UFA Update: December 8, 2017

Thanks to new business members:

Fishermen’s Finest of Kirkland – Ocean Class
Orca Bay Seafoods of Renton – Sea Class
Rogge – A Charlies’ Produce Company of Seattle – Sea Class
Desperate Marine LLC of Homer
Mustad Autoline of Seattle
Rising Tide Communications of Anchorage

Support UFA Business members on our website HERE.

Help support UFA today! – Visit ‘Become a Member’ on our website to see the various membership levels and benefits.

Thanks to our members and friends for making our 2017 Pacific Marine Expo successful and fun!

See # 27 below for Ocean Acidification survey, #31 for Kenai Salmon Habitat Forum, and #40 for Women in Fisheries survey.


Inclusion of an item does not mean that UFA endorses or agrees.


  1. Governor Walker appoints Vance Fate Putman to CFEC
  2. Fish Board nixes rule unpopular with Fairbanks dip-netters
  3. Alaska Board of Fisheries backs proposed Dutch Harbor grab of Togiak herring quota
  4. 2018 Forecasts out for Stikine, Taku kings
  5. ADFG Salmon Forecasts for 2018- UCI sockeye, BB Sockeye and SE Pinks posted
  6. Report identifies ways to rejuvenate Alaska’s commercial fishing fleet
  7. AK Dept of Labor reports fewer fishing jobs


  1. Got your 2018 health insurance? ACA Open enrollment ends December 15
  2. NPFMC seeks your input on Federal Salmon Fishery Management Plan
  3. NPDES vessel incidental discharge waiver to expire Nov 18 – legislation introduced.
  4. Cantwell Introduces Solution to Shield WA Fishermen from Unnecessary Costs, Delays
  5. NMFS’ Chris Oliver defends Alaska management after IUU claims –calls for retraction
  6. Seattle Times Opinion: Don’t gut nation’s pre-eminent ocean-fisheries law
  7. USCG warns Alaska fishing operators of icing dangers
  8. Marine Safety Alert – check your Kidde fire extinguishers
  9. Fishing Vessel Drill Conductor Workshops 12/9 in Juneau, Anchorage and Homer
  10. (WA) Two Coast Guard-Approved First Aid at Sea Workshops for Commercial Fishermen and Recreational Boaters
  11. Comment by January 4 on Vessel Monitoring System VMS Type-Approval regulations


  1. Alaska’s seafood marketing agency expands its reach
  2. Fish Factor: Company promotes farmed fish to save wild seafood, ASMI responds
  3. Alaska sockeye market shifts away from Japan
  4. Live Alaska king crab flying to Chinese markets
  5. ASMI offers space at Seafood Exposition Global April 24-26 in Brussels, Belgium


  1. Delegation & State Requests State Department to Focus on Transboundary Issues
  2. Comment by December 14 on Red Mountain (Stewart BC) Mine
  3. Study: Ocean acidification impacts olfactory functions of salmon
  4. Ocean Acifidication: Take this short survey to help inform future monitoring in Alaska
  5. Prince of Wales Landscape Level Analysis Project public comment by Dec.18
  6. Pebble: A new plan for building a better mine
  7. Comment deadline December 31 on DEC Water Quality Triennial review topics
  8. Kenai Salmon Habitat Policy Forum – Thursday, December 14th
  9. Refuge Notebook: Why northern pike are bad for the Kenai Peninsula
  10. Governor Walker establishes Climate Change Strategy & Leadership Team

Aquaculture / Enhancement

  1. Silver Bay plans for two aquatic farm sites north of Sitka
  2. Genetics key to long-term study of Alaska’s hatchery salmon


  1. Study: Seal and sea lions’ strong revival eats into salmon harvest, orca recovery
  2. 3 FishLines – Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program newsletter for November 2017
  3. AMSEA Marine Safety Instructor Training in Seattle – Feb 6-8, 2018
  4. Laine Welch’s Fish Radio – Recent Items
  5. Take the survey: Putting Gender Equality on the Agenda of the Seafood Industry


Inclusion of an item does not mean that UFA endorses or agrees.





  1. Governor Walker appoints Vance Fate Putman to CFEC

ANCHORAGE – Governor Bill Walker today announced the appointment of V. Fate Putman to the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission (CFEC). Mr. Putman will fill the seat on December 1, when Benjamin Brown steps down. Mr. Putman will serve the remainder of the term until March 3, 2019.

“Fate’s stable leadership, conscientious nature, and reasonable voice will be an asset to the commission,” Governor Walker said. “I am confident he will be a great addition to the CFEC team, which has worked hard to support the economic health of Alaska’s commercial fisheries.”…

Governor’s press release 11/29:



A third seat may be considered for appointment. Applications may be obtained online at:
Online public notice October 11: https://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View.aspx?id=187344


CFEC home page: https://www.cfec.state.ak.us/index.htm


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  1. Fish Board nixes rule unpopular with Fairbanks dip-netters

FAIRBANKS — Alaska’s Board of Fisheries has removed a rule unpopular with Fairbanks dip-netters that reduced upriver fishing opportunities on years when the commercial fleet at the mouth of the Copper River faced long closures.

