National Fisherman


As Alaska’s salmon season heads into high gear, few bright spots are surfacing in an otherwise bleak global sales market.

Sales and prices for all salmon (especially sockeye) have been in a slump all year. And amid an overall glut of wild and farmed fish, Alaska is poised for another huge salmon haul, with the largest run of sockeye salmon in 20 years predicted along with a sizable run of pinks.

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The commercial fishing industry won two big battles at the bruising New England Fishery Management Council meetings this week, the first on habitat and the final on the council’s vote to seek emergency measures to suspend the bulk of at-sea monitoring of groundfish boats for the remainder of the 2015 fishing season.

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As the sun rises over Honolulu, commercial fishermen have already unloaded their catches and docked their boats for the day. The fish are lined up on pallets, packed in ice and displayed for buyers to inspect.

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The Alaska Seafood Processors Association has announced it is allowing a collective of major Alaska salmon processors applying to join the certificate it holds with the Marine Stewardship Council, but they will have to cough up 3 percent of the wholesale price for this year’s product.

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Hawaii residents have until 6 p.m. Friday to submit comments on a controversial proposal to expand areas under federal protection and strengthen rules aimed at protecting humpback whales and other marine life.

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EASTERN SHORE - From far away, it might not look like much. But if you take a closer look, even just below the surface, you'll notice a much different story. Barges anchored out in the distance in Harris Creek are part of a years long project to make a change in the Chesapeake, one oyster at a time.

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FAIRBANKS — Not all of us have time to drive to Chitina for the weekend in hopes of catching salmon to fill our freezer. There is, however, another way to make sure fresh salmon is on hand.

For the first time, the Alaska Marine Conservation Council is expanding its Catch of the Season program to Fairbanks.

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The Bristol Bay sockeye salmon harvest needs to come in at projection for 2015, or declining sockeye prices could squeeze fishermen throughout the region.

The industry has pressure to catch as much as it can. Volume will have to compensate for sinking salmon prices due to the closure of the Russian markets, the strength of the U.S. dollar against the currencies of key export markets like Japan, high volumes of foreign farmed salmon from Norway, and leftover salmon from 2014 still crowding shelves.

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Meleenu Charoensuk was forced onto a boat and told it was a 3-month work trial, but it was 8 years before he could return home. CNN's Saima Mohsin was there for his family's reunion in Bangkok.

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Fishing communities across Bristol Bay are pulsing with action these days as armies of fisherman work to ready their vessels for the extra-large return of salmon this year.

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Page 80 of 405

Inside the Industry

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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Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.

Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.

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