Archives for March 2015

ADF&G Commissioner Sam Cotten headlines open meeting at ComFish

Fish Radio

Commissioner Sam Cotten headlines ComFish

April 1, 2015

 

 This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Talking fish with Commissioner Sam Cotten as he heads to Kodiak. More after this –

AFDF is spearheading the Alaska Mariculture Initiative, with the vision to grow a $1 billion industry in 30 years.   Find out about mariculture stakeholder Workshops and much more at www.afdf.org

Federal grants are available to help “Made in America” companies compete with imports and save US jobs. Learn more at www.nwtaac.org.

 The 36th annual ComFish trade show kicks off this week in Kodiak. New Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game Commissioner Sam Cotten will headline an open meeting Thursday afternoon –

 “This will be my first trip to Kodiak   as Commissioner so it’s going to be exciting and Kodiak is a pretty big deal when it comes to fishing and you’ve got ComFish going. So it’s a good chance to be accessible.”

 Joining Cotten is Jeff Regnart, Director of the Commercial Fisheries Division, Kodiak Representative Louise Stutes and Lt. Governor Byron Mallott. Commissioner Cotten says one focus will be the new program being crafted for local trawl fisheries.

 “And I know a lot of people lin Kodiak are interested in the issue described as trawl bycatch management so I’ll be prepared to talk about that some.”

 Halibut bycatch in the Bering Sea also is set for changes.

“We’ve had some real difficulties with bycatch issues in the Bering Sea that resulted in the directed fishermen get almost nothing and all the halibut used as bycatch. We’ll be monitoring that very closely.”

 Cotten touched on some other challenges –

 “I think overall the fishing industry in Alaska is healthy; there are a lot of good things. Some downsides – some challenges with Chinook salmon and so we’re trying to advance the research that’s been started to better understand that issue and see if there is something we can do about it. Cook Inlet is always going to be faced with some challenges as far as management with the resource and the competing user groups. That’s not news.”

 A major concern is the $15 million Alaska lawmakers are proposing for the Dept. of Fish and Game, with commercial fisheries taking the biggest hit.

 With our budget reductions we’re hoping to still do an outstanding job managing our fishery resources in spite of reduced resources. And I tell you, when I was doing fishing actively it was frustrating to talk to an area biologist and have him tell you that just didn’t have the resources to go look at a stream or to do a proper assessment, and therefore he had to say it was closed.”

 That’s ADF&G Commissioner Sam Cotten. The Kodiak open meeting will be live streamed via video  at www.comfishalaska.com and find links at www.alaskafishradio.com

 Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. (www.oceanbeauty.com) In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.

Alaska 2015 salmon forecasts: Big catch faces tough markets

Fish Radio
Salmon forecasts: 2015;  Tough markets
March 31, 2015

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – The forecasts are out for Alaska’s 2015 salmon season. That’s up after this –

AFDF is spearheading the Alaska Mariculture Initiative, with the vision to grow a $1 billion industry in 30 years.   Find out about mariculture stakeholder Workshops and much more at www.afdf.org

Federal grants are available to help “Made in America” companies compete with imports and save US jobs. Learn more at www.nwtaac.org.

Alaska is expecting another bumper run of salmon this summer, with reds and pinks driving the numbers.  State fish managers on Friday announced early projections for an Alaska harvest of 221 million salmon, for all species but Chinook.  Those catches are still being computed.    That compares to a 2014 salmon harvest of 158 million fish.

Alaska’s regional catch projections for this summer are up across the board.  A quick breakdown by the McDowell Group shows —

A whopping 59 million sockeye salmon catch is set to come out of Alaska this summer – the largest since 1995. That’s on top of last year’s big take of 44 million reds, tons of which remain backlogged in freezers.

Pink landings are expected to top 140 million, 22 percent higher than last summer. Pinks are tough to predict and some speculate the runs and catches could be higher.

Chum salmon harvests are expected to rebound this year, topping 17 million. For coho salmon, a harvest of 4.6 million would be down nearly 2 million from last year.

In the “can there be too much of a good thing” category — Alaska will be facing a strong headwind when it comes to selling all that salmon this year.

Buffeting sales will be a strong  US dollar that makes seafood more expensive for our foreign customers with devalued currencies;  conversely, it makes imports to the US a far cheaper buy.

The Russian embargo against US seafood continues, taking a big bite out of Alaska pink salmon roe sales; and large holdovers of Alaska canned salmon remain in warehouses.

Another broadside could come from Costco’s announcement over the weekend that it is switching the bulk of its fresh farmed salmon purchases from Chile to Norway to test the market’s appetite for the antibiotic-free fish.  Costco purchases over 600,000 pounds of farmed salmon fillets each week.

Find links to Alaska’s 2015 Harvest Projections .  And check out the lineup this week at ComFish in Kodiak, www.comfishalaska.com

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. (www.oceanbeauty.com) In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.