Halibut, sable and herring fisheries are ready to open

More fishing boats set sail on the water as Pacific halibut and sable (black cod) fishing begins March 6, followed by Alaska’s first large herring fishery in Sitka Sound.

For halibut, catches along the coast from waters ranging from the West Coast states to British Columbia to the extreme Bering Sea have increased 5.7% this year to £41.22 million.

Alaska always gets the lion’s share of the commercial halibut crop, which amounted to £21.51 million for 2022, an increase of nearly 10%. Expectations for good fisheries are high, and “rumors of opening berth prices around $8.00 a pound have people very excited,” the Alaska Boat and Permit Company said in its weekly Homer Fish Tickets report.

The average dock price for an Alaskan halibut in 2021 was $6.40/lb.

Alaskan fishermen are also seeing an increase in sablefish abundance, and the 2022 harvest in the Bering Bay and Sea has increased 32% to £76 million.

Herring spawning in the kelp fishery begins on March 17 at Craig and Claw, with a harvest limit of 5,060 tons.

The roe herring fishery in Sitka Sound, which usually begins in late March, has the highest harvest ever at 45,164 tonnes (£90.3 million).

Prince William Sound shrimp must register to drop pots by 1st April early mid-April for fisheries that can bring in £66,900.

The Tanner lobster hunt began March 1 in Prince William Sound with a maximum weight of 61,800 lbs. It can continue until March 31 unless the quota is taken earlier.

The Tanner lobster fishery in the southeast that started on February 11 should end by March 9. No information has yet been received on the catch, but managers have reported “historically high lobster levels” and the catch should easily exceed last year’s 1.27 million pound harvest. Crabbers fingers crossed that the Southeast price would reflect the Kodiak’s staggering $8.50/lb.

Southeast crabs can also haul golden king crabs at the same time with a harvest limit of 75,300 pounds, an increase of nearly 24% from last year. Gold weighs 5 to 8 pounds on average and last year averaged $11.55/lb in tubs.

Crabbers in Norton Sound put pots across the ice for 27,328 pounds of red crab. Fewer than 10 permit holders will sell locally as no buyers registered due to concerns about dwindling crab stocks.

The Bering Sea snow crabs fleet withdrew about 70% of its 5.6 million pound quota (about 4.3 million animals), down 88% from 2021. However, bottom fishing vessels are allowed to target 5.99 million snow crabs as by-catch, that is Equivalent to 7.8 pounds or pounds in weight.

The Crabbers also acquired 68% of Bering Sea bairdi Tanner’s 1 million pound stake. The by-catch allowance for fishing vessels is 3.07 million animals, up to 6 million pounds.

Boats also continue to fish for Alaskan pollock in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska, where the combined catch can exceed £3 billion. Cod, rockfish, perch and many other species are also caught.

Finally, it’s hard to believe, but the fisheries managers of the Alaskan Department of Fish and Game will announce the catch in the 2022 Alaskan salmon fishery any day.

Names? Who do you know The state fisheries board meeting is just days away, but Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy has yet to reveal who might fill the vacant seat on the seven-member panel. The Fish Council will meet March 10-22 in Anchorage to address fisheries management issues in the Southeast/Yakotat for commercial, sporting, subsistence and personal use.

Dunleavy appointed Soldotna’s Indy Walton to the board in September but resigned in December due to health reasons. By law, the governor has 30 days to set another appointment.

Information requests to Dunleavy’s office went unanswered.

The governor is also silent about his choice of two seats on the North Pacific Fisheries Board. By law, the names must be sent to the US Secretary of Commerce by March 15.

Cora Campbell, CEO of Silver Bay Seafoods, and Nicole Kimball, vice president of the Pacific Seafood Processors Association, expire on August 10. Both can be reset.

The North Pacific Fisheries Board oversees the management of more than 140 species of fish and shellfish in 47 stocks and stock pools.

The wonders of fish waste Scottish researchers turn salmon offal into a major component of nylon.

Plastic experts from Impact Solutions have partnered with the University of Edinburgh, seafood producer Farne Salmon and the Center for Industrial Biotechnology Innovation to use biological enzymes to extract the fatty components from fish waste. It is then converted into a mixture of adipic acid, which is a precursor to nylon.

Adipic acid is also used in a wide range of products including petrochemical and polyurethane based items such as building insulation, furniture cushions, cosmetics, lubricants, pharmaceuticals, food additives, and flavorings.

“This project marks the beginning of an exciting journey to find a sustainable alternative to a key component found in the fabric of our clothing. The initial feasibility study has led us to an exciting juncture where we can begin to see the potential to generate value from a material that would otherwise be discarded,” said Impact Solutions Development Director Simon Rathbone for SeafoodSource news.

The researchers want to maximize the value of the process by looking at other ingredients that can be extracted from fish waste, such as fatty acids and fish oils. “Our waste streams have been a major focus in recent years, and where possible, we have found ways to turn them over to companies with the foresight and technology to use as raw materials for further processing,” the team added.

Researchers note that more than a billion pounds of waste is generated annually by the UK processing industry. In Alaska, wasted hides, heads, oils and other fish parts exceeded £3 billion and could add more than $700 million to the state’s revenue stream, according to a report on “specialty products” from the Alaska Institute of Seafood Marketing.

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