Author: Fishermen's News

NOAA Fisheries Slates Virtual Listening Sessions on Aquaculture
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NOAA Fisheries Slates Virtual Listening Sessions on Aquaculture

NOAA Fisheries has announced virtual listing sessions for the West Coast and Alaska in March to help the agency plan better for the future of its aquaculture program and the potential impact of constraints on achieving its aquaculture goals. The West Coast virtual session is to be held from 10 a.m. to noon Pacific Standard Time on March 1 and the Alaska session from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Alaska standard time. The link to register for the West Coast session is http://tinyurl.com/2c569p3c. For the Alaska virtual session, visit http://tinyurl.com/5b9hswns. A date for the Pacific Islands virtual session is still to be determined, according to NOAA Fisheries.
IPHC Plans 2024 Setline Survey in 5 of 8 Regulatory Areas
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IPHC Plans 2024 Setline Survey in 5 of 8 Regulatory Areas

A Fishery-Independent Setline Survey (FISS) across three of four bioregions and five of eight regulatory areas are planned by the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) to begin in late May, with the intent of sampling a total of 525 stations. The IPHC said in a Feb. 15 announcement that it expects first hooks to be in the water by May 25. Financial woes for the IPHC, whose funds are directly related to halibut sales, have resulted in fewer stations being scheduled this year, compared to 2022, which the survey planned for 958 stations and completed sampling of just 864. The overall allowable coastwide catch of halibut in Alaska for 2024 is down about 5% and prices are also lower, all of which impacts IPHC income. A list of stations to be surveyed, by regulatory are...
Wild Alaska Pollock Options Added to Another Major Sports Arena’s Menu
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Wild Alaska Pollock Options Added to Another Major Sports Arena’s Menu

Wild Alaska pollock dishes are now menu options of a second major sports venue, New York’s UBS Arena, home of the National Hockey League’s New York Islanders, in a partnership negotiated by the Association of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP). The deal was announced on Feb. 14 by GAPP CEO Craig Morris, who said there’s a massive opportunity for seafood at sports and events venues, something GAPP has been invested in capitalizing on. “The Wild Alaska Pollock menu items at Climate Pledge Arena’s Fork & Fin marketplace (in Seattle) have been incredibly successful, and we have no doubt that wild Alaska pollock will perform just as well in New York at UBS Arena,” Morris said. The partnership, funded by GAPP and Trident Seafoods, is expected to continue for the next severa...
Alaska Seafood Processors Still Cutting Back, Despite Government Buys of Canned Salmon
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Alaska Seafood Processors Still Cutting Back, Despite Government Buys of Canned Salmon

Federal government solicitations for canned salmon bids are boosting spirits a bit in Alaska’s commercial fisheries industry, but the overall gloom that has driven the selloff of some processing facilities and announce cutbacks on 2024 fishing season processing prevails. Last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture purchased over $200 million in Alaska seafood and the current solicitation for canned pink and sockeye salmon helps clean up inventory of the sockeyes, Bruce Schactler, food aid program and development director for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, said Feb. 19. “It will pretty much put a big dent in inventory,” he remarked. Meanwhile three major processors – Trident Seafoods, OBI Seafoods and Peter Pan Seafoods – had announced plans for selling off some faci...
Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association Seeks Applications for Crew Training Program
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Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association Seeks Applications for Crew Training Program

A fishing crew training program in Sitka, Alaska is accepting applications through March 31 to teach the next generation of young people interested in a career in commercial fisheries. Since 2015, the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association (ALFA) and its partner, the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust (ASFT), have trained more than 100 apprentices and placed them on fishing vessels in Southeast Alaska. The program is an effort to attract younger entrants into an industry where the average fishermen’s age in Alaska is now over 50. The program was formalized as part of ALFA’s Young Fishermen Initiative in 2015. In 2017, ALFA was granted funds to get more boots on deck statewide. Over several years, one of the skipper participants, ALFA Member Eric Jordan of the f/v I Gotta, ...
Federal Aid Sought in Wake of 2023 California Salmon Season Closure
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Federal Aid Sought in Wake of 2023 California Salmon Season Closure

