Posted Wednesday, February 21, 2018 - 11:15 am
The nation’s top fishing port welcomed seven European seafood buyers in late January — all women — and showed off its massive seafood industry during peak operations at Dutch Harbor.
The women, whose companies import more than $60 million in U.S. seafood, hailed from France, Germany, Lithuania, Portugal, Spain, and the U.K., said Hannah Lindoff, international program coordinator for the trip host Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.
“They are interested in Alaska pollock, cod, surimi, octopus, salmon, roe, black cod and king crab,” she explained.
Posted Wednesday, February 07, 2018 - 10:42 am
Millennials are now the nation’s “peak spenders” and they are gravitating towards healthier eating which favors more seafood.
“We see year over year that there is this cohort aged 35 to 54 that is going to be spending far more across categories, including food expenditures, than any others,” said Will Notini, consumer insights manager at Chicago-based Technomic, a leading market tracker for over 50 years.
Posted Wednesday, January 31, 2018 - 11:09 am
As expected, catches of Pacific halibut will decrease for this year, and likely into the foreseeable future.
Following an increase in catches last year for the first time in several decades, the International Pacific Halibut Commission on Jan. 26 set a “suggested” coastwide catch for 2018 at 28.03 million pounds, a 10.7 percent reduction.
Alaska’s share could be 20.52 million pounds, a drop of 2.1 million pounds from 2017.
Posted Wednesday, January 24, 2018 - 12:10 pm
Sea otters and their devastating impacts on Southeast Alaska shellfish were among the many emotionally-charged topics at the state Board of Fisheries marathon meeting running from Jan. 11-23 in Sitka.
The board was set to address 153 proposals for state subsistence, commercial, sport, guided sport, and personal use fisheries for the Southeast and Yakutat regions.
Posted Wednesday, January 17, 2018 - 10:20 am
State seafood marketers are rebranding fish parts as “specialty” products and mapping a path for millions more dollars in sales.
Alaska’s fisheries produce more than 5 billion pounds of seafood each year. When all the fish is headed and gutted or filleted and all the crab legs are clustered, it leaves about 3 billion pounds of trimmings. Some is turned into meal and oil, but for the most part, the “gurry” is ground up and discharged into local waterways.
Posted Wednesday, January 03, 2018 - 10:29 am
For 27 years this weekly column has featured news for and about Alaska’s commercial fishing industry. It began in 1991 in the Anchorage Daily News and now appears in more than 20 news outlets across Alaska, nationally and in the UK.
Today, Alaska fishermen and processors provide 65 percent of our nation’s wild-caught seafood, and 95 percent of the wild salmon. The industry puts more people to work than oil and gas, mining, timber and tourism combined.
Posted Wednesday, December 27, 2017 - 9:40 am
The clamor of “take me fishing” is taking on new meaning in Alaska.
Prospects for a deckhand apprenticeship program just got a big lift from a $142,000 national grant awarded to the Sitka-based Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association, or ALFA, and the group plans to get more boots on deck statewide.
Deckhand apprenticeships are recommended as one way to attract younger entrants into an industry where the average fisherman’s age in Alaska is over 50.
Posted Wednesday, December 20, 2017 - 10:43 am
Kodiak officials already are drafting a disaster declaration due to the crash of cod stocks throughout the Gulf of Alaska. The shortage will hurt many other coastal communities as well.
Gulf cod catches for 2018 will drop by 80 percent to just under 29 million pounds in federally managed waters, compared to a harvest this year of nearly 142 million pounds. The crash is expected to continue into 2020 or 2021.
Cod catches in the Bering Sea also will decline by 15 percent to 414 million pounds. In all, Alaska produces 12 percent of global cod fish.
Posted Tuesday, December 12, 2017 - 2:05 pm
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.
Trident Seafoods is intent on changing that by bringing the fish directly to the people.
Posted Tuesday, December 05, 2017 - 1:35 pm
It’s going to be a tough year for many Alaska fishermen.
Following on the heels of announcements of a massive drop in cod stocks, the industry learned last week that Pacific halibut catches are likely to drop by 20 percent next year, and the declines could continue for several years.
That could bring the coastwide catch, meaning from Oregon to British Columbia to the Bering Sea, to about 31 million pounds for 2018.
Posted Wednesday, November 29, 2017 - 10:16 am
Recurring news headlines that have widely circulated about alarming declines of Pacific salmon have spawned a savvy new marketing strategy that tells consumers they can help save wild fish by eating farmed.
