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May 12 - The Winding Glass: Is the Crab Market a Bellwether or a Blip?


Apr 13 - OPINION: Our Ocean Conference Must Deliver Solutions to Meet Deepening Ocean Crises


Feb 28 - The Winding Glass: Seafood Price Volatility Looms as Russian Bank Sanctions Hit Crab, Groundfish


Feb 24 - OpEd: BC Coastal Communities Face Economic Damage If Salmon Farm Licences Are Not Reissued by DFO


Feb 21 - The Unintended Consequences of Bill S.3614 Would Eliminate Most King Crab From the U.S. Market


Dec 29 - OPINION: In Alaska, Climate Change is a Supply Chain Stressor Jeopardizing Food Security


Dec 27 - Op-Ed: Focus on Blue Economy Needed in 2022 for COVID-19 Recovery


Dec 10 - Op-Ed: Global Tuna Alliance: ​​WCPFC Meeting a ‘Wasted Opportunity’


Dec 10 - OPINION: Alaska Reps Want Maximum Reduction of Halibut Bycatch, Urge State to Choose Alt. 4


Dec 10 - OPINION: The Heart of It: Connecting Halibut Bycatch to Abundance


Nov 30 - The Winding Glass: Lobster Industry Consolidation Bigger Story than High Opening Prices this Winter


Nov 18 - EDITORIAL: It is Time to Recognize and Celebrate Responsible Federal Fisheries Management


Nov 2 - OPINION: Offshore Redfish Fishery Provides Essential Stability for Canadians


Oct 8 - OPINION: "Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics” - Mark Twain


Oct 7 - OPINION: Let’s At Least Try to Solve the Halibut Problems


Sep 9 - Opinion: Wrong Again, Oceana


Sep 8 - OPINION: How to Advance Canada’s Wild-capture Fisheries Sector


Sep 2 - OPINION: Modern Misinformation, Pseudo-science and the Games “Scientists” Play


Sep 1 - OPINION: Modern Misinformation, Pseudo-science and the Games “Scientists” Play


Sep 1 - OPINION: Trawling Costs Outweigh the Benefits, and Alaskans are Paying the Price


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The Winding Glass: Is the Crab Market a Bellwether or a Blip?

In the U.S., snow crab outperformed every other seafood product during the pandemic. Yet today, the snow crab market is crashing at the fastest pace since the spring of 1995. That year, between May 1995 and May 1996, the price fell 46%.

This year, Urner Barry quotations from last summer until this May are down 33%, and the bottom has not been set. This is already the largest percentage decline in price since 1995. Since February the market has been going down around 50 cents per week...

Full Story »

OPINION: Our Ocean Conference Must Deliver Solutions to Meet Deepening Ocean Crises

A sense of urgency, opportunity and optimism must prevail at the upcoming Our Ocean Conference in Palau as governments, civil society and businesses convene during a critically important year. Together, we must deliver real solutions to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing our oceans, coastal communities and the very health of our planet.

This year marks the UN-designated International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture as well as the second full year of ...

 

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OpEd: BC Coastal Communities Face Economic Damage If Salmon Farm Licences Are Not Reissued by DFO

The BC Salmon Farmers Association have released an independent economic analysis outlining the consequences to BC’s Indigenous and non-Indigenous coastal communities if 79 salmon farming licenses are not reissued by the federal government by June 2022.

The report by RIAS Inc. found BC would lose more than 4,700 jobs, $1.2 billion in economic activity annually, and $427 million in GDP if these licences aren’t renewed. An additional $200 million in economic activity and 900 jobs would be lost outside...

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OPINION: In Alaska, Climate Change is a Supply Chain Stressor Jeopardizing Food Security

The cargo ships lined up outside U.S. ports have revealed cracks in the global supply chain. And while businesses and consumers are feeling the pinch, the problem is projected to ease over time. But for America’s northernmost citizens, those living in the Alaskan Arctic, more intractable supply chain woes are at hand. They stem from the dizzying pace of climate change in the North and pose real threats to food security, mental health and long-held cultural traditions...

