Louisiana’s oyster industry reports historically poor 2013 harvest
This year’s typical peak in holiday-driven oyster demand has been met with historically low harvest levels from Louisiana according to industry participants. The region’s fishermen are reporting great prices for the oysters they have, but are worried about future harvests with little factual evidence available to justify what is causing this year’s bad take. “It's not a decline; it's zero population,” said Steven Voisin, CEO of Houma's Motivatit Seafood, referring to the harvest as a whole. “I remain optimistic because I've seen it come back time and time again, but I've never seen it so low.”
NMFS may have overestimated Gulf of Alaska halibut discards in their observer data according to the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC). Recently, NMFS had reported discards across the small boat fleet as high as 20 million pounds. But during the IPHC’s own discard analysis, a number of flawed assumptions were made in the NMFS observer data report. However, using corrected assumptions it was found NMFS’ data was fully consistent with the IPHC’s five-year discard mortality average.
In other news, the president of PEI Fishermen’s Association said recent investigations into the low prices paid to Atlantic Canada’s lobster fishermen this year did not go far enough to uncover the reasons for the low prices. Association President Mike McGeoghegan did support key recommendations from each report that could improve prices, including a price-setting mechanism, but said the investigators should have looked into processors books to find out “whatever happened to all the money.”
Finally, Oregon’s Dungeness crabs at all testing stations have achieved their required meat fill and fishery managers have agreed to open the fishery from the Oregon-California border to Klipsan Beach, Washington, which is south of Willapia Bay on Dec. 16th.
Have a good weekend.