Norton Sound commercial crab fishery opens Feb. 29
Cordova Times by Margaret Bauman - March 5, 2020
A winter commercial crab fishery opens in Norton Sound on Saturday, Feb. 29, with harvesters required to set their pots through the ice and find their own markets, now that the usually largest buyer in Nome has opted out of purchasing their crab in 2020.
GAPP Report: U.S. Consumers Ate More Wild Alaska Pollock in 2019
SeafoodNews.com by Peggy Parker - March 5, 2020
SEATTLE, WA— A new report of U.S. markets conducted by the Association of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP) says Americans are eating more pollock, and more of it is domestically caught and produced Wild Alaska Pollock.
The new analysis reports that the domestic wild Alaska pollock market in 2019 showed significantly better consumption figures than in recent years. In fact, GAPP CEO Craig Morris describes the market as “recovered from several years of decline, with American consumers valuing the domestically caught and produced Wild Alaska Pollock over foreign imports.”
GAPP’s report shows that collectively, this record domestic demand coupled with increased imports have caused U.S. per capita consumption of Pollock (both domestic Wild Alaska Pollock and imported Pollock) to jump by 38 percent to 0.988 lbs./person in 2019, a level not seen since 2016.
“Simply put, in one year’s time the industry has erased the entire decline in U.S. Wild Alaska Pollock fillet consumption it experienced from 2012 to 2018,” said Morris.
“Clearly, the investment the industry has made to build awareness and a common brand around Wild Alaska Pollock in the U.S. market is paying significant dividends.”
The GAPP report looked at production, exports, imports, and consumption data from last year, comparing it to a time series of data going back to 2006.
Their report points out that while total pollock consumption grew, the increase in consumption of domestically produced Wild Alaska Pollock was significantly higher. Morris reports that of all pollock consumed by Americans, 59 percent is U.S. caught and produced Wild Alaska Pollock. This is an all-time record, compared to all data collected since 2006, according to the GAPP press release.
The report points to an increase in domestically produced pollock fillets (195,000 mt total, an increase of 15,000 mt from 2018) and a decrease in exports as being part of reason for the increase.
“I think this news further reflects the industry’s commitment to partnering with our downstream customers to invest in innovation and put Wild Alaska Pollock in front of more consumers in more ways every single day,” said Morris. “Now is the time to double-down and work to make Wild Alaska Pollock a household name in our own backyard.”
Wild Alaska Pollock became a household name in the Pacific Northwest recently as dozens of Seattle’s most popular restaurants featured wild Alaska pollock on their menus. Social media was filled with samplings of pollock dishes ordered for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and appetizers throughout the first week of Lent, as part of the week-long campaign.
In the next year, GAPP put their recently released toolkits to work increasing consumer’s familiarity with the fish and will continue its North American Partnership Program to increase all product forms in new channel markets or associated with influencers.
GAPP’s report also shows a growing interest in surimi seafood domesticallu, showing a higher percentage of U.S. produced surimi remaining in U.S. markets. Overall U.S. consumption of surimi increased by almost 4,000 mt even while U.S. production decreased by 7,000 mt, according to GAPP.
The GAPP report goes beyond the recently released Fisheries of the United States 2018 annual report from NOAA Fisheries in terms of level of detail and, of course, more current data.
The GAPP Board of Directors meet on March 26, when they are expected to approve the full strategic plan.
Russia Pollock Fishing Season May Become the Most Unprofitable in Last 25 Years Due to Coronavirus
SeafoodNews.com by Eugene Gerden - March 6, 2020
The pollock fishing season in Russia this year may become the most unprofitable in the last 25 years due to the ongoing spread of the coronavirus and its consequences on the domestic fish sector, according to recent statements made by some leading Russian fish producers and industry analysts.
In recent weeks, Russian fisherman have faced serious difficulties during the delivering of their fish to Chinese ports, since the work of the majority of fish processing plants in this country has been suspended due to the spread of the coronavirus.
This has been also confirmed by Alexander Savelyev, an official spokesman of the Russian Rosrybolovstvo in an interview to some Russian and foreign media.
Alexander Savelyev comments: "Transport vessels, delivering herring and pollock from Russia to export markets currently stay idle, as refrigeration facilities on the Chinese coast do not accommodate Russian fish. If fish processing plants do not resume production in the coming days, a significant part of long contracts may be terminated."
According to Savelyev, as of now the price for headed pollock already fell to US$1.400 and the downward trend continues. Last year, the average price was US$1.460- $1.500 per ton and even US$1,700.
Savelyev also added that at present there are more than 100 vessels involved in the conduction of pollock catch in the Sea of Okhotsk, while their catch during the season "A" (January-April) is usually varied in the range of 850,000-900,000 tonnes.
The spread of the Chinese coronavirus also led to the shortage of refrigeration capacities in the Russian city of Vladivostok.
The situation is also complicated by the fact that shipments to the domestic Russian market are also limited, as traders in Russia have already purchased lots of pollock and herring.
Savelyev also said that it was not only Russian fishing companies that faced problems associated with a reduction in demand from China. Chilean salmon producers and fisherman from other countries who supply their products to the Chinese market have also faced similar difficulties.
Labeling and Marketing
FOR RELEASE: ASMI Releases “Strong at Sea” Collection
Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute by Ashley Heimbigner - March 4, 2020
Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute will celebrate Women’s History Month (March) and International Women’s Day (March 6) by releasing the “Strong At Sea” collection. “Strong At Sea” is a set of photographs, audio interviews and video graphics that investigate and celebrate the hard-working women of Alaska’s commercial fishing fleet.
Fishing Capacity Reduction Program for the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands American Fisheries Act Pollock
A Notice by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 03/05/2020
NMFS issues this notice to inform interested parties that the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) American Fisheries Act (AFA) Pollock loan in the fishing capacity reduction program for the inshore component of the BSAI Pollock Fishery has been repaid. Therefore, buyback fee collections on AFA Pollock will cease for all landings after February 29, 2020.
North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
A Notice by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 03/06/2020
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and its advisory committees will meet in Anchorage, AK.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Alaska Pacific Halibut Fisheries: Subsistence
A Notice by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 03/06/2020
The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.
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