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OP-ED: Global Tuna Alliance: ​​WCPFC Meeting a ‘Wasted Opportunity’

The Global Tuna Alliance - a collection of highly influential retailers and supply chain companies - have called the recent WCPFC meeting a ‘wasted opportunity’ to secure the responsible management of fisheries in its waters. Despite days of meetings, hardly any positive steps forward have been taken. As a result, fisheries in the Western Central Pacific Ocean are still at risk of losing their MSC certification, a hallmark of sustainability which many consumers look for when purchasing tuna.

Tuna in the Western Central and Pacific Ocean are...

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OPINION: The Heart of It: Connecting Halibut Bycatch to Abundance

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council is poised to take a long-awaited step in the coming days, as members consider whether halibut bycatch in the Bering Sea should be limited when halibut abundance declines.

This process has been mired in years of analysis, thousands of pages of reports, and models trying to predict the future. But, in the end, the decision is about common-sense principles of equity, environmental justice, and indigenous rights. It asks whether powerful trawling interests should be allowed to take large numbers of halibut regardless ...

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EDITORIAL: It is Time to Recognize and Celebrate Responsible Federal Fisheries Management

Last month, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council recommended the establishment of a new Limited Access Privilege Program (LAPP), or a Catch Share plan, for the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands Pacific Cod trawl catcher vessel fishery. It is time to celebrate responsible federal fisheries management and the public process that resulted in final action on a muchimproved management system for the BSAI trawl catcher vessel cod fishery. The vessel owner members of Midwater Trawlers Cooperative (MTC) and United Catcher Boats (UCB) applauds the Council for their leadership and...

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OPINION: "Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics” -Mark Twain

On one point we agree with Mr. Dennis Moran of Fishermen’s Finest: inadequate cuts to halibut bycatch will not solve the ecological, economic or cultural devastation associated with bycatch, which in the Bering Sea includes halibut, salmon, crab, herring, sablefish and other species important to the ecosystem and to the fishing communities of Alaska. 

The bottom trawl (Amendment 80) fleet is the largest user of halibut as bycatch, which is otherwise known as Prohibited Species Catch and by law must be avoided. If caught, it must be thrown overboard. We don’t reward ...

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Opinion: Wrong Again, Oceana

In my role as Fishery Science Project Director for the Alaska Seafood Cooperative since 2008 I have worked with fishery managers, fishery scientists, and fishermen to find ways to reduce trawl bycatch and modify bottom trawl gear to reduce seafloor impacts. During my tenure, the Amendment 80 fleet has made significant progress on both of these fronts through longstanding participation in collaborative, peer-reviewed research, and steadfast commitment to deploying new fishing gear, new fishing methods, and new fishing technology borne out of this research.

Last week’s piece by Oceana is misleading and designed to mischaracterize ...

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OPINION: Modern Misinformation, Pseudo-science and the Games “Scientists” Play

“Pseudoscience.” A collection of beliefs or practices mistakenly regarded as being based on scientific method.

Today I came across an interesting piece of pseudo-science written by a “Campaign Manager/Scientist” of a Big Enviro group (Oceana). He starts the piece by claiming to be a just “browsing the Fisheries Service database, ruminating about bycatch.” Right, the Big Enviro campaign manager was “just browsing.” The truth that is he was mining government records for data he could cherry pick to support a carefully drafted hit piece on a Big Enviro ...

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OPINION: Trawling Costs Outweigh the Benefits, and Alaskans are Paying the Price

Late senator Ted Stevens was so disgusted by the wasteful bycatch of the trawl fleet in Alaska that he inserted a confidentiality exemption in his federal fisheries act that allows the National Marine Fisheries Service to publish the bycatch rates of halibut, salmon, and crab of individual trawling vessels. The thinking was that peer pressure and public shaming could instigate trawlers to be more mindful of avoiding bycatch. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be working and some trawlers are even asking for more. 

I was browsing this Fisheries ...

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The Winding Glass: Seafood Price Volatility Looms as Russian Bank Sanctions Hit Crab, Groundfish

[The Winding Glass is the opinion and commentary column from John Sackton, Founder of SeafoodNews]

This was the March we were supposed to get back to normal. The pandemic is receding. Demand for seafood is high, and prices for crab and lobster are at record levels and groundfish prices are strong.

