Seawatch by Cristy Fry

April 15, 2021

The halibut season is off to a slow start in Homer, with so few deliveries that National Marine Fisheries Service doesn't list the landings because of privacy concerns. What landings have taken place on the Kenai Peninsula have been in Seward, which has seen 172,674 pounds delivered as of Monday. Even Kodiak, which...
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Fish Factor by Laine Welch

April 9, 2021

Alaska fishermen displaced by the Covid pandemic are being recruited for seafaring jobs aboard U.S. cargo barges, tankers, towboats, military support vessels, research and cruise ships and more...
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Seawatch by Cristy Fry

April 8, 2021

Tribes in Bristol Bay are collecting signatures to push the Alaska congressional delegation to provide permanent protection for the area through federal regulation. On their website, United Tribes of Bristol Bay say that there are two things that need to happen to...
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Fish Factor by Laine Welch

April 2, 2021

The mask requirement for all persons aboard fishing vessels still stands and Alaska’s U.S. Senators are adding their clout to have it removed.
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Fish Factor by Laine Welch

March 27, 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...
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Seawatch by Cristy Fry

March 25, 2021

After dealing with the closure of several processing plants in Dutch Harbor and Akutan due to COVID-19 outbreaks, Bering Sea crab fishermen now have to manage another costly and time-consuming problem: not enough fuel in St. Paul in the Pribilof Islands. By regulation under the...
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Fish Factor by Laine Welch

March 19, 2021

Halibut prices for Alaska fishermen for 2021 started out significantly higher than last year, despite sluggish demand and transportation logjams in some regions. The Pacific halibut fishery opened...
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Seawatch by Cristy Fry

March 18, 2021

It is pretty much old news that 2020 was not a great year for salmon in Alaska. Catches were down, prices took a hit due to the pandemic and fish didn't do what they were supposed to as climate change reared its ugly head. This year is looking better, largely due...
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Fish Factor by Laine Welch

March 12, 2021

Alaska’s salmon harvest for 2021 is projected to be a big one with total catches producing a haul that could be 61% higher than last year, due mostly to an expected surge of pinks. Fishery managers are predicting ...
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Seawatch by Cristy Fry

March 11, 2021

Alaska fisherman, doctor and former candidate for U.S. Senate Al Gross wrote an op-ed in the Anchorage Daily News on Monday proposing trading the land under the Pebble Mine prospect to the federal government for protection in exchange for extending state waters out to12 miles, from the current 3 miles. Gross argued that...
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Fish Factor by Laine Welch

March 5, 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...
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Seawatch by Cristy Fry

March 4, 2021

For fishermen waiting to receive their halibut and sablefish IFQ permits in the mail as usual, the National Marine Fisheries Service is no longer sending them out. Fishermen have to...
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Fish Factor by Laine Welch

February 26, 2021

The Pacific halibut fishery opens on March 6 and increased catch limits combined with a cautiously optimistic outlook for the near future have fanned interest in buying shares of the popular fish. In January, the International Pacific Halibut Commission...
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Seawatch by Cristy Fry

February 25, 2021

The International Pacific Halibut Commission is seeking information from the past two years about the financial impact of COVID-19 in a trio of surveys for the commercial, processing and charter sectors. In a press statement, the IPHC stated “In order to...
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Fish Factor by Laine Welch

February 20, 2021

Alaskans are preparing for another salmon season of poor to average runs to most regions. The big exception once again is at Bristol Bay where another massive return of more than 51 million sockeyes is expected. Managers predict that...
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Seawatch by Cristy Fry

February 18, 2021

The global COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc in the fishing industry with processors continuing to pay tens of millions of dollars in related costs, the largest processing plant in North America being shut down for weeks, and the Coast Guard issuing...
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Fish Factor by Laine Welch

February 13, 2021

Fishermen must wear masks while they are underway, even while sleeping, and the Coast Guard intends to enforce it. That’s an edict issued as a public health emergency by the Center for Disease Control in...
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Seawatch by Cristy Fry

February 11, 2021

The North Pacific Fisheries Management Council is struggling with how to deal with three strong year classes of sablefish that are being caught in the directed fishery that are too small to be of much value but must be...
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Fish Factor by Laine Welch

February 6, 2021

“Eye-popping” seafood sales continue; One Alaska king salmon is worth the same as two barrels of oil...
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Seawatch by Cristy Fry

February 4, 2021

The International Pacific Halibut Commission held their 97th annual meeting this week, and voted to increase the quota in all areas of Alaska. The quotas in Alaska have mostly been going down for several years, with area 3A, the largest area in...
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The Fish Ticket

February 4, 2021

Your market report for February 4, 2021. Newly listed 86 x 22 M.D. Phares charter/research vessel. Results of the annual IPHC meeting. Halibut quota sales picking up. Increased interest in charter halibut permits and PWS sablefish permits.
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2021 Pacific Halibut Catch Limits

January 29, 2021

The IPHC voted this morning on the final catch limits for the 2021 Pacific halibut fishery. Here are the catch limits for the directed commercial fishery and the TCEY (Total Constant Exploitable Yield), or the total mortality from all sources for halibut over 26" for 2021.
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Fish Factor by Laine Welch

January 29, 2021

Pacific halibut harvesters got some rare good news last week: increased catches in 2021 along with a longer fishing season. At its annual meeting that ended on January 25, the International Pacific Halibut Commission boosted the coastwide removals for 2021 to 39 million pounds, a 6.53% increase over...
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Seawatch by Cristy Fry

January 28, 2021

The Canadian government is phasing out all of the open net pen salmon farms in the Discovery Islands in British Columbia over the next 18 months, under pressure from the First Nations, according to multiple news sources. Seafood Source reports that the mandate...
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Fish Factor by Laine Welch

January 22, 2021

New ocean-related jobs, investments and opportunities will be seeded by an ambitious Blue Pipeline Venture Studio that connects marine business entrepreneurs with the technology, contacts and finances they need to grow. “The state's blue economy includes anything that takes...
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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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