Harvesters give back to community elders
Cordova Times - July 7, 2020
In what has proven a tough year so far for local harvesters, 109 fishermen came together to donate 255 sockeye salmon for Cordova’s elders in the community’s annual Senior Salmon Day.
Fish-friendly culvert installed on Copper River Highway
Cordova Times by Zachary Snowdon Smith - July 6, 2020
The Copper River Highway became a little easier to travel on June 24 — for fish, that is. Construction crews replaced a narrow culvert running underneath the highway with a 20-foot-wide “box” culvert that will allow easy passage for migrating fish. Narrow, deteriorating culverts around the Copper River watershed have cut salmon off from miles of potential spawning habitat.
COVID-19 case in Mountain Village shuts down commercial fishing in some Yukon communities
KYUK by Greg Kim - July 5, 2020
A COVID-19 case in the Southwest Alaska community of Mountain Village has shut down commercial fishing in the area.
Unalaska's COVID-19 Count Rises To Nine, As Another Processor Tests Positive For The Virus
KUCB by Hope McKenney - July 2, 2020
City officials announced Thursday that another person in Unalaska tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of positive local cases to nine.
Dismal Area 2A Halibut Landings Necessitate Second Opener; Vessel Limits Create Confusion
SeafoodNews.com by Susan Chambers - July 6, 2020
Fishermen harvested a mere 16 percent of the overall quota for the directed commercial halibut fishery in Area 2A in June. That means a second 3-day opener starts today.
The International Pacific Halibut Commission set extremely low vessel limits this year, noting the increase in the number of permits issued and anticipating more participation over a three-day opener. However, the low limits likely made it economically unviable for many fishermen, particularly the larger vessels. Some fishermen also reported low halibut prices this summer. The combination of low prices, low vessel limits, lower consumer demand due to COVID-19 and other market impacts created a perfect storm for low landings.
The IPHC late last week released vessel limits for the July 6 to 8 opening that are roughly double those of the vessel limits for the first opener.
According to the IPHC, the 2020 total allocation for this fishery is 115.41 metric tons, or 254,426 pounds. An estimated total of 18 mt, 40,000 pounds, were landed during the first fishing period, June 22-24. An estimated total of 96 mt, 215,000 pounds, remain to be caught.
The individual vessel limits for the July 6-8 opener are:
Vessel Class A, 1-25 feet, 1,810 pounds (vs. 905 pounds in June)
Vessel Class B, 26-30 feet, 1,810 pounds (905 pounds in June)
Vessel Class C: 31-35 feet, 1,810 pounds (905 pounds in June)
Vessel Class D: 36-40 feet, 2,728 pounds (1,364 pounds in June)
Vessel Class E: 41-45 feet, 2,728 pounds (1,364 pounds in June)
Vessel Class F: 46-50 feet, 3,636 pounds (1,818 pounds in June)
Vessel Class G: 51-55 feet, 3,636 pounds (1,818 pounds in June)
Vessel Class H: 56+ feet, 4,090 pounds (2,045 pounds in June)
The fishing period limit applies to the vessel, not the individual fisher, and any landings over the vessel limit will be subject to forfeiture and fine the IPHC said.
Fishermen and some managers have been frustrated by the IPHC's erratic information and changes to the fishery. Last year there was confusion over whether a 2-day fishery would include two 10-hour openings or whether it was a continuous opening and required a last-minute change. This year, the IPHC announced all vessel classes would receive the same allocation, then hurriedly revised its vessel limits after fishermen, managers and IPHC commissioners complained.
The increased vessel limits for the second opener this week are still very low compared to limits last year. For example, the largest class of vessels, those greater than 56 feet, was allocated 10,225 pounds for each of the first two 10-hour openers last year. This year, vessels in that class were allotted only 2,045 pounds for the first, 58-hour opener at the end of June. This week the large vessels are allotted 4,090 pounds, more than 6,000 pounds shy of last year's allocation. Other vessel classes have similar decreases.
Labeling and Marketing
Seafood Industry Gets Help With Research and Marketing Frozen Product
SeafoodNews.com by Peggy Parker - July 8, 2020
A nearly $300,000 Saltonstall-Kennedy (SK) grant has been awarded to expand positive awareness of high-quality frozen U.S. seafood among chefs, retailers, and consumers.
