Tag Archives: Laine Welch

AK seafood earnings, poundage outpaced by Washington state

Alaska’s seafood industry puts more people to work than any other private industry, topping 60,000 workers in 2015. Of that, less than half – 27,600 – were Alaska residents. And while 71 percent of active fishing permit holders call Alaska home, most of the gross earnings go to the state of Washington. Based on numbers from the United Fishermen of Alaska’s annual Fish Facts, resident fishing permit holders made gross dockside earnings of just over $602 million two years ago. That compares to more than $904 million by nearly 6,580 Washington-based permit holders and crew. Fishermen  from Oregon took home more than $126 million from Alaska’s fisheries and Californians pocketed nearly $28 million. That adds up to more than $1 Billion flowing out of state by non-resident fishermen. Listen to the audio report, read the rest here 17:29

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

Bristol Bay total salmon catch #1 in 20 years, Value tops $156m

bristol-bay-region-300x219From Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game September 9, 2016 The following is an overview of the 2016 Bristol Bay commercial salmon season. All data are preliminary. The 2016 inshore Bristol Bay sockeye salmon run of 51.4 million fish ranks 2nd out of the last 20 years and was 46% above the 35.1 million average run for the same period. This year’s Bristol Bay sockeye salmon run was 10% above the preseason inshore forecast of 46.6 million fish. The Egegik,Nushagak, Togiak and Ugashik districts were higher than the preseason forecast while Naknek-Kvichak district was less than predicted. Read the rest here 19:04

Alaska Pink Salmon Fishery Set To Rank as Worst in 20 Years

pink salmonAlaska’s 2016 pink salmon fishery is set to rank as the worst in 20 years by a long shot, and the outlook is bleak for all other salmon catches except sockeyes. “Boy, sockeye is really going to have to carry the load in terms of the fishery’s value because there’s a lot of misses elsewhere,” said Andy Wink, a fisheries economist with the Juneau-based McDowell Group. The historical peaks of the various salmon runs have already passed and the pink salmon catch so far has yet to break 35 million on a forecast of 90 million. That compares to a harvest of 190 million pinks last year. Weekly tracking through August 15 shows the pace of the Chinook salmon harvest (341,000) is down 42 percent versus last year in net fisheries, cohos (under 2 million) are down 20 percent, and the chum catch (12 million) is down 25 percent. Read the article here 14:42

F/V Northern Leader to be profiled on Discovery’s “Mighty Ships” Series

Northern_LeaderDemonstrating enviable efficiency, F/V Northern Leader of Kodiak will take a star turn on the popular “Mighty Ships” cable TV program. “Mighty Ships” producers search for unique ships around the world. Its seven-year run has featured a range of vessels including cruise ships, aircraft carriers, cargo ships, dredgers and more. The programs focus on the operational capabilities and technical aspects of the ships while making use of computer-generated animation to show underwater operations. What attracted them to the 184-foot freezer-longliner Northern Leader is its joystick-controlled, eco-friendly propulsion system that runs on electricity — the first U.S. fishing vessel to do so — and its head-to-tail use of the fish it catches. The 3-year-old Northern Leader fishes primarily for Bering Sea cod. Says Discovery: “Catching fish with hooks, not nets, she sends out 80 kilometers of fishing line containing 76,000 hooks. In the heart of the Bering Sea, her crew battles a hurricane with 13-meter-high waves and winds of more than 100 kilometers per hour.” Read the rest here 13:54

Alaska salmon prices seem to be rebounding – Chilean farmed salmon takes a hit

150723SetnetDSC_6796Alaska’s salmon season has started with optimism, a far cry from the bleak feelings a year ago when the fishery was blown asunder by a perfect storm of depressed currencies, salmon backlogs and global markets awash with farmed fish. Prices to fishermen fell nearly 41 percent between 2013 and 2015, years which produced the two largest Alaska salmon harvests on record. But in the past six months, those trends have turned around. Another positive turnaround involves salmon supplies. “If you want to see what’s happening with fish prices, look at supply and demand. Look at how much was produced in Alaska and how much our competitors produced,” advised fisheries economist Gunnar Knapp,,, Read the rest here 09:08

McDowell Group Report outlines economics of Kodiak Island’s seafood industry. Jobs=38%

