Commercial Salmon Harvest in Alaska
Tops 73 Million Fish

More than 73 million salmon have been commercially harvested in Alaska so far this season, which is a third lower than the 2017 year-to-date harvest of 110 million fish.

The statewide sockeye harvest is seven percent lower than last year and nine percent above the five-year-average, according to Garrett Evridge, an economist with the McDowell Group in Juneau, Alaska. These numbers appear in his report for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.

“While the Bristol Bay sockeye volume will be one of the highest on record, other sockeye fisheries continue to suffer this year,” Evridge wrote, “Chignik has recorded no landings and Southeast Alaska is 80 percent below the five-year average.”

The year-to-date pink salmon harvest is 15 percent behind 2016, due primarily to lagging harvest in Southeast Alaska, Prince William Sound and Kodiak. Harvesters have delivered some 5.8 million salmon to processors in Southeast Alaska, 15.5 million in Prince William Sound, and 1.5 million at Kodiak. The statewide keta harvest of 11 million fish is about 40 percent below 2017 and 14 percent behind the five-year average.

Meanwhile in the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim region, keta salmon fishing is 27 percent above the five-year average. Coho production is 52 percent below the 2017 pace but there are still two more months of steady fishing ahead. The king salmon volume is 16 percent behind a year ago.

In western Alaska, fishermen harvested nearly five million salmon overall in the Alaska Peninsula, with the South Peninsula delivering more than three million fish.

Retail prices for wild Alaska sockeyes this past week ranged from $17.99 a pound for fillets when available at Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle, Wash., to $7.95 a pound for sockeye steaks and $10.95 a pound for sockeye fillets at 10th & M Seafoods in Anchorage.