Since 1991, the weekly Fish Factor column has shed light on the Alaskan seafood industry with its unrestricted annual return to some of the best and worst events of the year, and My Pick for Biggest Story. fish of the year. Here are the choices for 2021, in no particular order.
The greatest commercial potential – Seaweed mariculture. The market value of US seaweed is set at $ 41 billion by 2031. The increased use of pharmaceuticals, health supplements, as a natural thickening agent and in animal feed is behind Requirement.
Best Fish Invention – Lightweight, collapsible pots for catching black cod that solve the problem of whales removing up to 75% of expensive fish from longline hooks.
The biggest fish booster – The COVID pandemic continues to push record sales of all seafood with no end in sight. Before COVID, most Americans ate fish and shellfish only in restaurants. Now they buy seafood to cook at home; online sales have also skyrocketed and are expected to grow.
Best Fish Fighters – Alaska State Representatives Sarah Vance from Homer, Kevin McCabe from Big Lake and Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins from Sitka. They put aside partisan politics to protect Alaska’s fishery resources.
Best Fish Knowledge Builders – Alaska Sea Grant
Best fish feeder – Sea Share, with over 250 million servings of fish to U.S. food bank networks since 1994.
Loudest Fish Sucking Sound –The bulk of Alaska’s catch and revenue goes to residents of Washington state who, in 2020, won a 0.78 share of the $ 981 million dockside value of all groundfish. captured in the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska. Seattle is home to about 300 fishing boats, and all but 74 live in Alaska.
Most Wasted Fish Opportunity – Do not use the 3 billion pounds of fish heads, skins, oils, entrails, shells, etc. which are discarded after processing. Using this “garbage” could add $ 700 million or more in value each year to Alaska. Cod skins, for example, produce around 11% collagen; almost 20% for salmon skins. Talking about that…
Biggest WTF Fish? Icelandic company Kerecis received a third six-figure grant from the US Department of Defense to create bandages from intact cod skins. Collagen and Omega 3 promote the regrowth of healthy human tissue.
The most ecological fishing town – Kodiak, to generate nearly 100 percent of its electricity from wind and hydroelectric power, and to transform its fish waste into oils, meals and fertilizers.
Best Little-Known Fish Fact – The Alaska Commercial Fisheries Division’s budget also pays for the management of subsistence and personal use fisheries.
Best Ocean Watchers in Alaska – Alaska Ocean Observation System. Sea ice, water temperatures, ocean acidification levels – AOOS tracks it all.
Best Daily Fish News Sites – SeafoodNews.com, Underlying News, SeafoodSource
The best healthy fish watchers– Cook Inletkeeper, SalmonState
Best Mainstream Fish Feeders- True Alaskan Pollock Producers
Best fishcrat – Sam Rabung, Director of the Commercial Fisheries Division of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Fish head scratching post – Alaska Fisheries Science Center in Seattle? College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks? What budget is spent on transporting scientists / students to and from the distant marine life they are studying?
Best go-to-bat for their fishing – Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, funded by a 1% tax on fishermen’s catches. Partnerships with the new Seattle Kraken hockey team, Bambino’s Baby Food, and engaging, non-stop annual promotions in targeted US regions strengthen the “brand”.
Worst current iniquity of fish – The United States continues to buy millions of pounds of seafood from Russia as the country has banned purchases of American seafood since 2014. Imports of Russian seafood to the United States have since increased by almost 175%.
Best Defender of the Fish Planet – Net Your Problem by Nicole Baker-Loke, who has so far facilitated the recycling of over a million pounds of nets and fishing gear from Southeast Alaska to Dutch Harbor. Plastic gears are made into granules and fibers and made into new products.
The biggest counterfeit fish – Plant-based seafood such as “vegan shrimp” and “Toona”. Additionally, after nearly three decades of roadblocks, 5 tons of genetically engineered salmon were sold by Philadelphia restaurant supplier Samuels and Son Seafood. Next step: Fish fillets grown in the lab from their own cells will hit US markets in 2022. Producers tout cell-grown seafood as free of environmental pollutants such as mercury or microplastics, with a longer shelf life and without genetic engineering.
