United Fishermen of Alaska has released an updated comprehensive look at commercial fishing statewide with an interactive map detailing the specifics for the year 2013 for towns, boroughs and census areas from the Yukon-Koyukuk area to the western Aleutians.
UFA details how Alaska’s largest private-sector employer provides tens of thousands of jobs producing billions of pounds of seafood for Alaska, the U.S. and the world.
The International Pacific Halibut Commission kicked off its 2014 annual meeting on Monday with newly reappointed commissioner Jim Balsinger acknowledging the concern and anxiety surrounding halibut stocks.
“The biggest concern of course is the status of Pacific halibut,” he said. “To put it in context, in the 90-year history of (the management of) this fishery, of this commission, this isn’t a new state. The halibut stock has been much lower than this before, so we have some confidence that there’s an ability to recover this.”
With the expected growth of the U.S. economy and continued weakness in many other parts of the world, 2014 looks to be a rough year for seafood traders whose fortunes are tied to foreign currencies, according to a story by John Sackton at Seafoodnews.com.
For importers, a strong dollar is positive and helps moderate prices. For exporters, the strong dollar weakens overseas sales by raising the relative cost of exports, and with more products sold at home, also moderates prices.
Halibut fishermen are bracing for another huge quota cut after the International Pacific Halibut Commission staff presented a rather grim stock assessment at their interim meeting in Seattle last week.
While there is no longer a “staff recommendation,” staff members do present a decision table with a “blue line” that is essentially the same thing: a harvest level at which the fishery should not diminish too much further in the future.