is sold at higher prices.
Russian Fishery Company (RRPK) General Director Fedor Kirsanov said in an interview to Russian media that the problem really exists. According to Kirsanov and other fisheries experts, fuel accounts for more than 35% of costs for on-board pollock production and processing. That cost will grow up to 45%, starting Jan., 1 2020.
As for the additional tax burden, fishermen calculate it could vary between RUB 46 billion to 90 billion (USD $718 million to $1.4 billion) per year.
Commentary: It would be unwise to allow oil, gas exploration in Gulf of Alaska
An open letter from Eyak Preservation Council urging the state to consider ecological, financial and cultural impact of license application
Cordova Times by Carol Hoover - November 11, 2019
Eyak Preservation Council opposes the Preliminary Best Interest Finding for oil and gas exploration in Katalla and Controller Bay. We request that you deny Cassandra Energy Corporation’s request for an exploration license.
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