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Alaska Salmon Harvest A ‘Banner Year,’ Includes 52.4 Million Sockeye Worth $326 Million
Posted on Friday, October 06, 2017 (PST)

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has compiled preliminary harvest and value figures for the 2017 Alaska commercial salmon fishery, showing a 66.7 percent increase in the value of the wild salmon harvest over last year.

 

Although there are still fish being caught, the majority of 2017 salmon fisheries have ended.

 

The 2017 commercial salmon fishery all species harvest was 224.6 million wild salmon with an estimated preliminary ex-vessel value of $678.8 million, a 66.7 percent increase from 2016's value of $407.3 million.

 

Of this total, sockeye salmon again came in as the most valuable species, accounting for 48 percent of the value at $326.1 million and 23 percent of the harvest at 52.4 million fish.

 

Pink salmon accounted for 25 percent of the value at $169.0 million, and 63 percent of the harvest at 141.6 million fish.

 

Chum salmon accounted for 19 percent of the value at $128.3 million and 11 percent of the harvest at 25.2 million fish.

 

Coho salmon accounted for 6 percent of the value at $37.6 million and 2 percent of the harvest at 5.1 million fish.

 

The chinook salmon harvest was 251,141 fish with an estimated preliminary value of $17.8 million.

 

Forrest Bowers, Deputy Director of the Division of Commercial Fisheries characterized the 2017 Alaska salmon season as a banner year for the industry and State of Alaska.

 

"Tremendous harvests occurred across Alaska from Kotzebue to Southeast, highlighted by an all-time record statewide chum salmon harvest. In addition, 2017 is the third year in a row statewide sockeye salmon harvest exceeded 50 million fish. Record wild salmon harvests like these are a testament to Alaska's sound, science-based management, the professionalism of ADFG's staff, and thoughtful stakeholder engagement."

 

In terms of pounds of fish, the all species wild salmon harvest of 1,041.0 million pounds ranks third in from 1975-2017 and is only the third time harvest has exceed 1 billion pounds.

 

In terms of ex-vessel value, the all species harvest of $678.8 million ranks third from 1975-2017.

 

This year's chum salmon harvest of 25.2 million fish is the largest harvest ever.

 

Along with record breaking numbers, this year's chum salmon ex-vessel value of $128.3 million ranks second best from 1975-2017.

 

This year's pink salmon harvest ranks third in terms of ex-vessel value and fourth in terms of poundage.

 

Bristol Bay enjoyed another great sockeye salmon season with 37.7 million sockeye salmon valued at $209.9 million.

 

Not to be outdone by Bristol Bay, other fisheries experienced record salmon harvest in 2017, notably in Norton Sound where a strong coho salmon return provided a new record harvest of 191,000 coho salmon, in Chignik where the pink salmon harvest of just over 7 million wild pink salmon is a new record, and in the Alaska Peninsula where the harvest of nearly 22 million wild pink salmon is a new record.

 

The preliminary harvest and value estimates will change as fish tickets are processed and finalized. Dollar values provided by ADFG are based on estimated ex-vessel prices and do not include post-season bonuses or price adjustments. The final value of the 2017 salmon fishery will be determined in 2018 after seafood processors, buyers, and direct marketers report the total value paid to fishermen in 2017.

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