(157) stories found containing 'Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute'


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  • Tanner crab season opens to high expectations

    Laine Welch|Feb 9, 2022

    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 ever. Fishery managers said they are seeing “historically high levels” of Tanners with good recruitment coming up from behind. The catch limit won’t be set until the fishery is underway but last year’s take was 1.27 million pounds (504,369 crabs), which weighed 2.5 pounds on average. Crabbers know they...

  • Legislators want federal help with seafood exports to China and Russia

    Laine Welch|Feb 2, 2022

    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 by the House Fisheries Committee that address Russia’s ban on buying any U.S. foods since 2014 and also punitive seafood tariffs by China since 2018. Meanwhile, the U.S. is importing an increasing amount of seafood from both countries. Both resolutions were introduced by Kodiak Sen. Gary Stevens and...

  • Seafood marketing agency counts fish and fishermen

    Laine Welch|Jan 27, 2022

    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 40% of Alaska’s more than 31,000 fishermen live in the Southcentral towns of Anchorage, Kenai, Cordova, Seward, Homer, Valdez and Whittier. They earn more than half of their paychecks from fisheries outside of the region, with the Bristol Bay driftnet fishery their main source of income. S...

  • Alaska mariculture project in the running for $50 million federal grant

    Sabine Poux, KDLL public radio Kenai and Soldotna|Jan 6, 2022

    Alaska’s economic development districts are in the running to win $50 million in federal money to grow the state’s seaweed and shellfish farming industry – known collectively as mariculture. The U.S. Economic Development Administration announced last month that the proposed Alaska mariculture project is among 60 finalists for a Build Back Better Regional Challenge grant. Advocates say the money could help with the state's goal of building a $100 million industry by 2040. More kelp and oyster farms have been popping up along Alaska’s shoreli...

  • New state ferry advisory board nears full membership

    The Wrangell Sentinel|Jan 6, 2022

    The nine-member Alaska Marine Highway Operations Board, a new advisory panel created by the Legislature last year, has moved closer to full membership. State Senate President Peter Micciche last month appointed Paul Johnsen, of Petersburg, and David Arzt, of Homer, to the panel. Johnsen is the only board member so far from southern Southeast Alaska. He began his career in the Coast Guard, later going to work with the Alaska Marine Highway System. He retired from the state ferries in 2007 as a senior port and chief engineer. Arzt is an active...

  • Seats start to fill on new ferry advisory board

    Ketchikan Daily News and Wrangell Sentinel|Dec 2, 2021

    A new state advisory board intended to provide more public input over operations and investment decisions for the Alaska Marine Highway System is starting to gather up its members, with five of the nine positions filled. None of the board members named so far are from southern Southeast Alaska. The Legislature this year approved the new panel’s composition and advisory responsibilities to replace a board structure under an 18-year-old law that had been criticized as ineffective and often ignored by state officials. House Speaker Louise S...

  • Judging next month in annual seafood competition

    Laine Welch|Oct 28, 2021

    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 Symphony of Seafood — which has showcased and promoted new, market-ready products since 1993. The annual event draws from Alaska’s largest and smallest seafood companies, whose products are all judged blind by an expert panel. Eighteen entries are in the running for the 2021 contest, the first leg of...

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

    Laine Welch|Oct 7, 2021

    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 adjustments are paid out. But as with the fish dollars tallied from Alaska’s cod, pollock, flounders and other groundfish, the bulk of the Bristol Bay’s salmon money won’t be circulating through Alaska’s economy because most of the fishing participants live out of the state. In 2017, for example,...

  • Salmon catch tops 219 million fish; 15% above forecast

    Laine Welch|Sep 23, 2021

    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 46.5 million reds. Similarly, the pink salmon catch of nearly 151 million swamped the projection by 27 million humpies. And although the run of chum salmon was disappointing, falling about 4 million short of the 15.3 million projection, nearly 5 million chums were caught since Aug. 1, “making it one...

  • Fish Factor: Southeast halfway to projected pink salmon catch

    Laine Welch|Aug 12, 2021

    Alaska’s salmon landings have passed the season’s midpoint and by Aug. 7 the statewide catch had topped 116 million fish. State managers are calling for a projected total 2021 harvest of 190 million salmon, a 61% increase over 2020. Most of the salmon being caught now are pinks, with Prince William Sound topping the list at 35 million humpies, well over the projection of 25 million. Pink salmon catches at Kodiak remained sluggish at just over three million so far, out of a forecast calling for more than 22 million. Southeast was seeing a sli...

