Monday, August 31, 2020

August 31, 2020

Alaska

Unalaska's COVID-19 Case Count Rises As City Reports Third Positive Case Related To UniSea
KUCB by Hope McKenney - August 28, 2020
City officials reported a new positive case of COVID-19 in Unalaska Friday, bringing the positive local case count to 101.
https://www.kucb.org/post/unalaskas-covid-19-case-count-rises-city-reports-third-positive-case-related-unisea

Petersburg’s testing program aims to keep COVID-19 out of seafood plants
KFSK by Corinne Smith - August 27, 2020
Hundreds of seafood processing workers come to Petersburg every year, creating a high-risk scenario for COVID transmission. Workers at the town’s two processing giants – OBI Seafoods and Trident Seafoods – live on a closed campus. But there are also Petersburg residents who work at the plants. So the local COVID testing program aims to identify and isolate positive cases before they can transmit from town into one of the plants.
https://www.ktoo.org/2020/08/27/petersburgs-testing-program-aims-to-keep-covid-19-out-of-seafood-plants/

U.S. investigates ‘unprofessional interactions’ after Russian military confronts Bering Sea fishermen
Alaska Public Media by Nathaniel Herz - August 28, 2020
Steve Elliott’s trawler, the Vesteraalen, was fishing for Bering Sea pollock Wednesday afternoon when he and his crew started hearing voices speaking Russian on their ship’s radio — an unusual development, given that they were 80 miles from the U.S.-Russian maritime boundary.
https://www.alaskapublic.org/2020/08/28/u-s-investigates-reports-of-unprofessional-behavior-after-russian-military-ordered-bering-sea-fishermen-to-move/

Alaska Seafood Processors Get Clobbered by COVID Costs
Seafood News by Laine Welch - August 28, 2020
This is Alaska Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Alaska processors get clobbered by extra Covid costs. More after this –

Fish Radio is brought to you by Alaska Boats and Permits in Homer. Marine broker for vessels, permits and IFQs. Online at www.alaskaboat.com

The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute provides digital and print marketing materials to the Alaska seafood industry. Find access to thousands of stunning photos, high quality video footage, and sales tools at www.alaskaseafood.org.

Alaska seafood processors are paying tens of millions of dollars extra to cover costs from the Covid pandemic, and for most, it’s coming out of pocket.

Intrafish Media provides the first in-depth look at how costs for protective gear like masks and gloves, testing thermometers, extra staff to handle sanitizing demands between work shifts, and modifying worker lines for social distancing are playing out in the seafood processing world.

At Bristol Bay, for example, where around 13,000 workers from outside Alaska come to the Bay to work on fishing boats and in the plants, it’s estimated that all major processors combined likely spent $30 million to $40 million on Covid-related costs during the peak fishing months this summer.

Alaska processors covered extra costs for putting up employees in hotels and other 14-day quarantine sites required by the state. That alone added up to an additional $3,500 per worker.

Seafood companies also paid for pricey charter flights to isolate workers from passengers on commercial flights.

Most medium to larger processors had  medical professionals onsite for the duration, at a cost of $30,000 to $60,000, Intrafish said.

Workers were tested multiple times for the virus, with costs amounting to $175 per test.

Intrafish cited testimony by Silver Bay Seafoods CEO, Cora Campbell, at a U.S. Senate committee hearing in late July.

In a statement to the Senators, Campbell outlined the mounting millions Alaska companies have spent so far on Covid preventions.

She told lawmakers: "The industry is taking on these costs out of pocket at the same time we are facing severe disruption in key markets and multiple pre-COVID cost burdens."

"While a fraction of these costs may be reimbursed,” Campbell said, “we face significant uncertainty because there’s no specific congressional directive to support health and safety protocol costs for critical seafood supply chains."

Covid prevention measures are not included so far in relief loans and funds.

It’s unknown if they will be added into another stimulus relief package Congress could pass when it returns from a month long vacation.

Find links to the Intrafish write up at www.alaskafishradio.com and on Facebook and Twitter.

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods.  Ocean Beauty has contributed over 10 million meals to the U.S. Food Bank network and is committed to ending hunger in America. www.oceanbeauty.com
https://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1179409/Alaska-Seafood-Processors-Get-Clobbered-by-COVID-Costs


National
This machine is a microcosm of Alaska’s, and America’s, COVID-19 testing successes and failures
Alaska Public Media by Nathaniel Herz - August 26, 2020
Testing for COVID-19 is technical, expensive and complicated — particularly in Alaska, with its remote, far-flung communities and overlapping systems of tribal and private health care.
https://www.alaskapublic.org/2020/08/26/this-machine-is-a-microcosm-of-alaskas-and-americas-covid-19-testing-successes-and-failures-heres-how/


International
Russia Posts 20% Decline of Crab Exports in First Half of Current Year
SeafoodNews.com by Eugene Gerden - August 28, 2020
Exports of Russian crab in the first half of 2020 fell by almost 20% in volume and by 15% in value terms, which is associated with serious losses for local producers and exporters, according to recent statements made by the President of the All-Russian Association of Fishermen (VARPE) Herman Zverev during the recent press conference.  

In regard of overall fish exports, according to Zverev, in the first half of the current year they amounted to 928,000 tonnes in volume terms and US$2.01 billion in terms of value. Looking at the same period last year in value terms, they reached US$2.139 billion.  

The main reason for such decline became the reduction of crab supplies, which in the first half of the current year amounted to only 34,000 tonnes on the total sum of US$525 million. For the same period last year these figures estimated at 42,000 tonnes and US$620 million respectively.  

Also, according to Zverev, there was a serious drop in terms of exports of fish fillets from Russia this year, primarily pollock and cod fillets, mainly due to the decline of global prices for them.  

At present China and South Korea remain the major sale markets for Russian fish,  accounting for 82% of deliveries in volume and 68% in value terms. The U.S. currently remains the third largest sale market with the share of 15% in the overall structure of supplies.  

Particular hopes of Russian fisherman this year are put on the salmon fishing season, thanks to the ever growing prices for salmon both in the Russian market and abroad, which should at least partially compensate for the drop of crab supplies this year.  

This year the overall fish catch in Russia is expected to exceed last year’s figures of 4.9 million tons, that will be mainly due to the planned increase of catch of iwasi and mackerel from 240,000 tonnes last year up to 560,000-570,000. Analysts expect within the next 3-5 years these figures may reach 800,000 tonnes. 
https://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1179407/Russia-Posts-20-percent-Decline-of-Crab-Exports-in-First-Half-of-Current-Year


Labeling and Marketing
3MMI - Hokkaido, Russian and Alaskan Chum’s Update
TradexFoods - August 31, 2020
Pre-season forecast out of the Hokkaido Research Institute for the 2020 season is calling for about 20 million fish to be harvested over the next month or so. So, how does the Hokkaido Chum Salmon harvest compare globally to other countries...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=X6rM2IrGMxA&feature=emb_logo


Federal Register
North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
A Notice by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 08/28/2020
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) Crab Plan Team will meet September 14, 2020 through September 17, 2020.
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/08/28/2020-18968/north-pacific-fishery-management-council-public-meeting


FYI’s
Submit meeting thoughts to fish, game boards by Aug. 31
Cordova Times - August 30, 2020
Public comments are due by Monday, Aug. 31 to the Alaska Boards of Fisheries and Game on the upcoming 2020/2021 meeting cycle as it relates to mitigation measures for the COVID-19 virus pandemic.
https://www.thecordovatimes.com/2020/08/30/submit-meeting-thoughts-to-fish-game-boards-by-aug-31/
 

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