Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Alaska Fisheries Board to Tackle Upper Cook Inlet Finfish Issues

There are 174 proposals on Upper Cook Inlet finfish issues that are up for consideration when the Alaska Board of Fisheries begins a 14-day public meeting in Anchorage tomorrow, Feb. 23. All portions of the meeting are open to the pubic and live audio stream is intended to be available at

In addition to submitting written public comments, the board invites oral public testimony during the meeting. The tentative deadline for signing up is 2 p.m. Feb. 24.

The agenda and meeting roadmap are online at

In anticipation of a large number of participants in this meeting, the state’s Boards Support Section plans to hold a brief training session from 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. tomorrow in the main meeting area of the Anchorage Sheraton Hotel, to help participants better understand how the Board of Fisheries process works. Training matter will include how the board meeting structure works, how to get the most out of your maximum three minutes of public testimony, and things to consider when working with board members.

Topics before the board at this meeting range from proposals for changes in several salmon management plans and gillnet fisheries to area wide sport fisheries and habitat.

Proposal 134, for example, would amend the Kasilof River Salmon Management Plan to remove restrictions in the upper sub-district commercial set gillnet fisher and allow for regular weekly fishing periods through July 20, with additional fishing periods based on in-season abundance. That proposal from the Central Peninsula Fish and Game Advisory Committee contends that the current plan illegally restricts the commissioner’s emergency order authority and makes it impossible to manage the East Side set net fishery in a manner to meet the escapement goals and harvest the surplus.

SWAMC Summit on Fisheries Legislation, Values, Policies

Alaska fisheries legislation, values and policies will be in the spotlight during the annual summit meeting of the Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference on March 3 in Anchorage.

Conference attendees will get an update from legislators on a range of bills with potential impact on harvesters and coastal fishing communities, from motor fuel to state income taxes. Further updates on the state’s community development quota entities, which are allocated a percentage of groundfish quotas annually by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, are to be presented executives with the Aleut Pribilof Island Community Development Association and the Bristol Bay Economic Development Corp.

Jan Jacobs of the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation will talk about efforts to utilize the entire catch, and Trident Seafoods’ Stephanie Moreland will discuss the importance of embracing technology for the good of businesses and communities.

Also on tap for the conference is a discussion about fisheries policy for Alaska’s future, with Unalaska Mayor Frank Kelty, Ernie Weiss of Aleutians East Borough, Julie Bonney of the Alaska Groundfish Data Bank, and Kodiak harvester Theresa Peterson, recently named to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.

The conference opens on March 2, with presenters including Alaska Commissioner of Fish and Game Sam Cotten.

King, Tanner Crab on Alaska Board of Fisheries Agenda

Statewide king and tanner crab issues, except for Southeast Alaska and Yakutat, will come before the Alaska Board of Fisheries March 20-24 in Anchorage.

There are 38 proposals on the meeting roadmap, online at The meeting is open to the public and live audio stream is to be available via the board’s website,

The board will consider two proposals for the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim, three for Kodiak and the South Peninsula, 12 proposals for the Bering Sea, three for the Aleutian Islands, two for Cook Inlet, and seven for Prince William Sound.

Among those seven Prince William Sound proposals is one from Cordova District Fishermen United to create a harvest strategy and amend regulations to allow for a commercial tanner crab fishery in that area.

CDFU states in its proposal that Prince William Sound is the only area in Alaska that has a stock assessment for tanner crab and no harvest strategy in regulation. Alaska Department of Fish and Game trawl surveys have documented an increase in tanner crab abundance, and a commercial tanner crab fishery could provide economic opportunity to local fishermen and communities, CDFU says in its proposal.

Given the state’s current fiscal crisis, more cuts are anticipated in ADF&G’s budget, which could result in more fishery surveys being eliminated. CDFU is concerned that if a harvest strategy is not adopted quickly, they risk the loss of a survey, and with that any hope for a commercial tanner crab fishery in Prince William Sound.

Pacific Cod Pot Gear Harvests Closed in Western GOA

Federal fisheries officials have issued a temporary rule putting a halt to the harvest of Pacific cod by vessels using pot gear in the western Gulf of Alaska.

The ruling, published on February 21 in the Federal Register, is effective through June 10.

NMFS determined that such action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season allowance of this year’s Pacific cod total allowable catch allocated to pot gear in the western regulatory area of the Gulf.

