Archives for September 2014

October is Nat’l Seafood Month. What’s your fishing town doing to celebrate?


Fish Radio

October is National Seafood Month

October 1, 2014


This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Is your town celebrating seafood month? I’ll tell you more after this —

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October is National Seafood Month – a distinction proclaimed by Congress more than a quarter century ago to recognize one of our nation’s oldest industries.

 Government figures show that nationwide, the seafood industry contributes $60 billion to the U.S. economy each year.

 Pacific salmon, sea scallops, shrimp and lobster contributed the most to total revenue. For poundage, Alaska pollock, menhaden and Pacific salmon accounted for more than half of the US fish landed.

 Alaska deserves special merit during Seafood Month, as it produces more than 60% of our nation’s seafood – more than all the other states combined.

 The seafood industry is Alaska’s number one private employer – it puts more people to work than oil and gas, mining, timber and tourism combined. And Alaska’s seafood industry ranks second only to Big Oil for the tax dollars it pumps into state coffers.

 Americans eat about 16 pounds of seafood per person each year.   That compares to more than 108 pounds of red meat and nearly 73 pounds of poultry. America’s seafood favorites have remained largely the same. The top five are shrimp, canned tuna, salmon, pollock and tilapia.  

 America’s seafood appetite is being fed mostly by foreign imports– more than 80 percent of all fish and shellfish eaten in the U.S. comes from other countries.

 Speaking of other countries — that 16 pounds of seafood that Americans eat pales when compared to other parts of the world. The Japanese, for example, eat 146 pounds of seafood per person each year. U.N. figures show that it is 186 pounds in Greenland and more than 200 pounds per person in Iceland.

 The country with the lowest seafood consumption is Afghanistan at zero.

 And where in the world is the most seafood eaten? The South Pacific islands of Tokelau where each person eats more than 440 pounds of seafood every year.

 Find links at

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. ( In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.

AK crab quotas likely status quo; pollock surges, Fraser R. updates

Fish Radio

September 26, 2014


Pollock fishing aboard the F/V Ocean Hope 3 Credit:

Pollock fishing aboard the F/V Ocean Hope 3

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Crab quotas, pollock surges and updates on Fraser River sockeye catches. That’s up after this —


Fish Radio is brought to you by the At-sea Processors Association. APA fishing companies donate one million nutritious Alaska pollock meals each year to food banks–in Alaska and nationally–to help fight hunger in America.  Learn more about APA’s Community Catch program at

Federal grants are available to help “Made in America” companies compete with imports and save US jobs. Learn more at


Bering Sea crab scientists and stakeholder met last week to discuss the outlook for Alaska’s biggest crab fisheries that open October 15th . The take away is that stocks of red king crab, bairdi Tanners and snow crab all showed big increases in mature sizes, based on data from the annual surveys. That has industry watchers predicting little, if any, changes to catches, said market expert John Sackton. The data showed some peculiarities though – a spike in water temperature might have redistributed the crabs into survey areas as they moved en masse to colder waters. That could discount stock increases.For 2014 the crab quotas were 8.6 million pounds for Bristol Bay red king crab; 1.6 million for Tanners, and 54 million pounds for snow crab.


Speaking of increases: Alaska’s pollock biomass may be at the highest level since 1982. Trawl and acoustic surveys both showed several big year classes coming into the pollock fishery – which accounts for 70% of the total Bering Sea harvest.

However, the healthy stock won’t translate into a higher catch quota. The fishery is managed under a two million ton cap, or about three billion pounds of Alaska pollock.


Finally, the Fraser River sockeye run in British Columbia is still ongoing, with the latest date on record for commercial catches. The total run now is pegged at about 21 million and the harvest last week topped 10 million fish. Fishing could continue for another week. Early prices for the Fraser sockeyes were at $1.50/lb US. Alaska’s sockeye catch this year stands at nearly 44 million fish.

Find links to all of Alaska’s fish catches and more at

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. ( In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.