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Articles written by Laine Welch

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 By Laine Welch    Dockside    April 19, 2018 

Fish Factor: Halibut stakeholders reportedly "blindsided" when halibut catches slashed again after small uptick in 2017

Alaska halibut is facing strong headwinds that have dampened the value of the catch shares needed to go fishing. Increasing imports of Atlantic halibut from eastern Canada, reports of several million pounds of halibut holdovers in freezers, speculati...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    April 12, 2018

Fish Factor: April brought mixed bag for several Alaska fisheries, starting with huge slump in herring haul at Sitka Sound

Spring is usually the busiest time of year for brokers in the buy/sell/trade business for Alaska salmon permits. But that’s not the case this year. Values for several salmon permits had ticked upwards after a blockbuster salmon fishery in 2017,...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    March 29, 2018

Fish Factor: At start of halibut opener March 24 federal fishery managers announced commercial catches for Alaska will be down 10 percent

Pacific halibut catches for 2018 won’t decline as severely as initially feared, but the fishery faces headwinds from several directions. Federal fishery managers announced just a few days before the March 24 start of the halibut opener that...

 

Fish Factor: NOAA Fisheries is facing a $110.4 million drop to $837.3 million, a 14 percent budget cut

The Trump Administration’s $4.4 trillion federal budget for next year takes some mean whacks to programs that affect fisheries. Off the top, the spending plan unveiled on February 12 cuts the budget for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administ...

 

Processors at Bristol Bay pay for doctors during salmon season

The nation’s top fishing port welcomed seven European seafood buyers in late January – all women – and showed off its massive seafood industry during peak operations at Dutch Harbor. The women, whose companies import more than $60 million in...

 

Fish Factor: America's households more diverse; changes in taste and technology shapes future of seafood eaters

Millennials are now the nation’s “peak spenders” and they are gravitating towards healthier eating which favors more seafood. “We see year over year that there is this cohort aged 35 to 54 that is going to be spending far more across categori...

 

Fish Factor: Alaska pollock is the nation's largest food fishery

Alaska pollock is the nation’s largest food fishery, usually producing more than three billion pounds each year. The flaky whitefish dominates in fish sticks, fast food sandwiches and surimi “seafood salad” blends - but most Americans don’t...

 

Fish Factor: Tough year ahead for many Alaska fishermen

It’s going to be a tough year for many Alaska fishermen. Following on the heels of announcements of a massive drop in cod stocks, the industry learned last week that Pacific halibut catches are likely to drop by 20 percent next year, and the...

 

Fish Factor: Shrimp holds number one spot for America's seafood favorites, followed by salmon

Alaskans pull home packs of fish from their freezers all year round and know it will cook up nutritious and delicious. Yet there is still a perception that fresh seafood is always better than frozen. A Sitka fishermen’s group has set a course to...

 

Fish Factor: Great salmon season results in buying, building new or upgrading boats

It’s steady as she goes for the values of Alaska salmon fishing permits, with upticks in the wind at several fishing regions. “There’s a lot of cautious optimism,” said Jeff Osborn of Dock Street Brokers in Seattle. As well there should be af...

 

Alaska Fish Factor:

Alaska’s fishing fleet of 9,400 vessels would span nearly 71 miles if lined up from bow to stern. And Alaska’s fishing industry catches and processes enough seafood each year to feed every person on the planet one serving; or a serving for each...

 

Fish Factor: National push to produce biofuels from seaweed centered in Kodiak 

Kodiak is at the center of a national push to produce biofuels from seaweeds. Agents from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) recently traveled to the island to meet with a team of academics,...

 

Fish Factor: Fishing outlooks for some of Alaska's largest catches run from celebratory (salmon) to relief (Bering Sea crab) to catastrophic (cod) 

Fishing outlooks for some of Alaska’s largest catches are running the gamut from celebratory (salmon) to relief (Bering Sea crab) to catastrophic (cod). First the bad news. Stakeholders were stunned to learn that surveys yielded the lowest numbers...

 

Fish Factor:Chum returned home to Alaska this year in numbers never seen before 

Chum salmon returned home to Alaska this year in numbers never seen before from Southeast to Kotzebue, and set catch records statewide and in many regions. Chums, also called dogs because of their long use as a prime food source for Alaska Native...

 

Alaska Fish Factor: October is National Seafood Month recognizing one of America's oldest industries

October is National Seafood Month, a distinction bestowed by Congress 30 years ago to recognize one of America’s oldest industries. Alaska merits special recognition because its fishing fleets provide 65 percent of the nation’s wild caught...

 

Fish Factor: The oceans are being viewed as the last economic frontier

A growing cluster of entrepreneurs is seeding prospects for Alaska’s new “blue economy” and it is attracting interest from around the world. Marine technology experts are meeting at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage this week as part of the...

 

Fish Factor: ​The catch of 213 million salmon has surpassed the forecast by nine million fish

Alaska’s salmon season is nearly a wrap but fall remains as one of the fishing industry’s busiest times of the year. For salmon, the catch of 213 million has surpassed the forecast by nine million fish. Highpoints for this season are a statewide...

 

Fish Factor: Sea Cucumbers added to list of foods claiming to kill cancer cells

Alaska sea cucumber divers could be helping to cure cancer! Sea cucumber meat and skins have long been considered a delicacy in Asian cuisines; they also are hailed for having healing properties that soothe sore joints and arthritis. Most recently...

 

Fish Factor: The "bread and butter" salmon catches are far better than last year despite the 2017 statewide salmon take falling short

Alaska’s salmon season is winding down and while catches have made the record books in some regions, the statewide take will fall a bit short of the 204 million fish forecast. “We are within about 10 percent of the forecast, so that’s very posi...

 

Fish Factor:  The US dollar has dropped in value all year against a basket of other global currencies

While that may sound like a bad thing, it’s great news for Alaska seafood and anyone doing business overseas. “It’s a good thing for Alaska seafood producers because roughly two-thirds of the value of our seafood comes from export markets. So...

 

Alaska Fish Factor: Alaska getting in on the growing popularity of Home Meal kits delivering seafood directly to American kitchens

Alaska aims to get in on the growing popularity of Home Meal kits that will deliver seafood directly to American kitchens.   The kits typically offer a subscription based service where customers order weekly meals based on how many people they...

 

Alaska Fish Factor:

“It’s time for a checkup from the neck up” – meaning an industry time out to evaluate fishing operations and behaviors, advises Jerry Dzugan, director of the Sitka-based Alaska Marine Safety Education Association for over 30 years. Dzugan...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    August 3, 2017

Alaska Fish Factor: Around the world the appetite for Alaska seafood is growing

Seafood is Alaska’s top export by far, usually topping $3 billion in sales each year to 120 countries around the world, and comprising 55 percent of our nation’s total seafood exports.  Credit for the state’s export sales goes mostly to the...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    July 27, 2017

Alaska Fish Factor: Texting/social media keeps fishermen informed about fishing issues

As state lawmakers mull ways to update permitting laws to protect salmon habitat, a dual sweepstakes is using text messaging and social media as the means to keep more fishermen informed.  “One of the things we’ve learned over the past two...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    July 20, 2017

Alaska Fish Factor: Alaska fishermen getting higher prices for salmon this year compared to 2016

As predicted, Alaska fishermen are getting higher prices for their salmon this year. It’s good news following a 2016 season that saw lackluster catches in all regions but Bristol Bay, a failure of pink salmon runs, and paltry pay checks nearly...

 

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