Kodiak is grappling with how new ways of managing groundfish might affect the island’s economy.  Plans being crafted now affect catches of up to 25 different fish species – which together  made up 83 percent of all Kodiak landings in 2014.  To provide some guidance, a new economic impact report breaks down how the entire seafood industry plays out throughout the Kodiak Island borough, which includes six outlying villages for a total population of 14,000 residents. The draft report done by the McDowell Group gives a 10 year snapshot starting in 2005, covering all the  local actions it takes to be a seafood powerhouse year after year.  Nearly  500 million pounds of seafood worth  $150 million to fishermen was delivered to Kodiak Island in 2014. Read the rest here 18:08

Salmon markets face lower supplies

Supply-Demand-SignsA downward shift in supplies of salmon could boost demand for Alaska fish. If that basic rule holds true, prices could move out of the basement. Some balance appears to be in the offing. Alaska’s projected salmon harvest of 161 million fish is down 40 percent from last season due to an off year for pinks. Bristol Bay’s sockeye forecast of just under 30 million is well below harvests of the past two years. That helps remove backlogs of reds, which are moving briskly through markets. A prime example: Sockeye exports to Japan, which is enduring local fishery failures, surged 320 percent at the end of last year and demand is expected to remain strong. Audio report, Read the rest here 17:51

Bering Sea crab prices increase big across the board

tanner2_adfgOnly a handful of boats are still out hauling crab pots from the Bering Sea and they can be sure of a good price for their catch. It’s just been a really good year for crab all aroundJake Jacobsen is a four decade fishing veteran  and director of the Inter-Cooperative Exchange, a harvester group that catches 70 percent of the Bering Sea crab quota. Right now the boats are finishing off the Tanner and snow crab shares. We haven’t even started the final prices for snow crab yet. We started out with an advance of $2.00 a pound but that really doesn’t mean anything. The advance price is just a number we throw out there so the fishermen have some money to pay their expenses as they go along.  Audio, Read the rest here 18:35

Salmon permit prices plunge while halibut soars

alaska-halibut__frontFire sale salmon prices last year and a dim outlook for the upcoming season have caused the value of Alaska fishing permits to plummet. At the other extreme, the prices for halibut catch shares have soared to “unheard-of levels,” according to Olivia Olsen of Alaskan Quota and Permits at Petersburg. This year’s small increase in the halibut quota combined with hopes of a repeat of $6 to $7 per pound prices was enough to send quota share prices skyrocketing.  “There was a big rush after the halibut numbers were announced in late January,” said Olsen of Petersburg. Read the rest here 10:32

Don’t expect price jump for Alaska red salmon this year

Early signs point to continuing headwinds in world markets for Alaska salmon. Let’s count the troubling signs: • Global currencies remain in disarray • The ongoing Russian seafood embargo diverts more farmed salmon to the U.S. • Tons of product remains in freezers from back-to-back bumper sockeye runs. (Most of Alaska’s salmon goes to market frozen or headed and gutted. One plus: Aggressive market promotions have kept reds moving briskly at retail outlets at home and abroad, removing some of the backlog. Read the rest here 16:12

Alaskans own dwindling number of Alaska fishing permits

unalaska-8Fishing issues will take a back seat to budget cutting when the Alaska Legislature convenes Jan. 19, but two early fish bills (and one holdover) are getting attention already. One new measure aims to stop the migration of commercial fishing permits out of Alaska. Forty years ago at Bristol Bay, 36 percent of the more than nearly 2,000 permits were held by locals and 64 percent by nonresidents. By 2013, the numbers were 19 percent local and 81 percent nonresident. Similar trends, by varying degrees, are happening in other regions as well. Read the article here 12:33

No Fukushima-Related Radiation Detected in Alaska Seafood

Following the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, there have been public concerns about potential impacts on Alaska seafood from the Fukushima nuclear disaster.  Although modeling and other analyses have not demonstrated a potential risk to Alaska fish, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Division of Environmental Health (DEH) has been coordinating with the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) Division of Public Health, as well as other state, federal, and international agencies and organizations to address continued public concerns. Read the article here 16:59

Groundfish boosts Alaska fishing jobs, 84% of total fish poundage

Alaska’s seafood industry puts more people to work than oil and gas, mining, tourism and logging combined. And the numbers continue to grow, thanks to increased catches of groundfish, primarily pollock and cod. According to the November issue of by the state Department of Labor, fishing employment grew by 0.7 percent last year, boosted by 350 jobs in groundfish harvesting – a nearly 25 percent increase.   Gains were made in every month of the year, with employment records set in March and December. Read the rest here 16:08