Three major California fisheries organizations are urging the U.S. Department of Commerce to support more than $30 million in disaster assistance in the wake of closure of the 2023 salmon season in California to protect and preserve the fishery. The organizations are the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations (PCFFA), the Golden Gate Fishermen’s Association (GGFA) and the Northern California Guides and Sportsmen’s Association (NCGASA). The leaders of each noted that while the state of California and California Department of Fish and Wildlife requested a total of $30,784,670 to be shared across commercial, processor, bait and charter industries that the Department of Commerce in late January announced that the state would receive only $20,605,103. The three organi...
Legislation on Working Waterfronts Introduced; Aims to Boost Coastal Economies
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Legislation on Working Waterfronts Introduced; Aims to Boost Coastal Economies

Legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate on Feb. 12 aims to boost coastal workforces, fisheries, food security and shoreside infrastructure of coastal fisheries communities nationwide. The Working Waterfronts Act, submitted by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, would also support efforts to mitigate impacts of climate change on coastal communities and strengthen federal conservation research projects. Given Alaska’s 66,000 miles of coastline and the thousands of people reliant on Alaska’s rivers and oceans for fishery operations, tourism, mariculture and more, Murkowski said there is a need to capitalize on opportunities existing through the blue economy with the infrastructure and workforce needed to meet those goals. The legislation would also boost research and climate change ...
Tens of Thousands of Chinook Salmon Discarded as Bycatch in Canadian Trawl Fishery: DFO Report
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Tens of Thousands of Chinook Salmon Discarded as Bycatch in Canadian Trawl Fishery: DFO Report

A new report from Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) confirms that an estimated 28,117 salmon were caught and discarded as bycatch in the groundfish trawl fishery off the coast of British Columbia in the 2022-2023 fishing season, including some 26,273 Chinook salmon. The DFO report, released Jan. 22, said that over 20,000 Chinook salmon were likely thrown overboard, while 3,700 were landed and subsequently discarded as waste. The discard of the Chinooks, a major food source for a remaining 75 endangered Southern Resident killer whales, comes as the Canadian government is investing millions of dollars into protecting Southern Resident orca whales, plus millions of dollars to support wild salmon. “The is an appalling waste for not just a salmon species that is listed as threatene...
Alaska Board of Fisheries Plans Final Action on Hatchery Production Issue
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Alaska Board of Fisheries Plans Final Action on Hatchery Production Issue

Final action on a proposal to reduce hatchery production of pink salmon is scheduled to be heard at the next meeting of the Alaska Board of Fisheries, which is scheduled for Feb. 23-March 5. The board took testimony on Proposal 43 during its meeting in Homer, Alaska from Nov. 28 through Dec. 1, and received additional written testimony in advance of the Anchorage meeting, which is being held at the Egan Convention Center. According to Board of Fisheries Executive Director Art Nelson, Proposition 43 is slated for discussion by Group 6 of the board’s committee on March 2, with final action set for after further deliberations on March 3. Proposition 43, proposed by the Fairbanks Fish and Game Advisory Committee, calls for reduction of overall hatchery production of pink salmon to...
SPRFMO Adopts New Monitoring Standards
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SPRFMO Adopts New Monitoring Standards

Members of the New Zealand-based South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO), while meeting in Manta, Ecuador from Jan. 29-Feb. 2, adopted U.S. proposals to boost observer coverage and combat labor abuse in South Pacific fisheries. NOAA Fisheries said that the U.S. delegation, including members of the State Department, offered proposals to continue strengthening management and monitoring of the squid fishery in the South Pacific. According to NOAA Fisheries, the fishery has been the focus of claims of rampant illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in recent years. U.S. efforts led to adoption of a comprehensive high seas boarding and inspection program last year, a program that has increased opportunities for monitoring the fleet. NOAA Fisherie...