Before last week, the most pressing issue for the crab industry was how to negotiate a smooth climb down from the historically high prices, which have stifled customer demand and led to growing inventories...

Full Story »

The Unintended Consequences of Bill S.3614 Would Eliminate Most King Crab the From U.S. Market

The viability of the U.S. crab business for importers and marketers is being challenged in the Senate with the introduction of bill S.3614 by Alaska Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan.  This bill would prohibit the importation of seafood and seafood products from the Russian Federation.  This bill would stay in effect until Russia terminates its prohibition on the importation of U.S. seafood products which was initiated in 2014. While I am in agreement with the senators' objective to open up the...

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Op-Ed: Focus on Blue Economy Needed in 2022 for COVID-19 Recovery

We’ve come to the end of another year filled with uncertainty, with no sign of predictability on the horizon. No one is really sure what the new year will bring. Stability has been hard for Canadians to come by, and it’s something that decision makers and leaders in both government and industry need to prioritize immediately to incite recovery.

In 2022, decision makers are going to have to start implementing serious COVID-19 recovery measures as the pandemic continues to stretch on. The Blue Economy Strategy is...

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OPINION: Alaska Reps Want Maximum Reduction of Halibut Bycatch, Urge State to Choose Alt. 4

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) has hardly been an Alaska household name, but we think it should become one. The 11-member Council makes fisheries policy for the North Pacific Ocean that greatly shapes Alaskans’ livelihoods and lives, including an awfully big decision in the coming days that all Alaskans should know about.

This decision is an “all the marbles” decision to reduce — or to fail to reduce — how much halibut the Seattle-based Bering Sea groundfish trawl fishery can catch and discard ...

Full Story »

The Winding Glass: Lobster Industry Consolidation Bigger Story than High Opening Prices this Winter

At the end of November a lot of attention is focused on the market price as the Southwest Nova Scotia fishery (LFA 33 and 34) opens.  This is the largest volume lobster fishery in Canada, and the opening is timed to feed global holiday markets.  This starts with the Christmas and New Year’s celebrations in Europe, the US, and Japan, and then continues with the New Year’s celebration in China about a month later.

Although the season lasts until the end of May...

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OPINION: Offshore Redfish Fishery Provides Essential Stability for Canadians 

Canadians need stability now more than ever. Stable jobs and strong economic drivers are necessary to the recovery of our small, rural and coastal communities. The Canadian fish and seafood industry is able to promise this essential prosperity to thousands of Canadians just like it has been doing for decades, and it is important that we protect that stability at this critical time.

Recently, the Fish, Food and Allied Workers union (FFAW) called on Fisheries and Oceans Canada to suspend its consultation process on the reopening redfish fishery in...

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OPINION: Let’s At Least Try to Solve the Halibut Problems

“If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.”- Zen Master or maybe Mark Twain.

As we get close to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s final action cutting the Amendment 80 sector’s halibut - yet again - we should pause and reflect on what this will accomplish. There are problems with halibut management, to be sure. The Pribilof Island community-based fleet needs bigger halibut allocations in times of low abundance. There is too much waste in the groundfish fleets forced by crushingly outdated regulations. Let’s try  ...

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OPINION: How to Advance Canada’s Wild-capture Fisheries Sector

During the current federal election, Canadians will be discussing and debating the merits of voting for one party or another. One broad topic that has been debated for generations is how to advance Canada’s wild-capture fisheries sector.

First, let’s start with stating the obvious. Seafood production is at the core of the blue economy for Canada, representing 90,000 jobs and $9 billion in GDP. The sector fuels the livelihood of the majority of Canadian coastal communities, and there is no other sector that is as renewable and stable...

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OPINION: Modern Misinformation, Pseudo-science and the Games “Scientists” Play

“Pseudoscience.” A collection of beliefs or practices mistakenly regarded as being based on scientific method.

Today I came across an interesting piece of pseudo-science written by a “Campaign Manager/Scientist” of a Big Enviro group (Oceana). He starts the piece by claiming to be a just “browsing the Fisheries Service database, ruminating about bycatch.” Right, the Big Enviro campaign manager was “just browsing.” The truth that is he was mining government records for data he could cherry pick to support a carefully drafted hit piece on a Big Enviro ...

Full Story »