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Articles written by Laine Welch

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 By Laine Welch    Dockside    July 19, 2018

Alaska Fish Factor

Trump’s trade war now includes tariffs on seafood going to and from China. China is Alaska’s biggest seafood buyer purchasing 54 percent of Alaska seafood exports last year valued at $1.3 billion. On July 6 a 25 percent tariff went into effect...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    July 12, 2018 

Alaska Fish Factor

Sockeye salmon catches often add up to half of the value of Alaska’s total salmon fishery, and the so-called reds dominate the season’s early fisheries starting in mid-May. But sockeye catches so far range from record-setting highs at Bristol...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    June 14, 2018

Alaska Fish Factor: Alaska Net Hack Challenge aims to find new uses for tons of old nets stockpiled across the state

Plastics in recycled fishing nets are being used to make an amazing array of products around the globe and Alaska plans to get in on the action. An Alaska Net Hack Challenge is being planned for September 8 and 9 that aims to identify potential...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    June 7, 2018

Fish Factor: Hagfish, commonly called slime eels may become viable fishery; ready markets await

Hagfish is the real name for what is commonly called slime eels and it could become a viable fishery with ready markets standing by. Little is known about hagfish in Alaska, although they are commonly caught elsewhere in the U.S. and abroad. In...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    May 31, 2018

A nice pay day for Alaska salmon fishermen may be on the horizon

Forces are aligned for a nice pay day for Alaska’s salmon fishermen. There is no backlog from last season in cold storages, a lower harvest forecast is boosting demand, prices for competing farmed salmon have remained high all year, and a devalued...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    May 24, 2018

Scoping meetings held over past year in Alaska communities represent history of how generations of families adapt to fishery changes

The way that fisheries are managed determines the daily tempo for fishing families’ lives.  Managers set the dates and times…the when’s and where’s and who’s … and the amounts that fishermen can catch.  What happens to fishing families...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    May 17, 2018

2018 salmon harvest projected at 149 million fish, down 34% from 2017 take of 226 million salmon

Alaska’s 2018 salmon season officially gets underway this week with the first 12-hour opener on May 17 for sockeyes and kings returning to the Copper River. The catch there this year calls for 19,000 kings and 942,000 sockeye salmon targeted by a...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    May 10, 2018

Fish Factor: Commercial fishing has fatality rate 23 times higher than all other workers in the nation, one of the most dangerous of jobs in the nation

Commercial fishing remains one of the most dangerous jobs in the nation, with a fatality rate that is 23 times higher than for all other workers. Vessel sinkings account for half of all fishing fatalities; second is falling overboard - deaths that...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    May 3, 2018

Fish Factor: The biggest project focuses on research to help determine the causes of declining Chinook salmon

A shuffle in some funding leaves Alaska’s commercial fisheries division in good shape to manage the resources and target important projects across the state. At first glance, the $69 million operating budget for FY19 appears to be down slightly...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    April 26, 2018

ADF&G provides dock prices for nearly every fish species with comparisons going back to 1984

Two commercial fisheries open each spring at Upper Cook Inlet that attract little notice and few participants, but each pays big bucks to fishermen. The first is a food and bait herring fishery that runs from April 20 through the end of May. The 150...

 
 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...

 

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