Seawatch by Cristy Fry

January 21, 2021

Trawl fishermen targeting pollock in the Gulf of Alaska have collectively agreed to stand down from the January 20 start of the fishery in order to target the fish in their more lucrative phase of harvesting the roe, instead of the flesh of the fish which is used more in...
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Fish Factor by Laine Welch

January 15, 2021

The single biggest hit to fishermen from the Covid-19 virus is lower dock prices, according to Alaska and West Coast harvesters, and 98% said their businesses have been badly bashed by the pandemic. That’s based on survey results compiled...
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Seawatch by Cristy Fry

January 13, 2021

The Sitka Tribe of Alaska has won a second lawsuit challenging the State of Alaska's assertion that they are providing “reasonable opportunity” for subsistence harvest of herring roe in an ongoing battle pitting seiners and ADF&G against the Tribe. The latest ruling...
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Fish Factor by Laine Welch

January 12, 2021

Is it a coincidence that one of the world’s largest mineral deposits is located near the world’s largest sockeye salmon spawning grounds at Bristol Bay? And if the likes of a Pebble Mine removed the bulk of those deep deposits that also create the world’s magnetic field, could it...
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2021 Sablefish TAC Increases in All Areas

December 14, 2020

After a week of meetings, the NPFMC voted Thursay and Friday to adopt the recommended ABC, resulting in increases to the 2021 sablefish TAC of 25% across the GOA, 82% in BS, and 131% in AI. While the Council suggested that the science supports an increased catch, stakeholder concerns about the...
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Historical Sablefish Ex-Vessel Values 2001-2020

December 4, 2020

Below are ex-vessel values of sablefish over the last 20 years. These values do not represent seasonal highs, lows, or averages, rather they are a snapshot of prices midseason for each year. Do you have prices or data to share? Email us at [email protected] We appreciate being able to...
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Seawatch by Cristy Fry

December 3, 2020

The International Pacific Halibut Commission held its interim meeting last month and lead quantitative scientist Dr. Ian Stewart is recommending a quota increase in all areas of Alaska. For Alaska waters, the quota recommendations, all in millions of pounds, are: Area 2C, Southeast, 5.16...
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Seawatch by Cristy Fry

November 24, 2020

Upper Cook Inlet commercial salmon fishermen are alarmed at a proposal to eliminate commercial salmon fishing in the Exclusive Economic Zone, all salt-water areas beyond three miles, in the Inlet. The North Pacific Fisheries Management Council has been tasked with overseeing management of...
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Fish Factor by Laine Welch

November 23, 2020

Frozen sockeye salmon strips bring tasty nutrition and relief to teething babies. Photo credit: Babino's Baby Food. The lightly seasoned salmon strips, made mostly from Bristol Bay reds, are the third product made by Bambino’s Baby Food of Anchorage that is aimed at getting more...
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Fish Factor by Laine Welch

November 17, 2020

Tamped down prices due to toppled markets caused by the Covid virus combined with low salmon returns to many Alaska regions added up to reduced paychecks for fishermen and will mean lower tax revenues for fishing communities. A summary of the preliminary harvests and values by the Alaska...
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Seawatch by Cristy Fry

November 17, 2020

Bristol Bay is looking at a smaller sockeye season for 2021, but still in respectable territory. The projected run of 51 million sockeye would allow for a potential total harvest of 37.4 million fish in Bristol Bay and 1 million fish in the South Peninsula fisheries. That would put...
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Fish Factor by Laine Welch

November 7, 2020

The number of boots on deck in Alaska has declined and most fisheries have lost jobs over the past five years. Overall, Alaska’s harvesting sector ticked downward by 848 jobs from 2015 through 2019. A snapshot of fish harvesting jobs is featured in the November edition of...
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Fish Factor by Laine Welch

October 31, 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...
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Fish Factor by Laine Welch

October 31, 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...
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Fish Factor by Laine Welch

October 20, 2020

Light-weight collapsible pots prevent whales from pirating pricey black cod from longline hooks and give a break to small “Getting whaled” is so pervasive fishery managers allowed black cod (sablefish) fishermen to switch from baited lines to rigid pots in the Bering Sea...
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Fish Factor by Laine Welch

October 9, 2020

More young Alaskans are officially among the next generation of professional fishermen and ocean stewards to hail from Cordova, Haines, Homer, Ketchikan and Sitka. The futures of eight fishermen were cemented thanks to $1.5 million in loans from a Local Fish Fund (LFF) launched in 2019 ...
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Fish Factor by Laine Welch

October 2, 2020

Now that the 2020 pack of Alaska salmon has been caught and put up, stakeholders will get a better picture of how global prices may rise or fall. Nearly 75% of the value of Alaska’s salmon exports is driven by sales between July and October. And right now, lower supplies of wild...
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Fish Factor by Laine Welch

