Alaska commercial fishing picks and pans for 2016

The start of 2017 marks the 26th year for this weekly column on Alaska’s seafood industry that aims to make readers aware of the economic and cultural importance of our state’s oldest industry. Alaska fishermen and processors provide 65 percent of our nation’s wild-caught seafood; it is also Alaska’s most valuable export to more than 100 countries around the world. The bulk of Alaska’s fishing fleet of nearly 10,000 vessels is made up of boats less than 50 feet long. Each is a small business that supports several families. For fishing towns like Kodiak, Cordova and Homer, where 500 to 700 vessels are home-ported, those boats are essentially the majority of our downtown store fronts. Call it a mall in a marina. Here are my fishing picks and pans for 2016 — a look back at the best and worst fish stories of 2016, in no order, plus my choice for the biggest story of the year. Laine Welch  Read the story here 08:51