During its meeting in Valdez on Sunday, the board voted 6-1 in favor of Proposal 18, a proposal written by the Fairbanks Fish and Game Advisory Committee and the Fairbanks-based Chitina Dipnetters Association, according to Chuck Derrick, the president of the dip-netters association.

The one “no” vote came from board chairman John Jensen of Petersburg…

Several other Copper River salmon fishing proposals failed this week at the Board of Fisheries. The failed proposals included efforts to ban dip nets made of monofilament or gillnet mesh, to ban fishing from boats in the Glennallen Subdistrict, and to require log book record keeping from subsistence and personal use charter operators…

Fairbanks News-Miner:



Craig Medred: All Ahead Stop



BOF Prince William Sound Finfish: December 1-5, 2017 meeting page:



The summary of actions should be posted soon at the meeting page above.


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  1. Alaska Board of Fisheries backs proposed Dutch Harbor grab of Togiak herring quota

Board generated proposal 236 aims to shift three percent of allowable harvest of herring stock from Togiak sac roe fishery to Dutch Harbor food and bait quota. “I’m dumbfounded as to why they would circumvent the public process,” said Frank Woods, Togiak herring gillnetter and Nushagak Fish and Game Advisory chairman.

A regulatory change proposed by Alaska’s Board of Fisheries would shift the dates of the Dutch Harbor food and bait fishery to align closer with the timing of the run, according to one of just a few seiners who participate. Proposal 236 would also end the specific allocation to a gill net fleet that does not participate anymore, a move no one has thus far objected to. But the board generated proposal, backed by Chairman John Jensen, would also shift three percent of the allowable harvest quota from Togiak to Dutch Harbor.

That is raising eyebrows as stakeholders closer to the Togiak stock involved learn about it…



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  1. 2018 Forecasts out for Stikine, Taku kings

Biologists with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game say preseason forecasts for Chinook salmon returning to the Stikine and Taku rivers in Southeast Alaska in 2018 are below the escapement goal range and will not provide for an allowable catch in the U.S. or Canada…

Cordova Times:



ADFG newsrelease December 5: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/applications/dcfnewsrelease/880828928.pdf


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  1. ADFG Salmon Forecasts for 2018- UCI sockeye, BB Sockeye and SE Pinks posted

See online at http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fishingcommercial.main




ADFG Commercial Salmon 2017 Summary:



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  1. Report identifies ways to rejuvenate Alaska’s commercial fishing fleet

(Paula Dobbyn, SitNews) – A new report on Alaska’s aging fishing fleet and loss of access to commercial fisheries in rural communities recommends five steps to reverse these troubling trends.

The report, called “Turning the Tide”, is based on a global review of access to commercial fisheries. It is the work of a research team at the University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, Alaska Sea Grant and Alaska Marine Conservation Council.

The report details the ongoing loss of fishing permits and quota from Alaska’s coastal communities and the rising age of quota and permit holders. It notes that Alaska’s rural fishing communities have shed nearly 2,500 locally held commercial fishing permits since 1975 when Alaska began limiting entry. That’s a loss of over 30 percent of permits originally held by local residents.

Prior to limited entry, anyone could fish commercially by getting a gear license and paying a nominal fee to the state. With limited entry, people who want to start fishing must purchase rights, or be gifted or inherit them, from private individuals.

Of the permits remaining in rural Alaska today, an increasingly older population holds them, a trend known as the “graying of the fleet.” In 1975, fishermen age 40 and under held about half of all rural local permits. By 2016, that figure had nearly been cut in half. The typical fisherman working today is over 50 years old, a decade older than a generation ago.

Both trends threaten the viability of commercial fishing as an economic and cultural mainstay in Alaska, the study concludes.

The report lists the following recommendations:

  • Alaska should supplement its market-based fishing access approach with programs in which individuals do not have to pay. Iceland, for example, has created free community quota programs and quota-free fisheries restricted by landings and seasons. These programs encourage new entry and diversification of Iceland’s fleet.
  • Youth permits or student licenses should be created, and mentorship or apprenticeship programs established, to provide youth with exposure to fishing and a career pathway.
  • Develop mechanisms to protect and diversify access to community-based fishing. One example comes from Norway, which generally prohibits the transfer of quota shares to people living outside local areas.
  • Support coastal infrastructure, such as processors, cold storage and industrial parks, to maintain local fisheries.
  • Create a statewide task force to review and consider collaborative solutions to reverse the trend of the graying fleet and loss of fishing access in rural Alaska.

