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Articles written by Laine Welch

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 By Laine Welch    Dockside    February 4, 2016 

Fish Factor: Halibut catches will not be slashed for the first time in 15 years

Alaska’s halibut stocks are showing signs of an uptick and fishermen’s catches will not be slashed for the first time in 15 years. Fishery managers on Friday set the coast wide Pacific halibut harvest for 2016 at 29.89 million pounds, a 2.3...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    January 28, 2016

Fish Factor: UFA working to protect fisheries science during budget crisis

A single Chinook salmon is worth more than a barrel of oil. The winter kings being caught by Southeast Alaska trollers are averaging 10 pounds each with a dock price of $7.34 a pound, according to state fish tickets. That adds up to $73.40 per fish,...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    January 21, 2016

Fish Factor: Two early fish bills hope to swim past budget cuts during legislative session

Fishing issues will take a back seat to budget cutting when the Alaska legislature convenes on January 19 for its 90-day session, but two early fish bills (and one hold-over) already are getting attention. One new measure aims to stop the migration o...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    January 14, 2016

Fish Factor: Alaskan mariculture expanding from shellfish to seaweed farming

Alaska’s mariculture industry has passed some big milestones, and is getting set to head into the weeds. Aquatic farming, which was Ok’d by Alaska lawmakers in 1988, topped $1 million in shellfish sales for the first time ever in 2014, coming in...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    January 7, 2016

Fish Factor: A look back at the best and worst fish stories of the year

2016 marks a quarter of a century for this weekly column that targets Alaska’s seafood industry. At the end of every year, I proffer my ‘no holds barred’ look back at the best and worst fish stories, and select the biggest story of the year....

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    December 31, 2015

Fish Factor: Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea groundfish catch quotas go up

“Tis the season for even bigger Alaska fish catches when groundfish seasons open at the start of the New Year. Catches of pollock, cod, flounders and other groundfish account for nearly 85 percent of Alaska’s harvest poundage, and 67 percent of t...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    December 24, 2015

Fish Factor: Alaska fisheries bypro ducts being converted into new income streams

Alaska crab shells are fueling an eco-revolution that will drive new income streams for fabrics to pharmaceuticals to water filters. And for the first time, it is happening in the USA and not overseas. The entrepreneurs at Tidal Vision in October...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    December 17, 2015

Fish Factor: "Caught By Alaskans for Alaskans" program aims to sell seafood in Alaska

Caught by Alaskans for Alaskans is a business concept that bested 170 others in a global fisheries business competition last month at Stanford University in California. The contest, sponsored by Fish 2.0, awards creative approaches that build demand...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    December 10, 2015

Fish Factor: Halibut catch could decrease slightly next year

Despite some encouraging signs that Pacific halibut stocks are stabilizing after being on a downward spiral for nearly two decades, catches could decrease slightly in most regions again next year. That’s IF fishery managers accept the catch...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    December 3, 2015

Fish Factor: Contest call is out for innovative seafood products contest

The call is out for products to compete in Alaska’s most celebrated seafood bash, and another new category has been added to the mix. For the 23rd year, the Symphony of Seafood in 2016 will showcase innovative new products that are entered both by...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    November 26, 2015

Fish Factor: State Boards asking for input on on budgets and bycatch

Alaskans are being asked to weigh in on two tough issues: budgets and halibut bycatch. First off, the state Boards of Fish and Game are asking for ideas on cutting costs within their annual meeting cycles, as well as for the state agencies involved...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    November 12, 2015

Fish Factor: January Tanner crab fishery canceled for third year

The popular January Tanner crab fishery has been called off for the third year running throughout the Westward Region (Kodiak, Chignik and the South Peninsula), leaving fishermen and managers wondering where all the crab has gone. State managers for...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    November 5, 2015

Fish Factor: Alaska claims the top three fishing ports in the U.S.

Alaska claimed the top three fishing ports for landings again last year, and led all U.S. states in terms of seafood landings and values. “The Alaska port of Dutch Harbor continued to lead the nation with the highest amount of seafood landings –...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    October 29, 2015

Fish Factor: Salmon season was second largest harvest ever, yet lowest payout since 2006

Alaska’s 2015 salmon season produced the second largest harvest ever, but rock bottom prices yielded the lowest pay out to fishermen since 2006. That will cut into the tax base of coastal communities and state coffers, which collect fully half of a...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    October 22, 2015

Fish Factor

Fish pirates are coming under fire as more countries band together to stop them from pilfering the world’s oceans. So called Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing accounts for one-fifth of global catches, according to the Global Ocean...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    October 15, 2015

Fish Factor: All pollock sold in the U.S. is being called Alaska Pollock, even Russian pollock

When is Alaska pollock not really Alaska pollock? When it is listed as such by the Food and Drug Administration, which governs what every seafood product will be called in U.S. commerce. For pollock, one of the most widely eaten seafoods in the...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    October 8, 2015

Fish Factor: Dismal season creates uncertain market for salmon permit

“Unsettled” best describes the mood among brokers in the business of buying, selling and trading Alaska salmon permits and quota shares of various catches. For salmon permits, “the dust hasn’t really settled” since the season ended, said...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    October 1, 2015

Fish Factor, Bering Sea crab fishery could be delayed by government shutdown threats

Bering Sea crabbers are again facing the possibility of a delayed fishery as Congressional Republicans threaten to shut down the government, this time over federal funding of Planned Parenthood. A shutdown two years ago stalled the crab opener by...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    September 24, 2015

Fish Factor, Snow crab and red king crab numbers could be down this year

Catches for Alaska’s premier crab fisheries in the Bering Sea could take a dip this year based on results from the annual summer surveys. The annual report by NOAA Fisheries called “The Eastern Bering Sea Continental Shelf Bottom Trawl Survey:...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    September 17, 2015

Fish Factor: State commercial fisheries director resigns post

Alaska’s fishing industry was dismayed last week by the sudden news that Jeff Regnart, Director of the state’s Commercial Fisheries Division, will leave the job on October 2. “I’m resigning due to family reasons, aging parents…I just...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    September 10, 2015

Fish Factor: Big pink harvest keeps downward pressure on prices

Alaska’s pink salmon catch is pushing 180 million fish, making it the second largest harvest ever (219 million pinks was the previous record set in 2013). The humpie haul has been pushed by record production in three regions – over 15 million...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    September 3, 2015

Fish Factor: West coast warm water blob impacting marine food chain

Fish deaths, drought in California, tropical creatures appearing in cold waters – those freakish happenings and more are being blamed on a giant splotch of warm water that for two years has been pushing against coastlines on the West Coast, Canada...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    August 27, 2015

Fish Factor: King salmon decline research program slashed by budget cuts

One of the casualties of this year’s budget cuts was funds for a program aimed at discovering why Alaska’s Chinook salmon stocks have been declining since 2007. A five year, $30 million Chinook Salmon Research Initiative launched in 2013 included...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    August 20, 2015

Fish Factor: Salmon season unlikely to reach forecasted harvest

Alaska’s salmon season so far has been characterized by ups and downs, and it will be a stretch for the total catch to make the forecasted 221 million fish. “It just depends on how these late returning pink salmon at Prince William Sound...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    August 13, 2015

Fish Factor: Crucial salmon stream water rights decisions coming up

Two hearings this month could change the face of Alaska’s salmon fisheries forever. On August 21, the Department of Natural Resources will hear both sides on competing claims to water rights for salmon streams at Upper Cook Inlet’s Chuitna River...

 

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