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NOAA, FDA Continue Efforts to Ensure Safety of Gulf of Mexico Seafood

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are taking additional steps to enhance inspection measures designed to ensure that seafood from the Gulf of Mexico reaching America’s tables is safe to eat.The federal government, in conjunction with Gulf states regulatory agencies, is playing an active role in ensuring the safety of seafood harvested from federal and state waters. The federal government, led by FDA and NOAA, is taking a multi-pronged approach to ensure that seafood from Gulf waters is not contaminated by oil. The strategy includes precautionary closures, increased seafood testing inspections and a re-opening protocol. “Closing harvest waters that could be exposed to oil protects the public from potentially contaminated se...
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Coming to Restaurant Menus – Sustainable Alaska Flatfish

A month after being awarded an international environmental certification, Alaska flatfish species are receiving new attention from seafood buyers and restaurateurs. After a three-year comprehensive evaluation, the fisheries earned Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification. Their products are now eligible to bear the MSC ecolabel recognizing that the seafood is harvested from a sustainable and well-managed fishery."The Alaska Seafood Cooperative (AKSC) recognized what a strong story there was to tell about stewardship and sustainability in the management of Alaska's flatfish fisheries. MSC certification allows us to better distinguish our products from others while also positioning us as a model for flatfish fishery management around the world," said John Gauvin, fisheries science proj...
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Columbia River Sockeye Returning in Record Numbers

The Seattle Times reported this week on word from the Washington State Fish and Wildlife office in Vancouver about some huge sockeye numbers being seen in the Lower Columbia River.The 25,011 sockeye counted at Bonneville Dam on Sunday, June 20 was the second highest single-day count since at least 1938. The record is 27,112 fish on July 7, 1955.The total number of sockeye that have passed up Bonneville Dam so far this summer is 82,055. The count at The Dalles Dam is 38,830; at the John Day Dam it is 21,354; at McNary Dam it is 9,199.This summer the preseason forecast calls for 125,200 sockeye back to the Columbia River. Of that the majority of are destined for the Okanogan River with a smolt-based forecast of 110,300.The rest of that 14,300 will be heading back to the Wenatchee River and t...
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FAO Seafood Technology Offers Glimpse of Fish Processing Future

By Bob TkaczThe commercial fishing industry, by definition, knows that fish are money, but a recent international conference on seafood technology demonstrated, in molecular detail, the potential profit from tons of “waste” products that gets ground up, hosed off and otherwise discarded in fisheries in Alaska and around the world.How does $25 per kilogram for chitosan or $130 per kg for chitooligosaccharides sound for a fishery paycheck? Chitosan speeds up blood clotting and the US Marines are treating the battlefield dressings the use in Afghanistan with it. “COS” offers other health and food manufacturing benefits. Both organic compounds are among the many minerals, vitamins being refined from fish bones, skin, entrails and oils.Put together by the University of Alaska and the United Nat...
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Live Catch

Workers at a Massachusetts shellfish plant were processing a load of clams when they made a potentially explosive discovery, 126 hand grenades, officials said.It's not unusual for grenades and other munitions to turn up in traps along the East Coast, but 126 is a relatively large number for one catch, WCVB-TV, Boston, reported.Workers at the Fair Tide Shellfish plant in New Bedford found the grenades in late April – some of them with pins still attached – in a catch of clams that had been dredged off Long Island."Come to find out, based on what the Navy said, they were live. They were loaded for bear so to speak," Fair Tide Shellfish Finance Executive Tom Slaughter said.The grenades were in wooden crates covered with dark muck, he said."When one broke open, we found all the grenades inside...
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Worst Red Tide in Years Hits Puget Sound

www.redorbit.comThe worst red tide in perhaps a decade has shut down shellfish beds all along Puget Sound and prompted serious public health worries, state officials said Wednesday. Expanded beach closures have not reached the heart of Washington state's large farmed shellfish industry, and the state said commercial shellfish on the market have been tested and should be safe to eat. But industry officials worried that more bad news could further damage businesses already reeling from a separate bacterial outbreak. The state Health Department said the newest round of beach closures means virtually the entire shoreline from Everett south to the Nisqually River just north of Olympia is off-limits for shellfish harvesting. The eastern Kitsap Peninsula also has been affected, along with areas n...
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Lessons to be Learned

By Chris Philips, Managing EditorOn October 21, 2008, the F/V Katmai was making way toward Dutch Harbor, Alaska to offload approximately 120,000 lbs (53.6 LT) of Pacific Cod, Most of the crew was asleep, and the boat was transiting the Amchitka Pass in the Aleutian Islands. It was raining with 25 to 35 foot seas and 55-90 knot winds. According to the official US Coast Guard report, the vessel had a port heel caused by the wind and seas.At midnight the Katmai lost steering. Dispatched to investigate, the engineer noted that the watertight door to the lazarette, which contained the steering gear, was open and that the space was flooded. The Engineer started the bilge system to dewater the lazarette. The Captain sent a second email to the F/V BLUE BALLARD stating that the lazarette was floode...
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Area M Commercial Fishermen Volunteer to Sit Out First Opening of June Sockeye Salmon Fishery

The purse seine fleet in Sand Point and King Cove has decided to stand down this week during the first sockeye salmon opening for 2010 in Area M. The Area M fishery is located around Alaska’s Eastern Aleutian Islands and Western Peninsula on the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea. The first opening began June 7th at 6 a.m. and ends at 10 p.m. on June 10, 2010. Chum salmon is a controversial issue. Although existing data indicates that the chum salmon catch during the Area M fishery has only a small impact on A-Y-K (Arctic Yukon Kuskokwim) chums, many residents living in the A-Y-K believe otherwise. During two separate meetings late last week, Area M fishermen debated what action they might take in response to A-Y-K chum concerns. Seine vessel captains gathered in Sand Point City Council Ch...
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Yukon River Salmon Star In Award Winning Film

By Margaret BaumanA film on Yukon River salmon and the commercial fishermen who harvest them won top honors in the 2010 James Beard Foundation Media and Book Awards on May 2, in ceremonies in New York City.The “King of Alaska” episode from the Public Broadcasting Station (PBS) “Chefs A’ Field” special features Yukon king salmon and the Yup’ik Eskimo harvesters of this salmon species famed for its high omega-3 oil content.The harvesters work for Kwik’Pak Fisheries, a subsidiary of Yukon Delta Fisheries Development Association, a community development quota group. Kwik’Pak buys salmon from several hundred harvesters of salmon in the Lower Yukon.Kwik’Pak general manager Jack Schultheis, who helped orchestrate the project, said he was pleased that the segment on wild Yukon River salmon and the...
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Scientists Team With Fishermen on Study of Ocean Salmon Migration

By Mark FloydA major research effort aimed at learning more about where salmon from specific river systems migrate in the Pacific Ocean will resume this year after a two-year hiatus – and expand to encompass the entire West Coast of the United States. The research effort builds on a pioneering study by researchers at Oregon State University, who have worked for several years to streamline genetic testing of salmon. Their hope is to identify where in the ocean salmon from specific rivers travel so resource managers can still allow fishing while protecting depleted runs in the Sacramento and Klamath rivers, or other river systems.This year, OSU researchers are working with colleagues in Washington and California – and with 200 West Coast commercial salmon fishermen – to collect tissue sample...