The full report is available at http://fishermen.alaska.edu/ . The report’s release comes one day before the Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit convenes in Anchorage at the Dena’ina Center. Organized and hosted by Alaska Sea Grant, the summit offers leadership-building and networking opportunities in the Alaska commercial fishing industry through three days of intensive training.

Industry leaders will provide insights on fishing business management, regulatory processes and the role of Alaska seafood in the global marketplace. This year the summit coincides with the North Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting in Anchorage.

On the Web:

Download the Report: “Turning the Tide”

Alaska’s Next Generation of Fishermen

University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences

Alaska Sea Grant

Alaska Marine Conservation Council.


Sitnews article:



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  1. AK Dept of Labor reports fewer fishing jobs

Fewer men and women went out fishing in Alaska last year in a familiar cycle that reflects the vagaries of Mother Nature.

A focus on commercial fishing in the November Alaska Economic Trends by the State Department of Labor shows that the number of boots on deck fell by five percent in 2016 to about 7,860 harvesters, driven by the huge shortfall in pink salmon returns and big declines in crab quotas.

Fishing for salmon, which accounts for the majority of Alaska’s fishin?jobs, fell by 6.4 percent statewide in 2016, a loss of 323 workers.

The only Alaska region to show gains in fishing jobs last year was Southcentral, which includes the Prince William Sound and Cook Inlet fisheries, as well as fishing boats out of Homer, Seward and Kenai. All of the region’s fisheries added jobs in 2016, even salmon, scoring the state’s second-highest total employment at 1,661 harvesters.

Southeast Alaska had the state’s largest slice of fishing jobs in 2016 at 29 percent, or 2,275 fishermen? But that reflects a decline for the third straight year. The panhandle’s harvesting employment dipped 0.8 percent in 2015 and 2.3 percent in 2016, by 53 jobs…:



November 2017 Alaska Economic Trends – Commercial Fishing Employment:



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  1. Got your 2018 health insurance? ACA Open enrollment ends December 15 –

Affordable care Act home page for individuals: www.healthcare.gov

Businesses: https://www.healthcare.gov/small-businesses/employers/


To preview plans see: https://www.healthcare.gov/see-plans/


For help from Alaska navigators, see:




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  1. NPFMC seeks your input on Federal Salmon Fishery Management Plan

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council is amending the Federal Salmon FMP to manage the commercial salmon fisheries that occur in Federal waters in Cook Inlet. The Council intends, at a future meeting, to form a Salmon Committee that will include stakeholders and assist in the development of the amendment by reviewing and recommending measures necessary to satisfy the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. This proposed action is necessary to bring the Salmon FMP into compliance with the Magnuson-Stevens Act consistent with the recent Ninth Circuit ruling and the Judgement of the District Court in UCIDA et al., v. NMFS.

To develop the scope of work for the Salmon Committee, the Council is soliciting written proposals from the public to help the Council identify specific required conservation and management measures for the Salmon Committee to evaluate relevant to the development of options for a fishery management plan amendment.


Proposal deadline is February 1, 2018.


To learn more about submitting a proposal, and for further resources and reference materials, go to the Council’s website at https://www.npfmc.org/fishery-management-plan-team/salmon-fmp/.


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  1. NPDES vessel incidental discharge waiver to expire Nov 18 – legislation introduced.

…EPA issued the Small Vessel General Permit (sVGP) on September 10, 2014 for the control of incidental discharges for vessels less than 79 feet in length. However, as the result of legislation, these smaller vessels are not required to obtain coverage under that permit until December 18, 2017, except for any ballast water discharges. That legislation also exempted commercial fishing vessels of all sizes from having to obtain NPDES permit coverage for those incidental discharges, except ballast water, until December 18, 2017…

Small Vessel General Permit page: https://www.epa.gov/npdes/vessels-svgp


EPA vessel incidental discharge background info: https://www.epa.gov/npdes/vessels-program-history


  1. Cantwell Introduces Solution to Shield WA Fishermen from Unnecessary Costs, Delays

Cantwell’s legislation provides regulatory relief for smaller vessels like crab and salmon boats

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) introduced the Fishing and Small Vessel Relief Act (S.2194) to extend protections for fishermen and small vessel owners from adhering to costly requirements that do not tangibly protect or improve water quality for vessels of their size. An EPA study found that incidental discharges from these small vessels do not generate a significant threat to our waters.

The bill will extend a current moratorium that exempts fishing vessels and vessels under 79 feet from incidental discharge permitting requirements mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These vessels have been continuously exempt since 2008 under a temporary moratorium as they do not pose a serious environmental risk.

“Fishermen are key drivers of Washington state’s growing economy. We need their boats out fishing, not bogged down by regulations meant for large vessels like oil tankers,” said Cantwell.

Cantwell’s science-based legislation brings stability to small vessel owners who have been at unease due to an impending December 18th expiration of the current moratorium. More than 115,000 small vessels nation-wide would receive relief under the Cantwell legislation. Commercial fishing boats make up the bulk of the protected vessels, but many research vessels, tour boats, tugboats, towboats, and offshore supply boats would also qualify…

A copy of the bill can be found HERE.