  • Strong start to sockeye at Bristol Bay; Norton Sound chums a bust

    Laine Welch|Jul 15, 2021

    “Unprecedented” is how fishery managers are describing sockeye catches at Bristol Bay, which topped one million fish for seven days straight at the Nushagak district last week and neared the two million mark on several days. By July 9, Alaska’s statewide sockeye salmon catch was approaching 32 million, of which more than 25 million came from Bristol Bay. The only other region getting good sockeye catches was the Alaska Peninsula, where nearly 4.6 million reds were landed so far. Statewide, the big numbers will be pinks, which run in distinct tw...

  • Wrangell positions survive budget veto

    Larry Persily|Jul 8, 2021

    Legislative efforts to restore an Office of Children’s Services caseworker in Wrangell and fund a commercial fisheries staffer in town survived the governor’s budget vetoes. Wrangell lost its Department of Fish and Game position last year due to the governor’s budget cuts, and has been without a children’s services caseworker for several years. The borough and school district both had spoken in support of restoring the caseworker job in town, with the borough offering to provide free rent and help with the salary to entice state funding. Though...

  • Buyers wait for opening of Alaska salmon harvests

    Laine Welch|Jun 10, 2021

    Eager buyers are awaiting Alaska salmon from fisheries that are opening across the state, and it’s easy to track catches and market trends for every region. Fishery managers forecast a statewide catch topping 190 million salmon this year, 61% higher than the 2020 take of just over 118 million. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Run Forecasts and Harvest Projections for 2021 Alaska Salmon Fisheries and Review of the 2020 Season provides breakdowns for all species by region. And salmon catches are updated daily at ADF&G’s Blue Sheet, found...

  • Seafood marketing agency asks for slice of federal aid

    Laine Welch|May 20, 2021

    Alaska’s lone seafood marketing arm gets zero funding from the state and, to date, has received no federal pandemic aid funds. The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute is hoping to get something from the more than $1 billion coming to the state general fund in the latest round of federal relief dollars under the American Rescue Plan. ASMI put in a $20 million request two months ago, but Gov. Mike Dunleavy made no mention of it in mid-April when he released his proposals for the federal money, nor anything since. Dunleavy did include $150 million...

  • Fish Factor: Copper River 'first of the season' opener for reds, kings on Monday

    Laine Welch|May 13, 2021

    Alaska’s 2021 salmon season officially starts on Monday with a 12-hour opener for reds and kings at the Copper River. All eyes will be on early Cordova dock prices for Alaska’s famous “first fresh salmon of the season” as an indicator of wild salmon markets. COVID-forced closures of high-end restaurants and seafood outlets last year crushed opening prices to $3 per pound for sockeyes and $6.50 for kings, down from $10 and $14, respectively, the previous year. But early signs are looking good this year. Heading into Mother’s Day on Sunday, deman...

  • Shoppers harvested 30% more canned salmon during pandemic

    Laine Welch|Apr 1, 2021

    It’s “back to the future” for Alaska canned salmon as more Americans choose it for its health benefits and as an easy-to-use ingredient for sandwiches, salads and more. Salmon canning in Alaska started in the 1870s, and by the early 20th century, it was the state’s largest industry, generating 80% of the territorial tax revenues. Its position in the state economy then is similar to oil today. The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed record sales for the pantry-shelf product — canned salmon sales soared by 30.3% in 2020, to $286 million. “Suddenly...

  • Alaska Fish Factor: Survey will ask Alaska fishermen, processors about COVID costs

    Laine Welch|Mar 11, 2021

    It’s likely that no other fishing regions of the world reach out for stakeholder input as much as Alaska does to gather policy-shaping ground truth by state and federal managers and organizations. That’s demonstrated by two new surveys — one which aims to quantify how much Alaska fishermen and processors paid out over the past year to lessen COVID-19 impacts and how much relief they got from government programs; the other to learn what technology needs are tops with harvesters. The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute is collecting infor...

