The Fish Ticket

March 28, 2024

Permits & State Fisheries

The permit market looks about the same as last week. Check out that report here, and find new updates below.

CFEC is planning to make PWS pot shrimp a limited entry fishery in the near future. Here is a link to a meeting they held earlier this week (password is LVZ+N6RC) and here are the draft proposed regs. These will be published for public comment soon.

Also in CFEC news, the Entry Commission is working to refine the internal procedures that guide transfers of permits to minors under 16 (or under 10 for set net permits) and are requesting input. If this is something you care about, please take a few minutes to complete their survey.

ADFG announced a 2024 preseason troll treaty harvest allocation of 153,000 Chinook salmon, up 3,900 from last year.

Sitka's herring fishery finally kicked into gear, with about 6,625 tons of herring harvested March 22-27.

IFQs & Federal Fisheries

Quota holders: are you looking for someone to catch your quota this season? Check out our improved IFQ Charters page for an up-to-date list of vessels looking to catch your quota.

The quota market also hasn’t changed much from last week. Most of the action is still in 3A with a sale this week of 3ABU hitting $30.75. There's still not much movement in the black cod quota market, and these garbage dock prices for sablefish aren’t helping. At this point, I'm struggling to understand how fishermen can afford to go fishing for black codHalibut ex-vessel prices have also taken a dip over the last week or so. With good tides and fair weather, a lot of halibut crossed the docks, causing prices to slip. According to Undercurrent News, our halibut season is "off to [a] promising start," referencing the opening prices mentioned in last week's Fish Ticket. Check out recent dock prices below, and if you've made a recent delivery, please let us know what you were paid! The boat and buyer will remain confidential.
Many fishermen that were hoping to be able to take advantage of the higher opening ex-vessel prices are still waiting for quota transfers to be completed as they continue to watch prices drop at the dock. If you’re one of them, you’re no doubt frustrated. The Secretary didn't sign off on the numbers until just days before the March 15 season opener, preventing NMFS/RAM from processing transfers any earlier. Since then, RAM, a chronically understaffed agency, has been inundated with transfers, seeing more temporary transfers than ever. I don't have any advice, but I can say that calling RAM to nag only slows things down for everyone (please don't do that) and the NPFMC IFQ committee is expected to take a look at this issue before next season.

ASMI's March Groundfish Harvest Update shows year over year harvests down 10%, due to a 9% decrease in pollock landings and 15% decrease in cod landings. Gee, I wonder if that has anything to do with the historically low dock prices?  

The NPFMC meets April 1-9 in Anchorage. The deadline for comment is 12:00 pm AKDT March 29. On the agenda: scallops SAFE report and harvest specs; chum salmon bycatch initial review analysis; area 4 halibut vessel caps initial review; Maximum Retainable Amount adjustments discussion paper review; and more.

What Else?

AgWest Farm Credit (a sponsor of this newsletter!) offers $15,000 New Producer Grants to newer fishermen. That's free money. 😎 The deadline to apply is May 31. Note that the flyer refers to agriculturalists, but the grant program is open to fishermen.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee submitted his picks for the open WA NPFMC seat, highlighting Becca Robins Gisclair as his preferred candidate. Gisclair, who works for Ocean Conservancy and formerly chaired the Council's Advisory Panel, would replace Anne Vanderhoeven, who works for Arctic Storm Management Group, a Washington-based trawl company. That's a shake up!

The National Commercial Fishing Safety Advisory Committee meets April 9-11 and will discuss mariner competency to operate commercial fishing vessels under 200 GRT; requiring operators of fishing vessels under 200 GRT to hold Merchant Mariner’s Credentials; commercial fishing fitness-for-duty for service assessments; and more. If you have thoughts to share and want them to be included in the upcoming meeting, submit written comments by April 2.

UAF's Alaska Sea Grant, NOAA, Kodiak Area Native Association and SeaTox Research are launching a new 5-year study on paralytic shellfish poisoning.

Alaska Longline Fisherman's Association was awarded a $514,000 Clean Air grant, which will be used for a feasibility study looking into reducing the fleets' costs and carbon footprint.

The pollock industry has a new group: the Alaska Pollock Fishery Alliance was formed this month with the goal of providing industry representation in public forums. Messaging will be focused on their commitment to sustainability and science and making sure the public accurately understands the fishery. We all just want to be understood, right?

KcKinley Capital, partial owner of Peter Pan Seafoods and external fund manager for the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp, has emerged as a bidder on Trident Seafood's False Pass plant. 

Bornstein Seafoods is closing its facilites in Bellingham, WA, and Newport, OR, consolidating the two into two other facilities the company operates in Oregon.

The AK On-Board program will be held in Sitka April 20-22. This is a hands-on training for new commercial fishermen to gain basic crew skills, learn about marine safety, and network with prospective employers and industry members. Registration fee is $75. Space is limited. Travel scholarships may be available. 

The Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association and the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust Spring Fishermen's Expo will be held April 24. This is a free virtual event, with interactive classes and raffle prizes! Register online. 

This week's Alaska Fisheries Report: fish tracking with eDNA, Yukon River Intertribal Fish Commission Special Action Request to the Federal Subsistance Board, and a trip along the Yukon River. 

Some reminders:

The Halibut Defense Group is intervening in a lawsuit to enforce trawl bycatch reductions. Lawsuits are expensive. If this matters to you, please consider donating to the Halibut Defense Fund.

Applications are open for ALFA's 2024 Crew Training Program.

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