Senator Cantwell press release:



S.2194 incidental discharge bill & tracking on congress.gov:



Most recent UFA letter:

UFA to Senators Murkowski and Cantwell requesting vessel discharge standalone legislation (October 31, 2017)


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  1. NMFS’ Chris Oliver defends Alaska management after IUU claims –calls for retraction

October 11 letter from NOAA Assistant Administrator for Fisheries Chris Oliver to editor of Marine Policy:

“ In a recent paper published in Marine Policy (Volume 84, “Estimates of illegal and unreported seafood imports to Japan”), authors Pramod, Pitcher, and Mantha offer estimates of IUU seafood products entering Japanese markets, including Alaska pollock, salmon, and crab from the United States -—fisheries that are among the best managed and closely monitored in the world. These estimates are then used as rationale for the creation of a seafood traceability system for Japanese seafood imports. While NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service generally agrees with the value of catch documentation and traceability as one of many tools available to combat IUU fishing, it strongly objects to authors’ claims regarding U.S. seafood exports to Japan and doubts the validity of the methodology used to makes such estimates. The allegations made in the paper absent any transparency regarding the data and assumptions supporting them are irresponsible and call into question the authors’ conclusions. Without significantly more information and transparency regarding data sources and methodologies applied, the paper should be retracted in its entirety…”



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  1. Seattle Times Opinion: Don’t gut nation’s pre-eminent ocean-fisheries law

by Amy Grondin

Congress is weighing two proposals that would exempt fish species from science-based annual catch limits and delay rebuilding overfished populations. The measures, cutting into the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, must be opposed…



H.R. 200 – Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act – bill tracking, text & info



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  1. USCG warns Alaska fishing operators of icing dangers

As the winter fishing season gets underway across Alaska, the Coast Guard is reminding operators of commercial fishing vessel operators to be aware of the dangers of icing and vessel stability . A vessel’s center of gravity can rapidly rise when freezing spray accumulates high above the main deck. Icing conditions exceeding 1.3 inches increase the risk of capsizing and sinking…

Marine Log: http://www.marinelog.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=27554:uscg-warns-alaska-fishing-operators-of-icing-dangers&Itemid=257


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  1. Marine Safety Alert – check your Kidde fire extinguishers

November 13, 2017 Safety Alert 12-17

Don’t be inflamed about what you have to do! Kidde has made this extinguisher recall and replacement easy for you.

This safety alert provides information related to Kidde brand fire extinguishers. Nearly 40 Million extinguishers involving 134 different models have been recalled. These fire extinguishers were manufactured between January 1, 1973 and August 15, 2017, including models that were previously recalled in March 2009 and February 2015. The extinguishers were sold in red, white, and silver cylinder colors and are rated as either ABC or BC.

The Coast Guard strongly recommends that all persons owning fire extinguishers to read the following information and access the appropriate hyperlinks for specific recall information.

This product recall involves two styles of Kidde disposable fire extinguishers: Plastic handle fire extinguishers and plastic push-button fire extinguishers. This recall does not include Kidde Professional or Badger branded fire extinguishers. Units with metal handles/valve assemblies are not included in the recall…

FishSafeWest marine safety alert: http://fishsafewest.info/PDFs/MSA12-17.pdf


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  1. Fishing Vessel Drill Conductor Workshops 12/9 in Juneau, Anchorage and Homer

The Alaska Marine Safety Education Association (AMSEA) will offer a Fishing Vessel Drill Conductor workshop in Juneau on Saturday, December 9, from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM. The workshop will be conducted at the University of Alaska Southeast Technical Education Center, Room 106, 1415 Harbor Way. This workshop is free to commercial fishermen, thanks to support from the U.S. Coast Guard, the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health. The cost is $175 for all others. Interested mariners may register at www.amsea.org or call (907) 747-3287.


See http://www.amsea.org/ for notices for other locations and future trainings.


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  1. (WA) Two Coast Guard-Approved First Aid at Sea Workshops for Commercial Fishermen and Recreational Boaters

Effectively treat hypothermia, near drowning, shock, trauma, burns, fractures and more while on the water.

Washington Sea Grant and the Port of Seattle Fisherman’s Terminal are co-sponsoring two one-day First Aid at Sea workshops on Monday, Feb. 5, 2018 and Friday, Feb. 16, 2018 in Seattle, WA.

For more info see Washington Seagrant Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/WaSeaGrant/ .


