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2022 Alaska Salmon Harvest Valued at $720M
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2022 Alaska Salmon Harvest Valued at $720M

A preliminary commercial harvest summary recently issued by the Alaska Department of Fish & Game puts the value of 160.7 million salmon caught in 2022 at $720.4 million, compared to the 2021 harvest of 233.8 million salmon harvested. The 31% decrease in the total harvest is explained by the relatively low pink salmon run size in 2022, a consistent trend for even-numbered years over the last decade, ADF&G biologists said in their mid-November report. The 2022 total harvest sockeyes accounted for 66% of the total value of $473.8 million and 47% of the harvest of 74.8 million fish.  Chum salmon, numbering 14.9 million, contributed 15% of the overall value at $110.6 million. Coho salmon made up about 2% of the value $15 million and 1% of the harvest at 1.6 million fish, while the...
Washington Cancels Net Pen Salmon Farm Leases
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Washington Cancels Net Pen Salmon Farm Leases

Washington state officials have declined to renew expired leases for two remaining finfish net pens citing the damage done in the Cypress Island net pen collapse of 2017. The state’s Department of Natural Resources in mid-November informed Cooke Aquaculture, based in Saint John, Canada, that the agency would not renew the two aquaculture facilities leases in Rich Passage off Bainbridge Island and off Hope Island in Skagit Bay. Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz said that the catastrophic event sparked an effort to terminate finfish net pen operations due to lease violations. “Despite years of litigation – and a company that has fought us every step of the way – we are not able to deny lease renewals for the remaining net pen sites,” Franz said. The decision will return those w...
2023 Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon Forecasts Anticipate Lower Harvest
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2023 Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon Forecasts Anticipate Lower Harvest

Early forecasts from the University of Washington Alaska Salmon Program (UW-ASP) and Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) foresee a 2023 Bristol Bay sockeye salmon harvest of nearly 35 million to 38 million sockeye salmon, compared to the 2022 harvest of 60 million fish. Forecasts differ due to the modeling used by researchers at the two entities. The UW-ASP preseason forecast, based on historical catch and escapement data collected by ADF&G, plus additional stock, plus 38 individual stocks by age class forecasts, is 13% lower than the recent 10-year average of 57 million fish and 4% higher than the recent 20-year average of observed runs of 48 million sockeyes to Bristol Bay. In recent years, the UW-ASP program has increasingly relied on Dynamic Linear Models (DLM) to g...
Coast Guard Urged to Improve Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Efforts
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Coast Guard Urged to Improve Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Efforts

A new report from the federal Government Accountability Office (GAO) says that to date the U.S. Coast Guard has implemented just five of 22 key statutory requirements for improved vessel safety established strategic goals and performance goals for its commercial fishing vessel safety program. The GAO report, released in early November, noted Coast Guard efforts to conduct dockside exams, engage with industry and collaborate with the National Marine Fisheries Service and other federal agencies. The Coast Guard also issued two-year safety decals to all vessels that successfully completed the dockside exams, the report said. However, the Coast Guard has only partially or not implemented 17 other requirements, according to the GAO, including one to develop alternate safety standards for ol...
Comment Period For December NPFMC Meeting Runs From Nov. 18 Through Dec. 2
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Comment Period For December NPFMC Meeting Runs From Nov. 18 Through Dec. 2

Crab, groundfish and final action on charter halibut management measures are all on the agenda when the North Pacific Fishery Management Council meets in early December in Anchorage. Major issues on the agenda include an emergency rule request for the red king crab savings area, an initial review of the snow crab rebuilding analysis as well as the Cook Inlet salmon fishery management plan and final action on the charter halibut management measures.  Public comment on these and other agenda items is being accepted from Nov. 18 through Dec. 2. All submitted comments will be reviewed and posted online on the council’s website. Also, both the council and the advisory panel meetings are being broadcast on Zoom. The council is also accepting nominations from Alaska Native tribes and/or trib...
From the Editor: PME ‘22
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From the Editor: PME ‘22

As you probably know if you’re involved in the West Coast commercial fishing industry, one of the largest and longest running commercial fishing and commercial marine trade shows in existence, Pacific Marine Expo, takes place Nov. 17-19 in Seattle. And once again, the company that owns Fishermen’s News Magazine will be in attendance. Maritime Institute, the parent company of Maritime Publishing, which operates Fishermen’s News, will be at Booth 220 during this year’s expo. A handful of Maritime Publishing representatives, including publisher Dave Abrams, advertising manager Katie Higgins and yours truly, managing editor Mark Nero, will all be at the booth during various times over the course of the three days, as will other folks who help create content for the magazine. If you’re going ...
2023 Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon Forecasts Anticipate A Lower Harvest
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2023 Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon Forecasts Anticipate A Lower Harvest

Early forecasts from the University of Washington Alaska Salmon Program (UW-ASP) and Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) predict a 2023 Bristol Bay sockeye salmon harvest of about 35 million to 38 million fish, compared to the 2022 harvest of 60 million fish. Forecasts differ due to the modeling used by researchers at the two entities. The UW-ASP preseason forecast, based on historical catch and escapement data collected by ADF&G, plus additional stock and stock by age class forecasts, is 13% lower than the recent 10-year average of 57 million fish and 4% higher than the recent 20-year average of observed runs of 48 million sockeye to Bristol Bay. In recent years, the UW-ASP program has increasingly relied on Dynamic Linear Models (DLM) to generate forecasts based on th...
Canada Completes 2022 IUU Enforcement in North Pacific
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Canada Completes 2022 IUU Enforcement in North Pacific

Canadian fisheries officials, collaborating with the United States, South Korea and Japan, have completed their 2022 efforts in Operation North Pacific Guard, an international law enforcement operation on the high seas of the North Pacific Ocean. December marks the 30th anniversary of the United Nations ban of high seas driftnets, which are identified by Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) Canada as a threat to Canadian migratory fish stocks such as Pacific salmon. and all living marine species. The DFO said in a report issued in early November that Canada flew 29 patrols over 247 hours, covering a total of 44,200 nautical miles as part of Operation North Pacific Guard. They discovered incidents of sharks being caught and kept and garbage pollution, as well as a large number of ships with impro...
UBC Researchers Begin Study of Road Salt Impacts on Salmon
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UBC Researchers Begin Study of Road Salt Impacts on Salmon

A new five-year study by University of British Columbia researchers will focus on the impact of road salt on salmon habitat and baby salmon and how the public can help reduce potential impact from road salt. The study, announced in early November, noted that Pacific salmon are in decline and posed the question of whether too much salt in critical salmon streams could be a cause. Adult salmon live in salt water but grow up in fresh water and there’s evidence that quite moderate salt levels at a young age causes mortality and stunted growth in these fish. The study itself will focus on the region around Vancouver, British Columbia, also known as the Lower Mainland. There is currently relatively limited monitoring of salt levels in the area’s creeks and streams, although there are various...
Backyard Buoys to Help Support Blue Economy
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Backyard Buoys to Help Support Blue Economy

A new effort to gather wave data to enhance the blue economy, including maritime activities, food security and coastal hazard protection, is underway with National Science Foundation (NSF) funds to improve ocean data access for Indigenous communities. NOAA officials said the Backyard Buoys project would empower Indigenous and other coastal communities to collect, steward and use wave data that complements their existing knowledge to support their blue economy. Innovations in the works currently include a modular, sustainable process for community-led stewardship of affordable ocean buoys and co-designed web-based applications that render data easy to access and understand and bridge to Indigenous knowledge. The NOAA-led U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System effort is being financed v...