Tag Archives: processors

For Alaska’s seafood processors, the Coronavirus pandemic has cost tens of millions

Heading into the 2020 fishing season, many people were concerned that seafood workers from out of state would bring COVID-19 to rural communities. Processing companies managed to keep the disease under control. but at a big cost. Now, economists are looking at that financial toll. To keep track of how the pandemic is shaping the seafood industry, economists at the McDowell Group have started to publish monthly briefs for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. “It’s interesting to describe a crisis when you’re in the crisis, right? And that’s our situation,” said Garrett Everidge, an economist at the McDowell Group. >click to read< 15:15

Maine: 1 in 3 Lobstermen got small Paycheck Protection Program loans

About $14.9 million in forgivable Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, loans of less than $150,000 have been handed out to 1,358 Maine lobstermen, according to an analysis of newly released U.S. Small Business Administration data. That puts lobstermen ahead of full-service restaurants, real estate offices, beauty salons and home builders, which rounded out the top five Maine industries receiving small PPP loans. Maine’s $1.4 billion-a-year lobster industry – including those who buy, sell and process lobster as well as catch it – have received 1,495 forgivable PPP loans worth at least $24.2 million, so far. Fishermen got the lion’s share of the industry’s total PPP money, but only because they outnumber dealers, retailers and processors. Some dealers got loans of up to $1 million. >click to read< 07:15

An Alaska commercial fishing season unlike any other kicked off in Cordova on Thursday

Normally, the Copper River gillnet season, the first salmon fishery to open in the state, is known for high-priced fish and celebrity-level fanfare: One of the first fish to be caught is flown to Seattle via Alaska Airlines jet, and greeted with a red carpet photo opportunity. In this pandemic year, things are different all around: The Alaska Airlines first fish photo op will still happen, but the festivities have been tamped down and six-foot distancing and masks are now required. Instead of a cooking contest pitting Seattle chefs against each other, a salmon bake for workers at Swedish Hospital in Ballard is planned. And this year, Cordova’s first-in-the-state salmon fishery will be a high stakes test,,, >click here< 10:15

In America’s largest salmon fishery, preparations begin for coronavirus prevention ahead of the season

Around Bristol Bay, community leaders, health facilities and local entities are working to coordinate their preparations for the coronavirus. Thousands of fishermen, processors, and cannery workers will travel to Bristol Bay in the coming months to participate in the commercial fishery. As of Thursday afternoon, no one in the region had been tested for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Alaska’s first known case of the disease was announced Thursday afternoon. >click to read< 11:26

‘On pins and needles’ – NL fish harvesters, processors keeping an eye on China as coronavirus crisis continues

COVID-19, also commonly referred to as the coronavirus, is having a significant economic impact on China, a country whose importance continues to grow as a destination for seafood from this province. “Everybody’s on pins and needles,” Garnish-based harvester Alfred Fitzpatrick told SaltWire Network recently. The crab season along the province’s south coast usually opens up in early April, followed a couple weeks later by lobster. That’s not far off, and with talk in recent days of COVID-19 potentially becoming a pandemic, it looks as if the economic consequences will continue, as well. “Oh, my God, yes,” Fitzpatrick responded when asked if the COVID-19 crisis was inspiring conversation on the province’s wharves. “Like I said, everybody is worried. With the cost of everything going up and the new requirements and everything everybody got to do, I mean, it’s all money, and if you don’t make it, you can’t spend it, hey,” he said. >click to read< 17:40

FISH FACTOR: First checks finally set for 2016 pink salmon disaster

It’s been a long time coming but payments should soon be in hand for Alaska fishermen, processors and coastal communities hurt by the 2016 pink salmon run failure, the worst in 40 years.  Congress OK’d more than $56 million in federal relief in 2017, but the authorization to cut the money loose languished on NOAA desks in D.C. for more than two years. The payouts got delayed again last October,,, >click to read< 17:18

Proposed Fisheries Regulation Amendments Target Fish Processors & Buyers

The Fall 2019 re-election of the Liberal government means the proposed amendments to federal fisheries regulations remain a concern for industry participants.,, However, the government has, to date, not implemented the amendments. The proposed amendments target arrangements that transfer license rights and privileges from license holders to third parties. In the Statement, the Minister notes the perceived narrowness of the definition of “Controlling Agreement”,, McInnes Cooper has prepared this document for information only,, >click to read< 12:27

Seeking a viable fishery in Twillingate – Harvester and harbour master weigh in on state of shrimp fishery

