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Articles written by Laine Welch

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 By Laine Welch    Dockside    June 30, 2016 

Fish Factor: Tidal Vision turning crab shells into every day products

Turning crab shells into every day products is becoming a reality for the Tidal Vision team of eco-entrepreneurs from Juneau. The products are derived from chitin in the crab shells, the second most abundant biopolymer on the planet after cellulose....

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    June 23, 2016

Fish Factor: Seattle restaurants put herring on the menu to prove a point

There’s much more to Alaska herring than roe and bait. To prove that point, nearly 40 of Seattle’s finest restaurants and retailers will celebrate Northwest Herring Week as a way to re-introduce the tasty, health fish to the dining scene....

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    June 16, 2016

Fish Factor: Boaters being incentivized to engage in protecting waterways

Boaters from Homer to the Mat-Su valley can help protect salmon and other aquatic creatures and get discounts from popular businesses by doing so. A pilot program launched this spring is an offshoot of Cook Inletkeeper’s Clean Boating program that...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    June 9, 2016

Fish Factor: Discovery Canada show turns its eye toward big Alaskan fishing boats

Alaskan fishermen have raised the bar for big fishing boats with the F/V Northern Leader of Kodiak, and Discovery Canada producers of the popular “Mighty Ships” programs have taken notice. Mighty Ships producers search for unique ships around...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    June 2, 2016

Fish Factor: Legislative budget impasse harming salmon fisheries across the state

The budget impasse with Alaska legislators is wreaking havoc on salmon fisheries across the state, and the industry is bracing for the possibility of a complete shutdown in some regions. If lawmakers can’t agree on a budget by June 1, all state...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    May 26, 2016

Fish Factor: High prices kick off Copper River opener

Alaska’s salmon season officially got underway on May 16 with the arrival of thousands of sockeye and king salmon at the Copper River near Cordova, and high prices were the talk of the town. The first opener produced a catch of 25,000 sockeye and...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    May 19, 2016

Fish Factor, Alaska's salmon season begins with a lot of optimism

Alaska’s salmon season has gotten underway with lots of optimism, a far cry from the bleak feelings of a year ago. Last year’s fishery was blown asunder by a perfect storm of depressed currencies, salmon backlogs and global markets awash with...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    May 12, 2016

Fish Factor: Salmon fishermen can get rebates for baleen whale pingers

Alaska salmon fishermen can get rebates on pingers aimed at keeping baleen whales away from their gear. The six inch, battery operated tubes are tied into fishing nets and transmit animal-specific signals every five seconds to alert the animals to ke...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    May 5, 2016

Fish Factor: Costs of test fishing now being covered by fishermen

In the face of Alaska’s multi-billion dollar budget shortfalls, state policy makers are putting the onus on fishermen to cover the costs of going fishing. “One of the sources we have to offset general fund decreases is increased test fishing. We...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    April 28, 2016

Fish Factor: Budget cuts continue to affect Alaska fisheries in all regions

Cuts affecting Alaska’s fisheries will be spread across all regions and species, depending on the final budget that is approved by state legislators. As it stands now, the total commercial fisheries budget for FY 2017 from all state and federal...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    April 21, 2016

Fish Factor, Higher ocean acidity is affecting Bering Sea crab shell production and immune systems

Increasingly corrosive oceans are raising more red flags for Bering Sea crab stocks. Results from a first ever, two year project on baby Tanner crabs show that higher ocean acidity (pH) affects both their shell production and the immune systems....

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    April 14, 2016

Fish Factor: Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan discusses efforts for fisheries

Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan has scored seats on nearly every Congressional committee that deal with issues on, over and under the oceans. That fulfills a commitment he made to Kodiak when he ran for office two years ago, he said at a ComFish town...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    April 7, 2016

Fish Factor: Few fishermen are hooking into the Coast Guard direct SOS lifeline

Alaska fishermen can send an SOS call directly to the Coast Guard, but many are not hooking up to the new lifeline. Digital Selective Calling (DSC) instantly signals a distress call over VHF radios to other vessels, and the feature has been a...

 
 By Laine Welch    News    March 31, 2016

Fish Factor: 2016 salmon forecast down 40 percent from last year

Alaska’s 2016 salmon harvest will be down by 40 percent from last year’s catch, if the fish show up as predicted. The preliminary numbers released by the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game call for a total catch of 161 million salmon this year; the...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    March 24, 2016

Fish Factor: How 50¢ a pound for reds turns into over $10 for customers

If a fisherman gets 50-cents a pound for his reds, how can the fish fetch $10, $15 or more at retail counters? “It’s all the other stuff that happens after he sells the fish. A lot of costs, margins and profits are included in that retail...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    March 17, 2016

Fish Factor: The value of Alaska salmon fishing permits plummet

Fire sale salmon prices last year and a dim outlook for the upcoming season have caused the value of Alaska fishing permits to plummet. To another extreme – the prices for halibut catch shares have soared to “unheard of levels.” Starting with...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    March 10, 2016

Fish Factor

Fish stomachs could help solve the mystery of why Alaska halibut are so small for their age. Halibut weights are about one-third of what they were 30 years ago, meaning a halibut weighing 120 pounds in the late 1980s is closer to 40 pounds nowadays....

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    February 25, 2016

Fish Factor: Salmon market facing many challenges in 2016

Early signs point to continuing headwinds in world markets for Alaska salmon. Global currencies remain in disarray, the ongoing Russian seafood embargo is diverting more farmed salmon to the U.S., and tons of product remains in freezers from back to...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    February 11, 2016

Fish Factor: Black cod survey looks for cause of population decline

Needy Alaskans are enjoying a rare taste of sablefish, thanks to a science project that kept research fish from going over the rails. Sablefish, more commonly called black cod, are one of the world’s priciest, high end fish, and Alaska waters are...

 
 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...

 

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