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AK Beat: When Alaska fish are exported

Craig MedredAlaska Dispatch

When Alaska fish head overseas: The U.S. exports some of its best fish, and in turn imports different (arguably inferior) seafood -- and a lot of the good fish leaving the country are doing so from Alaska fisheries. That’s according to Paul Greenberg, author of the “Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food,” who sat for an interview with Fresh Air interviewer Terry Gross to promote a new book about wild and local seafood. Highlights and audio of the interview are posted at NPR, and include Greenberg pointing out that some 600 million pounds of Alaska pollock heads overseas each year, replaced in the domestic market by tilapia or catfish from Asia. Or that China, originally brought into the seafood business to provide cheap labor, is increasingly becoming a market for the higher end fish: “A certain amount of Alaska salmon gets caught by Americans in Alaska, sent to China, defrosted, filleted, boned, refrozen and sent back to us,” he said in the interview. “We don't want to pay the labor involved in boning fish and more and more of that fish that used to go make that round trip is actually staying in China because the Chinese are realizing how good it is, much to our detriment.”

Heating classrooms with computer servers: A university in Norway’s Arctic is turning to a novel heating source to stay warm: It’s tapping the excess heat generated by its data center, reports Computer Weekly. Like the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the University of Tromso -- at about 70 degrees North -- uses its far-north latitude to attract satellite research, and heat from an associated server farm is redirected, through the facility’s water-cooling system, to heat classrooms. The system allows both the servers and the classrooms to be more energy efficient.