Alaska Fisheries Report — May 28, 2020
KMXT by Maggie Wall - June 1, 2020
A COVID-19 mystery in Valdez — A Peter Pan Seafoods worker tested positive for the virus, even though he had been in state for a month, completed a two-week quarantine and not left the city of Valdez. Officials aren’t sure how he got it.
Sen. Murkowski pushes for an additional $1 billion in federal fisheries relief funds
KDLG by Tyler Thompson - June 1, 2020
Murkowski says the $50 million the CARES Act designated for commercial fisheries nationwide is not enough.
Alaska’s fishing industry was allocated $50 million in CARES Act funding in early May to ease financial losses tied to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pandemic hits hard at fishermen’s income
Cordova Times - June 1, 2020
Results of a survey released by the non-profit SalmonState identify lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic as a leading concern among Alaska’s commercial fishermen.
86 crew members on American Seafoods trawler test positive for COVID-19
KUCB by Hope McKenney - June 1, 2020
Eighty-six crew members of an American Seafoods trawler have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a press release from the seafood company Sunday night. Nine tests are still outstanding.
FDA allows more flexibility in food labels
Seafood Source by Christine Blank - June 1, 2020
For the fifth time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is allowing flexibility in food labeling.
President Trump Highlights Administration’s Work on Marine Economy Ahead of National Ocean Month
Urner Barry by Ryan Doyle - June 1, 2020
In a May 29 Proclamation, President Trump officially declared June 2020 as National Ocean Month.
Trump began his declaration with a look at America’s ocean economy which 3 million people rely upon, generating $300 billion for the national economy each year.
“During National Ocean Month, we reaffirm our commitment to responsible stewardship of our ocean resources to strengthen and expand economic opportunities, while also ensuring that the natural beauty and wonder of the oceans are preserved and maintained for future generations,” the Proclamation read.
The President discussed the vast unknown that is the ocean. He noted the Presidential Memorandum he signed last year to prioritize the mapping, exploring and characterizing of the ocean waters.
Alongside the Memorandum, Trump highlighted the Executive Order he signed in May, “Promoting American Seafood Competitiveness and Economic Growth.”
As SeafoodNews reported, the Executive Order will help ensure food security, support the American seafood workforce and remove unnecessary regulatory burdens.
“Americans need a vibrant and competitive seafood industry to create and sustain American jobs, put safe and healthy food on American tables, and contribute to the American economy,” the purpose of the Executive Order states. “Despite America’s bountiful aquatic resources, by weight our Nation imports over 85% of the seafood consumed in the United States. At the same time, illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing undermines the sustainability of American and global seafood stocks, negatively affects general ecosystem health, and unfairly competes with the products of law-abiding fishermen and seafood industries around the world.”
In the May 29 Proclamation Trump said, “My Administration is committed to expanding maritime commerce, increasing seafood production, promoting conservation, enhancing national security, and advancing energy exploration, development, and production by expanding efforts to study, understand, and unlock the full potential of our oceans.”
Finally, the Proclamation noted that “balancing the uses of America’s oceans” cannot just fall on the shoulders of the federal government. Trump noted the 2019 White House Summit on Partnerships in Ocean Science and Technology and how it displayed the collaboration of multiple sectors including the private sector, academia and philanthropic groups “can ensure prosperity while conserving the marine environment.”
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Prohibited Species Donation Program
A Notice by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 06/02/2020
NMFS announces the renewal of two prohibited species donation (PSD) permits to SeaShare, authorizing this organization to distribute Pacific salmon and Pacific halibut to economically disadvantaged individuals under the PSD program. Salmon and halibut are caught incidentally during directed fishing for groundfish with trawl gear off Alaska. This action is necessary to comply with provisions of the PSD program and is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.
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