Trawlers may convert to pot gear for cod catches

One of the tools being talked about to help trawlers reduce salmon and halibut bycatch is the opportunity to voluntarily convert to pot gear to catch Pacific cod. It’s an option being discussed by fishery managers as they craft a trawl bycatch reduction plan for the Gulf of Alaska. Sam Cunningham, “The reason someone might be interested in using pot gear, and the reason is that it would have lower bycatch of prohibited species of Chinook salmon and halibut, and when those species are caught incidentally they would be less likely to die because they are caught in pot gear.” Listen, and read the rest here  17:51

Alaska 2015 salmon values = $414 million; PWS tops all regions

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) has compiled preliminary figures for the 2015 commercial salmon harvest and harvest value. The total 2015 statewide commercial salmon harvest was 263.5 million fish, and was comprised of 474,000 Chinook salmon, 15.2 million chum salmon, 3.6 million coho salmon, 190.5 million pink salmon, and 54 million sockeye salmon. Overall, this represents the second largest salmon harvest on record, and was exceeded only by the record harvests of 2013. Read the rest here 15:32

Alaska salmon permit values nosedive after the fishing season

The value of Alaska salmon permits has taken a nosedive directly after the fishing season. The permit market is really unsettled right now after the season we just had. There were a few bright spots out there, but fisheries in a few areas of the state that did not do well, either because of production or price or both. So the dust really hasn’t settled here since the season ended. Doug Bowen runs Alaska Boats and Permits in Homer. permits have taken the biggest hit after another huge sockeye run ran into a perfect storm of global currency chaos amid a glut of wild and farmed salmon on the market. Bay fishermen got a dismal price of just 50 cents a pound for their reds. Listen, Read the rest here 16:12:06

Meetings will shape AK fishing futures: salmon vs coal, setnet ban, NPFMC, BOF, IPHC

It’s a meeting line up like never before for Alaska’s fishing industry. Starting off  this Friday  – the  state Department of Natural Resources will hear both sides on competing claims to water rights for salmon streams at Upper Cook Inlet’s Chuitna River or to dewater the region for what would be Alaska’s  biggest coal mine. The decision could set a state precedent. A decision is expected on or before October 9.Next Wednesday, August 26, is the state Supreme Court hearing on the setnet ban proposed for Cook Inlet and five other Alaska regions.  Read the rest here 18:03

Bristol Bay fishermen aghast at 50-cents-a-pound price for sockeye

Bristol Bay fishermen pull sockeye or red salmon from a net near Naknek, AlaskaMost Bristol Bay fishermen were shocked and dismayed when they heard last week that major buyers would pay 50 cents a pound for . That’s a throwback to the dock prices paid from 2002 to 2004, and is far below the $1.20 or more paid last year. A late surge of reds produced catches of nearly 13 million fish in the final week of this year’s run, bringing the total by July 23 to 34.5 million fish. Fish were still trickling in, and state managers, who called the season an anomaly, said the final tally should reach the projected harvest of 37.6 million sockeye. Read the rest here 15:35

Comments wanted as GOA trawl bycatch reduction program is crafted

Crafting a program to reduce trawl bycatch in Gulf groundfish fisheries has been underway for three years. In October the North Pacific Council will begin piecing the new program together in a process that could take several years. The new program will  include some form of catch shares (because it’s easy for regulators!)  If a member of the public is worried about bycatch management but they  don’t think catch shares are a viable alternative, we’d really appreciate hearing other ideas. (Because they can’t figure out any other way!!!) Listen, Read the rest here 17:47

Setnet numbers, bycatch rates refute sport claims

Salmon setnets are not outdated forms of fishing gear that indiscriminately kill everything in their paths. That’s the main talking point of sport fish advocates aiming to ban setnets in six regions of Alaska. “I believe now more than ever that Alaskans want to end the devastating and outdated mode of commercial fishing called setnetting. I spent six years as a setnetter in Upper Cook Inlet and during that time I caught a lot of red salmon. However, my nets also caught sharks, birds, ducks, flounders, dolly vardens and a lot of king salmon. Setnets are decimating other species in Alaska.” But the data don’t back up the deadly claims that the gear indiscriminately kills and threatens other species. Listen, Read the rest here

Fish War: What does the future hold for setnets?

signituresA one handed clap best describes the reaction to the 43,000 signature drop off by anti-salmon setnet advocates at the Division of Elections last week. The ban is being pushed one-handed by the Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance (AFCA), whose board of directors delivered stacks of signature booklets, followed by a press conference rife with talking points, table pounding, bravado and buzzwords.,,, “Setnetting in Alaska is very important to these local coastal economies. They are long time, family based operations ,,, Read the rest here 09:43

The Fish Wife Life – What’s the fishing life like for the wives left behind?