September 29, 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...
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Fish Factor by Laine Welch

September 24, 2020

Alaska fishermen can increase their federal trade relief funds by adding higher poundage prices for 15 fish and shellfish species. While it’s welcomed, the payouts are a band-aid on a bigger and ongoing problem. Through December 14, fishermen can apply to the U.S. Department of...
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Fish Factor by Laine Welch

September 15, 2020

Bering Sea crabbers will soon know how much they can pull up in their pots for the upcoming season that opens October 15. This week the Crab Plan Team, advisers to state and federal fishery managers who jointly manage the fisheries, will review stock assessments and other science used to...
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Fish Factor by Laine Welch

September 8, 2020

Kodiak has again scored a first debate between candidates in one of Alaska’s most high-profile political races: the U.S. Senate. Kodiak has been hosting debates for congressional and gubernatorial hopefuls since 1999 with a single focus: Alaska’s seafood industry. The date and...
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Fish Factor by Laine Welch

August 30, 2020

Governor Dunleavy’s controversial selections to the state Board of Fisheries (BOF) will get a legislative hearing in early fall and the call is out for public comments. The board oversees management of the state’s subsistence, commercial, sport and personal use fisheries. Appointments were made on April 1 and would normally go through a vigorous vetting process by the Alaska legislature with public input. But COVID-19 sent...
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Fish Factor by Laine Welch

August 30, 2020

The biggest red salmon run in the world is building at Bristol Bay. Up to 50 million fish could surge into its eight river systems in coming weeks, on par with past seasons. When it’s all done, the fishery will provide nearly half the global supply of wild sockeye salmon. But this summer is different. Not only due to...
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Fish Factor by Laine Welch

August 30, 2020

All systems are go for keeping close tabs on fish and crab stocks in waters managed by the state, meaning out to three miles. While constraints from the coronavirus resulted in nearly all annual stock surveys being cut in deeper waters overseen by the federal government, it’s...
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Fish Factor by Laine Welch

August 30, 2020

Snacks that are good for people and the planet now come in the form of crispy chips that are made from Bristol Bay sockeye salmon skins. The new, flash fried snack was spawned by a Los Angeles-based company called Goodfish, which aims to “propel sustainable seafood into our...
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Fish Factor by Laine Welch

August 30, 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...
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Fish Factor by Laine Welch

August 30, 2020

It was inaction on health care that ultimately made Dr. Al Gross of Juneau decide to challenge Republican Dan Sullivan, who is running for a second, six-year term to represent Alaska in the U.S. Senate. Gross, who has opted for the Independent ticket, has fished his whole...
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Fish Factor by Laine Welch

August 30, 2020

It got little attention from the mainstream media but seafood netted some historic firsts in the nation’s new dietary guidelines. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee submitted a report in July to the Secretaries of Agriculture and Health and Human Services that...
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Fish Factor by Laine Welch

August 30, 2020

Most Alaskans are surprised to learn that seafood is by far Alaska’s top export, the source of the state’s largest manufacturing base and its #1 private employer. More surprising is that those simple to find facts are not included in the official trade sheet for Alaska provided by the office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). The information on the...
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Fish Factor by Laine Welch

August 30, 2020

The global seafood industry will experience lasting impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, including reduced demand and pricing. That is the conclusion of the State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture report produced every two years by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the...
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Fish Factor by Laine Welch

August 30, 2020

Unexpected upheavals stemming from the coronavirus have slowed the process of getting relief payments into the hands of fishermen and communities hurt by the 2018 Gulf of Alaska cod crash. In late February, the Secretary of Commerce cut loose $24,416,440 for affected stakeholders. Then in late March, Alaska...
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Fish Factor by Laine Welch

August 30, 2020

Unless you fished for salmon this summer at Bristol Bay, it’s been slim pickings for fishermen in other Alaska regions. Salmon returns have been so poor that communities already are claiming fishery disasters. Cordova’s City Council last week unanimously passed a...
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Fish Factor by Laine Welch

August 30, 2020

Alaska’s seafood industry stakeholders have a four bagger chance to provide input on policy decisions that directly affect their livelihoods: trade, relief payouts for cod and salmon, Board of Fisheries meeting plans and appointees. For several, the window...
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Fish Factor by Laine Welch

August 29, 2020

Surveys of Alaska’s fish, crab and halibut stocks in the Bering Sea have been called off or reduced due to constraints and dangers posed by the coronavirus. In what they called an “unprecedented” move, NOAA Fisheries announced in late May that five Alaska surveys will be...
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