Thursday, April 30, 2015

Big news for Dutch Harbor

The UniSea processing plant at Dutch Harbor is getting a $21 million makeover, according to a media report out of Tokyo.

The plant, one of the largest in Alaska, makes pollock surimi and also handles crab. It opened in 1990.

UniSea is a subsidiary of Nippon Suisan Kaisha.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Beautiful beast

Deckboss was scouting Fishermen's Terminal in Seattle last week and spotted this gleaming new, jet-powered gillnetter. Jeff Quinn plans to put his boat to work this summer chasing sockeye in Bristol Bay. Click on the photos for a bigger view.

Monday, April 27, 2015

It's on at Togiak!

The Togiak sac roe herring fishery opened at 8 p.m. tonight.

Here's the official announcement.

The quota is enormous at 29,012 tons.

Friday, April 24, 2015

And the winners are...

Abe Williams and Buck Gibbons have won seats on the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board of directors.

See the election results here.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Nice save

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter today rescued three people forced to abandon their burning vessel north of Kodiak. Read the details here.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Sunday, April 12, 2015

North Pacific Council makes two big decisions

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council, meeting in Anchorage, took two significant actions over the weekend.

First, the council voted to tighten limits on Chinook salmon bycatch in the Bering Sea pollock fishery. Here's the final motion, which passed by a vote of 10-0. Member Simon Kinneen, of Nome, was not allowed to vote due to a conflict of interest.

The council also voted 11-0 to approve pots as legal gear for taking sablefish in the Gulf of Alaska. Switching to pots could help fishermen frustrated over whales snatching fish off their longline hooks.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Make of it what you will

A mysterious person, presumably a public relations man, just sent the following press release to Deckboss.


Alaska Salmon Producers Decide to Rejoin MSC

10 April 2015 (Seattle, WA) — Several Alaska salmon producers announced today that they have decided to rejoin Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) through the client group that holds the MSC certificate for wild Alaska salmon, Alaska Salmon Processors Association, Inc. This is in addition to their ongoing commitment to, and participation in, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)-based Alaska Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) certification program.

This expansion would provide multiple certification choices in the global marketplace for virtually 100% of the gold-standard of sustainable seafood: wild Alaska salmon.

"This decision is based on the recognition that both the salmon market and sustainability landscape have changed in recent years," said Stefanie Moreland, Director of Government Relations and Seafood Sustainability at Trident Seafoods. "Today, there is growing market acceptance for multiple sustainability certifications, underscored by the significant progress made in establishing a common global benchmarking tool for those certification programs."

Moreland added, "The successful launch of Alaska's RFM program in 2010 and its ongoing refinement was undoubtedly a major factor in this market shift, and we continue to pledge our full support for the RFM program and the Alaska brand."

Adopting both RFM and MSC certifications would eliminate arbitrary sustainability product differentiation in the market place for Alaska salmon and ensure that even more consumers around the world will be able to enjoy the world's most sustainable and high-quality seafood.

"We project historic runs of wild Alaska salmon this year, and it is important that as many global retailers as possible have access to our abundant supply," said Barry Collier, President and CEO of Peter Pan Seafoods. "We recognize different markets have different preferences for certification, which is why we look forward to offering choice."

As a testament to the long-standing sustainability success of Alaska's seafood industry, the 2015 run of Bristol Bay sockeye salmon is forecasted to be approximately 50% larger than the long-term mean, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

"In Alaska, we work hard to ensure that we maintain the most advanced and rigorous science-based approach to ensuring the sustainable management of our fisheries," said Jeff Regnart, State of Alaska Department of Fish and Game Director of Commercial Fisheries. "The decision of the Alaska salmon producers to expand their certification options reaffirms Alaska's commitment to keeping responsible fisheries management at its core, and to promoting choice and competition in the marketplace."

The group of Alaska salmon producers entering into the discussions includes Alaska General Seafoods, Icicle Seafoods, Kwikpak Fisheries, Leader Creek Fisheries, North Pacific Seafoods, Ocean Beauty, Peter Pan Seafoods, Triad Fisheries, Trident Seafoods, and Yukon Gold. The group has also requested that any other interested Alaska salmon producer also be given the opportunity to join under the same cost-sharing agreement as the new members.


For more information, please contact Stefanie Moreland, Director of Government Relations and Seafood Sustainability at Trident Seafoods, at 206-297-4627.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Is Bristol Bay marketing association in turmoil?

Sue Aspelund, executive director of the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, is resigning effective May 15.

This news comes on the heels of Robert Heyano's resignation as board chairman.

Aspelund was hired only a year ago as the association's executive director.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Horrible news out of Russia

Dozens are reported dead in a trawler sinking in the Sea of Okhotsk.

Here's one news report.