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Marine Debris Foundation Establishing Headquarters in Juneau
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Marine Debris Foundation Establishing Headquarters in Juneau

The Marine Debris Foundation (MDF), established by Congress as a public-private partnership with NOAA’s Marine Debris Program, will have its headquarters in Juneau, Alaska on the campus of the University of Alaska College and Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, it was announced Feb. 21. The foundation, based alongside the fisheries college and the University of Alaska Southeast, has enormous potential, said Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, who made the announcement in his annual address to the Alaska Legislature. “NOAA's program is our nation's sole government agency exclusively focused on the complex issue of marine debris,” the foundation’s executive director, Susan R. Sherman, said. “Government agencies typically enter into public-private partnerships like this one to expand the scop...
British Columbia Commercial Vessel Master Fined for Illegal Fishing
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British Columbia Commercial Vessel Master Fined for Illegal Fishing

Sentencing has been handed down to the master of the commercial prawn fishing vessel Darkstar following a long-running court case over illegal fishing in British Columbia’s Strait of Georgia, Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans revealed Feb. 23. Judge S.M. Merrick has sentenced the vessel master to pay a fine of $250,000 and forfeit all gear seized (with an approximate value of $80,000) after previously finding him guilty on May 24, 2023 of a total of 13 violations of Canada’s Fisheries Act. On July 2 and July 3, 2020, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) Conservation and Protection fishery officers seized the vessel master’s prawn traps, which were illegally set in the Strait of Georgia Glass Sponge Reef Marine Refuges near Sechelt. This area is protected and closed to all ...
Coast Guard Intercept Yields Cocaine Stash Valued at Over $143 Million
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Coast Guard Intercept Yields Cocaine Stash Valued at Over $143 Million

A U.S. Coast Guard cutter in pursuit of a suspected vessel during a counter-narcotics patrol in the Eastern Pacific Ocean recovered 4,950 kilos of cocaine valued at over $143 million, Coast Guard officials said Monday, Feb. 26. The interdiction by the Coast Guard cutter Alert, on its last patrol out of its current homeport in Astoria, Ore., is among the Coast Guard’s largest single intersections in the Eastern Pacific and represents a major blow to criminal organizations attempting to smuggle illicit narcotics through the maritime domain, the Guard has said. The mission also serves as the capstone in Alert’s time in the Coast Guard Pacific Area. The Alert is to shift homeport in June to be stationed in Cape Canaveral, Fla. as part of the larger Coast Guard Force Alignment Initiat...
BBRSDA Selects New Executive Director
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BBRSDA Selects New Executive Director

Seafood industry veteran Lilani Dunn has been promoted to executive director of the Bristol Bay Seafood Development Association (BBSDA), which represents drift gillnetters harvesting the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery. Her appointment was announced on Feb. 21.  She succeeds Andy Wink, of Wink Research & Consulting, who served as executive director of the BBRSDA for five-and-a-half years. Dunn joined the BBRSDA in 2020 to oversee the association’s salmon marketing efforts, after holding positions with the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) and Orca Bay Foods. She is the president of Northwest Fisheries Association, a member of the National Fisheries Institute, and serves as chair of ASMI’s domestic marketing committee. “The marketing program is our single ...
Seafood Nutrition Partnership Introduces New Program to Drive Sales, Consumption
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Seafood Nutrition Partnership Introduces New Program to Drive Sales, Consumption

The Seafood Nutrition Partnership (SNP) is partnering with Pacific Seafood, Sitka Seafood Market, FultonFishMarket.com and farmed salmon seafood provider Bakkafrost on a new program to encourage consumers to shop directly with participating companies’ online stores. The stated goal of the campaign, which was announced Feb. 14, is to help consumers eat seafood at least twice a week for improved health and to bring awareness to online seafood companies. According to SNP founder and president Linda Cornish, 90% of Americans are not meeting dietary guideline recommendations to eat seafood at least twice a week and missing out on important health benefits. “We recommend buying from their favorite retailers and restaurants and now we can share a list of companies that ship seafood dire...
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, ...