NFMS manages the groundfish fishery in the Gulf’s exclusive economic zone under the fishery management plan for groundfish in the Gulf prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. This year’s A season allocation for Pacific cod taken by vessels using pot gear in the western gulf was 4,854 metric tons.

Alaska Region of NMFS determined that the A season allowance for Pacific cod in the western gulf would be reached soon, and moved to establish a directed fishing allowance of 4,844 metric tons, setting aside the remaining 10 metric tons as bycatch to support other anticipated groundfish fisheries.

The Federal Register announcement notes that the acting assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries found good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice, as it would have prevented NMFS from responding to the most recent harvest data in a timely fashion.

In Alaska’s Prince William Sound, meanwhile, the Pacific cod state waters fishery will open on Feb. 24, with a guideline harvest of 4,338,141 pounds, down from 4,841,902 pounds in 2016.

The GHL includes 15 percent, or 650,721 pounds for the combined pot and jig gear, and 85 percent, or 3.7 million pounds, for longline gear.

The Prince William Sound Area E parallel Pacific cod season closes at noon Feb. 23, coinciding with the National Marine Fisheries Service closure of the Pacific cod pot gear sector in the Central Gulf of Alaska.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

USDA Revises Salmon Purchase Requirements

The US Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service has issued revised supplemental eligibility requirements for salmon processors and processing facilities engaged in competitive bidding on USDA solicitations for seafood.

The supplement previously went out in draft form for industry comment was finalized in the second week of February.

USDA says that all such facilities must be US Department of Commerce/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration seafood inspection approved establishments meeting all pertinent federal requirements applicable to processing fish and fishery products.

To meet the USDC/NOAA approved establishment requirements, they may participate in one of three USDC/NOAA inspection systems, including the HACCP (hazard analysis and critical control points) quality management program, the Integrated Quality Assurance Program or the Resident Inspector Program.

The HACCP quality management program requires firms to be subjected to unannounced systems audits on a quarterly frequency interval to substantiate overall compliance with all pertinent regulations and to meet quality requirements.

The Integrated quality Assurance Program is a reduced inspection service which requires that firms assume greater verification and documentation responsibility, with NOAA performing verification checks of the facility, its quality assurance system and product quality results.

The resident inspector program is a continuous inspection service with USDC inspection personnel present during all hours of production to fulfill USDA contracts.

Additional information about the AMS commodity purchase programs, including current specifications and technical documents is online at

NPFMC Considers Halibut IFQ Leases in Areas 4 BCD

Final action is scheduled in June on a regulatory amendment package that would allow community development quota groups to lease halibut individual quota shares in Areas 4 BCD in years of low halibut catch limits in those regulatory areas.

In effect this proposal before the North Pacific Fishery Management Council would allow CDQ groups to lease halibut IFQ for use by residents on vessels less than or equal to 51 feet length overall, subject to IFQ use regulations and the groups’ internal management.

The council established this action alternative as their preliminary preferred alternative, setting a threshold of a one million pound catch limit for Are 4B and a 1.5 million pound catch limit for Area 4CDE under which this flexibility would be available to the groups. The preliminary preferred alternative would also allow Area 4D IFQ that is leased to CDQ groups to be fished in Area 4E. The council added in the consideration of whether this harvest flexibility would also apply to A Class quota share in years where the catch limit is set lower than the threshold.

The action is intended to provide additional halibut harvesting opportunities for the CDQ communities in times of low halibut catch limits, with the intended beneficiaries being residents of communities that traditionally rely on halibut CDQ for employment and income. The council also added consideration of a reporting requirement in which CDQ groups using this flexibility would specify the criteria used to select IFQ holders leasing to a CDQ groups as well as the criteria used to determine who can receive leased IFQ.

Value of Pebble Deposit Questioned

A new report from a national investment firm with short shares in Northern Dynasty Minerals stock says that Northern Dynasty’s key asset, the Pebble mine deposit in Southwest Alaska, is not commercially viable.

The opinion from Kerrisdale Capital Management drew an immediate response from Northern Dynasty, in Vancouver, British Columbia, which said the company would issue a rebuttal by week’s end exposing the inaccuracies and outright misstatements in the Kerrisdale report.

