Laine Welch

Laine Welch of Kodiak has been covering news of Alaska’s seafood industry for print and broadcast since 1991. Visit her website at

Fish Factor: Bristol Bay expects another big year, others poor to average salmon runs

Alaskans are preparing for another salmon season of poor to average runs to most regions. The big exception once again is at Bristol Bay, where another massive return of more than 51 million sockeyes is expected. Managers predict that surge will produce a harvest of over 36 million reds to fishermen.

Fish Factor: CDC edict says fishermen must be masked

Fishermen must wear masks while they are underway, even while sleeping, and the Coast Guard intends to enforce it.

Fish Factor: One Alaska king salmon is now worth the same as two barrels...

Seafood sales are on fire in America’s supermarkets and one king salmon from Southeast Alaska is worth the same as two barrels of oil.

Fish Factor: IPHC boosts coastwide catch for Pacific halibut

Pacific halibut harvesters got some rare good news in late January: increased catches in 2021 along with a longer fishing season.

Fish Factor: BSFA venture aims to grow Alaska’s ocean economy

New ocean-related jobs, investments and opportunities will be seeded by an ambitious Blue Pipeline Venture Studio that connects marine business entrepreneurs with the technology, contacts and finances they need to grow.

Study probes link between mineral deposits, salmon spawning grounds

Is it a coincidence that one of the world’s largest mineral deposits is located near the world’s largest sockeye salmon spawning grounds at Bristol Bay? And if the likes of a Pebble Mine removed the bulk of those deep deposits that also create the world’s magnetic field, could it disrupt the salmon’s ability to find their way home? A study aims to find out.

Fish Factor: Best/worst highlights of 2020 fisheries

This year marks the 30th year that the weekly Fish Factor column has appeared in newspapers across Alaska and nationally. Every year it features “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.

Fish Factor: Commercial fisheries get a breather in proposed FY2022 budget

Fish byproducts are rapidly growing in popularity and broths made from bones and other fish parts are becoming a rage among health enthusiasts all over the world.

Fish Factor: Rebounding P-cod stocks will offer an economic boost

Alaska coastal communities will get a bit of an economic boost in 2021 from increased catches of Pacific cod. The stock, which crashed after a multi-year heat wave starting in 2014 wiped out several year classes, appears to be rebounding throughout the Gulf of Alaska.

Pandemic boosts customers yearning for wild Alaska seafood

The Wild Alaskan Company based in Homer has taken “mission based” seafood e-commerce to a whole new level.



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