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Halibut catches fluctuate based on the ups and downs of the stock from California to the farthest reaches of the Bering Sea. If the numbers decline, so do the catches of commercial and sport fishermen.

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The nation’s farmers of the sea are hoping for a helping hand from Uncle Sam to train future generations of fishermen. It would mirror programs in place for nearly 160 years for U.S. farmers and ranchers.

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Federal agencies are meeting now through next March to define U.S. dietary guidelines for 2020-2025, and a high powered group of doctors and nutritionists are making sure the health benefits of seafood are front and center.

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 Underwater and out of sight are the makings of a major Alaska industry with two anchor crops that clean the planet while pumping out lots of cash: shellfish and seaweed.

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 Investment that comes from within, not from without, is the motivation behind a boot camp that will jump start and nurture businesses in communities throughout Bristol Bay.

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 The Alaska Chamber of Commerce touts itself as “the voice of Alaska business” but seafood industry and coastal community members are largely left out of the conversation. The Chamber isn’t entirely at fault; it appears that most of those members are not speaking up. 

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KODIAK — As Alaska lawmakers continue their struggle to keep the state afloat, commercial fisheries dodged a bullet that would have removed millions of dollars from its budget.

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KODIAK - One fisheries item that appears to have escaped Governor Mike Dunleavy’s veto pen so far is his desire to divert local fish taxes from coastal communities into state coffers.

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A well-intended new Alaska law has gone awry from a botched rollout that has turned thousands of Alaska fishing vessel, tender, barge and sport fish operators into lawbreakers.

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KODIAK — Salmon dominates the summer fishing headlines, but it’s among many other fisheries going on throughout the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea.

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KODIAK — More Alaskans are turning to seaweed farming as the state’s fledgling mariculture industry expands to more regions. Shellfish growers also are finding that an oyster/aquatic plant combo boosts their bottom line.

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KODIAK — From the fish camps of the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers, to the gillnets of Bristol Bay, to the bear and angler-packed banks of Juneau’s Sweetheart Creek, salmon connect people to the land, the water, the seasons, and each other. Those connections create a culture that inspired author…

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KODIAK — In his 46 years as Alaska’s lone representative in Congress, Don Young helped toss out foreign fishing fleets from Alaska waters with the onset of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act in 1976, and today he is intent on doing the same with offshore fish farms.

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KODIAK — Bulldozers, blasters, excavators, vibrators, jaw crushers, drillers, graders, crushers, huge trucks and other heavy equipment are tools of the trade when building and operating large mines — and they all kick up a lot of dust.

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KODIAK — Protein Noodles by Trident Seafoods took top honors at the 26th annual Alaska Symphony of Seafood, winning first place in the retail category and the Seattle People’s Choice award.

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KODIAK — If you’ve fished around Frazer Lake on Kodiak Island over the last 20 years, odds are you’re familiar with jack salmon — a salmon, usually sockeye or a king, that returns to its natal stream after an abnormally short time at sea. For sockeye, that’s one year; for kings, one to two. …

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KODIAK — More shipping containers filled with plastic fishing nets, crab lines and other gear left Dutch Harbor last week for recycling plants in Europe, and two more will soon follow from that port and Kodiak.

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KODIAK — Alaska salmon fishermen harvested 114.5 million fish during the 2018 season for a payout of $595 million at the docks. That’s down 13 percent from the value of last year’s salmon catch.

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KODIAK — “With fisheries, it’s almost the forgotten resource of our state as an economic driver. It’s almost like they are an afterthought.  We have to realign that,” said Mark Begich, Democratic candidate for Alaska governor, as we readied for an interview during his trip to Kodiak last week.

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Alaska pollock is the nation’s largest food fishery, usually producing more than three billion pounds each year. The flaky whitefish dominates in fish sticks, fast food sandwiches and surimi “seafood salad” blends — but most Americans don’t even know what a pollock is.

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In the late 1800s, the Hansen family, including seven brothers, arrived from Norway and began new lives in Seattle. The young brothers were smart and not afraid of work, and soon they were successfully fishing for salmon in Puget Sound on boats they designed and built themselves.

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Salmon is the heart of Alaska’s fisheries — it almost singlehandedly spawned the push for statehood nearly 60 years ago. A new Alaska Salmon Fellows program wants to make sure Alaskans are poised to “shape the future” of the cultural fish and it is investing in the people to do so.

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More Pacific halibut will go to market this year due to an overall boost in the harvests for the West Coast, British Columbia and Alaska. The coastwide catch of 31.4 million pounds reflects a 5.1 percent increase, and for the first time in decades, not a single fishing region met with a decl…

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The start of 2017 marks the 26th year for this weekly column that targets news for and about Alaska’s seafood industry. The goal is to make all readers more aware of the economic and cultural importance of our state’s first and oldest industry.

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Alaska seafood goes to roughly 120 countries around the world and competes in a rough-and-tumble commodities market. Looking ahead to next year, sales conditions are looking positive for Alaska salmon, with some mixed market outlooks for other main species.

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Alaska’s Rep. Don Young seems happy to be the stalking horse for the softened Magnuson Stevens Act, the law that governs our nation’s fisheries. But the revised version eviscerates the Alaska Model of fisheries management and does not reflect the majority view of Alaskan fishermen. More impo…