The Pebble deposit of copper, gold and molybdenum, was discovered decades ago but has not been mined due to issues related to its location near the Bristol Bay watershed, home of the world’s largest run of wild sockeye salmon. Concerns from Alaska Natives in Southwest Alaska prompted efforts by the US Environmental Protection Agency to research whether development of the mine would adversely impact salmon habitat in the watershed, and conclude, after extensive testimony, that there was great potential for adverse impact.

Meanwhile the national law firm of Levi & Korsinsky LLP announced on Feb. 14 that it has commenced an investigation of Northern Dynasty Minerals concerning possible violations of federal securities laws. The law firm cited the Kerrisdale report, which notes that Northern Dynasty stock has risen in value since the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States, fueled by hopes that a more mining-friendly Environmental Protection Agency will allow the Pebble mine project to move forward. Trump’s promise to reduce environmental regulatory barriers fueled investor optimism about prospects for the Pebble project and since Trump’s election Northern Dynasty stock rose dramatically. The Kerrisdale report says such optimism is misplaced, that the stock is worthless.

Northern Dynasty disagrees, and says there are mining companies who are potential investors who are in due diligence on the project, which it describes as “one of the world’s largest undeveloped copper/gold deposits with a potential mine life which is measured in decades.

Those engaged in the fishing industry in Bristol Bay maintain that the best investment in the region is fisheries, which supports more than 14,000 jobs related to commercial and sport harvests.

The Kerrisdale report is online at

US Coast Guard Suspends Search for Missing Crab Boat

The US Coast Guard has suspended the search for the crab boat Destination, which disappeared northwest of St. George in the Pribilof Islands with six crewmembers on board on Feb. 11.

Rear Admiral Michael McAllister, commander of the Coast Guard 17th District, said the decision to suspend a search is always difficult and made with great care and consideration. The search began when the Coast Guard received an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon alert on the morning of Feb. 11, with the launching of aircraft crews, who were quickly joined in the search by two good Samaritan fishing vessels, the Silver Spray and Bering Rose, plus additional Coast Guard support. Volunteers on St. George Island also conducted shoreline searches.

In all, the Coast Guard coordinated 21 searches involving more than 69 aircraft and surface hours and covering some 5,730 square nautical miles. Aircraft located a debris field in the general area of the EPIRB alert, including the transmitting EPIRB, a life ring from the Destination, buoys, tarps and an oil sheen. The Destination, which was registered in Seattle, had departed Dutch Harbor on Feb. 10 before vanishing off of St. George the following day. An investigation is underway into what happened as the vessel was headed out to participate in the snow crab fishery.

The Coast Guard was able to rescue three people from the fishing vessel Predator on Feb. 13, after it ran aground and began taking on water near Akutan Harbor.

The crew aboard a Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter hoisted the three crewmembers and transported them to Akutan with no medical issues reported.

Coast Guard 17th District personnel said the Predator ran hard aground, resulting in an eight-inch crack in the hull, and the crew was unable to keep up with the flooding utilizing dewatering pumps. Weather on scene at the time of that rescue was 25-mile-an-hour winds and 10-foot seas.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Documentary to Focus on Small Boat Fishery Families

Obstacles facing small boat fishery families who want to preserve their way of life for future generations will be the focus of an upcoming documentary from the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association in Sitka.

“The goal is to portray small boat family fisheries, to document the commitment of these families to sustainable fisheries and ocean health, and to introduce viewers to the many challenges young fishermen face,” says Linda Behnken, a veteran longline harvester and executive director of ALFA.

ALFA had secured some funding to get started with filming for “We Are All Fishermen,” then learned in January that they had been awarded a grant from the popular clothing company Patagonia to complete the project.

“Access is a big challenge, as are regulations that marginalize small boat operations, climate change and more,” Behnken said, a commissioner on the International Pacific Halibut Commission, and a former member of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.

“Fishing families have a long term commitment to sustainable fisheries,” said Behnken. "They provide a vital voice for ocean health and strong coastal economies. This film will celebrate that legacy, while capturing the many challenges young fishermen face as they enter today’s fisheries.”

The film will highlight the importance of small scale fisheries in ensuring health coastal communities, and, in turn, the role that thriving community based fisheries play in ensuring a viable, sustainably caught food source for the rest of the world.

