Retaliatory tariff impacts could be felt around the country

Research at the University of Maine has uncovered new seafood trade routes in Asia. These routes expose the growing number of middlemen in the market, which can make it hard to track trade routes. This research shows that China's market for lobster is much larger than anticipated.

"More attention to the complex trade routes among nations is needed to reduce the impacts that global trade has on coastal communities," Stoll says. "We don't want to find ourselves in hot water."

To read the whole article on Science Daily click here.

Fishing: It's a Family Affair

For ALFA Executive Director, Linda Behnken, fishing is a family affair. Linda's son has been fishing with her since he was five months old and she can tell its in his blood. "He wants to be at the rail as each and every hook comes aboard so he can see the fish and help land them."

Linda worries about the world she is leaving her son and is speaking out about what we can do to make a change.

"Our generation is leaving a frightening legacy to our kids. Accelerating climate change and spiraling impacts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the ocean. Warm water dropping the ocean’s productivity and starving birds and fish. Empty hooks. Worried fishermen and struggling communities. Not the ocean – or world – I want my son or anyone else to inherit.

So, what can we do? First, commit to addressing climate change. Even slowing down the rate of change in the ocean and atmosphere will help; reversing the trend would be even better. Support Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s ocean acidification bill and Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan’s marine plastics bill and urge them to turn research into meaningful action."

To read the full article click here.

BBC: Why Fish?

Why do we fish? Is it to feed our family, for the trill of the catch, to stay connected to our ancestors, or to make a living? This BBC recording allows you to experience other fishermen's opinions and experiences from around the world.

"People have been fishing for thousands of years – it is one of the last hunter gatherer activities. But increasingly it is becoming more difficult, as fish stocks dwindle or regulation limits the number of fishes that can be caught. Caz Graham asks why do people continue to fish despite these difficulties. She goes out into the Solway Firth in the north of England, with a group of haaf net fishers who use a traditional form of salmon fishing that dates back over a thousand years. She hears how new regulations have limited the number of fish that can be caught – something that the fishers say could threaten this form of fishing."

To listen to the entire broadcast featuring our own Linda Behnken click here.

Large Seafood Distributers Join Fight Against MSA Updates

10 large U.S. and Canadian seafood distributors joined the group in opposition to the proposed Magnuson-Stevens Act updates. These distributors are part of Sea Pact, a coalition that includes Fortune Fish & Gourmet, in Chicago, Illinois, and Santa Monica Seafood, in Los Angeles, California. 

"The group called on Congress Tuesday to reject Young’s bill, the Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act, HR 200, saying it “risks the United States’ competitive advantage in the marketplace and weakens the sustainability of our fisheries”. It is urging lawmakers instead to “focus on supporting new market opportunities for sustainable U.S. seafood”."

Ask Representative Young to continue Alaska's legacy of science-based fisheries management that protects fish stock for future generations.

To read the full article click here.

Pink Salmon Disaster Relief Fund

Alaska has been allocated $56,361,332 in disaster relief funding for the 2016 Pink Salmon disaster in the Gulf of Alaska. This allocation is the largest of all fishery related disaster relief programs including those related to the 2017 hurricane season.

"NOAA Fisheries used commercial fishery revenue loss as the common metric to allocate funding among eligible disasters. In addition to revenue loss, the agency also took subsistence uses and long-term impacts to the fishery into account to further ensure an equitable distribution of funds."

To read the full press release from NMFS click here.

Sablefish Quota Update

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) announced that the 2018 NSEI Subdistrict commercial sablefish fishery individual equal quota share (EQS) will be 18.8% higher than that of 2017. Sablefish abundance is measured each year as part of a mark-recapture project. Data from this project are used to estimate abundance, biomass, and acceptable harvest rate.

The sablefish fishery experienced a large year class in 2014, which has been recruiting to the fishery resulting in improved abundance since 2016. "The 2014-year class is estimated to be higher than any other on record, however, there remains uncertainty due to the lack of older mature fish. The department will continue to closely monitor survey results, biological data, and recruitment and spawning biomass trends."

For the full newsletter from SEAFA click here.

China has proposed a 25% tariff on seafood imports from the U.S.

China has threatened a 25% tariff on all seafood imports from the U.S. U.S. seafood exports to China are worth about $1 billion dollars, and Alaska makes up more than $750 million of this. The tax is intended to begin next month.

Governor Walker is confident that Alaska's unique position in the trading arena leaves room for negotiation: "Alaska has abundant resources, from natural gas and seafood to beer and baby food," Walker said. "These resources enable our state to dramatically reduce the trade deficit between the United States and China, if we can finalize agreements to increase exports of our products."

For the full article from KTUU click here.

Caterer Magazine: Hook, Line, and Sinker

ALFA's own, Linda Behnken, was recently featured in Caterer magazine. In this Q & A style article, Linda speaks about what it is like to be a fisherman, woman, and mother.

In an industry that was initially wary of women, Linda managed to earn her spot, work her way up to owning her own boat, and bring her family along for the ride. For Linda's family fishing is a labor of love and definitely a family affair!

Click here to read the full article about how Linda balances hauling the highest quality seafood from Alaskan waters with advocacy/policy work and family life.

 Images courtesy of Linda Behnken

Images courtesy of Linda Behnken

We must act to protect the health and future of our oceans

This article from The Hill highlights leadership on climate change from Alaska's Don Young, the degrading health of our ocean, the resources it provides us, and how we can protect it moving forward.

You can thank the ocean for every other breath of fresh air you take! The ocean is an incredible resource that not only provides us with oxygen, but food, livelihoods, and ecological stability.

The ecological and economic stability that the ocean provides is threatened by a changing climate and ocean acidification. Clams and oysters in New England are dissolving, the infamous Maine lobsters are leaving Maine, and Alaskan red king crab may face devastating impacts.

Bonamici and Young are calling on the public to mobilize and protect our oceans. To find out how they are fighting to protect the health and future of our oceans, read the full article here.

"regardless of where we live or our political party, we must remain committed to protect, conserve, maintain, and rebuild our ocean resources."

2018 ALFA Seafood Raffle Tickets on Sale

The annual Alaska Longline Fishermen's Association Fish Raffle tickets are now on sale.  Call 907-747-3400 to buy a ticket for $10 and enter for your chance to win 10 pounds of locally caught halibut, black cod, rockfish and king salmon.  Local processors fillet, freeze and vacuum-pack the fish to tuck into your freezer or send to a friend.  Winning tickets come with free FedEx shipping to any U.S. address.  There will be five winning tickets out of a total of 750 tickets.  You can buy tickets from ALFA board members, or by contacting the ALFA office.  The winning tickets will be drawn on November 4, 2018 and you need not be present to win.