  • Alaska Fish Factor: Russian exports compete with Alaska salmon

    Laine Welch|Feb 25, 2021

    Alaskans are preparing for another salmon season of poor to average runs to most regions. The big exception once again is Bristol Bay, where another massive return of more than 51 million sockeyes is expected. Managers predict that surge will produce a harvest of more than 36 million reds for fishermen. Bristol Bay is home to the largest wild sockeye salmon run in the world and typically accounts for 42% of the world’s sockeye harvest. Those fish and all wild salmon compete in a tough worldwide commodities market, where Alaska salmon claims 1...

  • Strong growth in sales as U.S. shoppers bought more seafood in 2020

    Laine Welch|Feb 11, 2021

    Seafood sales are hot in America’s supermarkets, and one king salmon from Southeast Alaska was worth the same as two barrels of oil: $116.16 for a troll-caught winter king averaging 11 pounds at the docks versus $115.48 for two barrels of oil at $57.74 per barrel on Feb. 3. As more COVID-conscious customers opted in 2020 for seafood’s proven health benefits, salmon powered sales at fresh seafood counters. Frozen and on-the-shelf seafoods also set sales records, while online ordering tripled to top $1 billion. Those are some takeaways from a N...

  • CARES Act aid totals $8 million for businesses, nonprofits in town

    Larry Persily, Sentinel writer|Jan 21, 2021

    Wrangell businesses and nonprofits received more than $8 million in federal and state CARES Act funds last year. "It absolutely made a difference, but it still wasn't enough," said Carol Rushmore, Wrangell's economic development director. "It's not making them whole, by any means," Rushmore said Jan. 14. "There are some businesses really hurting." For many businesses that rely on tourism, there is hope that visitor traffic will pick up this year. "We will see visitors coming to help," but short...

  • Fish picks and pans for 2020

    Laine Welch|Jan 7, 2021

    This year marks the 30th year that the weekly Fish Factor column has appeared in newspapers across Alaska and nationally. Every year it features "picks and pans" for Alaska's seafood industry - a no-holds-barred look back at some of the year's best and worst fishing highlights, and my choice for the biggest fish story of the year. Here are the choices for 2020, in no particular order: Best little known fish fact: The state of Alaska's Commercial Fisheries Division also pays for the management...

  • Alaska Fish Factor

    Laine Welch|Nov 5, 2020

    After a salmon season that successfully fished its way through a pandemic and upturned markets, the value of Alaska salmon permits is ticking up in two regions while toppling in others. Permit values are derived by the state Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission based on the average value of four permit sales. One of the uppers is the bellwether fishery at Bristol Bay where driftnet permits are showing good gains after a strong fishing season, despite a disappointing base sockeye price of $.70 a pound, down by nearly half from last year....

  • Alaska Fish Factor: Many Alaska fishermen likely to be involved in regulatory meetings next spring instead of being out on the water

    Laine Welch|Oct 29, 2020

    Many Alaska fishermen are likely to be involved in regulatory meetings next spring instead of being out on the water. And Alaska legislators will be distracted by hearings for hundreds of unconfirmed appointments as they tackle contentious budgets and other pressing issues. New dates have been set for state Board of Fisheries meetings that were bumped from later this year due to corona virus concerns. During the same time, along with four unconfirmed seats on the fish board, the Alaska legislature also will be tasked with considering nominees...

  • Alaska Fish Factor

    Laine Welch|Oct 1, 2020

    Some surprising results are revealed in the first of a series of briefing papers showing how Alaska’s seafood industry has been affected by the pandemic from dock to dinner plates. The updates, compiled by the McDowell Group for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI), show that so far the amount of seafood that has been harvested is in line with previous years. “While 2020 harvests have been significantly lower in some salmon fisheries…the declines are due to weak runs rather than reduced effort or other forces that might have some...

  • Alaska Fish Factor

    Laine Welch|Sep 3, 2020

    Alaska seafood processors are paying tens of millions of dollars extra to cover costs from the Covid pandemic, and most of it is coming out of pocket. Intrafish Media provides a first, in-depth look at how costs for providing protective gear like masks and gloves, testing thermometers, extra staff to handle sanitizing demands between work shifts, and modifying worker lines for social distancing are playing out in the nation’s seafood processing sector. At Bristol Bay, for example, where around 13,000 workers from outside Alaska come to work o...

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