Fisheries board reduces Kodiak’s allocation
Cordova Times - January 26, 2020
New limits on salmon harvests for the Kodiak area have been approved by the Alaska Board of Fisheries to allow increased harvests in other areas.
With one board member absent and one recused, the vote during the Kodiak meeting of the fisheries board on Jan. 15 was 4-1 in favor of passage of proposals 60 and 64.
Alaska Fisheries Report — Jan. 23, 2020
KMXT by Maggie Wall - January 24, 2020
The Alaska Board of Fisheries dealt a double blow to Kodiak salmon fishermen. Fishing was limited in two of Kodiak’s traditional fishing areas in the hope of increasing fishing opportunities in Chignik and Cook Inlet.
East Coast Fishery
Maryland GOP governor wants more visas for foreign workers
Infosurhoy by Denis Bedoya - January 26, 2020
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Maryland’s Republican governor on Tuesday urged federal officials to allow more H-2B visas for foreign workers to help the state’s $355 million seafood industry and seasonal employers.
Study: Coastal Ocean Acidification Already Affecting Dungeness Crab Larvae
SeafoodNews.com by Susan Chambers - January 27, 2020
The future of the West Coast's most valuable fishery -- Dungeness crab -- may be at risk due to ocean acidification, according to recent NOAA research.
A new NOAA-funded study documented how acidification is affecting the shells and sensory organs of some young Dungeness crab. Analysis of samples collected during a 2016 NOAA research cruise identified examples of damage to the carapace, or upper shell, of numerous larval Dungeness crabs, as well as the loss of hair-like sensory structures crabs use to orient themselves to their surroundings.
The study was published recently in the journal Science of the Total Environment.
Impacts to wild crab mirror results of laboratory study
Prior to this study, scientists thought Dungeness crab were not vulnerable to current levels of ocean acidification, although a laboratory study conducted on Dungeness crab larvae by NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center in 2016 found their development and survival suffered under pH levels expected in the future.
“This is the first study that demonstrates that larval crabs are already affected by ocean acidification in the natural environment, and builds on previous understanding of ocean acidification impacts on pteropods,” lead author Nina Bednarsek, senior scientist with the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, said in a press release. “If the crabs are affected already, we really need to make sure we start to pay much more attention to various components of the food chain before it is too late.”
Ocean acidification refers to a reduction in the pH of ocean water, primarily caused by the uptake of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere over long time spans. When CO2 is absorbed by seawater, a series of chemical reactions occur resulting in the increased concentration of hydrogen ions. This increase causes the seawater to increase its acidity and causes carbonate ions to be less abundant.
Close examination reveals patterns of damage
In this study, examination under a high-magnification, scanning electron microscope revealed the corrosive conditions of coastal waters affected portions of the fragile, still-developing external shell and legs of the tiny, almost translucent post-larval Dungeness crabs, leaving tell-tale features, such as abnormal ridging structures and scarred surfaces. This could, in turn, impair larval survival by altering swimming behaviors and competence, including the ability to regulate buoyancy, maintain vertical position and avoid predators, the authors said in the statement.
One of the more important findings of this study was that crabs showing signs of carapace dissolution were smaller than other larvae. This was disconcerting, scientists said, because the damage during the crab’s larval stages could cause potential developmental delays that could increase energy demands and interfere with maturation.
Sensory organ damage seen for the first time
In a surprising discovery, the team found the low pH water in some coastal areas damaged the canals where hair-like bristles called mechanoreceptors stick out from the shell. These receptors transmit important chemical and mechanical sensations to the crab, and may help crabs navigate their environment. Examination showed that carapace dissolution destabilizes the attachment of the mechanoreceptor anchor, resulting in them falling out in some individuals.
This is a new aspect of crustacean sensitivity to ocean acidification that has not been previously reported. The team hypothesize that the absence or damage of mechanoreceptors within their neuritic canals may in part explain potential aberrant behavioral patterns, such as slower movement, less tactile recognition, and prolonged searching time, as well as impaired swimming, that have been observed in various crustacean species exposed to low pH conditions in laboratory settings.
“We found dissolution impacts to the crab larvae that were not expected to occur until much later in this century,” Richard Feely, Senior Scientist with NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory and one of the co-authors of the study, said in the press release.
Combining observations and modelling work, the research team, which included scientists from JISAO, NOAA’s cooperative institute at the University of Washington, from the University of Connecticut, and from Quebec, Britain and Slovenia, demonstrated that the impacts of dissolution were the most severe in the coastal habitats, where crabs grow and mature.
Previous research has indicated that Dungeness crab may also be vulnerable to future declines due to lack of availability of prey – including bivalves such as clams and other bottom-dwelling invertebrate species.
More research needed
Bednarsek emphasized that more research will be needed to determine whether the external dissolution seen in crabs at this early life stage could carry over into later life stages, including the reproductively active adult stage, and what the potential consequences may be for the population dynamics.
“If these larval crab need to divert energy to repair their exoskeletons, and are smaller as a result, the percentage that make it to adulthood will be at best variable, and likely go down in the long-term,” she said in the release.
Ocean acidification is a major concern for West Coast fishery managers, said Rich Childers, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s ocean acidification policy lead. “These data and results give state and tribal fishery managers and policy makers information that's vital for harvest and conservation planning," he noted in the release.
California, Oregon and Washington all are also studying the issue and working to develop policies and management tools to try to deal with ocean acidification and its effect on marine resources. Some state reports have shown that even if measures are taken now to prevent worsening ocean acidification, the situation will still get worse in coming years before it gets better.
The research was supported by the NOAA's Ocean Acidification Program and NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory.
Image: This infographic shows the location of larval Dungeness crab sampling in 2016, examples of impacts from ocean acidification, as well as photos of a larval (left) and adult (right) crab. Credit: Nina Bednarsek, SSCWRP.
Labeling and Marketing
3MMI - 2020 Forecast & Predictions - Atlantic & Pacific Cod, Pollock; Flounder Tariff Clarification
TradexFoods - January 27, 2020
--- As we enter the new decade, the seafood market has hit it's annual winter-peak in pricing before new inventory comes in. Kicking things off with both Cod markets and our prediction is that raw materials prices for Pacific and Atlantic Cod will continue to rise. Alaska Pollock had a steady year harvesting over 1.5 million metric tonnes again and preliminary catch totals for Russia Pollock are for just over 1.5 millions metric tonnes as well.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pacific Cod in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area
A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 01/27/2020
NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amount of Pacific cod from vessels using jig gear to catcher vessels less than 60 feet (18.3 meters) length overall using hook-and-line or pot gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area. This action is necessary to allow the A season apportionment of the 2020 total allowable catch of Pacific cod to be harvested.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in Statistical Area 610 in the Gulf of Alaska
A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 01/27/2020
NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 610 in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season allowance of the 2020 total allowable catch of pollock for Statistical Area 610 in the GOA.
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