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  1. Comment by January 4 on Vessel Monitoring System VMS Type-Approval regulations

All owners of vessels participating in a NOAA Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) program are required to acquire a NMFS-approved Enhanced Mobile Transmitting Unit (EMTU) or Mobile Transmitting Unit (MTU) to comply with the Vessel Monitoring System requirements. This proposed action would amend the existing VMS Type-Approval regulations by removing the requirement for VMS vendors to periodically renew their EMTU/MTU type-approvals. This renewal process has proved to be unnecessary, has cost fishermen and approved VMS vendors additional time and expense, and has imposed unnecessary costs on the government. Removing the type-approval renewal requirement will spare fishermen, VMS vendors and the government the time and expense associated with the renewal process…

Comments must be received January 4, 2018.


Federal Register December 5: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2017-26197

NOAA Vessel Monitoring System home page: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ole/about/our_programs/vessel_monitoring.html

West Coast region VMS page: http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/fisheries/management/vms.html


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  1. Alaska’s seafood marketing agency expands its reach

Sales prompted by Global Food Aid program bring in millions of dollars

On a domestic and international scale, the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute expanded its reach over the past year to promote domestic and overseas sales of wild Alaska seafood, and educate the industry on seafood technical issues.

In presentations Nov. 28, at the start of ASMI’s three-day All Hands meeting in Anchorage, some 200 participants heard progress reports on these and other related issues, including ASMI’s sustainability program.

Fisheries market researcher Andy Wick, presenting for the McDowell Group in Juneau, noted that the cumulative first wholesale value of wild Alaska seafood from 1959 through 2016 totaled $170 billion, equal to the value of all major professional sports teams in North America.

Eighty percent of the state’s commercial seafood harvests from 2011 through 2015 was in high volume groundfish, including Pollock and cod, while salmon garnered on average 15 percent of the catch, halibut and black cod 1 percent, and crab 1 percent…



ASMI All hands – November 28-30, Anchorage archive – Meeting Materials .


ASMI home page: http://www.alaskaseafood.org/

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  1. Fish Factor: Company promotes farmed fish to save wild seafood, ASMI responds

ASMI: the message is misconstrued and quite frankly wrong

By Laine Welch: Recurring news headlines that have widely circulated about alarming declines of Pacific salmon have spawned a savvy new marketing strategy that tells consumers they can help save wild fish by eating farmed.

Earlier this year actor Leonardo DiCaprio invested in a company called LoveTheWild (“a champion of sustainable, delicious fish”), which is promoting its oven-ready farmed fish dishes to U.S. supermarkets.

“With LoveTheWild, we sought to create healthy and easy-to-prepare meals that people can feel good about – both in terms of how the fish is raised and how it tastes,” CEO Jacqueline Claudia told SeafoodSource news.

The Denver-based company has now partnered with Amazon-owned Whole Foods Markets to sell its frozen fish dinner kits in more than 400 stores. The dinners include Salmon with Coconut Red Curry, which features farmed fish from Norway. Meanwhile, an investment fund called Aqua-Spark is backing LoveTheWild with $2.5 million to help them ramp up social media and marketing outreach to tempt consumers to opt for farmed fish at more than 6,000 supermarkets over five years…



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  1. Alaska sockeye market shifts away from Japan

By Kayla Desroches, KMXT-KodiakDecember 4, 2017

The demand for Alaska sockeye has shifted away from some of the traditional Asian markets.

In the early 2000s, most Bristol Bay sockeye was fated to either be canned or shipped frozen to Japan, McDowell Group seafood economist Andy Wink said. That’s a much smaller part of the market now – about a third of the volume of Alaska sockeye.

“It’s been an amazing transformation and that’s not something that just happens by itself. That took a lot of investment. A lot of foresight and planning. And a lot of really good work over those 15 years to develop new markets in the U.S. and in Europe.”

According to the McDowell Group’s 2017 fall sockeye market analysis, in 2016, “only 34 percent of Alaska sockeye production went to Japanese or canned markets.”



BBRSDA 2017 Fall Sockeye Market Analysis: https://www.bbrsda.com/updates/2017/11/20/2017-fall-sockeye-market-analysis


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  1. Live Alaska king crab flying to Chinese markets

Live king crab from Alaska has always been seen by harvesters as the highest value crab, but the volumes, logistics and difficulties of a live supply chain have meant that live shipments have been few and far between. In the early 2000s, one company, Royal Aleutian, used to send hundreds of thousands of live golden king crab to US markets.

Now, a processor in Adak is reviving the live crab trade with air shipments of live golden king crab directly from Adak to Shanghai, where they go into Alibaba’s massive Hema fresh seafood markets, among others.