A fisherman’s life is a wonderful life, but what about for the fisherman’s wives? Fish Radio asked some of Kodiak’s wive’s what their likes and dislikes are being married to a fisherman. I guess my likes would be you know it’s always nice when the leave and its always nice when the come home. It’s the best of both worlds. It’s hard being a single parent all the time. When you never know when they are coming home and when they come home they still have boat work, it’s not like they come home and don’t have work to do or they are done working. Audio, Read the rest here 16:43

Seattle-based trawlers facing prospect of 50% halibut bycatch cut – Whopping salmon harvest, and A new, safer Vicky

Many Alaskans are speaking out against the more than 6 million pounds of halibut dumped overboard each year as bycatch in trawl fisheries targeting flounder, rockfish, perch, mackerel and other groundfish — not pollock., Whopping salmon harvest – In all, Alaskans are bracing for a huge season — state managers project a harvest of 221 million salmon, a whopping 39 percent higher than last year., A new, safer Vicky – Few fishermen go to sea without their Vickies — the small, sharp Victorinox Swiss Army knife used for everything that needs a quick cut. Read the rest here 16:15

Alaska’s salmon season officially starts tomorrow, May 14!

Alaska’s 2015 salmon season officially gets underway tomorrow, May 14th. Trollers in Southeast Alaska fish for king salmon nearly all year long, but the official start is near Cordova. The 500-plus fleet is set for the first 12 hour opener on Thursday amid the usual media hoopla. The harvest at Copper River this year is set at 2.2 million sockeye salmon and a conservative six thousand kings. In following weeks, various salmon openers will kick off all over Alaska,,, Read the rest here 17:51

PInks are out competing sockeye salmon for food at sea, report says

Growing numbers of pink salmon are out competing sockeyes for food in the ocean, causing the reds to grow slower and smaller. That’s the claim of a new study by Seattle and British Columbia researchers, who say the race for food ultimately affects sockeye abundance and survival. Greg Ruggerone is a senior scientist at Natural Resources Consultants in Seattle and study co-author. He says it was aimed originally at finding causes for declining sockeye runs at British Columbia’s Fraser River in 2009. Audio, Read the rest here 18:34

AK fishing updates, ADFG budget cuts

FISH-With-Mic-Logo-GRAPHIC-303-x-400-e1360148757522 As always in Alaska, lots of fishing is going on from Ketchikan to the Bering Sea. Salmon trollers are back out on the water at Neets Bay near Ketchikan , and it’s hard to believe that the 2015 salmon season will officially kick off in just a few weeks at Copper River. More than 50 boats are dropping pots for nearly 70,000 pounds of shrimp at Prince William Sound after a three year closure. Read the rest here 20:25

Who are Alaska’s biggest fishing whiners?

Alaska’s fisheries are targeted by many different gear types, from dip nets to big Bering Sea catcher processors. Fish Radio went down to the docks to hear what Kodiak fishermen believe are the whiniest group, Probably those who are less fortunate in catching the most fish. Definitely the trawl fleet. The state wide fishing fleet. I do believe it’s the Listen, and read the rest here 20:57

Alaska – New opportunities for scallops, seine pollock fall flat

 Alaska is trying to provide new fishing opportunities inside state waters but the two latest have fallen flat as a flounder. A scallop fishery that reverted to open access this year drew no takers by the April 1 deadline.  There were no takers again in the Westward Region for a new seine pollock fishery that opened this month and will continue into June. It’s the second year for the trial fishery permitted by the state Board of Fish. For seiners, Stichert says there have been lots of tire kickers, Audio, Read the rest here 17:45