ALFA is an alliance of small boat commercial fishermen that supports sustainable fisheries and coastal communities by involving harvesters in research, advocacy and conservation initiatives.

The film is being produced by award-winning filmmaker Emmett Williams, of Mission Man Media, a documentary film production company dedicated to helping organizations around the world tell their story. Williams spent a week last spring filming Juneau-based longline and Dungeness crab harvester Peter Ord, his daughter Annika and his son, Nathan, after ALFA launched the project.

Alyssa Russell, communications and outreach coordinator for ALFA, said they hope to complete the documentary by the fall of 2017, get it aired on public television stations and at film festivals and also use it as an advocacy tool for harvesters.

Legislators Concerned About US Withdrawal from TPP

Alaska legislators concerned that the US withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership will adversely impact marketing of the state’s seafood harvest are seeking mitigation efforts on a federal level.

Senate Joint Resolution 3, introduced by Senators Bill Wielechowski, Berta Gardner, and Tom Begich, all D-Anchorage; Gary Stevens, R- Kodiak, and Dennis Egan, D-Juneau, urges President Trump and Congress to mitigate the harm done to the state’s seafood industry because of the withdrawal of the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

SJR3 also urges the president and Congress to work to benefit and protect Alaska’s seafood industry.

The resolution comes in the wake of Trump’s decision on his first full weekday in office to formally withdraw from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, and announce he would seek one-on-one trade deals with individual countries. Trump contends that the Pacific trade deal was harmful to American workers and manufacturing. But writers of the resolution contend that without that trade agreement in place foreign markets are likely to seek cheaper farmed salmon alternatives produced in Canada, Chile, Norway and other markets in place of the more expensive wild Alaska salmon.

The joint resolution notes that the seafood industry directly employs an estimated 26,700 Alaska residents, more workers than any other private sector industry, and is the second largest sector source of employment in the state. SJR also notes that seafood is Alaska’s largest foreign export, exporting over $1 trillion in pollock, $1 trillion of salmon, $322 million worth of cod, nearly $200 million worth of flat fish, and $141 million worth of crab in 2015.

Fisheries Board, Loans Considered by Alaska Legislature

Alaska legislators have several fisheries issues before them, ranging from the Board of Fisheries to sulfide mining in the Bristol Bay watershed and commercial fishing loans, to the impact of federal legislation on marketing the state’s seafood harvest.

House Bill 88, “Board of Fisheries Membership,” would increase the composition of the board from seven to nine members, adding more diversity of interest, greater breadth of knowledge, and more points of view, said Rep. Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, who introduced the legislation.

Stutes, who chairs the House Fisheries Committee, also introduced House Bill 87, “Conflict of Interest: Board Fisheries/Game,” which would change the way both boards function. Current rules require members of both boards to divulge any conflict of interest if they or their families have a financial interest on a subject being deliberated. That member then is not allowed to offer any input and cannot vote on the matter.

Stutes’ bill would allow the conflicted member to offer input, but still not vote. “Allowing members with expertise in particular fields to deliberate will help the board make better informed decisions and lead to stronger fisheries management,” she explained in a letter to constituents.

The House Fisheries Committee currently is holding in committee after its introduction House Bill 14, “Legislative Approval for Bristol Bay Sulfide Mine,” sponsored by Rep. Andy Josephson, D-Anchorage. The bill would require legislative approval for any large-scale metal sulfide mine in the Bristol Bay watershed. HB 14 was heard in House Fisheries on Jan. 31.

Also before House Fisheries is House Bill 56, “Commercial Fishing Loans,” an act relating to limitations on certain commercial fishing loans made by the state Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development. HB 56 is sponsored by Rep. Dan Ortiz, I-Ketchikan. HB 56 would increase the aggregate amount a borrower may hold unpaid from $300,000 to $400,000.

Also before them are nominations from Alaska Gov. Bill Walker for the appointment of Bristol Bay drift gillnetter Fritz Johnson of Dillingham, and reappointment of John Jensen, of Petersburg and Reed Morisky, of Fairbanks, to the Board of Fisheries.

Johnson served on the board previously, but last year the governor recommended Robert Ruffner, of Kenai, former executive director of the Kenai Watershed Forum, to take his seat.

Jensen, the board chairman, harvests crab and halibut in Southeast Alaska, and has over 45 years experience in commercial fisheries. Morisky is a sportfishing guide.