With projected quota cuts to an already curtailed fishery, some shrimp harvesters say they will not even bother chasing the species this year. Perry Collins of Seldom on Fogo Island has harvested shrimp for over 10 years. He says if quotas go lower than they already are, there will be little to no profit in taking part in the shrimp fishery. “If the quota goes any lower … they may as well close it out all together,” Collins said. “With the time you take to gear up and change over from your other fisheries, it’s really not worth going after.” >click to read<14:09

A bad season for crab – Domoic acid levels high again, meat content poor, crustaceans start to molt

The Oregon Department of Agriculture is ordering crab fishermen to eviscerate or destroy any crab caught since Feb. 13 after tests Wednesday showed domoic acid is again at unacceptable levels. There is also a recall on all live or whole-cooked crab caught since Feb. 13, said Troy Buell, fishery manager with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Recreational crabbing in Curry County has also been closed. The news comes nine days after the long-delayed crabbing season opened in the last section on the Oregon Coast. >click to read< 09:01

Crab season: ‘Fishermen just needed to go fishing’ while skinny crab adds stress

The opening of the commercial crab season is traditionally December 1, but this year it was delayed to ensure quality and to work out negotiations between fishermen and processors over price.
While crabbers in Newport agreed to a $2.75 starting price, we were told Friday the offer was not accepted by the majority of west coast fishermen. >click here to read< 16:54

Skinny crabs add stress on local business owners – Scattered crabbing vessels dotted the horizon from Klipsan Beach and along the southwestern Washington coast last Monday. It was the start of the new commercial crabbing season — and possibly, sellers hope, the rebounding of the local market. Pacific Northwest crabbers have already lost over one and a half months’ worth of the crab season. >click here to read<

Editorial: Fisheries madness

The federal government seems hell-bent on proceeding with ill-advised amendments to the Fisheries Act that pose particular threat to Atlantic Canadian inshore fishermen and processors. The importance of the fishery cannot be overstated — directly responsible for 80,000 jobs and $6.6 billion in exports — while the indirect economic impact is much greater. Yet Ottawa is hinting at major changes — especially with licence allocation — that could turn the industry upside down. >click here to read< 10:49 

Alaska fisheries thrive — yet industry is on the edge

It has been a really good year across most of Alaska’s commercial fisheries. Salmon prices are up, harvests are good, fuel costs are down, and there’s more: The world’s appetite for nutritious, wild-caught Alaska fish, caught in clean waters, is growing. Alaskans’ track record for managing fisheries in a sustainable manner, both near-shore and further at sea, reinforces our reputation for responsible stewardship. Life is good.,,, Seafood employed 56,800 workers in 2015-2016 and this industry annually contributes $5.2 billion to the state’s economic output. But as good as this sounds, the fact is that this traditional industry is actually fragile,,, click here to read the story 21:45

N.B. lobster fishermen discouraged by lower prices

The Maritime Fishermen’s Union is voicing concerns about the low prices its members are getting paid for their catches in southeastern New Brunswick this season and suggesting protests could follow. Wages currently sit at $4.75 a pound per market lobster and $4.25 a pound per can of lobster — nearly $2 less than what was expected, according to MFU organizer Michel Richard. There is “no excuse for such a low price,” Richard told CBC’s Information Morning Moncton on Monday, as lobster season entered its second week. “It’s very troubling, and our fishermen are trying to reason why this is happening, and the excuses are not realistic,” he said. click here to read the story 18:33

A Sitka mobile processing plant built to chill out the Bristol Bay fishery

Alaska’s Bristol Bay sockeye fishery is intense, lucrative — and also remote. Much of the fish landed there is frozen whole and shipped long distances for secondary processing. Although the product is famous, there are some who think the quality could be improved. In Sitka, a pair of entrepreneurs is betting $2 million that they can deliver a better Bristol Bay sockeye. Meet Northline Seafoods. The relentless pace of sockeye fishing can’t be overstated: two openings a day, four hours between openings, with harvests topping 13 million pounds a day during the peak of the season in June. Twelve processors buy fish in Bristol Bay. And next year there will be a thirteenth: Northline. “They’ll go under the deck. There’ll be three more of these ice machines here…” This is Pat Glaab, who with his partner, Ben Blakey, has bought a 150-foot former helicopter logging barge and is converting it into a floating fish processor. click here to read the story 08:12

