Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sizeable Sitka herring catch projected

The state has set a preliminary quota of 15,674 tons of herring for next year's Sitka Sound sac roe fishery.

That's a fairly large number.

This year, seiners and processors working as a cooperative took the full quota of 8,756 tons. The fishery ran from March 18-25.

In 2014, the Sitka fishery produced a harvest of 16,976 tons of herring.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Pollock aplenty

The Eastern Bering Sea pollock stock appears quite healthy, and federal regulators are likely to set another large harvest quota for the 2016 season.

That's based on the lastest stock assessment, which recommends an ABC, or acceptable biological catch, of 2,090,000 tons.

That's more than enough to allow for a quota equal to or greater than this year's 1,310,000 tons.

Bering Sea pollock is one of the world's largest and most lucrative commercial fish stocks. The whitefish is used to produce such products as fish sticks and surimi.

Pollock roe also is very valuable, comprising over 4 percent of the catch weight under optimal conditions.

From 1977-2015, the Eastern Bering Sea pollock catch has averaged 1,178,008 tons.

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council will set 2016 quotas for pollock and other Alaska groundfish at its meeting next month in Anchorage.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

FDA blesses genetically engineered salmon

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced its approval of genetically engineered salmon.

The FDA decision pertains specifically to a line of fish known as AquAdvantage salmon, from Massachusetts-based AquaBounty Technologies Inc.

Here's the FDA's main determination:

After an exhaustive and rigorous scientific review, FDA has arrived at the decision that AquAdvantage salmon is as safe to eat as any non-genetically engineered (GE) Atlantic salmon, and also as nutritious.

The agency added:

FDA assessed the environmental impacts of approving this application and found that the approval would not have a significant impact on the environment of the United States. That's because the multiple containment measures the company will use in the land-based facilities in Panama and Canada make it extremely unlikely that the fish could escape and establish themselves in the wild.

Read more from the FDA here.

Alaska's congressional delegation is furious with FDA's decision.

Here's a press release from AquaBounty.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

USDA stocks up on pink salmon

The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the purchase of $5.3 million worth of canned pink salmon for child nutrition and other domestic food assistance programs.

Processors making sales include Ocean Beauty, Peter Pan and Trident.

Here's a purchase summary with more details.

Friday, November 13, 2015

UW's sockeye forecast is bigger than state's

The University of Washington Alaska Salmon Program is predicting a harvest of 34.1 million sockeye next year in Bristol Bay.

That's well above the 29.5 million the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is forecasting.

Bristol Bay processors pay for the UW forecast. Read it here.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

BBRSDA names new leader

Becky Martello will take over as executive director of the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, effective Dec. 14.

Here's a press release with details about her background.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Here's your Southeast Alaska pink salmon forecast

The state is predicting a harvest of 34 million pink salmon next year in Southeast Alaska.

"An actual harvest of 34 million pink salmon would be below the recent 10-year average of 38 million pink salmon," the Department of Fish and Game said in this news release.