Earlier this year actor Leonardo DiCaprio invested in a company called LoveTheWild (“a champion of sustainable, delicious fish”) that is promoting its oven-ready farmed fish dishes to U.S. supermarkets.
Posted Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 9:53 am
The biggest classes of Alaska fishermen are phasing out of the business and fewer young cohorts are recruiting in. The Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit has convened over a decade to help stanch that outward flow, and facilitate a future for fishing leaders.
The average age of a commercial fisherman in Alaska was 50 in 2014 compared to 40 in 1980. At the same time, the number of Alaskans younger than 40 holding fishing permits fell to just 17 percent, down from nearly 40 percent of total permits across the state.
Posted Wednesday, November 15, 2017 - 10:06 am
Fewer men and women went out fishing in Alaska last year, in a familiar cycle that reflects the vagaries of Mother Nature.
A focus on commercial fishing in the November Economic Trends by the Alaska Department of Labor shows that the number of boots on deck fell by 5 percent in 2016 to about 7,860 harvesters, driven by the huge shortfall in pink salmon returns and big declines in crab quotas.
Fishing for salmon, which accounts for the majority of Alaska’s fishing jobs, fell by 6.4 percent statewide in 2016, a loss of 323 workers.
Posted Wednesday, November 01, 2017 - 10:12 am
It’s steady as she goes for the values of Alaska salmon fishing permits, with upticks in the wind at several fishing regions.
“There’s a lot of cautious optimism,” said Jeff Osborn of Dock Street Brokers in Seattle.
As well there should be after a salmon fishery that produced 225 million fish valued at nearly $680 million, a 67 percent increase over 2016.
Posted Wednesday, October 25, 2017 - 10:03 am
Alaska’s fishing fleet of 9,400 vessels would span nearly 71 miles if lined up from bow to stern.
And Alaska’s fishing industry catches and processes enough seafood each year to feed every person on the planet one serving; or a serving for each American every day for more than a month.
Those are just a few of the fish facts highlighted in the annual “Economic value of Alaska’s seafood industry” report by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute compiled by the McDowell Group.
Posted Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - 12:38 pm
Kodiak is at the center of a national push to produce biofuels from seaweeds.
Agents from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, ARPA-E, recently traveled to the island to meet with a team of academics, scientists, businesses and local growers to plan the first steps of a bicoastal pilot project to modernize methods to grow sugar kelp as a fuel source.
The project is bankrolled by a $500,000 grant to the University of Alaska Fairbanks through a new DOE program called Macroalgae Research Inspiring Novel Energy Resources, or MARINER.
Posted Thursday, October 12, 2017 - 9:40 am
Fishing outlooks for some of Alaska’s largest catches are running the gamut from celebratory (salmon) to relief (Bering Sea crab) to catastrophic (cod).
First the bad news.
Stakeholders were stunned to learn that surveys yielded the lowest numbers ever for Pacific cod in the federally managed waters of the Gulf of Alaska, meaning from three to 200 miles offshore.
Seafood.com was the first to report the bad news as the North Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting got underway last week in Anchorage.
Posted Wednesday, October 04, 2017 - 12:15 pm
Chum salmon returned home to Alaska this year in numbers never seen before from Southeast to Kotzebue, and set catch records statewide and in many regions.
Chums, also called dogs because of their long use as a prime food source for Alaska Native dog teams, are the most widely distributed of all Pacific salmon and occur throughout Alaska. The fish usually comprise about 15 percent of the total salmon catch, and this year’s tally of almost 25 million is the biggest harvest since 2000.
Posted Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - 12:10 pm
October is National Seafood Month, a distinction bestowed by Congress 30 years ago to recognize one of America’s oldest industries.
Alaska merits special recognition because its fishing fleets provide 65 percent of the nation’s wild caught seafood, more than all of the other states combined.
Ironically, there is little to no fanfare in Alaska during seafood month. My hometown of Kodiak, for example, (the No. 2 U.S. fishing port) never gives a shout out to our fishermen and processors, nor do local restaurants celebrate seafood on their October menus in any way.
Posted Monday, September 18, 2017 - 1:05 pm
A growing cluster of entrepreneurs is seeding prospects for Alaska’s new “blue economy” and it is attracting interest from around the world.
Marine technology experts are meeting at the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage this week as part of the Oceans ’17 conference and the conversations and a competition will continue into October.