Purse seine landing chum salmon on deck. (Photo: wdfw.wa.gov)
Alaska's salmon harvest third most valuable in 36 years
Wednesday, November 09, 2011, 00:50 (GMT + 9)
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) has calculated its preliminary estimate of the exvessel value of the 2011 Alaska commercial salmon harvest at USD 603 million. This makes the 2011 harvest the third most valuable since 1975, behind the 1988 and 2010 harvests, respectively.
Analysts expect this year’s harvest to surpass last year’s in value, after final price per lb information is received in spring 2012 from processors, buyers and direct marketers.
While the 176 million salmon harvested in 2011-- the ninth-largest amount since 1960 – did not meet the predictions of 203 million, there were high prices for all species, especially pink and chum salmon, which drove the value of the harvest to an outstanding level.
The pink salmon harvest, valued at more than USD 170 million, set an all-time record; chum salmon reached USD 93 million, the third highest value ever recorded; sockeye salmon came in at almost USD 296 million, in sixth place among historic sockeye harvests.
Chinook and coho harvests, at USD 20 million and USD 23 million, respectively, fell more toward the middle of their historic ranges.
Regionally, Southeast Alaska came in first with the most valuable salmon harvest in the state at more than USD 203 million: USD 92 million from pink salmon and USD 65 million from chum salmon. Bristol Bay, usually the most valuable salmon fishery in the state, came in second with a harvest worth USD 137 million, and Prince William Sound took the third place with a harvest worth USD 101 million, mostly from pink and sockeye salmon.
Chignik and Cook Inlet also had unusually profitable fisheries this year, resulting from strong sockeye returns to those areas.
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