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Alaska Newsreader, June 3: Looking for fisherman, battle for Seattle, credit scores and car insurace

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Aleut Corp. seeks pollock fishermen: Got fish; want fishermen. That's the word from the Aleut Corp., which is hoping to gear up trawling around Adak Island in the Aleutian Islands in far Western Alaska. One of 13 Alaska regional corporations created under the terms of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, Aleut Corp. was awarded a quota of 15,000 metric tons (about 33 million pounds) of pollock by the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council in 2005, but fishing restrictions imposed in the Aleutians to protect a threatened population of Steller sea lions made it just about impossible to fish for that quota. Those restrictions were eased in April, and the corporation says it now hopes to fish. It is soliciting fishermen or processors looking to do a deal to catch the quota. The company says on it website that it "welcomes not only interest, but input as to how this allocation should be fished given the regulations surrounding the Aleutian Island pollock fishery." Some sea-lion protecting restrictions remain in place in the area. Thirty-three millions pounds of pollock, the stuff of American fish sticks, would be worth more than $15 million in the wholesale market at this time. Aleut Corp. says it is obligated to use any profits from the fishery for the economic development of the community of Adak, once a bustling U.S. naval air station home to about 6,000 people near the western tip of the Aleutians. It was demobilized in 1997 and his now home to fewer than 350 people trying to figure out what to do with all the housing and facilities abandoned by the U.S. government on the big rock in the remote North Pacific Ocean. 

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Delta, Alaska feud over Seattle an "anomaly" in the industry: It’s not news that Delta Air Lines, with their expansion into Seattle as a new hub for international flights, has entered into stiff competition with Alaska Airlines (including debuting several new routes to Alaska), nor that that Alaska has struck back, adding flights to destinations that directly compete with their larger Atlanta-based rival. But a piece in BloombergBusinessweek looks beyond the incremental warfare at the so-called “battle for Seattle” in longer terms from a business perspective. The feud between the two airlines is unusual in the industry, the piece points out, because if revolves around market share: “Few smart airlines chase market share any longer -- and Delta and Alaska are both run by smart people -- yet both are systematically bulking up their flight schedules and vying for Seattle passengers.” The piece notes that no industry observers really expect the fight to go on indefinitely -- which could hurt both airlines -- but no one really knows what outcome to expect, either. One possibility, according to Businessweek (and previously made by other industry analysts) is that Delta sees Alaska as ripe for a takeover.

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Credit scores account for wide swing in Alaska insurance rates: If you think the cost of your Alaska auto insurance unusually high, you might want to check your credit score. Yes, your credit score. The websiteWalletHub.com is reporting that a nationwide investigation of insurance rates has found some whopping differences in fees based on this lone factor. "Car insurance premiums in Alaska can fluctuate by around 45 percent based on credit score,'' the website reported. Compare that to Vermont where the fluctuation is reported to be but 18 percent. WalletHub said it based its research on insurance "quotes from five of the largest auto insurance providers in the country for two hypothetical consumers who are identical save for the fact that one has excellent credit while the other has no credit. This enabled us to isolate for the role of credit data in insurance pricing.... Allstate appears to be the company that relies on credit data the most, with the WalletHub Scenario revealing a 116 percent fluctuation in premiums between a consumer with excellent credit and a consumer with bad credit. State Farm seems to rely on credit data the least, displaying a 45 percent premium fluctuation. State-by-state breakdowns with more information can be found on the WalletHub website


ADN/Alaska Dispatch Staff
Anchorage