Alaska Fisheries Report — Feb. 6, 2020
KMXT by Maggie Wall - February 7, 2020
The Alaska Legislature is in session and working on the budget. Fisheries programs across the state are on the chopping block—this after last year’s major cuts to the commercial fisheries division.
After 3-Week Stand Down Over Bycatch, Cod Trawl Fleet Set To Resume Fishing Sunday
KUCB by Hope McKenney - February 6, 2020
After standing down for the last three weeks, the Bering Sea cod trawl fleet is set to resume fishing this Sunday.
North Pacific Fishery Management Council: February 2020 Newsletter
North Pacific Fishery Management Council - February 2020
Thank you, Seattle, New Terry Quinn II Distinguished Scientist Award to Dr. Gordon Kruse, Council Changes, Charter Halibut Management Measures for Area 3A, Norton Sound Red King Crab, CGOA Rockfish Reauthorization...
Exploring Women’s Engagement in 30 Years of Alaska Fisheries
NOAA Fisheries - February 6, 2020
A new look at historical data through the lens of gender illuminates the dynamic role women play in Alaska’s commercial fisheries. Women play an integral, multifaceted—and until now, largely invisible—role in Alaska fisheries. The first comprehensive study of women’s participation, incorporating gender into 30 years of existing data, shows women participate in Alaska fisheries differently than men.
Northern Lights: The national seafood nexus
National Fisherman by Garrett Evridge - February 5, 2020
For more than 30 years, Alaska has been the nation’s largest producer of seafood by volume and value. This status continues into a fourth decade, detailed in a recently published report commissioned by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. Focused on the 2017-18 period, the report describes the broad economic impact of the state’s seafood industry on a regional, statewide and national level, in addition to details about global competition, tax revenue generated by the industry, and other special topics.
Coronavirus Outbreak Brings Many Challenges to the Seafood Industry, But There are Some Survivors
SeafoodNews.com by Amy Zhong - February 7, 2020
With the catastrophic coronavirus outbreak, China’s previously hustling seafood market has been trapped in depression during this Chinese New Year. This disaster not only influences the country’s imported seafood, but also domestic ones. Industry participants who used to sell out of fresh seafood at high prices in a blink of an eye are faced with large quantities left in stock. The country’s overall seafood sales is estimated to drop by about 2/3 compared with the previous festival.
According to a rock lobster association in Australia, shortly before the outbreak, prices of lobsters exported to China were on the rise and once even set a new record, A$105 per kilo, owing to the coming shopping carnival. However, the export has been halted, and local fishermen have stopped fishing temporarily due to the loss of the market.
Meanwhile, Canada’s lobster suppliers have also run into great difficulties. Initially they felt worried about the prospect in China due to a new agreement between the U.S. and China. However, before they could come up with solutions, the virus hit the large market. Sales to China plummeted to zero in just a few days. With great reduction in businesses of Chinese restaurants, the demand has also dived for imported and elite seafood.
The country’s domestic seafood industry is faced with greater challenges compared with those foreign ones that can flood into other markets and sell out seafood at lower prices. Some farmers in China have entered into a despair stage due to extremely low prices and demand. Some sellers have no choice but to see fresh seafood rotting with no buyer at the door, while others have to freeze unsellable seafood, hoping that this will lower their losses.
For example, farm gate prices of white shrimp have dropped to about 10 yuan/jin (1 jin=0.5 kilo) to 12 yuan/jin in places like the Pearl River Delta region. Farmers are struggling and not sure if they should continue feeding. But even at such low prices, there have been very limited number of traders driving to buy shrimp. Some traders said that due to low demand, his loss ranges between 0.07 million yuan to 0.08 million yuan per truck.
With the coming of the festival, seafood importers, distributors and retailers purchased large quantities in preparation for great demand. But due to the coronavirus, there is very little demand for fresh seafood, and many restaurants have canceled orders they placed earlier. The cancellation rate of fresh imported salmon, for example, is about 80% to 90% for some sellers. A few importers and distributors have chosen to freeze or smoke fresh seafood.
The situation is also harsh for retailers. In Beijing there are few buyers, even with great discounts, and sellers have to sell to supermarkets at very low prices. In Guangzhou, some are said to be on the verge of bankruptcy, while others are also suffering great losses. In Huangsha, one of the city’s main seafood markets, about 90% of stores have closed down or have seen great losses during this previously peak season.
Some Shenzhen farmers markets has closed down for now, and an operating market said that their businesses has plummeted to only about 10%. Out of fear, customers mostly stay at home, so Hainan sellers provide delivery service. But they are still selling at a loss because main buyers, like restaurants, have mostly stayed closed. In some cities like Xi’an, stores have even been required to stay closed for some time.
The whole market seems gloomy, and farmers and businessmen are mourning for their wasted money and efforts. Losses are said to even reach as high as millions of yuan for some sellers. However, there are some survivors in this harsh winter, and a few have even witnessed an increase in seafood sales during this holiday.
Take shrimp sales for example. Price contraction is limited in some regions such as Fujian (2 to 3 yuan/jin) and Rudong (4 to 5 yuan/jin). There is even some increase in Shandong. Moreover, the situation is much better for frozen seafood sold in supermarkets, and they are even in short supply in some. Some consumers in China choose to buy large quantities of food in supermarkets so that they can stay at home as much as possible.
According to some seafood suppliers, supermarkets have stopped buying live and fresh seafood, but have ordered more frozen. Some others said that although they have also received orders for frozen seafood and their warehouses are also stocked with such seafood, they are not able to meet orders from supermarkets because their staff in charge of warehousing and delivery are still on leave due to the coronavirus.
Challenged by such harsh situations, China’s seafood industry has been under great pressure, and its frustrated participants are looking for ways to cut losses as much as possible. Some find none and can only hope for a better tomorrow, while some choose to slash prices by half or even more. And there are still others who process fresh seafood and waitfor market rebound. Meanwhile, foreign seafood industries are also affected by the disaster. It is a common hope among most that the market will recover as soon as possible.
DNA tests show commercial halibut catch 90% female, influencing catch limits being set this week
KTUU by Grant Robinson - February 5, 2020
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - For the first time in its 96 year history, the International Pacific Halibut Commission will be setting catch limits for halibut this week with the knowledge that the commercial fleet’s catch has been around 90 percent female, a notably higher proportion than previously thought.
Coast Guard Appreciation Dinner on Friday
KMXT by Kavitha George - February 6, 2020
The Chamber of Commerce is hosting its annual Coast Guard Appreciation dinner on Friday evening. The Chamber’s executive director Sarah Phillips says its a way to applaud Coast Guard personnel for their service to Kodiak.
Alaska’s Statewide King, Tanner Crab Fisheries Meeting Set for March 8–11
Fishermen's News - February 5, 2020
Alaska’s Board of Fisheries will meet in Anchorage, Alaska, March 8–11, to discuss statewide king and tanner crab issues. The board will only address Tanner crab for Southeast and Yakutat, and Prince William Sound areas.
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