“Although there has been a growing interest as of late around frozen seafood, there are still large barriers to overcome regarding the perception of frozen seafood,” explains Ann Colonna, Sensory Program Director of the University of Oregon’s Food Innovation Center in Portland, OR. “A stigma still exists for frozen seafood, despite consumers, chefs and retailers finding frozen seafood comparable to if not preferred to fresh in blind taste tests.”
The SK grant, awarded to Oregon Sea Grant at Oregon State University (OSU), in partnership with OSU’s Food Innovation Center and the environmental group Ecotrust, a group that supports healthy environments and economies, was for $299,957 over a period of two years.
The project, titled "Consumer Acceptability and Shelf-life Assessment of Frozen Seafood for Market Success", will create a Frozen Seafood Advisory Committee (FSAC) to direct the project objectives, including frozen seafood shelf life testing, identification of effective marketing messages and strategies, and developing a pilot outreach promotion of frozen seafood products to target audiences.
“This research is the critical next step toward quantifying the quality of frozen product,” the group wrote in their S-K application. “The results of this project will allow seafood businesses to label fish with specificity, enhancing both trust with consumers and the marketability of the product. The results will be invaluable to chefs and seafood retailers by building their confidence in buying frozen product and selling it to their consumers.”
The FSAC will be comprised of 8 to 12 industry experts across the supply chain and will include, but not be limited to, chefs, retailers, fishermen working with frozen product, fishing businesses engaged in selling frozen products, academic institutions, marketing associations, and seafood commodity commissions. The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, as well as other invested stakeholders, will participate on the FSAC and work closely with the leaders of the project.
The overall goal of the project is to increase retailers’, chefs’, and consumers’ understanding and trust in high-quality frozen seafood and reduce shrink in the seafood supply chain by increasing the use of frozen seafood.
The group will answer questions like 1) What is the nutritional density of frozen product and how does that degrade over time? 2) How do different species of seafood freeze and do they degrade at the same rates? 3) How long can these frozen products be considered high quality before they are no longer acceptable and does it vary by species? 4) How do freezing and storage methods affect the quality of the product over time?
The marketing and promotion side of the project asks three more questions: 1) Can guidelines be developed for frozen products, such as a grading system, to improve transparency of product quality and build trust? 2) What language/descriptions can help a frozen product sounds more appealing? 3) What format for conveying information on frozen products would work best with consumers, chefs, and retailers?
Researchers will test frozen shelf-life of 4 different seafood species (nutrient density and quality over time) to determine possible traceability parameters through lab tests and consumer sensory tests and identify effective marketing language and approach that helps promote frozen seafood products. They also intend to develop and test through pilot programs, outreach approaches and educational materials for different market sectors (chefs, seafood retailers, consumers).
“While there are other studies on seafood shelf life, our past research has shown that there are still consumer questions about how shelf-life varies for diverse seafood products and in different freezers, such as a home freezer or a commercial freezer,” said Jamie Doyle of Oregon Sea Grant. “This project is designed to address these questions, and determine if a shelf-life rating system would be useful for chefs, retailers, and general consumers.”
Research results will then be tailored with efforts to make the scientific data usable in the market.
Tyson Rasor, Fisheries Program Manager for Ecotrust, a partner in the grant project, explained that the FSAC’s participation is critical to help identify best approaches, build industry trust in the results, and ultimately influence the consumer perception of high quality frozen seafood.
The project team will convene the FSAC and begin to discuss the parameters of the research with these industry experts in the fall. The project will run for two years, so results are expected in 2023.
For more information, contact Jamie Doyle, Oregon Sea Grant at: email@example.com.
Crab Fest 2020 will be a virtual and in-person event
Cordova Times - July 7, 2020
Kodiak’s traditional Crab Fest, with the 2020 theme “Sea What Matters” will go live from Aug. 19 through Aug. 23, but like everything else this year, it will look a lot different.
GAPP Announces 2020 Wild Alaska Pollock Annual Meeting Moderator, Event Topics, Virtual Format
Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers - July 01, 2020
As previously announced, the second annual Wild Alaska Pollock Annual Meeting will be held on October 12, 2020. In keeping with COVID-19 social distancing and health precautions, however, this year’s edition of the meeting will be held virtually. We hope this new format will encourage even greater participation from guests around the world as we bring our industry together to collaborate on how we can continue to build awareness and demand for Wild Alaska Pollock.
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