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Articles written by Laine Welch

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 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...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    June 5, 2014

Fish Factor: Frankenfish labelling amendment has bipartisan support in Senate

If genetically modified salmon gets a green light by the federal government, it will be labeled as such if US Senators on both sides of the aisle have their way. The Senate Appropriations Committee last week passed the bipartisan Murkowski-Begich ame...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    May 29, 2014

Fish Factor: Companies are still selling last year's pinks

Salmon season is just getting underway, but seafood companies are still selling last summer’s record catch of 226 million pink salmon - and it has prompted lots of creative thinking. “The challenge is to market all this fish and still maintain...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    May 22, 2014

Copper River salmon starts salmon season

Trollers in Southeast Alaska provide fresh king salmon nearly year round, but the runs of reds and kings to the Copper River mark the “official start” of Alaska’s salmon season. On May 15 the fleet of more than 570 fishermen set out their nets...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    May 15, 2014

Fish Factor: Report shows commercial fisheries far more valuable to state than sport fishing

The debate over which sector – commercial or recreational fishing – provides the bigger economic punch can finally be put to rest. The annual ‘Fisheries Economics of the US’ report by the Dept. of Commerce shows once and for all that in...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    May 8, 2014

Halibut and black cod prices up by more than a dollar

The basic laws of supply and demand are resulting in a nice pay day for Alaska halibut and sablefish harvesters.  Prices for both fish are up by more than a dollar a pound compared to the same time last year.  Fresh halibut has been moving...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    May 1, 2014

Small Kodiak roe herring fishery is underway

Kodiak’s roe herring fishery began on April 15 with little notice and rumors of fire sale prices. The fleet of 22 seiners was down a bit; they are competing for a harvest of 5,800 short tons, similar to the past five years. No gillnetters had...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    April 24, 2014

Fish Factor

Alaska salmon permits in many fisheries have tripled in value since 2002 and the upward trend continues. An overview of April listings by four brokers shows that Bristol Bay drift net permits are valued at nearly $134,000 by the State, and listed...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    April 17, 2014

Fish Factor: 2014 total salmon catch predicted to be half of last year's record

Alaska's total salmon catch for 2014 is projected to be down by almost half of last year's record haul. State fishery managers are calling for an all species harvest of just under 133 million salmon,...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    April 10, 2014

New Kodiak pollack seine fishery begins this week

 Kodiak seiners will be scooping up pollock in their nets starting this week. You heard right. Seiners have a chance to test the waters to determine if a directed pollock fishery makes sense for that type of gear in the Gulf. Except for a small...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    April 3, 2014

Big changes possible for State Board of Fisheries

Nine names are vying for three seats on the state Board of Fisheries, including six newcomers. That gives Governor Parnell the unique opportunity to replace a majority of the seven-member Fish Board, should he choose to do so, and should the Alaska...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    March 27, 2014

Fish Factor: A breakdown of last year's record breaking salmon catch numbers

Alaska’s salmon catch of 273 million salmon set a record last year – and so did the number of salmon returning home to state hatcheries. The 2013 Fisheries Enhancement Report by the AK Dept. of Fish and Game shows that a return of 112 million...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    March 20, 2014

Fish Factor: Innovations ahead for fish oils and byproducts

Co-products is the big new buzz word in the seafood industry as more companies move towards ‘head to tails’ usages for fish. “For instance, the oils we are producing now from pollock livers has become so valuable in capsules and other human...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    March 13, 2014

40-day Lenten season means surge for Alaska's seafood products

Last Wednesday marked the start of Lent, a time of fasting, soul searching and repentance for hundreds of millions of Christians around the world. And what the burst in the holiday sales season from Thanksgiving to Christmas means to retailers, Lent...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    March 6, 2014

Fish Factor: Oceans changing while US policy doesn't

Just as Nero fiddled while Rome burned, US policy makers are quibbling over climate issues as bivalves dissolve in an increasingly corrosive Pacific Ocean. Any kid’s chemistry set will show that big changes are occurring in seawater throughout the...

 
 By Laine Welch    Dockside    February 20, 2014

Pollock as halibut bait could increase catch rates and reduce bycatch

Bait is always a big expenditure for many fishing businesses and pollock could help cut costs for Alaska halibut longliners who fish in the Gulf. Researchers have tested pollock in two projects to see if it might replace pricier chum salmon as...

 

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