Despite some strong production, salmon season still lags
10th& M Seafoods reports strong sales of fresh salmon throughout the pandemic
The Cordova Times - July 5, 2020
Commercial drift gillnetters and purse seiners delivered an estimated 1.3 million salmon to processors in the Prince William Sound area through Wednesday, July 1, including some 468,739 sockeyes, in a season that has been a real slow starter.
Yukon River Chinook run not as disastrous as feared, but still small
Yukon News by Jackie Hong - July 4, 2020
This year’s Yukon River Chinook salmon run isn’t as disastrous as originally feared but is still tracking, to date, as the smallest since 2013. The story for summer chum, however, appears to be much grimmer.
Alaska’s Daily Rate of COVID Cases Up Sharply, Seafood Cases Now 10% of all Cases
SeafoodNews.com by Peggy Parker - July 2, 2020
In the last week, the daily count of coronavirus cases has nearly doubled with a record-breaking 45 new cases last Monday and 42 on Tuesday. As of midnight Tuesday, a total 436 resident cases were considered active.
In the 198 non-resident cases, 126 are related to the seafood industry. Because testing is part of an approved protocol during the 2020 fishing season, a high percentage of those who tested positive have no symptoms. Those cases still follow the quarantine requirements but without the coughing or sneezing symptoms, the risk of contagion is lower. And the tedious and time-and-labor intensive effort of contact tracing can be done faster.
Of all 1,176 positive cases reported in Alaska since the pandemic began, 10.7% are seafood-related.
Hospitalizations in Alaska currently total 20. Inpatient bed capacity is now 847 out of 1,900 total beds. Over 100 ICU beds out of 198 total are available and 320 of 347 ventilators are available.
Across the state communities are cancelling or restricting access to Fourth of July celebrations. Band performers and bar personnel from taverns and pubs across the state are being tested as members and staff have become infected and contact tracers are asking fans and patrons to get tested.
Anchorage has seen a steeper climb in daily cases than any other area of Alaska -- 70 in the past week.
That means the city is monitoring 561 cases and contacts currently. They have hired temporary workers to help with contact tracing efforts in the short term, and would like to hire 11 more public health nurses in the next one to two months, reported ADN. The state has said it would like to hire another 500 contact tracers.
Anchorage health officials announced yesterday that they have reached their capacity for contact tracing investigations.
“The public health tracing capacity is at its max at the local level,” Anchorage Health Department Director Natasha Pineda said during a community briefing, reported by the Anchorage Daily News Wednesday.
“In the past week, we’ve had a lot of cases that are associated with locations where there’s well over 100 people that they may have interacted with and we can’t trace or contact any of them,” Pineda told the paper.
Both the city and the state are using color-coded metrics to ease the public understanding of the quickly changing situation. Anchorage shifted its public health capacity metric from yellow to red on Wednesday, reported ADN.
Governor Dunlevy had his first public press conference since May earlier this week to encourage people to avoid crowds, wear masks, and stay home if they’re feeling ill, especially during the three-day weekend.
He asked that people “still work together to the best extent that we can with our fellow Alaskans. That we still say, ‘Yeah, all right, you know I’m going to go to the store, I’ll throw the dang mask on,’ that we still do our best to socially distance.”
The state will be launching a tracking database called CommCare, once the state finishes interim work such as transferring case information to the new platform, said deputy director of the Division of Public Health, Tari O’Connor.
Hiring and training new contact tracers and working with partner agencies to expand capacity is taking more time as well, O’Connor said.
The state and Anchorage have cut back check-up calls on contacts from every day to over the first, third, fifth, seventh and 14th day after exposure.
Most of the people who have the virus now are between the ages of 20 and 44, Pineda said, and when it comes to looking at possible hospitalizations in the future, it “is just a math problem,” she said.
The CDC Issues COVID-19 Guidance for Seafood Processing Workers
The CDC, OSHA and FDA recently published an advisory for seafood processing workers and COVD-19 protections.
OS&H - July 1, 2020
Seafood processing worksites (i.e., factories that are located in plants onshore and in vessels offshore) are very important factors of the food and drug industry—as they are responsible for the processing of fish for a number of foods and products. The CDC’s “Protecting Seafood Processing Workers from COVID-19” guidance gives guidance for protecting workers and provides related sources for workers and employers in the fish processing sector.
Project to study pandemic impacts on Alaskan salmon season
The POLARIS team visited an ecological monitoring site in Bristol Bay in February 2020.
Penn State by Kristie Auman-Bauer - June 26, 2020
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Bristol Bay, Alaska, is home to the world's largest commercial sockeye salmon fishery, attracting thousands of fishermen, crews, and seasonal workers and tripling the region’s population. Running from early June to late July, the short salmon season is facing a new challenge this year, the coronavirus pandemic.
Labeling and Marketing
3MMI - Dungeness Crab Update from Alaska to California
TradexFoods - July 6, 2020
Since the start of Alaska's Dungeness Crab Fishery on June 15th, Crab fishermen harvested approximately 960,000 pounds in the first seven days of the season. An estimated total of 46.8 million pounds of New Season Dungeness has been harvested for the market. With the COVID pandemic moving into summer but still affecting foodservice and retail sales, it is extremely...
Northern Lights: Beyond the label
National Fisherman by Matt Alward - July 3, 2020
Whether at a restaurant or store, it is nice to have seafood choices, and Alaska is a brand that many consumers trust. The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute has established through years of research that consumers are more likely to buy seafood when they see the word Alaska. An April 2020 Edelman report on consumer expectations also suggests that in a post-covid-19 era, there will be more scrutiny of where our food comes from, and consumers want transparency in the sea-to-table process. So what does this all mean? Source matters!
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