Herring spawn kicks off in Sitka Sound
KCAW - March 26, 2020
On Wednesday (3-25-20), the Alaska Department of Fish And Game observed the first spawn of the season- around 5 miles of spawn down Shoals Point, past St. Lazaria Island, and a quarter-mile stretch of spawn on the east side of Big Gavanski Island.
Fish Factor: Halibut fishermen face flattened market, fire sale prices
Cordova Times by Laine Welch - March 29, 2020
The Pacific halibut fishery opened on March 14 amid little fanfare and flattened markets.
The first fish of the eight-month season typically attracts the highest prices and is rushed fresh to high-end buyers, especially during the Lenten season. But that’s not the case in this time of coronavirus chaos, when air traffic is stalled, and seafood of all kinds is getting backlogged in global freezers.
Alaskan Pollock Production Continues As Usual Despite The Coronavirus Response
Forbes by Margot Wilsterman - March 27, 2020
While many in the fishing industry are struggling to sell their catch, one of America’s favorite fish, the Alaskan Pollock, continues to be in high demand. Why? Because the species is used to make many frozen items that show up in grocery stores across the country, such as frozen fish sticks and breaded fish fillets.
Alaska set to receive $1.25 billion from federal coronavirus relief package
KTUU by Sean Maguire - March 26, 2020
ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - The State of Alaska is set to receive a minimum of $1.25 billion in federal aid from a multitrillion-dollar coronavirus relief package.
Republican Alaska Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan said by teleconference that the bill originally didn’t have a minimum payment for states, meaning small-population states like Alaska could miss out. “That didn’t work for us,” Murkowski said.
Who Is, And Isn't, Affected By Unalaska's 'Hunker Down' Order?
KCUB by Caroline Lester & Hope McKenney - March 27, 2020
The City of Unalaska passed a "hunker down" order that took effect at 12:01 Wednesday morning. The order reads that all non-critical businesses must close, and that Unalaskans should stay at home as much as possible due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
Scientists score salmon bonanza on Pacific expedition
Times Colonist by Carla Wilson - March 27, 2020
An international scientific expedition is trawling far offshore for Pacific salmon even though some researchers chose to leave the ship as worries escalated about the coronavirus.
Labeling and Marketing
Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute: Marketing Update
ASMI - March 2020
Information for Alaska’s Seafood Industry on COVID-19
The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute is here to support our industry i n the uncertain and ever-changing Coronavirus (COVID-19) landscape. ASMI assembled a web page with resources from public health and industry experts regarding food safety and Alaska seafood for use as a basis for communication with external stakeholders. ASMI also published talking points from the National Fisheries Institute, and prepared this PDF document as an informational resource for Alaska’s seafood industry.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pollock in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands
A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 03/26/2020
NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amounts of the Community Development Quota (CDQ) pollock directed fishing allowance (DFA) from the Aleutian Islands subarea to the Bering Sea subarea. This action is necessary to provide opportunity for harvest of the 2020 total allowable catch of pollock, consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI).
SeaShare Ramps Up Seafood Donations at Food Banks
Seafood News by Laine Welch - March 26, 2020
This is Alaska Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – More seafood donations head to needy Alaskans and Americans. More after this –
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The Alaska Marine Safety Education Association is offering Marine Safety Instructor Training in Seward, April 20 to 25. Learn more at amsea.org.
Eighteen truckloads of over half a million pounds of donated breaded pollock portions went to 16 food banks in 12 states two weeks ago, and more seafood is on its way.
“Our donors are so generous and really want to help right now. Everybody’s calling asking how can we help. It’s rewarding to be in this business right now.”
Jim Harmon is director of SeaShare, a nonprofit that works with fishermen, processors, logistics and distribution partners to provide top quality seafood to Feeding America, a network of 200 large food banks in every state that services up to 500 smaller agencies.
“Then we did a press release and it’s actually grown to the point that another company, Gorton’s Seafood, has come up with 120,000 pounds at various cold storages around the country.”
SeaShare dates back to the early 1990s when Bering Sea industry members banded together to turn mandatory discards of groundfish, or bycatch, into frozen portions for food banks.
“We’ve been doing it for 25 years and grown to the point where bycatch represents only about 10% of our total donations.”
Donations have broadened to include a wide variety of species, such as salmon, shrimp, rockfish, halibut, catfish, and tilapia. Most are frozen, Harmon says, although canned and other shelf stable items also are included.
SeaShare also distributes seafood in Alaska where industry donations put freezers in hub centers like Bethel, Dillingham and Juneau. The fish is then sent to over 30 remote communities. Shipments have recently been sent to Kodiak and Dillingham and one will soon be on its way to Juneau.
Harmon says during the coronavirus crisis, the less fortunate are especially at risk and SeaShare is getting requests from all over the world.
Anyone with products available in any quantity as a donation or at a low cost is encouraged to contact SeaShare.
“We’re asking everyone we know to pull on the oar with us. And getting the message out about 18 truckloads that we did a couple weeks ago and the 120,000 pounds from Gorton’s, I’m hoping that will resonate with others and get people thinking about how they can get on board.”
Financial support also is needed. A donation of just one dollar provides eight servings of seafood.
Find out how you can help at www.seashare.org – and find links at www.alaskafishradio.com and on Facebook and Twitter.
Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, an Alaska corporation proudly supporting Alaska’s coastal communities and the Alaskans who depend on fishing for their livelihoods and culture. www.oceanbeauty.com In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.
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