National Fisherman


Sitka’s lucrative herring fishery goes on two-hour notice as of 8 a.m. Thursday (3-20-14). That means fishing could start as soon as Thursday morning, depending on whether test samples taken by the Alaska Department of Fish & Game find a high enough percentage  of mature roe, or eggs, in the fish.
 
Seiners say this year’s quota, at over 16,000 tons, is high. The quality of the fish, in test samples, is good. What worries them is the market.
 
“The clear thing is, is it’s a very, very, very poor, if not the poorest market situation I’ve ever seen,” said Jamie Ross, of Homer, who has been fishing herring in Sitka since 1993. ”It’s an extremely poor market situation.”
 
By the the time the fishery is about to open, Ross said, the fleet usually has an advance price from processors. In recent years, that’s been about $400 to $500 per ton. That price is then sometimes adjusted up — last year, fishermen ended with a final price around $600 per ton. In 1996, seiners saw their highest price ever, at over $1700 per ton.
 
But this year, Ross said, fishermen haven’t received any advance price. And that has him worried.
 
“You know, I’m not willing to come out of this fishery with no price,” he said. “I mean I can’t, I can’t afford that. I think that it’s an incredibly scary situation for all of us. And the processors are a really tough position…So we have to move forward while these fish are ripening up, which could be tomorrow, and you know, oh my gosh, what do we do? So we’re trying to come up with some ideas that maybe we could help reduce the processors’ risk.”
 
Read the full story at KCAW>>

Inside the Industry

NOAA recently published a proposed rule that would implement a traceability plan to help combat IUU fishing. The program would seek to trace the origins of imported seafood by setting up reporting and filing procedures for products entering the U.S.

The traceability program would collect data on harvest, landing, and chain of custody of fish and fish products that have been identified as particularly vulnerable to IUU fishing and fraud.

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The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

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