No plans to close Bristol Bay commercial salmon fishery over COVID-19
KTVA by Joe Vigil - April 17, 2020
Alaska Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Doug Vincent-Lang says it would be premature at this time to decide to close the Bristol Bay commercial salmon fishery, since there are a couple months before it even gets going. However, he says the state is keeping a close eye on things, including the Copper River salmon fishery.
CDFU: Everything will take longer this year
Cordova Times by Margaret Bauman - April 17, 2020
Cordova District Fishermen United is pulling out all stops to make sure everyone involved in the 2020 Copper River salmon opener in mid-May knows it is not going to be business as usual and that city and state mandates in place must be adhered to.
Update of Alaska COVID-19 Spread and the Fishing Season
SeafoodNews.com by Peggy Parker - April 17, 2020
[Every Friday, SeafoodNews will publish an updated timeline of events about COVID-19 and alaska’s 2020 fishing season.]
March 10: Trident Seafoods was the first Alaska processor to restrict its workers at their Akutan plant to thwart coronavirus spread. The plant is processing pollock, cod, and crab from the Bering Sea.
March 11: Govenor Mike Dunleavy signed a Public Health Disaster Emergency Declaration about the novel corona virus. Since then, Dunleavy and the state’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink have issued 15 health and travel mandates in the five weeks since.
“Alaska’s health emergency response system has been activated since late January and we have been working with federal, Tribal, state, local and health care partners to ensure we have strong systems in place to limit or prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Zink said last month.
Dunleavy’s quick actions closing schools, restricting travel, requiring a 14-day quarantine for anyone entering the state, and others were made even stronger by fines of up to $25,000 and a year in jail for violations.
Health Mandates 10 and 12 required processors and fishing vessel companies to submit plans to the State of Alaska on how they plan to operate a fishery and not spread the virus.
March 12: Alaska’s first COVID-19 case was confirmed, of a traveller in Anchorage.
March 16: Cordova Issues a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency and forms an Emergency Management Team. The nearby Copper River salmon fishery is the first in the state, starting in mid-May.
March 24: Alaska reports 42 cases of the illness in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Soldotna, Ketchikan, Sterling, Seward, Juneau and Palmer. A hotspot in Fairbanks is an extended care facility.
April 4: AFISH letter went out to Unalaska. Processors had formed the AFISH Committee to minimize impacts of this public health threat on Alaskan fishing communities, fishing crews, and processing workers. AFISH is partnering with public health and government authorities.
April 6: The mayor of Dillingham and First Chief of the Curyung Tribal Council send a letter to Gov. Mike Dunleavy Monday asking him to consider closing the summer’s fisheries in Bristol Bay. The fishery would normally open June 1 and peak in early July. The fleet of 1,500 vessels and some 10,000 workers start to arrive as early as May 1.
April 7: Eleven Bristol Bay processors send letter to community committing to work with fleet, health care workers, and emergency teams. “We are writing to you to confirm our commitment that we are prioritizing the health and safety of the communities and tribal councils of Bristol Bay,” they wrote. The companies are North Pacific Seafoods, Alaska General Seafoods, Trident Seafoods, Peter Pan Seafoods, Silver Bay Seafoods, Icicle Seafoods, Ocean Beauty Seafoods, E&E Foods, Leader Creek Fisheries, Deep Sea Fisheries and Copper River Seafoods.
April 8: By this date, the Bristol Bay Borough administrators have received seven plans from processors.
ConocoPhillips shuts down North Slope drilling over coronavirus concerns.
Week ending April 10: Coastal communities of Wrangell, Cordova, Sitka -- all fishing ports with resident fleets and processing plants -- and others requested restrictions on their airports beyond what the state has imposed. The state denied their requests, saying the hospitals there are considered "critical hubs". All communities responded that the hospitals were not equipped to handle an outbreak of COVID-19.
April 10: The Naknek Native Village Council, the South Naknek Village Council, and the King Salmon Tribe have joined Dillingham city and tribe in a call for the governor to put extreme protective measures in place or consider closing the fishery.
April 12: After meeting with Cordova’s Eyak Tribe, the City Council passes an ordinance with a $500 fine for those not complying with local isolation and protective ordinances.
April 14: Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz extends the self-isolation mandate to May 5, 2020.
The Bering Strait Region (Nome) has its first confirmed case of COVID-19.
April 15: The 9th Alaskan -- a 33-year old woman from Wasilla -- dies from COVID-19. There are 285 confirmed cases, about 178 active.
Princess and Holland America cancel 2020 Gulf of Alaska sailings because of coronavirus pandemic.
April 16: As of noon, a total of 300 cases are confirmed in Alaska, with one near Nome, 79 in the Fairbanks region, 143 in Anchorage area, 15 in the Mat-Su area north of Anchorage, 16 in the Kenai Peninsula, one in Kodiak, 23 in Juneau, 15 in Ketchikan, 2 in Petersburg, and 2 in Craig. There have been nine deaths.
So far no confirmed cases in Dillingham, Naknek, or Cordova.
April 17: Anchorage’s request for National Guard help with homeless camps is rejected in part because “homeless camps were preexisting to the pandemic,” according to Lt. Col. Candis Olmstead of the National Guard.
West Coast fishing communities’ vulnerability to climate change assessed in new study
Seafood Source by Aaron Orlowski - April 17, 2020
Climate change is warping the West Coast marine ecosystem. Warm waters are driving species north. Acidification and deoxygenation are threatening coastal species.
Labeling and Marketing
3MMI - COVID-19 China Update, Pacific Halibut, California Market Squid
TradexFoods - April 20, 2020
China is in the same situation it has been the last two weeks - that is foodservice orders have almost come to a halt while retail orders are progressing as normal. As raw materials pricing continue to be negotiated, suppliers are trying to hold onto their previous pricing and buyers are trying to hold out to purchase under the new circumstances.
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