Herring starts today at Kodiak, Togiak’s next; Sitka price info

Kodiak’s roe herring season starts today and unlike other regions, where the fishery is very concentrated and can last less than a week, Kodiak herring can show up in roughly 80 districts around the island well into June. About 3,200 tons will come out of the fishery, taken by 15 to 20 boats. While test fisheries to gauge roe counts are underway at Kodiak, boats and five buyers are also showing up early at Alaska’s largest roe herring fishery at Togiak in Bristol Bay. Read the rest here 17:44

What’s Alaska’s biggest fishing town? UFA Fishing Fact Sheets has all the answers

FISH-With-Mic-Logo-GRAPHIC-303-x-400-e1360148757522What Alaska town ranks as #1 for total commercial fishing participation?  Based on the number of fishing permits, crew licenses and skippers, Anchorage comes out on top. That’s just one of the facts available in seafood industry fact sheets complied by . The facts include well-documented statewide data; added new this year are breakdowns for the Nome and Wade Hampton Census Areas, as well as for Washington, Oregon and California, which rank as the top three states for nonresident fishermen in Alaska. Read the rest here 16:49

Almost $12 Million Cut for ADFG

According to Juneau Resources Weekly, the ADF&G budget reductions budget reductions cut across all divisions with sport fishing facing the most personnel losses at 12 seasonal jobs. The Division of Habitat could lose $400,000; commercial fishing programs are set to lose five positions and an additional $2 million in general fund support. Read the rest here  07:40

Climate change, acid oceans: NOAA research priorities

The changing climate and chemistry of our oceans is definitely on radar screens of federal planet watchers. That’s the assurance of Kathryn Sullivan, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. I don’t need to tell Alaskans – you are living it, you see it all around you. And the consequences that have societally, economically, ecologically you all are living it every day.  Sullivan calls NOAA the nation’s environmental intelligence agency. (Really?) Audio, and read the rest here 17:47

Water rights for wild salmon or coal mine? DNR to decide. Comments extended to April 9

The state is getting ready to choose between giving water rights to sustain wild salmon or to proposed at Upper Cook Inlet. If it opts for the mine, the decision will set a troubling legal precedent – it means the same could soon be coming to a river near you. It would be the first time in Alaska’s state history that we would allow an Outside corporation to mine completely through a salmon stream. And the purpose is to ship coal to China. Read the rest here 23:06

Fishermen happy with their jobs; Don’t like privatized fisheries

FISH-With-Mic-Logo-GRAPHIC-303-x-400-e1360148757522Alaska fishermen are happy with their career choice, but not so pleased with programs that carve up the catch. That pretty much sums up the findings in a multi-year study that aimed to gauge how Kodiak fishermen feel about privatizing the resource through things like catch shares and IFQs.  Courtney Carothers, “I was trying to understand also how people thought about privatization compared to other kinds changes in the community and then also looking at how people thought about privatization in terms of its affects on individual and community well being.”  Read the rest here 16:31

Brokers say “slow going” for Halibut IFQs, catch shares; lots of buyers/few sellers

alaska-halibut__frontRight after the yearly catch limits are announced for halibut, brokers are busy with buying and selling shares of the catch. But it’s been slow going so far this year. Less of a rush this year, but there is less available. So I think the increases in 3A and 2C and the higher prices might bring out some more sellers, and of course the buyers are sitting there waiting. Listen, Read the rest here 16:50

AK salmon permit values slump on forecast of lower fish prices

FISH-With-Mic-Logo-GRAPHIC-303-x-400-e13601487575222014 was one of the busiest years ever for brokers who help Alaskans buy, sell and trade fishing permits and quota shares. Olivia Olsen runs Alaskan Quota and Permits in Petersburg. Early March through May is when sales pick up for salmon permits. Early indicators point to lower salmon prices this year in a plentiful market, and that’s having a downward press on permit prices – notably, at Alaska’s bellwether sockeye fishery at Bristol Bay. Read the rest here 20:02

Friday the 13th~ Salty Sea Superstitions

A life of danger and uncertainty has seafarers observing a strict set of rules steeped in myth and superstition. Many sea going beliefs are based on the Bible, for example, Friday is the worst day to set out to sea. Most sources credit that to the belief that Christ was crucified on a Friday. Similarly, Sunday is the best day to begin a voyage, because Christ’s resurrection on that day is seen as a good omen. Thus the old adage, ‘Sunday sail, never fail.’ Listen, and read the rest here 07:36