Tanner crab fishermen receive OK to catch quota

It’s official. fishermen can catch their whole quota, and not leave 1.4 million pounds unharvested at the bottom of the Bering Sea because of a surprising provision in the federal rules governing the crab rationalization program that blindsided fishermen and processors late last year. That oversight nearly cost the industry some $5 million. That’s good news as the Tanner fishery moves along, with 72 percent of the eastern Tanners harvested as of Monday for 8.1 million pounds by eight boats catching an average of 37.4 crab per pot. Read the rest here 12:30

Tanner crabbing underway as consolidation adds complications

Fishing industry consolidation has complicated the lives of Tanner crab fishermen and processors, but it looks like they’ll still have access to the whole quota and won’t have to leave 10 percent in the water. Bering Sea commercial crab fisheries are underway, with fishermen catching Tanners at a faster pace than snow crab, according to Miranda Westphal, of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Unalaska. And Icicle Seafood’s withdrawal from the crab fishery shouldn’t leave any Tanners “stranded,” thanks to an emergency federal action. Read the post here 08:45

Bristol Bay’s big run may hurt prices in Cook Inlet

Bristol Bay is expecting a sockeye salmon harvest topping 40 million fish next year, including the southern Alaska Peninsula. That’s bound to challenge harvesters and processors in ensuring quality, and have a chilling effect on prices for Upper Cook Inlet sockeyes. Read the rest here 13:34

PEI Fishermen, processors still in talks – Lobster season starts again with no prices

P.E.I. lobster fishermen have begun another season without knowing how much they’ll be paid for their catch. Mike McGeoghegan, president of the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association, said last spring fishermen would never again haul traps without knowing the price, but the season started as scheduled last week without a published price.  Read more here 

Seals and Sealing Network on location to document the start of the sealing season

Members of the Seals and Sealing Network (SSN) will be on location to document the start of the North Atlantic sealing season, speaking with sealers, processors and members of the coastal communities whose livelihoods depend on the sustainable and responsibly managed industry. Read more here 09:54

Lobster industry claws out levy to promote Canadian crustaceans – $2.5-million annually

About 200 fishermen, processors, industry officials and politicians from the three Maritime provinces agreed at the two-day summit to introduce a two-cent levy – one cent from harvesters and one cent from processors – for each pound of lobster landed. The money – about $2.5-million annually – will go mostly towards marketing Canadian lobster as a premium product in North America, Europe and Asia. Read more here globeandmail 21:14

Fisheries minister Ron MacKinley wants fishermen, processors to negotiate lobster prices

Fisheries Minister Ron MacKinley says he is pushing for a pilot project that would see P.E.I. lobster prices negotiated by fishermen and processors before the spring fishing season.The issue was first raised in question period Thursday when Independent MLA Olive Crane questioned MacKinley on whether he would consider establishing a lobster price setting mechanism, as recommended by the Maritime Lobster Panel. MacKinley said he has asked the Fishermen’s Association and the Seafood Processors Association to get together and work out how this could be accomplished [email protected]  17:18

Hit by low prices – Report by former P.E.I. auditor general finds fishermen, processors, buyers all suffering

863a4ac9dc_64635696_o2An independent review into low lobster prices has concluded a series of issues have hurt what fishermen are being paid on the wharf, but that processors and buyers are also suffering. [email protected] 08:04

Bearing Sea Crab Fishermen and processors had their IFQ permits in hand by the close of business Thursday.

Several crab fisheries in the Bering Sea are open as federal regulators were successful in getting fishermen their IFQ permits so they can drop pots. The end of the federal government shutdown on Thursday proved very timely for crab fishermen who were unable during the shutdown to get their IFQ permits. U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski issued a statement Friday thanking the National Marine Fisheries Service for processing and faxing out all the permits needed on Thursday. Murkowski confirms that all the fishermen and processors had their permits in hand by the close of business Thursday. [email protected]  19:52

P.E.I. fishermen, processors still in disagreement about price of lobster

The Canadian Press – CHARLOTTETOWN — A meeting between Prince Edward Island fishermen and seafood processors ended in frustration Sunday as the contentious dispute over the price of lobster continued. Michael McGeoghegan, president P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association, said his organization could not reach an agreement with the P.E.I. Seafood Processors Association after meeting in Charlottetown for about two and a half hours. continued

New Jersey’s Congressmen push for fishing industry disaster relief

“New Jersey’s fishing industry is one of the drivers of our regional economy and a staple in coastal communities,” the congressmen wrote. “The fishing industry impacts a wide swath of New Jersey’s economy and includes not only fishermen, but processors, boat builders, bait and tackle shops, marinas, distributors, and tourism thanks to New Jersey’s vast charter boat operations.” Read More