Alaska/Pacific Coast

Bristol Bay’s huge year yields ex-vessel value of at least $214.6 million
ADF&G’s Bristol Bay salmon season summary highlights the incredible year 2017 proved to be: 56.5 million total inshore run was 2nd biggest in 20 years, all rivers met or beat escapement goals, and value (without chilling, floating, bleeding bonuses added in) is nearly double the 20 year average.
KDLG by Dave Bendinger – September 19, 2017
The state has published its summary of Bristol Bay’s 2017 salmon season, highlighting again what an unexpectedly good year it proved to be. KDLG’s Dave Bendinger has more.
http://kdlg.org/post/bristol-bays-huge-year-yields-ex-vessel-value-least-2146-million

Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers See Record Chum Salmon Harvest
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Peggy Parker – September 20, 2017
The 2017 fall chum salmon run size in the Yukon River is over two million fish so far, exceeding the preseason projection by more than 200%. It is the largest run since 1975.

Landings of summer and fall chum have exceeded 1 million fish as of September 18.

The estimated passage of summer chum salmon was over 3.0 million, which exceeded the upper end of the preseason outlook of 2.5 million fish.

As of September 14, 129,600 coho salmon have been harvested in the commercial fishery, marking it the 3rd largest harvest on record in the Alaska portion of the Yukon Area.

Lower Yukon commercial fishermen set a new harvest record for fall chum salmon and the 2nd largest harvest on record for coho salmon. Preliminary harvest levels are 464,358 fall chum and 129,570 coho salmon. The fall season commercial fisheries ended in the Lower Yukon on September 6.

In the Upper Yukon, the season is open for fishermen to use fish wheels or gillnets. This week, no fishermen participated. ADF&G expects some harvest to occur in late September when the air temperature cools down. Preliminary commercial harvest in the Upper Yukon is 5,062 fall chum salmon.

The largest pulse of fall chum that entered August 12 expected to be near the Canadian border today or tomorrow. The pulse that entered on August 19 will be near the Canadian border around September 27.

The Tanana River should have fall chum salmon throughout common fishing areas for the remainder of September.

The estimated passage of Chinook salmon run was over 262,000 and exceeded the upper end of the preseason outlook of 195,000 fish.

The Norton Sound chum fishery wrapped up last weekend.

“One of the great seasons,” is how one ADF&G biologist describes it.

Preliminary harvest figures are 500 kings, 3,000 sockeyes, 20,000 pinks, 163,000 chums, and 190,000 silvers.

The department forecast was for 25-75,000 pinks, 50-80,000 chums and 90-120 silvers.

“Pinks would have been well above forecast too, but the buyer was not interested in pink salmon and only offered a penny a pound and told fishermen to take them home,” the ADF&G weekly summary read.

The Norton Sound management biologist’s biggest surprise was the strength of the chum salmon return this year, something many Fish and Game biologists were noting in other parts of the state.

The Norton Sound chum harvest was the highest since 1983 and ranked ninth highest in history. For sockeye salmon, an incidental catch traditionally, the harvest was the second highest in history.

“The silver harvest was a record,” the report read, “smashing the previous record of 154,000 silvers caught in 2014.

“Overall runs of everything except kings were great. The poor king salmon run was the only one that was predicted correctly and every other salmon run came in above forecast,” ADF&G biologist explained.

Escapements were well above average for all salmon except king salmon, despite a closure of subsistence fishing for most of June.

Prices were $.80/lb for chums and $1.40/lb for silvers; the first time the exvessel price exceeded $2 million. Fish and Game expects the 2017 exvessel value will be in the top 5 seasons of a 57-year fishery history.
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1076315/Yukon-and-Kuskokwim-Rivers-See-Record-Chum-Salmon-Harvest

Environment/Science

Climate change challenges the survival of fish across the world
University of Washington – September 13, 2017
Climate change will force many amphibians, mammals and birds to move to cooler areas outside their normal ranges, provided they can find space and a clear trajectory among our urban developments and growing cities.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170913192938.htm

FYI’s

Alaskan Wild Salmon Celebrated In Washington, D.C.
Youralaskalink.com by Maria Athens – September 14, 2017
Anchorage, AK – Last night, Alaska’s D.C. Delegation implemented a new tradition in the capital, that celebrates Alaskan Wild Salmon!  The commemoration honors our state’s treasured fish and its many benefits; not just here, but across the globe.
http://www.youralaskalink.com/news/alaskan-wild-salmon-celebrated-in-washington-d-c/article_d5eb6df8-9996-11e7-93d0-0bf7538f6ee5.html

Opinion

Opinion: Congress, don’t ditch proven path to long-term fisheries management
The Hill by Shannon Carroll – September 19, 2017
When it comes to fisheries management, finding consensus feels like an endless game of whack-a-mole. Yet expert working in this industry in Alaska agree: the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) is working, and we need to continue to invest in and improve the government’s ability to collect data, conduct research and maintain accountability measures that have yielded such positive results to date.
http://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/351349-congress-dont-ditch-proven-path-to-long-term-fisheries-management

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
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September 20, 2017