The new crab and groundfish processor in Adak is Golden Harvest Alaska Seafood…



YouTube feature from Abundant Oceans:



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  1. ASMI offers space at Seafood Exposition Global April 24-26 in Brussels, Belgium

Alaska’s wild seafood promotion entity, the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, has extended an invitation to industry participants to share space at ASMI’s pavilion at the 2018 Seafood Exposition Global, set for April 24-26 in Brussels, Belgium…



ASMI invitation: https://www.alaskaseafood.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2018-SEG-Invitation.pdf


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  1. Delegation & State Requests State Department to Focus on Transboundary Issues

Cites Concerns Over Water Quality in Southeast Alaska…

The Alaska Congressional Delegation joined together with the State of Alaska to urge Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to address the downstream risks that mining in British Columbia may pose to Alaskan communities and habitats surrounding transboundary rivers. Senators Lisa Murkowski, Dan Sullivan, Congressman Don Young, Governor Bill Walker and Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott wrote a letter to Secretary Tillerson, seeking his Department’s engagement in their efforts to ensure that British Columbia institutes appropriate safeguards to prevent potential negative effects from the development of large-scale hard rock mine proposals and operations to transboundary waterways and fisheries. Additionally, the Delegation requested B.C. mining projects and potential impacts to Alaska be included on the agenda for upcoming bilateral meetings between the U.S. Department of State and Global Affairs Canada.

“We, like this administration, prioritize the promotion and protection of American


Senator Murkowski press release:



AK Delegation Letter to Secretary Tillerson.pdf


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  1. Comment by December 14 on Red Mountain (Stewart BC) Mine

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency) and British Columbia’s Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) invite the public to comment on the potential environmental, heritage, health, social, and economic effects of the Red Mountain Underground Gold Project. The EIS / Application and more information are available on the Agency’s website at canada.ca/ceaa(Registry reference number 80093). Written comments must be submitted between November 14 and December 14, 2017 and additional instructions may be found at the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency website.


Lt. Governor Mallott Transboundary Newsletter: https://ltgov.alaska.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2016/10/2017Fall_Transboundary-Waters-Newsletter.pdf

& Transboundary home page: https://ltgov.alaska.gov/services/transboundary-relations/


Gov Transboundary Nov 13 letter:



AK DNR Canadian mines page: http://dnr.alaska.gov/commis/opmp/Canadian-Mines/index

Red Mountain (Stewart, BC) info page linked from Alaska DNR interactive map:



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  1. Study: Ocean acidification impacts olfactory functions of salmon

Washington Sea Grant studies how acidity of ocean affects ability of cohos to find their way home

By The Cordova Times -November 17, 2017

Researchers at the University of Washington are observing in laboratory studies that ocean acidification affects a fundamental sensory function of coho salmon, which may impact their ability to feed, avoid danger and find their way home.

While the acidification of ocean waters caused by an increase in carbon dioxide is known to stress shellfish trying to pull calcium carbonate out of seawater to form shells, a lesser known impact of growing ocean acidification is how the changing chemistry of ocean waters is messing with the brains of salmon, says Meg Chadsey, an ocean acidification specialist with Washington Sea Grant…





Researchers sniff out the effects of ocean acidification on salmon navigation


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  1. Ocean Acifidication: Take this short survey to help inform future monitoring in Alaska

The Alaska Ocean Acidification Network is interested in your opinion and priorities. Researchers and resource managers are monitoring ocean acidification in Alaska, and need your input to develop a build-out plan for the monitoring network. Your help will make sure the plan addresses questions that are important to Alaskans. This survey should take less than 10 minutes….

Go to the Survey

Or look for popup screen for survey at http://www.aoos.org/


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  1. Prince of Wales Landscape Level Analysis Project public comment by Dec.18

THORNE BAY, Alaska, Dec. 5, 2017 – The Tongass National Forest is looking for broad input from the public on how National Forest System lands on Prince of Wales and outer islands will be managed over the next 10 to15 years. An official, 14-day public comment period began today for the Prince of Wales Landscape Level Analysis (POW LLA) Project with publication of a legal notice notifying the public of the availability of Draft Issue Statements and Alternatives in the Ketchikan Daily News.

To submit comments, view the POW LLA Draft Issue Statements and Alternatives for December 2017 Public Review, or sign up for an electronic mailing list, visit the project web page at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/tongass/powlla. Project information, updates, meeting notices, and documents will be provided there throughout the planning and analysis process.

The purpose of the POW LLA Project is to improve forest ecosystem health on Craig and Thorne Bay Ranger Districts, help support community resiliency, and provide economic development through an integrated approach to meet multiple resource objectives. The Forest Service has incorporated public input into the design of the POW LLA Project proposal, received comments on that proposed action to help identify issues and concerns which help drive the development of alternatives, and is now seeking public input on the draft issue statements and alternatives that have been developed for the project.

For more information, contact Project Leader Delilah Brigham at 907-828-3232 or email…



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  1. Pebble: A new plan for building a better mine

This is the first in a series of Fact Sheets which we’ve created to describe our plans in more detail.

For over a decade, our goal has been to responsibly design a project with minimal impact, in partnership with the people of the Bristol Bay region, and which meets Alaska’s highest environmental standards.

We have a new plan — a better plan — to share with you. We invite you to download our Fact Sheet and learn more.

