Articles Posted in Maritime Economy

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PSMLogo-300x251Federal disaster relief is coming to help many commercial fishing permit-holders. The Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC) will be administering the payments of three federal awards. For more information, you can visit their current disasters page.

Permit-holders and processors need to submit their applications to the PSMFC in Portland, Oregon or upload applications through the online portal before August 24th. Crew and subsistence users have until September 28th to submit their applications.

The PSMFC mailed out applications on June 26th, 2024. If you have not received a hard copy, email AKFishDisaster@psmfc.org to request an electronic copy. Once you have completed the application, you may either mail it to the commission or upload it online.

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False Pass AlaskaOn Friday, June 7th, 2024, Trident Seafoods and Silver Bay Seafoods announced that Silver Bay is set to acquire Trident Seafoods False Pass processing facility and fuel business on the Alaska Peninsula. This is Silver Bay’s second big move in a region where they already have a presence processing salmon. With this latest addition, Silver Bay will be overseeing salmon at their facilities in Southeast Alaska (Craig, Sitka, Ketchikan), south-central Alaska (Valdez), Kodiak, Bristol Bay (Naknek), and now the Alaska Peninsula (False Pass).

By acquiring the Valdez plant in Prince William Sound and the False Pass plant in Southwest Alaska, Silver Bay has effectively doubled its capacity. The False Pass plant, which Silver Bay opened in 2019, is now an integral part of this expansion.

False Pass is a remote fishing community in southwest Alaska, situated on Unimak Island between the tip of the Alaska Peninsula and the Aleutian Islands. Trident’s False Pass operation was fully dedicated to processing salmon.

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FishermansTerminal-300x186The team at Stacey and Jacobsen, PLLC is delighted to announce that The Port of Seattle has broken ground and begun the renovation and modernization of the historic Ship Supply Building at Fishermen’s Terminal. The community can expect a state-of-the-art Maritime Innovation Center (MInC) certified by the Living Building Challenge (LBC). This new facility will cater to the maritime industry needs, fostering collaboration among students, businesses, public agencies, educators, and community members. The Port has teamed up with Miller Hull to reimagine this distinctive landmark.

“Today’s groundbreaking is a celebration of the Port’s substantial commitment to support innovation as a way to foster the maritime industry’s ability to sustain our region’s blue economy,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Fred Felleman. “The transformation of the Port’s oldest asset into one that can meet the Living Building Challenge symbolizes the Port’s recognition of the maritime industry’s significance to our region’s history and future.”

“The future of the maritime industry and the ocean economy is innovative, sustainable, and equitable,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Ryan Calkins. “The Maritime Innovation Center will foster an atmosphere of collaboration and innovation which will ensure that all the sectors of the maritime industry, from commercial fishing to the growing green maritime economy, have not only a home but an anchor in Seattle.”

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Last week, Nigel Stacey and Joe Stacey, partners at Stacey and Jacobsen, PLLC, were honored to serve as judges for the esteemed 31st Annual Judge John R. Brown Admiralty Moot Court Competition.

This annual competition hosted 32 law school teams from across the country to deliver arguments on issues pertaining to maritime law. The event honors Judge John R. Brown, renowned for his service as a distinguished admiralty judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Other volunteers in this competition have included federal judges, prominent members of the maritime bar, presidents and past presidents of the Maritime Law Association of the United States, as well as admiralty professors.

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The-Bering-Sea-300x142Peter Pan Seafood’s future has been uncertain since January when the company disclosed plans to shutter its King Cove facility for the winter fishing seasons of cod, whitefish, and crab. Today, the company has officially announced it will “suspend operations at its processing facilities, ceasing both summer and winter production cycles indefinitely.”

The cessation of operations follows shortly after Peter Pan finalized an agreement with Silver Bay Seafoods. Silver Bay has officially acquired Peter Pan’s Valdez processing plant and will oversee the operations of Peter Pan’s facilities in Port Moller and Dillingham for the upcoming season.

The agreement raised numerous industry concerns, particularly regarding the future of the King Cove plant. Moreover, uncertainty lingers around the fate of the Port Moller and Dillingham facilities, with Silver Bay’s commitment limited to operating them for the upcoming “2024 salmon season.”

