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Alaska shellfish farmers and divers fear they won’t be “open for business” much longer if they’re forced to pick up the tab for federally required lab tests as outlined in Governor Dunleavy’s budget.

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Seafood coming from and going to China is piling up in freezer vans and cold storages indefinitely as the coronavirus continues to cause commerce chaos around the world. 

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Lost in the headlines about the hits to seafood sales from the Trump Administration’s trade war with China is another international barrier with Russia that’s been going on far longer.

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It’s been a long time coming but payments should soon be in hand for Alaska fishermen, processors and coastal communities hurt by the 2016 pink salmon run failure, the worst in 40 years. The funds are earmarked for Kodiak, Prince William Sound, Chignik, Lower Cook Inlet, South Alaska Peninsu…

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Every year since 1991 Fish Factor has selected “picks and pans” for Alaska’s seafood industry — a no-holds-barred look back at some of the year’s best and worst fishing highlights, and my choice for the biggest fish story of the year. 

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In 1974, as discussed in last month’s column, Alaska began limiting the number of salmon fishermen in 19 salmon fisheries, from Southeast to Norton Sound. The Limited Entry program was created to address rising numbers of fishermen and dismal salmon runs, which were making it increasingly ha…

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The value of Alaska salmon permits has ticked upwards in regions that experienced a good fishery this year while others have tanked. 

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Alaska’s 2019 salmon season was worth $657.6 million to fishermen, a 10% increase from the 2018 fishery.

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The federal government’s plan to raze more roads through the Tongass National Forest is facing strong headwinds from fishermen, Native groups and coastal communities throughout Southeast Alaska.            

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They are certainly cute but the voracious appetites of sea otters continue to cause horrendous damage to some of Southeast Alaska’s most lucrative fisheries. 

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As more Alaskans eye the lucrative opportunities in growing kelp, many others are heading to beaches at Lower Cook Inlet to commercially harvest the detached bunches that wash ashore. That practice is now getting a closer look by state managers and scientists and could result in new regulati…

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Hundreds of fishery stakeholders and scientists will gather in Anchorage next week as the state Board of Fisheries (BOF) begins its annual meeting cycle with a two-day work session. 

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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.