See The New Plan



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  1. Comment deadline December 31 on DEC Water Quality Triennial review topics

As required by the federal Clean Water Act, every three years the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) conducts a comprehensive review of the Water Quality Standards (WQS) at 18 AAC 70 (the “triennial review”). The triennial review process provides an opportunity to discuss the priorities and commitments DEC makes with the EPA and others regarding potential updates to surface water quality standards.

You may comment on the potential topics being considered for the 2018-2020 triennial review cycle by submitting written comments to Water Quality Standards Section, DEC Division of Water, at 410 Willoughby Ave, Suite 303. P.O. Box 118000, Juneau, Alaska 99811. Additionally, the Division of Water will accept comments by facsimile at (907) 465-5274 and by electronic mail at dectriennialreview@alaska.gov. Comments may also be submitted electronically through the Alaska Online Public Notice System at http://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices. The comments must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. on December 31, 2017.

Oral or written comments also may be submitted at a hearing to be held on December 19, 2017 in the DEC Main Conference Room, Second Floor. 410 Willoughby Avenue, Juneau. The hearing will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and might be extended to accommodate those present before 6:00 p.m. who did not have an opportunity to comment. Those individuals who cannot attend the public hearing but wish to participate via teleconference may do so by calling (800) 315-6338. Access Code 51851.

A copy of the potential topics being considered for the 2018-2020 triennial review cycle is available on the Alaska Online Public Notice System and by contacting Brock Tabor, brock.tabor@alaska.gov (907) 465-5185. You may also may view a copy of the materials at the agency’s office at DEC-Division of Water, 410 Willoughby Ave, Suite 303, P.O. Box 118000. Juneau, Alaska 99811, or go to the Division of Water Triennial Review web page at:



DEC online public notice: https://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View.aspx?id=187603


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  1. Kenai Salmon Habitat Policy Forum – Thursday, December 14th

Co-sponsored by the UFA Salmon Habitat Information program (SHIP) and UAF Center for Salmon and Society.

Doors open at 5:00 PM – event begins at 5:30, at Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association meeting room….

Featuring a panel of experts from ADFG, State of Alaska, Tribal Entities, Native Corporations, Resource Extraction Industries, and Conservation groups. Moderated by Laine Welch.


Kenaitze Rep. TBD

Valerie Brown – Trustees for Alaska

Deantha Crockett – Alaska Miners Association

Ricky Gease – Kenai River Sportfishing Association

Dan Rinella – USFWS

Sen. Peter Micciche

Rep. Louise Stutes

Jim Butler – Alaska Salmon Alliance

Event facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/UFAAlaskaSalmonHabitat/photos/gm.192567661308740/1519013061515923/?type=3&theater


UFA Salmon Habitat Information Program (SHIP) home page: https://www.ufafish.org/habitat/


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  1. Refuge Notebook: Why northern pike are bad for the Kenai Peninsula

Posted November 16, 2017 11:56 pm

By Rob Massengill, Alaska Department of Fish and Game

The history of northern pike in Southcentral Alaska is murky, but it goes something like this. Pike are not native to Alaska south and west of the Alaska Range and were likely first introduced to Bulchitna Lake in the Susitna Drainage in the 1950s. Pike are now in more than 100 waterbodies in this Indiana-sized drainage. Pike were first documented on the Kenai Peninsula near Soldotna Creek in the 1970s and have since spread to 23 waterbodies. Pike have traveled down the west side of Cook Inlet where commercial setnetters occasionally catch them. Fortunately, the same hasn’t been true for Kenai Peninsula setnetters…



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  1. Governor Walker establishes Climate Change Strategy & Leadership Team

October 31, 2017

JUNEAU — Recognizing that Alaska is the United States’ ground zero for the impacts of climate change, Governor Bill Walker today signed Administrative Order 289 establishing the Alaska Climate Change Strategy and Climate Action for Alaska Leadership Team. The Strategy creates a flexible and long-lasting framework for Alaskans to build a strategic response to climate change informed by the best available science, integration of indigenous and local knowledge, and consideration of Alaska’s economic interests. The order also calls for State departments to review their previous work on climate change, and identify immediate adaptation and response actions they can take…

Governor’s press release:



Future website link – in process: https://climatechange.alaska.gov/


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Enhancement / Aquaculture

  1. Silver Bay plans for two aquatic farm sites north of Sitka

KCAW by Katherine Rose, Dec 5, 2017

A local seafood processor is getting into the shellfish game. Silver Bay Seafoods applied for two mariculture leases earlier this year. The leases are good for ten years. If approved by the state, they will install 22 rafts in two separate locations northwest of Sitka for raising shellfish.

According to documents from the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Silver Bay would lease 163 acres of state-owned tidelands in Nakwasina Sound, near Beehive Island, and 182 acres in Krestof Sound, south of Olga Point. There, they would cultivate both Pacific oysters and spat, which is oyster larvae, grow-out rafts of untreated wood supported by steel beams.

