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Articles written by Laine Welch

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 By Laine Welch    Dockside    March 30, 2022

Japanese market has collapsed for Alaska herring catch

The arrival of herring signals the start of Alaska’s spring fisheries and this year’s commercial catch limits from each of the three main areas are record breakers. But much of the catch will go unharvested — there is no market. Combined harves...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    March 23, 2022

Hatchery salmon provided a third of last year's statewide catch

The 64 million salmon returning home to Alaska hatcheries accounted for nearly one-third of the 2021 statewide commercial harvest. It was the eighth-largest hatchery homecoming since 1977. At a payout of $142 million, the salmon produced 25% of the...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    March 9, 2022

Halibut, black cod fisheries open with hopes of high prices

March means more fishing boats are out on the water with the start of the Pacific halibut and sablefish (black cod) fisheries this past Sunday, followed by Alaska’s first big herring fishery at Sitka Sound. For halibut, the coastwide catch from...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    March 2, 2022

Wrangell's Waterbody bath soak wins grand prize in Juneau

Waterbody, operated by Angie Flickinger, of Wrangell, won the grand prize for its Deep Blue Sea Bath Soak at the Alaska Symphony of Seafood awards ceremony on Feb. 24 in Juneau. Made with bull kelp and sea salts, the soak is described as “smelling...

 

Report looks at Alaska's potential to grow in seaweed business

The U.S. grows less than one-100th of 1% of the world’s $6 billion seaweed market, but Alaska has the goods to grow into a major contributor. A new report assesses the pros and cons of six communities as locations for seaweed processing facilities...

 

Tanner crab season opens to high expectations

Frigid February fishing in Alaska features crabbing from the Panhandle to the Bering Sea, followed in March by halibut, black cod and herring. Southeast crabbers will drop pots for Tanners on Friday, and they’re expecting one of the best seasons ev...

 

Legislators want federal help with seafood exports to China and Russia

Seafood is Alaska’s biggest export by far, and state legislators want the federal government to get tougher on trade policies that they say unfairly hurt global sales. Two resolutions (Senate Joint Resolution 16 and SJR17) were advanced last week...

 

Seafood marketing agency counts fish and fishermen

Where do most Alaska fishermen live? Which Alaska region is home to the most fishing boats? The answers are in an economic report by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute for 2019/2020 that includes all regions from Ketchikan to Kotzebue. Nearly...

 

Kodiak Tanner crabbers getting $8.10 per pound to start

Kodiak fishermen are getting an advance price of $8.10 per pound for Tanner crab in the fishery that opened Jan. 15. High crab prices have led all other seafoods during the COVID-19 pandemic as buyers grab all they can to fill demand at buffet tables...

 

Pacific Halibut Commission will set catch later this month

Pacific halibut catches for 2022 will be announced at the annual International Pacific Halibut Commission meeting held online Jan. 24-28, and fishermen are hoping for another year of increased catches when the fishery opens in early March. Last...

 

Alaska senators introduce salmon research legislation

Legislation titled the Alaska Salmon Research Task Force Act was introduced in Congress last month by Alaska senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan that, if passed, could help scientists and fisheries managers gain a better understanding about the...

 

Processors boost prices paid for sockeye salmon

Strong global and U.S. demand for sockeye salmon has 2021 pushed prices to near record highs and boosted fishermen’s paychecks. Both Silver Bay and Peter Pan Seafoods a few weeks ago increased their base prices to fishermen to $1.45 per pound, a...

 

LED lights help guide salmon to openings in trawl nets

Low-cost LED lights can help Chinook salmon escape trawl nets. A 2020 study by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission and NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center showed that LEDs are very effective in directing Chinook salmon to escape...

 

Summer survey shows strength in Pacific halibut resource

Pacific halibut stock appears to be on an upswing and could result in increased catches for most regions in 2022. At the interim meeting of the International Pacific Halibut Commission last week, scientists gave an overview of the summer setline...

 

Fishing gear recycling company nets 1 million pounds

More than one million pounds of old fishing nets and lines from Alaska have made it to recycling markets, where they are remade into plastic pellets and fibers. The milestone was reached with a recent haul of nets from Unalaska, and more are already...

 

Legislative hearing questions state position on bycatch

A hearing on seafood bycatch didn’t satisfy a bipartisan group of Alaska legislators at a meeting of the House Fisheries Committee on Nov. 15. The bycatch issue came up again this summer when all Yukon River salmon fisheries were canceled due to...

 

Salmon catch third largest, third most valuable since 1975

It’s a fish trifecta for Alaska’s 2021 salmon season. The fishery produced the third-highest catch, fish poundage and value on record dating back to 1975. According to preliminary harvests and values by region from the Alaska Department of Fish...

 

Judging next month in annual seafood competition

Pollock protein noodles, southern-style Alaska wild wings, candied salmon ice cream, fish oils for pets, fish and chips meal kits and finfish earrings are just a small sample of past winners of Alaska’s biggest seafood competition — the Alaska...

 

Salmon permit prices on the rebound, including Southeast power troll

Optimism is the word that best sums up the attitude among most Alaska salmon fishermen after a good season, according to people in the business of buying and selling permits and boats. Most fishermen in major regions ended up with good catches and...

 

Much of Bristol Bay's salmon wealth goes to non-resident permit holders

The preliminary value to fishermen of the nearly 41 million salmon caught this summer at Alaska’s largest fishery at Bristol Bay is nearly $248 million, 64% above the 20-year average. That figure will be much higher when bonuses and other price...

 

'Smart buoys' help track fishing gear so it doesn't get lost

Lost fishing gear — be it nets, lines or pots — continues “ghost fishing” forever, causing a slow death to countless marine creatures and financial losses to fishermen. Now, new “smart buoys” can track and monitor all types of deployed...

 

Salmon catch tops 219 million fish; 15% above forecast

Alaska’s 2021 salmon catch has topped 219 million fish, which is 15% higher than the preseason forecast of 190 million. The two biggest money makers exceeded expectations the most. The sockeye haul came in at 54 million compared to the predicted...

 

Bering Sea crabbers get bad news about red king, snow crab stocks

Alaska’s Bering Sea crabbers are reeling from the devastating news that all major crab stocks are down substantially, based on summer survey results, and the Bristol Bay red king crab fishery will be closed for the first time in more than 25 years....

 

Fish Factor: Entries due Oct. 4 in statewide seafood competition

The Alaska Symphony of Seafood competition is back and the call is out for entries. The contest has showcased new products since 1994 but was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “It encourages value-added seafood production and...

 

Alaska Fish Factor

Alaska’s 2021 salmon harvest has blown past the forecast and by last Friday had topped 201 million fish, well above the 190 million projected at the start of the season. The catch was bolstered by a surge of pink salmon to the three top-producing...

 

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