Updates for upcoming halibut commission meeting – tension mounts

The stage is set for some tension when halibut managers and stakeholders gather later this month in Vancouver.  Only one catch limit comment was submitted by the December 31 deadline.  To reduce handling and wastage in the fishery, the Seattle-based Fishing Vessel Owners’ Association is asking the IPHC to reduce the minimum size requirement for commercially caught halibut from 32 to 30 inches. Read the rest here  18:51

Alaska – 2014 Retrospective, Fishing Notables, Fish Picks and Pans

Alaska still has its share of naysayers who will quibble about the seafood industry’s importance to our great state. They dismiss the fact that fishing was Alaska’s first industry and was fish that spawned the push to statehood. Shrimp remained as America’s top seafood favorite, but salmon bumped canned tuna to take over the second spot. A first lawsuit challenged a new law designed to clamp down on hired skippers fishing the halibut and sablefish quota shares owned by others. Read the rest here 10:00

Kodiak fishermen share thoughts on the biggest fishing challenges

“I think finding crew from the younger generation. I was the only person in my highschool that was or wanted to be a fisherman.”  “Well the coastal communities are not the vibrant, economically prosperous communities there were prior to limited entries, IFQ’s and rationalization . Whatever the solution is we need to provide a way for the young people in these communities to integrate into the fisheries and make a living.” Read the rest here 20:29

Permit buyback at Bristol Bay: Good idea, but how/who to pay for it …

At a packed Expo gathering last month in Seattle, a majority of permit holders said that favored reducing the fleet. When the question was raised generally of do you support a fleet reduction, probably 2/3 of the folks raised their hands. Then when the question was focused down to how many of you prefer a buyback, that dropped to about a third. Audio, Read the rest here 17:46

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – How old is that crab? Audio

FISH-With-Mic-Logo-GRAPHIC-303-x-400-e1360148757522Knowing the age compositions of marine stocks is crucial to sound management. Fish can be aged easily by examining their earbones or scales. Not so with crabs, because they molt. For years it’s been assumed that crab that don’t retain their hard parts throughout their lifetime due to growth by molting at which they lose their lose their exoskeleton and it was always assumed everything went with that. Read the rest here

Discharge exemption ok’d; USCG Act reauthorized

 Fishermen can safely hose down their decks without fear of violating the Clean Water Act. Congress yesterday voted unanimously to extend a moratorium for three years that exempts commercial fishing vessels from needing incidental discharge permits. Senator Lisa Murkowski spearheaded the bipartisan push –Read the rest here    18:35

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch! Big hauls expected in 2015 for AK pollock, pinks, reds

FISH-With-Mic-Logo-GRAPHIC-303-x-400-e1360148757522Some big fish predictions are coming in for next year from state and federal managers. For the state’s largest fishery – Alaska pollock stocks have more than doubled their ten year average to  more than 9 million tons, or 20 billion pounds!  Read the rest here 16:24

Hired skipper ban heads to court; Silver Bay goes global; Snazzy AK salmon updates

FISH-With-Mic-Logo-GRAPHIC-303-x-400-e1360148757522FISH-With-Mic-Logo-GRAPHIC-303-x-400-e1360148757522Since the IFQ plan was put in place in 1995, the number of hired skippers has topped 50% and the quota owners have been charging high rents for the fish which has inflated the cost for IFQs.  The goal is to get back to a predominantly owner operated fleet that provides entry level opportunities for coastal Alaskans. Read the rest here 20:21

Juneau wants more AK researchers to be based in AK

FISH-With-Mic-Logo-GRAPHIC-303-x-400-e1360148757522Researchers at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center are tops at the work they do – the Center is the research arm of NOAA Fisheries. Their science forms the basis for setting Alaska fish quotas, running observer programs, tightening bycatch limits, to name a few. But … the Alaska Fisheries Science Center is located in Seattle. wants bring those science jobs closer to the resources they study. Listen and read the rest here 21:21

Dock prices by AK region/species, 2011-2013

Ports-valuesFishermen talk prices more than just about any other topic, but prices can often be tough to come by. Most of Alaska’s seafood catches are sold long after a fishery closes and final settlements aren’t known for several months. There is one place to find out how fish prices are tracking. Read the rest here 16:25

Data show stocks on the rise in Bering Sea

Alaska’s pollock numbers may be at the highest level since 1982. 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 stakeholders met last week to discuss the outlook,,, Read more here 14:46

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Support for Frankenfish surfaces in DC.

