Friday, December 29, 2023

Thursday, December 28, 2023

A colossal Sitka herring quota

The guideline harvest level for next year's Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery is 81,246 tons, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced.

That's by far the largest preseason quota ever set for the fishery.

The previous record was 45,164 tons set for the 2022 season.

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Another company looks to sell

Readers will recall a big deal in 2020 when two legacy processors, Ocean Beauty and Icicle, announced a merger of their salmon and Gulf of Alaska groundfish operations, forming a new company called OBI Seafoods.

Remnants of both Ocean Beauty and Icicle were left over.

Now, one of those remnants, Ocean Beauty, says its distribution business is for sale. The operations include seven seafood distribution locations in Astoria, Boise, Dallas, Helena, Portland, Renton, and Salt Lake City.

Ocean Beauty's owners, including Bristol Bay Economic Development Corp. and three individuals, are "looking to turn their focus to other investments," a press release says.

Ocean Beauty also operates two smoking and processing plants in Washington state.

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Here's the Togiak herring forecast, if anyone cares

Once again, a large volume of herring is forecasted at Togiak.

But we might see a repeat of last season, when the fishery never opened due to lack of industry interest.

Facing halibut crackdown, trawlers sue

As expected, a Bering Sea bottom trawl fleet has sued the National Marine Fisheries Service over an action to tighten halibut bycatch limits.

The 17-vessel fleet, operating under the banner Groundfish Forum, contends the NMFS action could cost the fleet in excess of $100 million annually and could bankrupt some vessels.

The suit says Groundfish Forum members are "already being forced to mothball fishing vessels for the 2024 season."

Here's the 42-page lawsuit, filed in Alaska federal court.

Monday, December 18, 2023

BBRSDA loses its skipper

Andy Wink is leaving his position as executive director of the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association.

Wink became the organization's executive director in 2018.

Fritz Johnson, BBRSDA board president, will act as interim director.

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Robin Samuelsen steps down as BBEDC chairman

This news was a little slow reaching us, but here it is.

Thursday, December 14, 2023

BBRSDA enlists ex-Peter Pan CEO Collier

The Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association has contracted with Barry Collier, the former CEO of processor Peter Pan, to "advise on industry and global market initiatives."

More in this BBRSDA update.

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

A thunderclap announcement from Trident

Trident Seafoods says it will seek buyers for its shoreside plants at Kodiak, Ketchikan, Petersburg, and False Pass.

"The restructuring effort is not confined to Alaska alone," the Seattle company says. "Trident is also streamlining and optimizing its head office support functions, resulting in a 10 percent reduction in headcount."

More details in this news release on Trident's website.

Monday, December 11, 2023

Pollock power

The Bering Sea pollock fishery is enormous, and it will continue so next year.

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council, meeting in Anchorage, has recommended a 2024 total allowable catch of 1.3 million metric tons — the same level as this past season.

Vacant AP tribal seat filled

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council has appointed Eva Burk to the Alaska Native tribal seat on the council's Advisory Panel.

Here's an application letter Burk submitted to the council earlier this year.

The AP seat came open after the abrupt resignation of the previous occupant.

Friday, December 1, 2023

What killed the killer whales?

The National Marine Fisheries Service says it has confirmed the cause of death or injury for 11 killer whales taken as bycatch this year in Alaska.