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Articles written by Laine Welch

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 By Laine Welch    Dockside    December 18, 2014 

Fish Factor

It went down to the wire, but fishermen were relieved to learn they can continue to hose down their decks without fear of violating the Clean Water Act. Congress voted unanimously this week to extend a moratorium for three years that exempts...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    December 11, 2014

Decades-long halibut decline appears to be turning around

The Pacific halibut stock appears to be rising from the ashes and that bodes well for catches in some fishing regions next year. It would turn the tide of a decades-long decline that has caused halibut catches to be slashed by more than 70% in...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    December 4, 2014

Fish Factor: Alaska fishery meetings kick into high gear

It’s the time of year when Alaska’s fishery meetings kick into high gear - with five set for this week alone. The industry will get a first glimpse of potential 2015 halibut catches when the International Pacific Halibut Commission convenes in...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    November 27, 2014

Fish Factor

Alaska is poised for some big fish stories next year based on predictions trickling in from state and federal managers. For the state’s (and nation’s) largest fishery - Alaska pollock - the Eastern Bering Sea stock has more than doubled its ten...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    November 13, 2014

Fish Factor

Alaska’s largest employer continues to add more jobs to its roster. Commercial fishing jobs grew last year to a level not seen since the year 2000, according to the state Department of Labor. Driven primarily by an increased salmon harvest,...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    November 6, 2014

Fish Factor

Alaska claimed the nation’s top three fishing ports for seafood catches last year, and wild salmon landings – 95 percent from Alaska – topped one billion pounds, an all time record and a 70 percent increase from 2012. That’s according to the...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    October 30, 2014

Fish Factor

Throughout history, arguments over land and water usages have run the gamut from tussles over fences with next door neighbors to shoot outs over inter-state grazing rights in the old west, but when land and water rights pit one country against...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    October 23, 2014

Fish Factor: Bering Sea crab fleet has shrunk to 77 vessels

The Bering Sea crab fleet now stands at 77 vessels, a far cry from the nearly 250 boats before the fishery downsized to catch shares in 2005. Fewer boats means less hands on deck, and as with so many others, the Bering Sea crabbers are ‘graying’...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    October 16, 2014

Fish Factor

A ballot measure to protect salmon in Southwest hasn’t grabbed as many headlines as pot and campaign politics. Ballot Measure 4, sponsored by the group Bristol Bay Forever, asks voters to give the Alaska legislature final say on any large oil, gas...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    October 9, 2014

Fish Factor: US Senate candidate Sullivan faces Begich on fisheries

I must admit that US Senate candidate Dan Sullivan achieved something I have been trying to accomplish as a fisheries writer for more than a quarter of a century: he gave long legs to media stories about Alaska’s fisheries and, more importantly,...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    October 2, 2014

Fish Factor: Bering Sea crab scientists and stakeholder meet to discuss the outlook for Alaska's biggest crab fisheries

Alaska’s conservative management combined with the grace of Mother Nature are swelling the abundance of two of the state’s largest and most important fisheries. Bering Sea crab scientists and stakeholder met last week to discuss the outlook for A...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    September 18, 2014

Fish Factor: The naked truth about clean water for fisheries in Southeast

Naked Truth - World class fisheries depend on clean water and Southeast Alaskans are stripping down to make that point. “Water quality issues are becoming the biggest issues we have to deal with in Southeast. Long ago it was forestry, but as that i...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    September 11, 2014

Fish Factor: Senate candidate bows out of fisheries debate

“Surprised and disappointed” was the reaction by Senator Mark Begich upon learning that his opponent Dan Sullivan has bowed out of an October 1 fisheries debate in Kodiak. It is the second time this year that Sullivan has declined to participate...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    September 4, 2014

Plans in the works to ban Russian seafood imports

If Russia won't buy seafood from the US, we won't buy seafood from them. That's the gauntlet being thrown down by Alaska's Congressional Delegation to retaliate against Russia's yearlong ban on food...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    August 28, 2014

Fish Factor: Researchers working to explain decline of Alaska's Chinook salmon

More than 100 researchers and three dozen projects are underway to find clues as to why Alaska’s Chinook salmon production has declined since 2007. The ambitious effort marks the start of a state-backed five year, $30 million Chinook Salmon...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    August 21, 2014

Fish Factor

Seafood is by far Alaska’s top export and as it heads overseas, global politics play a big role in making sales sink or swim. That dynamic took center stage last week when Russia banned imports of foods for one year from the US, Canada, Europe,...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    August 14, 2014

Fish Factor

Breached mine tailings dams be damned! As millions of Fraser River sockeye salmon head for spawning beds polluted by a brew of metal toxins oozing from the Mount Polley gold/copper mine disaster in British Columbia, Republican candidates vying for...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    August 7, 2014

Vessel Incidental Discharge Act could protect fishermen from burdensome permit

Fishermen won’t need special permits to hose off their decks thanks to a bill moving through the US Senate. That’s garnered a big sigh of relief from harvesters across the nation and kudos to a rare show of bipartisanship by coastal lawmakers,...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    July 24, 2014

Fish Factor: Sockeye price drops thanks to catch being millions over projections

It came as no surprise when the first price postings last week tanked for Bristol Bay sockeye salmon to $1.20 a pound, with an extra 15 cents for chilled fish. That compares to a base price of $1.50 a pound last year. The Bristol Bay catch topped 28...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    July 17, 2014

Fish Factor: Unmanned gliders used to study ocean acidification

Ocean chemists are calling it “revolutionary technology” as unmanned gliders track how melting glaciers may be intensifying corrosive waters in Prince William Sound. “It’s been hugely successful. We’ve flown these things all over inside...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    July 10, 2014

Fish Factor: Bristol Bay home to Alaska's most valuable fishery

With salmon fisheries going on every summer all across Alaska, you might wonder why so much attention is focused on Bristol Bay. The answer can be summed up in two words: sockeye salmon.  Bristol Bay is home to the largest red salmon runs in the wor...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    July 3, 2014

Summer is more than just salmon: Crab, halibut, ling cod, pollack and more underway

Salmon takes center stage in Alaska every summer, but many more fisheries also are going on all across the state. The world’s biggest sockeye salmon run is expected to surge into Bristol Bay any day, where a catch of about 17 million reds is...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    June 26, 2014

Fish Factor: Bristol Bay facing "riskiest season" in recent memory

Uncertainty best sums up the mood as fishermen and processors await the world’s biggest sockeye salmon run at Bristol Bay. In fact, it’s being called the riskiest season in recent memory in the 2014 Sockeye Market Analysis, a biannual report...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    June 19, 2014

Fish Factor: Where do major candidates stand on seafood, Alaska's biggest employer

You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again: The seafood industry is Alaska’s largest private employer, putting more people to work than mining, oil/gas, timber and tourism combined. The annual revenue the seafood sector contributes to...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    June 12, 2014

Fish Factor: Salmon prices decline through the season and climb through winter

Salmon prices at wholesale show marked seasonal variations for both wild and farmed fish. It’s a pattern that has been tracked for decades by Urner Barry, the nation’s oldest commodity market watcher in business since 1895. The prices tend to...

 

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