A group of 90 scientists and biotechnology execs from around the world are pushing President Obama to expedite approval of genetically modified salmon for US markets. They urged in a letter last week that the Food and Drug Administration put an end to the long wait for final approval of laboratory produced salmon made by Aqua Bounty Technologies. Listen, and read the rest 17:54

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – AK fishing updates; high halibut $

Alaska’s total salmon catch looks like it will come in at just over 150 million fish – that’s about 20 million more than expected. That’s due in part to a healthy run of reds in many regions, notably Bristol Bay. With sockeye salmon shortfalls in Russia and a lower run than expected at B.C.’s Fraser River, market reports are putting Alaska sockeyes at a premium. Speaking of premiums – halibut prices are,,, Read the rest here 18:18

AK retaliates against Russian seafood boycott; Mariculture RFPs wanted

FISH-With-Mic-Logo-GRAPHIC-303-x-400-e1360148757522This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Alaska retaliates against Russia’s seafood boycott reactions and help wanted to get Alaska mariculture moving.  If Russia won’t buy US salmon roe, pollock, whiting and other seafoods, we won’t buy theirs.  Read more here 16:53

Ak jig fleet grows 224% – Updated fleet profiles

This is Fish Radio. I’m  – Who fishes where – for what and where they call home. Alaska fishing fleet updates name names.  Alaska’s jig fleet, which fishes primarily for P-cod, now numbers 244 boats – a nearly 220 percent increase through 2012. The jig influx is mainly from Southeast based boats in what’s been a Kodiak dominated fishery. <Read more here> 17:14

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Southeast AK has best Dungeness season ever; More fishing updates

FISH-With-Mic-Logo-GRAPHIC-303-x-400-e1360148757522This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch … Lots of fishing going on from one end of Alaska to the other. With a few exceptions, most of Alaska’s salmon fisheries are rather lackluster. statewide the salmon catch has topped 87 million and more than 47 million of those fish are sockeye salmon. Nearly 29 million of the reds are from Bristol Bay,,, Read more here 19:57

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Putting a price tag on corrosive oceans and the KSM mine sails through approval.

FISH-With-Mic-Logo-GRAPHIC-303-x-400-e1360148757522Fishing communities in Southeast and Southwest Alaska face the highest risk from increasingly corrosive oceans.,,  In another threat to the Panhandle’s fisheries – British Columbia’s KSM mine has sailed through the permitting process. Read more here 16:26

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Do it yourself energy audits for fishing boats.

 Just as with a home audit to try and understand where your energy is going, how your vessel is consuming energy and finds places where it might be wasted or not used as efficiently as possible, and frankly, most fishing vessels are not very energy efficient.  Listen to the audio, and Read more here 16:33

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Sockeye price posted at Bristol Bay; Lots of red salmon rivals

FISH-With-Mic-Logo-GRAPHIC-303-x-400-e1360148757522An advance sockeye price of $1.20 a pound has been posted at Bristol Bay by Alaska General Seafoods, with an extra 15 cents for chilled fish. Other processors are likely to match, according to reports from the Alaska Independent Fishermen’s Marketing Association. That compares to a base price of $1.50 a pound for Bristol Bay reds last year. The Bay catch yesterday was approaching 28 million sockeyes, 11 million more than forecasted and the fish are still coming. Read more here 18:29

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Bristol Bay reds already 10 million over forecast, other AK fisheries updates

FISH-With-Mic-Logo-GRAPHIC-303-x-400-e1360148757522Bristol Bay continues to have one million or more red salmon days and the catch total continues to climb. The sockeye take was at 27 million, already 10 million over the forecast, and all signs point to more fish on the way. Read more here 17:38

Crabs can hear! This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch

FISH-With-Mic-Logo-GRAPHIC-303-x-400-e1360148757522Creepy soundtracks of noises made by predators had crabs running for shelter and proved, for the first time, that the animals can hear. Marine acoustic experts at Boston’s  made the discovery in lab tests on 200 mud crabs during a two year study. Read more here 18:44

Risky business this summer at Bristol Bay: Sockeye Market Analysis

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. The biannual report is done by the McDowell Group for the fishermen-run Regional Seafood Development Association. Read more here 17:05