This Week's Fish News

August 11, 2023

Trident announced massive price cuts but, as Alaska Fish News points out, the value of salmon roe has skyrocketed in recent years. How does that factor into what fishermen get paid?

Meanwhile, farmed salmon imports are up 10% from this time last year, and are ranging 11-23% higher than the 3-year average. Awesome. 

Recognizing that coming up with capital for fishing operations is challenging, AgWest is offering $15,000 grants to fishermen who have been operating for less than two years OR who plan to start their own operation within the next two years. Applications are due August 31. AgWest also facilitates agricultural loans, so note that while the webpage refers to agricultural operations, fishermen are included and encouraged to apply.  

NOAA Fisheries released their first-ever National Seafood Strategy, which spells out a path to create a “thriving domestic U.S. seafood economy” over the next five years. 

The Alaska Bycatch Advisory Council will host a public virtual meeting on September 5 to provide progress reports on the recommendations provided by the Task Force, answer FAQs, and hear public comments. If bycatch is an issue near and dear to your heart, SHOW UP (online, of course). As well, ADFG is holding a bycatch town hall meeting in Kodiak on September 19. If you're in Kodiak, make an appearance at that one, too!

The Aleutians East Borough is preparing to take a substantial revenue hit as Trident moves forward with construction of a new processing plant in Unalaska, outside of the Aleutians East Borough. More than half of the Borough's annual revenue comes from raw fish tax.

Arctic Storm's newest trawler, the Arctic Fjord, is specifically designed to harvest and process pollock in the Bering Sea. The new catcher-processor is set to undergo final trials and be ready to fish by the 2024 "A" season.

Registration is open for Pacific Marine Expo! The Expo is being held earlier than in past years, running November 8-10. This year's educational topics include marine safety, business management, regulatory issues, technical advancements, and more. Registration is free for industry members! 

This week's Alaska Fisheries Report: a clam garden in Kake, and nominations for the North Pacific Fishery Management Council Advisory Panel.

Two fishing vessels burned in Southeast over the weekend. The F/V Hunter Bay, a troller in Sitka, burned in the harbor, and the F/V Morgan, a longliner in Yakutat, burned near Monti Bay. Both were believed to be electrical fires. No injuries were reported. 

Black cod, whose population has been bolstered by warmer water temperatures in recent years, are threatening salmon hatcheries. As more and more juvenile black cod prey on salmon fry released by hatcheries, fewer salmon return.

The US military dispatched Navy warships to the Aleutians last week, after 11 Russian and Chinese military vessels were discovered in the area...again.

The Troopers cracked down on chum chucking in Area M this season, citing multiple fisherman who will appear in court later this month. This comes as commercial and subsistence fishermen in Area M and the Yukon Kuskokwim area are already at odds over the salmon resource. Troopers also conducted patrols in Bristol Bay, boarding over 400 vessels, issuing 150 citations, and seizing thousands of pounds of salmon.

BBRSDA is mailing ballots to Bristol Bay setnet permit holders for a vote to join the association. If you'd like to learn more, they're holding a virtual meeting September 7