With the resignation of Sue Jeffrey, of Kodiak, Johnson and Jensen would be the only two board members experienced in commercial harvesting.

UFA Update Shows Seafood Industry Impact

An updated set of fishing data sheets released in January by United Fishermen of Alaska shows the broad economic impact of the seafood industry on the state’s fishing communities.

The data release is an effort by UFA, the statewide commercial fisheries umbrella association, to raise awareness of the importance of the commercial fishing and seafood processing industry to the state and these communities.

The statistics are from calendar and fiscal year 2015, the most recent times for which complete data was available. They were sourced from The Alaska Departments of Revenue, Fish and Game, Labor and Commerce; Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, Commercial Fishery Entry Commission, and NOAA Fisheries.

The Internet link is

“Alaska’s commercial fisheries bring millions in fishing and processing revenue and employ many thousands in the major fishing ports every year,” said UFA President Jerry McCune. “Alaska’s seafood industry is also a significant contributor for tax revenues and indirect jobs for virtually all Alaska communities.

“Due to the wide range of state and federal agencies involved in fisheries, it is challenging to understand the many different positive benefits that Alaska’s fisheries provide throughout the state and beyond.”

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

IPHC Boosts Harvest Limits

The International Pacific Halibut Commission is recommending to the governments of Canada and the United States catch limits totaling 31.40 million pounds for 2017, a boost of 5 percent over 2016 limits totaling 29.89 million pounds.

The IPHC approved a season to run from March 11 through Nov. 7 for both the Canadian and U.S. individual quota fisheries. “It is important to note that this is a transition year for the IPHC,” said Linda Behnken, an IPHC commissioner who is the executive director of the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association.

“The commission acknowledges problems with the past/current harvest policy and a commitment to moving to a new harvest policy, Behnken said.

“This new policy will likely be based on a spawning potential ratio and the appropriate SPR for halibut will be developed with the help of the IPHC’s marine strategy evaluation committee and marine strategy advisory board. During this transition period, the commission kept catch limits at or close to last year’s numbers with some increases in Area 2.

“The sense of the commission is that the spawning biomass is stable and slightly increasing, although the outlook for near term FCEY (fisheries constant exploitation yield) is pessimistic until more favorable recruitment is documented,” she said.

The IPHC allocations include 10,000,000 pounds for Area 3A, the central Gulf of Alaska, including a 7,739,000 catch and 371,000 pounds for incidental mortality for the commercial fleet, plus 1,890,000 pounds for the guided sport fishery.

In Area 2C, in southeast Alaska, the combined commercial/guided sport allocation was 5,250,000 pounds. Commercial harvesters were allocated 4,335,000 pounds, including 4,212,000 pounds of harvest and 123,000 pounds of incidental mortality, and another 915,000 pounds went to the guided sport fishery; 1,390,000 pounds to Area 4A, the eastern Aleutians; 1,140,000 pounds to Area 4B, the central and western Aleutians; 752,000 pounds to Area 4C, the Pribilof Islands; 752,000 pounds to Area 4D, northwestern Bering Sea; 196,000 pounds to Area 4E, Bering Sea flats; 1,330,000 pounds to Area 2A, California, Oregon and Washington; and 7,450,000 pounds to Area 2B, British Columbia, including a sport catch allocation.

In January 2016, the IPHC allocated 9,600 pounds to Area 3A; 4,950,000 pounds to Area 2C; 2,710,000 pounds to Area 3B; 1,390,000 pounds to Area 4A; 1,140,000 pounds to Area 4B; 1,660,000 pounds to Areas 4CDE; 1,140,000 pounds to Area 2A; and 7,300,000 pounds to Area 2B.

Rebuilding depends on future recruitment, and future catch limits depend on rebuilding and the management goals identified through the ongoing marine strategy evaluation.”

NPFMC Meeting Gets Underway in Seattle

The general session of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s meeting in Seattle is underway today at the Renaissance Hotel, and is being broadcast online via On the agenda for today are a number of reports from National Marine Fisheries Service, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the US Coast Guard, US Fish and Wildlife Service, the International Pacific Halibut Commission and the Navy, the last regarding its upcoming Gulf of Alaska training exercises set for May.