DNR now has until December 5th to review the lease application for Krestof Sound and until December 15th for Nakwasina Sound. Their decision also depends on the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, which must grant Silver Bay a permit for growing Pacific oysters and oyster spat. After that, DNR will announce their preliminary decision…



ADFG Aquatic Farming page: http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/aquatic/index.cfm

2017 Applications: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/Static/fishing/pdfs/mariculture/2017_aquatic_farm_applications.pdf

DNR Aquatic farming program home page: http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/aquatic/index.cfm


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  1. Genetics key to long-term study of Alaska’s hatchery salmon

Posted by KCAW News, Oct 24, 2017

In a season that saw the first ever closure of all king salmon fishing in Southeast Alaska, scientists and fisheries managers are looking for answers: What helps Alaska’s wild salmon stocks? And what hurts them?

For the last six years, the State of Alaska, hatcheries, and processors have funded research to determine if Alaska’s own enhancement programs are harmful to wild populations.

In Part 1 of a 2-part series, KCAW’s Stephanie Fischer looks at the role of so-called “hatchery strays” in wild salmon reproduction…



Part 2: Scaling back hatchery salmon could mean huge losses for fleet




See ADFG Hatcheries Research page for details on the study:



Seafood groups pick up $5.9M tab for hatchery salmon research (February 2017)



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  1. Study: Seal and sea lions’ strong revival eats into salmon harvest, orca recovery

By Andrew Theen, The Oregonian (Nov. 20)

Seal and sea lion populations rebounded during the past 40 years, and now the protected animals snack on millions of Chinook salmon throughout the West each year, potentially eating into any progress from conservation projects.

That’s one major takeaway from a study by Oregon State University, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and tribal scientists published Monday in Scientific Reports.

The “dramatic” increase in salmon consumption, an estimate based on models, comes as the overall harvest from commercial and recreational fisheries has dropped more than 40 percent since 1975, the study found. Several salmon runs are threatened or endangered and are carefully managed to prevent overfishing and to help boost recovery. The increase in activity from the marine predators could be “masking the success of coast wide conservation efforts,” the study found…



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  1. 3 FishLines – Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program newsletter for November 2017

-Gearing up for young fishermen’s summit

-Alaska Sea Grant fellow helps develop state’s new climate policy

-Seaweed farming, robot-style

-To list or not to list. The battle continues over the Pacific walrus.

-Alaska Sea Grant reviews its performance in new annual report



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  1. AMSEA Marine Safety Instructor Training in Seattle – Feb 6-8, 2018

The Alaska Marine Safety Education Association (AMSEA) is conducting a five-day Marine Safety Instructor Training (MSIT) at the North Pacific Fishing Vessel Owner’s Association in Seattle, Washington, from February 6, 2018 to February 10, 2018. This is an intensive train-the-trainer course that prepares individuals to effectively teach cold-water survival procedures, use of marine safety equipment, and vessel safety drills. Interested mariners can register online at www.asmsea.org or call (907) 747-3287.

Taught by experienced mariners, the MSIT provides practical, hands-on experience in survival equipment use and procedures. Topics covered during the course include preparation for emergencies, cold-water near drowning, hypothermia, cold-water survival, survival equipment, procedures & onboard drills, risk assessment, ergonomics, and methods of instruction. AMSEA recommends this workshop for anyone that wants to provide cold-water survival & survival, shore-side survival, or marine safety instruction, like the USCG-required drill conductor certification for commercial fishermen.

Upon completion of the course, participants will be prepared to teach AMSEA’s U.S. Coast Guard approved Fishing Vessel Drill Conductor training, pending authorization from the Coast Guard. The cost is $875 for AMSEA members and $995 for non-members. Scholarships may be available for commercial fishermen.

…and many more in lower 48 states – see right side bar on the AMSEA home page at http://www.amsea.org/


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  1. Laine Welch’s Fish Radio – Recent Items
    Catches for 2018 revealed any day; Lawsuits filed for fracking dumps, false labeling

Salmon habitat forum next week at Kenai brings all perspectives to the forefront

Fork & Fin food truck brings Alaska pollock from ‘sea to street’

Gender survey on women in the seafood industry seeks input

These items and more, online at http://www.alaskafishradio.com/


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  1. Take the survey: Putting Gender Equality on the Agenda of the Seafood Industry

One in two seafood workers is a women; yet women are over-represented in low skills low paid positions and they count for less than 10% of company directors and a mere 1% of CEO. This survey is designed to help understand the situation and the perception that men and women have on this issue. Your responses -anonymous- will contribute to a better understanding of the situation. It is run by WSI the International Association for Women in the Seafood Industry, in the period September to December 2017. The results will be shared with the industry.




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Compiled by staff of United Fishermen of Alaska

PO Box 20229
Juneau AK 99802
(907) 586-2820