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Chinook_Salmon2-e1710291049508-300x177The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) has crafted three options for 2024 ocean salmon fisheries along the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California, now open for public assessment. A final verdict on salmon seasons should be reached during the Council’s upcoming meeting scheduled for April 6-11, 2024, in Seattle, WA. Extensive details regarding starting dates, open areas, and catch limits for the three options can be found on the Council’s website at www.pcouncil.org .

The projections for West Coast Chinook and coho stocks in 2024 present a varied outlook, encompassing both declines and increases compared to the previous year. Primary constraints for this year’s ocean salmon fisheries will be the federal mandates aimed at conserving Fraser River (Canada) coho, Washington coast natural coho, lower Columbia River natural coho, Klamath River fall Chinook, and Sacramento River fall Chinook populations.

“Meeting our conservation and management objectives continues to be the highest priority for the Council,” said Council Chair, Brad Pettinger. “Balancing those objectives while providing meaningful commercial and recreational seasons remains a challenge in 2024.”

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King-Cove-AK-300x187Peter Pan Seafood has been processing Alaskan seafood including salmon, halibut, crab, and caviar since 1912. With processing plants in Dillingham, Port Moller, King Cove, and Valdez, they employ approximately 1,310 people during peak season.

The fishing industry in Southwest Alaska is facing a significant blow as Peter Pan Seafood announced the decision to keep its large plant in King Cove closed for the winter. Peter Pan Seafood informed local officials of the closure last week. King Cove city administrator Gary Hennigh reported that the plant generates roughly one-third of the community revenue. The company will not be processing seafood which contributes nearly $2 million in yearly fish tax revenue to the small community.

Peter Pan Seafood has also announced that only workers from previous seasons will be hired for the 2024 A Season. Due to the number of returning workers and the closure of the King Cove processing plant, there will be no new hires will be interviewed according to the company website.

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Redkingcrab-300x226U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced on December 16th, 2022, the approval of multiple Alaska and Washington fishery disaster requests. This approval is based on data submitted by states and/or local tribes.

“America’s fisheries are a critical part of our national economy and directly impact our local communities when disasters occur,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “These determinations are a way to assist those fishing communities with financial relief to mitigate impacts, restore fisheries and help prevent future disasters.”

Under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) and the Interjurisdictional Fisheries Act (IFA) (learn more here), the following fisheries meet the criteria for a fishery disaster determination:

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NOAA-Crab-300x198Western Alaska has been hit hard economically by the long-term decline in crab stocks. This year, the Bering Sea snow crab total allowable catch was reduced by 90 percent while the Bristol Bay red king crab fishery has been closed entirely. This week, changes were made to House Bill 41, a bill allowing designated non-profits to grow shellfish in hatcheries, moving the bill closer to becoming a law. HB 41 has now passed the Legislature; next, it will move to Gov. Dunleavy’s desk for signing.

This bill would allow for select non-profit organizations to carry out restoration and enhancement projects for specific shellfish species like king crab, sea cucumbers, abalone, and razor clams. Organizations would utilize hatcheries to raise then release shellfish into Alaskan seas in an effort to support and seed commercial fishing in the region.

HB 41 plays a key role in the building blocks to make mariculture a growing and significant part of the overall Alaska fisheries portfolio,” said Dan Ortiz, an independent Alaska representative who originally presented the bill in February, 2021.

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Wheel-300x150We are pleased to report that Maritime High School will open its doors to the first class of 9th graders this fall. The school is in Des Moines, Washington, just south of Seattle. Students from across the Puget Sound region with an interest in maritime careers will have the unique opportunity to learn from leaders and mentors who work and serve in maritime fields. This first class of students will graduate in 2025.

Young people who are interested in maritime careers will have the opportunity to engage in innovative and targeted learning objectives featuring skill based and knowledge based learning. Whether students enter the work force right after high school or go on to community college or university, they will possess the tools necessary for success. Through internships and partnerships with local businesses, student learning will focus on marine science, maritime careers (any type of work on or near the water), and maritime environmental issues.

The school will take advantage of new technology to offer a hybrid learning environment. A robust curriculum has been developed in which students will learn in the classroom, online, and in the field at least twice weekly. Technology is at the forefront of all that Seattle Maritime High School offers; all students will be provided with a laptop and essential software. Opportunities to earn college credit will also be readily available. Maritime High School will be administered by the Highline Public School district.

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