An initial review of community development quota ownership caps is on the agenda for Thursday morning. The Magnuson–Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act requires that the Council and NMFS establish limitations on ownership and use of limited access privileges to prevent excessive consolidation of privileges. In addition to their allocations under the CDQ program Alaska’s CDQ groups participate in other LAP programs, including the American Fisheries Act and crab rationalization program.

The Magnuson-Stevens Act was revised in 2006 to direct the CDQ groups be subject to excessive share ownership, harvesting, or processing limitations using the individual and collective rule to attribute ownership. Since then, NMFS has implemented the proportional ownership attribution method for CDQ groups to monitor excessive share caps in the AFA and crab rationalization program. Regulations for the AFA and crab rationalization programs and the fishery management plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Island crab have not, however, been revised to reflect this change. The action before the council would revise regulations and the crab fishery management plan for consistency with Magnuson-Stevens and current practice.

Bristol Bay Fishing Jobs Outnumber Pebble Mine Work

Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay says the total economic contribution and number of fisheries jobs in the bay continue to outnumber offerings at the Pebble mine project in Southwest Alaska.

The harvesters’ organization issued its statement on Jan. 31 in response to a study released by the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Institute of Social and Economic Research on local jobs and income in Southwest Alaska generated by the Pebble exploration project.

The harvesters point to a 2010 ISER study on the economic importance of the Bristol Bay salmon industry. It said that sockeye salmon fishery supported 12,000 fishing and processing jobs during the summer salmon fishing season.

“The Economic Importance of the Bristol Bay Salmon Industry,” prepared for the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, is online at

“Measuring these as year-round jobs, and adding jobs created in other industries, the Bristol Bay salmon fishery created the equivalent of almost 10,000 year-round American jobs across the country, and brought Americans $500 million in income,” said the ISER report on Bristol Bay. “For every dollar of direct output value created in Bristol Bay fishing and processing, more than two additional dollars of output value are created in other industries, as payments from the Bristol Bay fishery ripple through the economy.”

According to the new ISER report on Pebble by Robert Loeffler and Jennifer Schmidt, the exploration project brought more income into the Lakes region of Southwest Alaska from 2009 through 2012 than did either commercial salmon fishing or Permanent Fund dividends.

Average pay was $19 an hour and most workers earned on average about $15,000 a year from the mostly seasonal jobs, the report said.

That full report is online at

The report notes that Loeffler’s position as a visiting professor, and his work, were funded by a grant to the University of Alaska Foundation from the Council of Alaska Producers, a statewide trade association representing Alaska’s mining industry.

Oregon Salmon Chowder is a Symphony Winner

Oregon Seafoods’ SeaFare Pacific Salmon Chowder, featuring wild caught Alaska sockeye salmon, has won the Seattle People’s Choice award in the 2017 Alaska Symphony of Seafood gala.

The chowder features large chunks of smoked red salmon in a blend of red potatoes, corn, celery and carrots in a creamy savory sauce. The chowder is gluten-free, all natural and contains no genetically modified ingredients.

“We have chosen to use only the best ingredients for our Smoked Salmon Chowder, which includes wild caught Alaskan sockeye salmon,” said Mike Babcock, founder of Oregon Seafoods, in Coos Bay. “We have a commitment to add value to US caught seafood and provide a way for consumers to add heart healthy fish to their diet.”

Candied salmon ice cream from the Juneau, Alaska, company Coppa was a close competitor, losing the People’s Choice award by a single vote.

Voting was open to all those attending the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation’s Seattle Open House on Jan. 25, as part of the annual Alaska Symphony of Seafood competition.

AFDF also held its professional judging on Jan. 25 in Seattle on entries in four Symphony categories: retail, food service, Beyond the Plate and Beyond the Egg.

The names of winners in each category are to be announced on Feb. 22 during an Alaska legislative reception and awards ceremony in Juneau. First place winners for the Juneau People’s Choice award will also be announced at that time.

First place winners in each category receive complimentary booth space in Boston at Seafood Expo North America, the seafood industry’s biggest event of the year.

Major sponsors of the 2017 event include the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, Alaska Air Cargo, Aleutian Pribilof Islands Community Development Association, At-Sea Processors Association, Bristol Bay Economic Development Corp., Kwik’Pak Fisheries, Marel, Northwest Fisheries Association, Trident Seafoods, UniSea and United Fishermen of Alaska.

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