United Cook Inlet Drift Association Wins Lawsuit Against NMFS on Appeal
The United Cook Inlet Drift Association (UCIDA) won its appeal in a lawsuit against NMFS that sought to overturn the North Pacific Council’s Amendment 12 to the Fisheries Management Plan for Salmon. Amendment 12 exempted Cook Inlet, Prince William Sound, and the Alaska Peninsula from federal fisheries management for salmon because the State of Alaska was managing those fisheries. However, UCIDA and the Cook Inlet Fishermen’s Fund urged the Council to reject the amendment, citing a 51% decline since 1981 in the commercial catch of sockeye salmon. “United Cook attributed this decline to two management failures by Alaska,” said Judge Andrew D. Hurwitz, who wrote the 20-page opinion on behalf of a unanimous bench. In a press release, UCIDA said “the ruling allows the Cook Inlet salmon resources to once gain benefit from the Magnuson-Stevens Act."
Public Safety officials in Dutch Harbor believe fishmeal dust was the likely cause of a Monday evening explosion at the Westward Seafoods processing facility. The blast likely occurred when an undetermined ignition source detonated dust from the production of fishmeal said Mike Holman, director of Unalaska's Department of Public Safety. There were employees inside the building at the time of the explosion, but no injuries were reported. The plant's sprinkler system extinguished the resulting fire before crews arrived but contributed to damage estimates well beyond the $100,000 first reported after the fire.
The latest round of monthly shrimp landings out of the Gulf of Mexico provided more confirmation that the spring seasons in Louisiana and Texas were a bust. Landings continue to trend well below the five-year-average for the fishery, which has kept inventories tight and wholesale prices high in September. Average Urner Barry prices for 21-25 count Gulf Domestic white shrimp in September, for example, are up nearly 18 percent compared to 2015 levels.
In other news, a follow-up investigation into Thai labor practices by the Associated Press found that while Thai companies that export shrimp to the U.S. have given formerly entrapped workers better jobs in-house, some still use middlemen who employ laborers in remote, guarded warehouses.
Finally, Urner Barry and Seafood News have launched a podcast network that to provide market and industry news in an audio format that is accessible on mobile devices. The Urner Barry Market Digest and the Seafood News podcast are available for download and to stream through your iPhone or Andriod devices using iTunes, Google Play or SoundCloud. This week’s Seafood News podcast summarizes some of the major news stories that came of out the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s GOAL 2016 Conference in China, which concludes today.
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