Alaska/Pacific Coast

This is the most valuable wild salmon fishery in the world
Under the Trump administration, it could become a mine.
CNN by John D. Sutter and Scott Bronstein – October 10, 2017
This year, 56 million sockeye salmon swam hundreds of miles from the ocean toward the rivers and streams of the Bristol Bay watershed in southwest Alaska.

Groundfish Forum Projects Slight Declines in Wild-Caught Whitefish Species in 2018
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by John Sackton  – October 11, 2017
The Groundfish Forum, held this year in Lisbon, is projecting a slight decline in global supplies of cod, pollock (Including Alaska Pollock), and haddock.  Redfish will remain stable.

The invitation only forum is held each year, and brings together major whitefish and other fishery executives to share supply forecasts and outlooks for the coming year.  It has never been held in the US or Canada to avoid any anti-trust complications.

One of the highlights of the forum is the annual presentation of estimates for groundfish harvests for the coming year, at which time FAO vs. Groundfish Forum forecasts for past years are reviewed, and the recent groundfish forum forecasts are updated.

This year, the general trend was for slight declines in the major whitefish species.

A summary is below:

Atlantic Cod:
Atlantic cod supplies have been very stable over the past four years, averaging around 1318 million tons per year.  Most of this is from the Barents Sea and Iceland, which account for 1.067 million tons annually.

This year, Barents Sea and Iceland cod harvests will be down slightly from the average, to 1 million metric tons, with a 10,000 ton increase in Iceland offsetting a projected second year of decrease in the Barents Sea.

Other sources of cod, including the EU, Greenland and the Faroes will decrease, while the US and Canada will see a small increase.  Overall, the projection is for global Atlantic cod supplies to drop by 5.5% from their three year average, to 1.245 million metric tons.

Norway and Russia accounted for 67% of global haddock supplies, and their harvest is forecast to fall to 62% in 2018, without being offset except by a small gain in Iceland.  The projection is for 2018 overall haddock to be down 8.8% compared to the 2017 projection.

Alaska Pollock
US Catches are expected to be stable around 1.525 metric tons, in the historically higher end of US harvests.  Russia is expected to decrease harvests slightly, by about 5%, to 1.7 million metric tons.  The international supply picture for Alaska and Russian pollock will be impacted by whether Russia is successful in diverting more of its pollock fishery to domestic consumption.  Currently a small amount of Russian pollock is frozen at sea fillets, which are exported, while the bulk of the harvest is frozen H&G pollock sent to China for reprocessing.  It is this H&G pollock that Russian authorities are targeting to keep more of for the domestic market.

Pacific Cod:
Globally the Forum is only projecting a slight decline in Pacific Cod from 426,000 tons to 410,000 tons.  However, most pacific cod is caught in the US, and the Alaska quota may be cut more than expected by the Forum.  Their prediction is for a decline in the US, which includes both the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska, to 250,000 tons from 270,000 tons.  But recent surveys have been poor, and it is possible a greater reduction in TAC will  be mandated for 2018.

Overall, the picture for whitefish is for a slight decline, and the potential for certain specific markets to feel minimal constriction based on their throughput for the past few years.  But still the picture of wild caught whitefish is one of remarkable stability, as the near universal adoption of sustainable management by the major producing countries has reversed the decades long collapse of ground fish witnessed in the 1980’s.

Hakes, Hoki, and Redfish will be quite stable.

The forum also expects a significant increase in Atlantic salmon of 4.8% to 2.374 million tons in 2018 vs. 2.266 million in 2017.

ADF & G Releases Salmon Season Numbers
KMXT by Kayla Desroches – October 9, 2017
With the salmon season wrapping up, state agencies are taking a look at how different management areas fared.
Last week, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game released preliminary data about the 2017 state commercial salmon harvests.


Scientists survey Pacific Northwest salmon each year. For the first time, some nets are coming up empty.
The Seattle Times by Lynda Mapes – October 9, 2017
Scientists have been hauling survey nets through the ocean off the coasts of Washington and Oregon for 20 years. But this is the first time some have come up empty.


USDA grants will aid rural Alaska economies
ALFA will support flash frozen seafood, Cook Inletkeeper promotes farmers market management
Cordova Times – October 10, 2017
Federal grants aimed at promoting farmers markets will aid in promoting flash frozen seafood from a community supported fishery based in Sitka and statewide farmers’ market management and training led by Cook Inletkeeper in Homer.

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
Office Manager
1900 W Emerson Place Suite 205, Seattle, WA 98119
Phone: 206.281.1667
E-mail:; Website:
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October 11, 2017