Major Fishery and Processor Associations Ask Gov. Inslee's Council Recommendations be Withdrawn
Four major West coast and Alaska organizations have expressed outrage over Washington Governor Inslee’s nominations for new appointments to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. The groups have written to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, asking that the Washington State nominations be returned and that the Governor be asked to follow the state’s public appointment process. We provide the full letter sent to Secretary Ross in today's story.
The Association of Seafood Producers (ASP) says the Standing Fish Price Setting Panel decision on raw material snow crab prices compounds bad news on quota cuts and places the industry at substantial risk of a market collapse. “The market reports contracted by the province were both clear,” said Derek Butler, Executive Director of ASP. “Consumption is reducing, the price has gotten too high, and it is spot pricing in response to quota reductions in Alaska and here that is being used. That is wrong. It is not the reality of our snow crab industry.”
In other news, the North Korean port of Rajin continues to remain biggest transit hub for illegal sales of Russian crab in Asia-Pacific region. According to the Russian Association of Crab Producers, currently about 500 tons of illegal crab supplies from Russia are delivered to the North Korean seaport and to the Chinese town of Hunchun each month. These figures are growing since the situation is aggravated by extremely low prices for Russian crab the Producers say.
Meanwhile, FDA seafood refusals in March were just about the same compared to last March as mahi, shrimp and filth remain on inspectors' radars. However, federal seafood rejections are well below levels recorded through the first quarter in 2016 because of notable declines in snapper, lobster and tuna refusals.
Finally, Alaskan halibut production during the first month of the season is lower from last year because of inclement weather. Wholesale prices for Pacific halibut are now moving higher with inventories limited ahead of Good Friday. Alaska's halibut got off to a slow start in March because of poor weather, but production picked over the next few weeks. However, another round of bad weather has pinched production ahead of Easter. Traders say they will be closely monitoring Alaskan halibut production and supplies over the next week as demand could go higher in preparation for the last week of the Lenten season.
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