Best AK Fish Writers – Elizabeth Earl, Alaska Journal of Commerce; Margie Bauman, Cordova Times.
Worst fish parody – Reduced commercial, sport and subsistence catches as millions of halibut are discarded as bycatch in bottom trawl fisheries. Alaska cannot claim to have “the world’s most sustainably managed fisheries” until it cleans up its bycatch law.
Best Fish Helpers – Each of the state biologists of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
Best building future fishermen – Alaska Longline Association in Sitka. Crew training, fishing loans with reimbursement according to catches, collaborative research are some of the ALFA initiatives for young people entering the fishery.
The fishing towns that celebrate their fishing industry the most – Sitka, Cordoba
Fishing town that least celebrates its fishing industry – Kodiak
Best Fish Boosters – Alaska salmon hatcheries
Bad idea of fish – Over a million acres open for sale in oil and gas concessions in Lower Cook Inlet, one of the most used areas for tourism, sport and commercial fishing.
Is the fish better for the least – the The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute promotes wild caught fish and shellfish in the United States and around the world without any government funding. In contrast, Norway supports its marketing of seafood with more than $ 50 million from a small tax on exports.
Best Fish Rescuers – Alaska Maritime Safety Education Association
Most hated fish nickname – The term “fisherman” is a well-intentioned attempt to be non-sexist. Almost all fishermen hate it. “Harvester” fits perfectly.
Best fish boost for babies – New federal dietary guidelines recommend for the first time that babies be introduced to seafood from 6 months old because of their health benefits.
Biggest failure in fish health – American baby food manufacturers who have ZERO seafood offerings (see above).
The most inaccurate fish gaff – “Official” trade data from the US Trade Representative who still lists “petroleum and coal” as Alaska’s main export. Seafood has been Alaska’s top export by far for decades, but the word nowhere appears on the trade list. Alaska’s other “top manufacturing exports” are transportation equipment, computer and electronic products, and machinery. The main agricultural products are plant and animal products, animal feed and grains, beef and veal. Who knew?
Best fish breaking ranks – New Peter Pan Seafoods set a record price in mid-May offering $ 12.60 / lb for sockeye salmon and $ 19.60 / lb for chinook at Copper River. Peter Pan and Silver Bay set a base price for sockeye salmon at $ 1.25 at the start of the Bristol Bay fishery. Fishermen usually wait weeks or months before knowing how much they will be paid for their catch. Difficult to run a business.
Most Menacing Fish Sign – Since 2010, the Alaskan salmon is getting smaller and smaller. That’s based on 60 years of measuring 12.5 million salmon across Alaska, excluding roses. Chinook salmon declined the most, with an average decline of 8%, followed by reductions of 3.3% for coho, 2.4% for chum and 2.1% for sockeye.
The best fish recyclers – Grundens uses recycled plastics from old fishing nets in its heavy-duty wear – the first batch contained fibers from recycled Cordova nets. Grundens also uses 100% biodegradable packaging. OBI Seafoods, which operates 10 processing plants in Alaska, also uses 100% recyclable packaging on all of its brands of canned salmon.
Best Non-Stop Fishing Entrepreneurs – Tidal Vision’s new creation, Tidal-Tex, replaces metals and chemicals commonly dosed on carpets, clothing, furniture, mattresses, mops, and more. The all-natural liquid protector is derived from chitosan, a biopolymer found in crab shells. Leigh Fibers, one of the country’s largest and oldest textile manufacturers, now uses Tidal-Tex, whose origins are from Alaskan crab shells sourced from St. Paul’s Island in the Bering Sea. .
The biggest fish story for 2021 – Return Chinook and chum salmon in the Yukon River were so low that local residents were not allowed to catch a single fish for their subsistence needs. As Chinook numbers have been declining for years, people fear the sudden loss of the most trusted buddies will be “the canary in the coal mine.”
“Anyone with an interest or interest in the Bering Sea should pay attention to what’s going on in the Yukon River to understand what’s going on with salmon. We live and witness a devastating subsistence fishery. And we really don’t know why, ”said Vivian Korthuis, head of the Bethel-based Association of Village Council Presidents. “It’s a warning shot that we’ve been waiting for. And we want answers as to why this is so. “