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 By Laine Welsch    Dockside    June 21, 2018

Alaska Fish Factor

Shockwaves rocked the Alaska seafood industry when China announced on Friday that it will add an additional 25 percent tariff on seafood imports starting July 6 in retaliation to Trump’s trade war. “The 25 percent will be added to the current...

 
 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,...

 

Coho derby details set, to start August 11

The Wrangell Chamber of Commerce announced last Friday it had finalized details for a coho salmon derby for the late summer, taking the place of its annual king salmon tournament it recently...

 
 By Laine Welsch    Dockside    April 5, 2018

Alaska Fish Factor: Expected shortfall in salmon harvest comes on heels of cod stock crash and decline in halibut catch

Alaska is expecting a reduced salmon harvest this year, setting up a trifecta of falling fish revenues for Alaska fishermen, coastal communities and state coffers. Coming on the heels of an 80 percent crash of cod stocks in the Gulf of Alaska and a 1...

 
 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...

 

Alaska Fish Factor: Alaska crab marketers pushing message that "It's what's on the inside that counts"  to encourage their customers to put appearances aside

“It’s what’s on the inside that counts” is the message Alaska crab marketers are pushing to their customers, encouraging them to put appearances aside. “We’re telling them to Get Ugly,” said Tyson Fick, executive director of the trade...

 

Alaska Fish Factor: Second batch of old fishing nets soon to be shipped from Dutch Harbor to Denmark to be remade into high end plastics

More big bundles of old fishing nets will soon be on their way from Dutch Harbor to Denmark to be remade into high end plastics. It will be the second batch of nets to leave Dutch for a higher cause and more Alaska fishing towns can get on board. Las...

 
 By Laine Welsch    Dockside    March 1, 2018

Alaska Fish Factor: In the Northwest and Alaska, only 50 to 60 E-Stops are being used out of a fleet of about 1,500 boats

The most common piece of gear on a seine vessel is also one of the deadliest – the rotating capstan winch used for winding ropes. Anyone who has ever worked aboard a seiner has horror stories of close calls, or worse. “The deck winch is the most...

 

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...

 

Hunters reminded to turn in reports

In a press release issued last Thursday the Alaska Department of Fish and Game reminded hunters the seasons for Sitka black-tailed deer are closed, and that they should by now be submitting harvest reports. In Wrangell’s Unit 3 remainder area, the...

 

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...

 

Alaska Fish Factor: Catches of Pacific halibut to decrease this year, likely into the foreseeable future

As expected, catches of Pacific halibut will decrease for this year, and likely into the foreseeable future. Following an increase in catches last year for the first time in several decades, the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) on...

 

Alaska Fish Factor: Sea otter predation and their impacts were among topics at the Board of Fisheries meeting in Sitka

Sea otters and their devastating impacts on Southeast Alaska shellfish were among the many emotionally-charged topics at the state Board of Fisheries marathon meeting running from January 11-23 in Sitka.  The Board was set to address 153 proposals...

 

Alaska Fish Factor: Annual Fishing Picks and Pan: The best and worst fish stories of 2017

For 27 years this weekly column has featured news for and about Alaska’s commercial fishing industry. It began in 1991 in the Anchorage Daily News and now appears in more than 20 news outlets across Alaska, nationally and in the UK. Today, Alaska...

 

Alaska Fish Factor: Cod fish stocks crash throughout Gulf of Alaska - younger fish not surviving warm ocean temperatures to blame

Kodiak officials already are drafting a disaster declaration due to the crash of cod stocks throughout the Gulf of Alaska. The shortage will hurt many other coastal communities as well. Gulf cod catches for 2018 will drop by 80 percent to just under...

 

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