Trade war Alaska’s China sales
The China trade war has resulted in a drop of Alaska seafood sales to China by 20 percent in 2018. Another hit in 2018 is expected by the state’s seafood industry, Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute told a legislative committee in Juneau. Sixty five percent of Alaska processors and other stakeholders report immediately losing China sales when the tit-for-tat escalation of tariffs began. Inventories of frozen product are meanwhile build- ing up as seafood companies seek other buyers. Negotiations are continuing on trade agreements to end the dispute.
2019 Halibut fishing now underway
Halibut fishing opened statewide March 15 with Alaska receiving a quota of 22 million pounds, a 1.5-million-pound gain over 2018. Fishing will continue through Nov. 14. All areas of the state’s coastal waters received increases in allocations except the western Gulf of Alaska. The harvest quotas were set by the International Halibut Com- mission in February.
Winter crab fishery in Sound
A winter Tanner crab fishery is underway in Prince William Sound for the second year and harvesters are feeling good about catches. State fish and game biologists approved the fishery fol- lowing positive results from surveys and after last year’s experimental opening. As of the third week of March 11 vessels have landed 28,700 pounds of crab.
The crab fishery had been closed for 30 years because of concerns for stocks. Having a winter fishery helps harvesters and processors spread fishing beyond the hectic summer salmon season, broadening and stabilizing the local economy.