Regulating Alaska’s Salmon
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game monitors effect of hatchery salmon on wild stocks.
The Regulatory Review by Erin Quick - April 17, 2019
The idea of Alaska salmon calls to mind images of fish swimming up streams in picturesque wilderness, completing a grueling journey to return to the same places they began their lives. Yet billions of salmon in Alaska do not begin their lives in this way—instead, they are born in hatcheries and released to grow to adulthood in the open ocean, where they mix with naturally occurring salmon populations and eventually make up part of the commercial salmon harvest.
Pink Salmon Expected to Drive Up Alaska Commercial Salmon Harvest This Season
Anchorage Daily News by Annie Zak - April 17, 2019
Forecasts say sockeye harvests will go up in some areas but down in Bristol Bay after its banner year in 2018.
Expected increases in pink and chum salmon harvests are forecast to drive Alaska’s overall commercial salmon catch way up for the 2019 season, a state forecast says.
The state is predicted to see an 84% increase in its commercial salmon harvest this year by number of fish, according to the annual forecast from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The agency projects a harvest of about 213 million salmon, compared to the 2018 harvest of about 116 million. Fishing starts in May.
Last year was a difficult one for some Alaska commercial salmon fisheries. It’s not out of the ordinary for a harvest to oscillate so much from one year to the next, said McDowell Group economist Garrett Evridge. Even by 84%.
“It’s pretty normal for it to be that variable,” he said. “And it really comes down to pink salmon.”
Fish and Game’s forecast calls for 97 million more pink salmon than last year, and 8.7 million more chum salmon. The sockeye harvest is expected to drop by nearly 9 million fish from last year, when Bristol Bay boomed and other regions had dismal returns. If the agency’s projection pans out, the chum harvest would be the largest on record for Alaska.
There’s a “great deal of uncertainty” in predicting pink salmon numbers, Fish and Game noted in its forecast. There’s optimism around the expectation for a strong pink harvest this year, said Evridge. The harvest of 138 million pinks projected by the state would be broadly in line with previous odd-numbered years even though it would mark a big increase from about 41 million in 2018.
The 2019 Alaska sockeye harvest forecast of 42 million fish, though projected to be lower than last year’s catch, is in line with historical norms, said Evridge. Though many sockeye fisheries in Alaska suffered poor numbers in 2018, Bristol Bay’s run was so strong that it compensated for those areas in the state’s total sockeye tally.
“So even with everywhere else depressed, it still was a harvest of more than 50 million fish,” Evridge said. “The 10-year average is 45 million fish.”
Excluding Bristol Bay, Alaska’s sockeye harvest in 2018 was about 40% lower than the 10-year average, Evridge said. This year, while Bristol Bay’s sockeye harvest is expected to go down to 26 million fish after a banner year with 42 million sockeyes, some other fisheries are expected to see a bigger sockeye harvest.
The Chignik sockeye salmon fishery was devastatingly bad in 2018. It had the poorest sockeye return on record since statehood for the Chignik Management Area. That season was an “outlier in terms of historical harvests,” Evridge said.
This year, 1 million sockeye salmon are expected to be harvested in that Chignik fishery, according to Fish and Game, and about 2.4 million pink salmon. Those numbers would represent a return to a more typical harvest.
Last year was also a poor year for king salmon harvests statewide. This year is expected to show a slight increase from 2018, Evridge said.
Labeling and Marketing
Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute: Marketing Update
ASMI - April 2019
ASMI News and Updates Facebook Page, ASMI Exhibits at Seafood Expo North America, ASMI Attends and Presents at Kodiak Comfis, New Salmon Quality Videos, New Fact Sheet: Alaska Pollock, New Fact Sheet: Salmon Hatcheries,
Costco Celebrates Refreshed Alaska Sockeye Salmon Nationwide
First Branded Pollock Products from Russian Fishery Co. Brought to Russian Retail Chains
SeafoodNews.com by John Sackton - April 17, 2019
The Russian fishery company, which announced its retail brand for 'Alaska' Pollock, Nordeco, last year, has introduced the first retail products to retail chains in Russia.
They will be sold at Caviar and Fish stores in St. Petersburg, and at Samberi stores in Primorsky Krai.
The fish sticks, fillets, and mince products are produced (partly) on RFC vessels, and the processing of the single frozen fillets is done by Espersen, the leading European secondary processor of whitefish. During processing, the fish is not defrosted, which ensures high quality of the product.
We hope that Nordeco products will become for Russians the standard of quality and the true taste of Pollock – wild white fish, a rich source of macro and microelements,” commented Fedor Kirsanov, RFC CEO. “The production of our own retail products allows us to control the quality from the moment of catch to the arrival on the store shelves, which means to guarantee the preservation of all its valuable properties”.
Also, Russian federal and local retail chains and stores received products under the joint brand of RFC and the Agama Group – “Agama-Nordeco”: portioned Pollock fillet and Pollock fillets in individual packaging. Like Nordeco products, the co-brand line is made from single-frozen Pollock without defrosting during processing.
The company recently also announced the keel laying for its second Russian built super-trawler, which will produce single frozen fillets and surimi.
“We are laying the second super-trawler of the “longest” series of vessels of a similar class being built today in Russia, - commented RFC CEO Fedor Kirsanov. - This is a clear confirmation of the effectiveness of the state program of investment quotas, thanks to which RFC, our fishermen, the fishing industry will receive new, high-performance vessels, which have not been constructed in Russia before.
The launch of the first two trawlers is scheduled for the first half of 2020, and commissioning is scheduled for 2021. The whole series will be built in pairs, two vessels a year with an interval of three months between the keel laying and the gap of about a year between pairs. Each vessel has a capacity of 50,000 tons annually, more than twice the capacity of the current Russian pollock fleet vessels.
Unalaska Planning Commission gives OK for fish oil tank farm, apartment building
Bristol Bay Times by Jim Paulin - April 12, 2019
A fish oil tank farm and a new apartment building were approved by the Unalaska Planning Commission last week.
Low consumer awareness of microplastics in fish, finds survey
Seafood Source by Jason Holland - April 15, 2019
Forty percent of consumers are aware of the issue of microplastics in fish, according to a new survey conducted by land-based salmon farming company Pure Salmon. The recently-launched company’s analysis also found that 36.5 percent had knowledge of antibiotic use in sea-farmed fish.
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