Fishermens News

Study Shows Changes in Yukon River Discharge May Be Impacting Salmon
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Study Shows Changes in Yukon River Discharge May Be Impacting Salmon

Scientists studying new information on changes in river discharge from winter ice melt and temperature in the Yukon River in Alaska say it may be influencing the timing and duration of juvenile chum, Chinook and coho salmon migrations. They are trying to determine whether, as salmon migrations change, due to shifting environmental conditions, whether it leads to a mismatch with the availability of prey. Katharine Miller, a fish biologist and lead author of the study, which was released on March 20, said the work is important in helping communities better understand what is behind recent declines in salmon abundance and how climate-induced environmental changes may alter migration patterns in future years. The long-term decline of Chinook salmon along the Yukon River since the early 19...
USDA Purchases Nearly $4.5 M in Canned Alaska Pink Salmon for Domestic Food Assistance
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USDA Purchases Nearly $4.5 M in Canned Alaska Pink Salmon for Domestic Food Assistance

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has purchased $4,491,524 worth of canned Alaska pink salmon from OBI Seafoods, Silver Bay Seafoods LLC and Trident Seafoods Corp. for distribution to child nutrition and other related domestic food assistance programs for fiscal year 2023. The purchase, announced March 16, was the result of offers received in response to a March 2 USDA solicitation. Deliveries are to be made from April 16 through Aug. 30. Purchases from OBI at Kodiak totaling $758,692, are destined for food assistance programs in Louisiana, New York and Texas. Purchases from Silver Bay Seafoods in Sitka, totaling $3,548,911, are to be delivered in California, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Missouri, New York and Texas. Purchases from Trident Seafoods’ Cordova plant, totaling $183,9...
Down Nominated for Reappointment to NPFMC
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Down Nominated for Reappointment to NPFMC

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has nominated seafood industry veteran Kenny Down for reappointment to one of two obligatory Washington state seats on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. Inslee made his recommendation on March 7 to Janet Colt, assistant administrator for Fisheries with the National Marine Fisheries Service. Down has served as a voting member of the council since 2015 and is eligible for reappointment for a final term.  Inslee also named Becca Robbins-Gisclair and Jamie Goen as his second and third choices respectively. Down is the president and owner of Seaquest Ventures, described as a leader in revolutionary innovations for the utilization and stewardship of marine resources. Prior to founding Seaquest in 2018, Down was president and chief executive officer fro...
NOAA Urged to Expand Seafood Import Monitoring Program
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NOAA Urged to Expand Seafood Import Monitoring Program

Three U.S. House of Representatives members are calling on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to expand and update the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP), and are advocating as well for SIMP expansion to all species. Rep. Jared Huffman, ranking member of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Wildlife and Fisheries, Natural Resource Ranking Member Raul Grijalva of Arizona and Jimmy Panetta, also of California, led a letter to NOAA commenting on what they see as shortcomings of recent NOAA proposed rulemaking on SIMP. Other signers of the letter included representatives from California, Texas, North Carolina and Hawaii. The March 27 letter said that as the world’s largest seafood-importing country that the United States has the purchasing power and th...
Climate Change Shows Growing Challenges to Multi-Million Dollar American Samoa Tuna Fishery
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Climate Change Shows Growing Challenges to Multi-Million Dollar American Samoa Tuna Fishery

A new report from the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council (WPRFMC) highlights the growing challenge of climate change to the multi-million-dollar tuna industry in American Samoa. As sea level continues to rise, the future of businesses like the StarKist Samoa cannery, located at sea level in Pago Pago Harbor, are in question. The cannery provides over 80% of private employment in American Samoa, as well as nationals of other Pacific Island countries and territories, including Samoa, Niue, Tokelau and Tonga. Tuna exports from American Samoa are valued at some $353 million annually, with canned tuna comprising 99.5% of the total. “Loss of this industry due to the implications of climate change would be devastating to American Samoa and the communities it supports, the WPR...
Southeast Alaska Tribes Want Voice in BC Mines Permitting
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Southeast Alaska Tribes Want Voice in BC Mines Permitting

