A preliminary commercial harvest summary recently issued by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game puts the value of 160.7 million salmon caught in 2022 at $720.4 million, compared to the 2021 harvest of 233.8 million salmon harvested.
The 31% decrease in the total harvest is explained by the relatively low pink salmon run size in 2022, a consistent trend for even-numbered years over the last decade, ADF&G biologists said in their mid-November report.
The 2022 total harvest of sockeyes accounted for 66% of the total value, at $473.8 million, and 47% of the harvest, at 74.8 million fish.
Chum salmon, numbering 14.9 million, contributed 15% of the overall value at $110.6 million.
Coho salmon made up about 2% of the value at $15 million and 1% of the harvest at 1.6 million fish, while the Chinook salmon harvest was estimated at just under 310,000 fish with a preliminary ex-vessel value of $18.8 million.
ADF&G officials said 6,126 individual permit holders made 2022 commercial salmon landings, down from 6,362 permit holders in 2021.
When compared to the period from 1985-2021, this year’s all-species commercial salmon harvest is close to the long-term average of 167 million fish and the largest even-year harvest since 2010.
In terms of pounds harvested, the 2022 harvest of 734.2 million pounds is slightly less than the long-term average of 762 million pounds and is the third largest even year volume in the new millennium. When adjusted for inflation, 2022 ex-vessel values were estimated at $729.4 million, the 24th lowest ex-vessel value reported since 1975.
The 2022 statewide sockeye salmon harvest was also tagged as the largest on record, due mostly to robust harvests in Bristol Bay.
ADF&G noted that this was strictly preliminary data and would be updated when all fish tickets are processed and finalized. The final value of the 2022 salmon fishery will be determined next year, after seafood processors, buyers and direct marketers report total value paid to fishermen.