An umbrella entity for 15 Southeast Alaska Native tribes seeking better protection of transboundary watersheds of the Taku, Stikine and Unuk rivers is asking for a seat at the table whenever British Columbia processes permits for new mines. The request from the Southeast Alaska Indigenous Transboundary Commission (SEITC) on March 20 referenced a letter from Alaska legislators sent to British Columbia Premier David Eby on March 13. Legislators told Eby in that correspondence that the U.S. and Canada federal governments, as well as indigenous peoples on both sides of the border have a responsibility and opportunity to better managed their shared watersheds in a constructive and cooperative manner. The letter notes that the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (...
Coast Guard Counternarcotics Patrol Confiscates More Than 7,500 Pounds of Cocaine
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Coast Guard Counternarcotics Patrol Confiscates More Than 7,500 Pounds of Cocaine

The Coast Guard cutter Steadfast returned to its Astoria, Oregon homeport on March 14, following a 69-day counternarcotics patrol in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, during which they confiscated over 7,500 pounds of cocaine valued at $85.6 million. The Steadfast had deployed with a Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and air crew based in Jacksonville, Fla., along with temporarily assigned crew from the Coast Guard cutter Harriet Lane and soon-to-be commissioned Coast Guard cutter Argus. When notified by a Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) of a suspected narcotics smuggling vessel transiting international waters, the Steadfast launched a crew and boarding team that interdicted the vessel after a many-hour pursuit. The Coast Guard said the suspected smugglers jet...
ComFish Alaska 2023 Takes On Climate Change, Legal Challenges to State’s Fisheries
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ComFish Alaska 2023 Takes On Climate Change, Legal Challenges to State’s Fisheries

Participants in ComFish Alaska 2023, undeterred by a spring snowstorm that halted jet traffic in and out of Kodiak for a day, tackled climate challenges to fisheries, including plastics pollution and prospective economic and environmental benefits of the mushrooming kelp mariculture efforts. The state’s biggest and longest-running commercial fisheries trade show, which began in a borrowed Alaska National Guard wall tent in 1980, incorporated into its March 16-18 program in Kodiak a mix of presenters ranging from harvesters, fisheries managers, federal and state legislators to historians and experts in marine debris and kelp mariculture. The event also featured 46 trade show booths offering fishing marine supplies, vessel permits and sales, expertise in satellite technology, health care...
Sunflower Sea Star Proposed for Listing Under ESA
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Sunflower Sea Star Proposed for Listing Under ESA

NOAA Fisheries officials on March 15 proposed listing the sunflower sea star, once common along the Pacific coast of North America, as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), due to its sharp decline and the threat of a lethal pathogen. More than 90% of sunflower sea stars were killed from 2013 to 2017 by Sea Star Wasting Syndrome, in what was considered the largest marine wildlife disease outbreak on record.  Sea stars that contract the syndrome become lethargic, develop lesions, lose their arms and within days disintegrate into gooey masses. Sunflower sea stars are voracious predators who consume a wide variety of benthic species and can influence ecosystem structure by virtue of their predatory habits. They prey on sea urchins, which consume kelp and other marine vegetati...
CVRF’s Tsukada Nominated to Alaska Seat on NPFMC
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CVRF’s Tsukada Nominated to Alaska Seat on NPFMC

Ryuichi ‘Rudy’ Tsukada, chief operating officer for the Coastal Villages Region Fund (CVRF), one of six Western Alaska Community Development Quota Program groups, has been nominated to fill the obligatory state of Alaska seat on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC). Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy nominated Tsukada on March 15 in a letter to Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, under provisions of Section 302 of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA). In second place for the Alaska seat on the federal council, the governor nominated Samuel Rabung, director of the Alaska Division of Commercial Fisheries. The third person Dunleavy listed for consideration was Tom Taube, deputy director of the Alaska Division of Sport Fisheries. Dunleavy cited Tsukad...