Processors start to post base prices and bonuses for Bristol Bay sockeye
Bristol Bay salmon processors are starting to post base prices, and this year’s price is just over half of last year's base price of $1.35.
KDLG by Sage Smiley - July 22, 2020
Fishermen have confirmed that Trident Seafoods, Red Salmon / North Pacific Seafoods, OBI Seafoods, and Peter Pan Seafoods have posted a base price of $0.70 per pound for sockeye. That's just over half of last year's base price of $1.35.
Bristol Bay remains lone bright spot for sockeye harvest across state
Alaska Journal of Commerce by Elizabeth Earl - July 22, 2020
The statewide salmon harvest is ticking up as the summer goes on, but most of that is in Bristol Bay. In most of the rest of the state, the harvest has been disappointing.
34 COVID-19 cases at fish processing plant in Seward, city says
Alaska Public Media by Nathaniel Herz - July 22, 2020
OBI Seafoods has shut down a salmon processing plant in the Kenai Peninsula town of Seward after at least 34 workers there tested positive for COVID-19, according to a local official.
Disaster relief plans proposed
Deckboss - July 22, 2020
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has posted distribution plans for federal disaster funds. The state is inviting public comments on the proposed plans, which cover two fisheries:
Bristol Bay Delivers for Reds: Catch Nearing 36M, Total Run at 53.5M, 9% More than Forecast
SeafoodNews.com by Peggy Parker - July 22, 2020
Once again, Bristol Bay is the engine that drives Alaska’s sockeye salmon harvest. Landings as of July 20 are at 35.82 million sockeye with escapement of 17.71 million for a total run of 53.54 million. The catch exceeds the forecast by two million so far; the total run exceeds the forecast by just over 7 million.
Statewide harvests for all species of salmon is 53.4 million, significantly below the forecast of 132.6 million fish.
Harvest of about 13 million sockeye last week brings the yearly total for the species to 39.3 million fish. Bristol Bay has contributed around 90% of the total. Other sockeye fisheries are behind the typical pace, with Kodiak and Ak Pen. & Aleutian Islands faring better than PWS, Cook Inlet, and Southeast, reports Garrett Evridge of the McDowell Group in the weekly salmon report from the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.
The pink salmon harvest pace is similar to 2018 and slightly below the 10-year average (for even numbered years.) The peak of the statewide pink harvest is typically the last week of July or first week of August, Evridge reported. According to the ADF&G harvest projection, PWS will contribute most pink production this year followed by Southeast and Kodiak. The Ak Pen. & Aleutian Islands region has exceeded its modest 2020 projection for the species.
While Kodiak’s sockeye harvests are dismal, pink salmon are up.
James Jackson, Kodiak’s area biologist for commercial fisheries, says the early run of sockeyes was the worst in 43 years.
“The harvest is as bad as it gets,” Jackson told KMXT radio in Kodiak. “But we did achieve our escapement goals, so there’s hope for the future.”
So far, the harvest is under 500,000 fish, less than half of the 10-year average of about 1.1 million fish.
The pink salmon run is looking better, with early observations indicating that this year's return will be outperforming the pre-season forecast. Kodiak's average even-year pink run is about 13 million salmon.
“And right now, based on the first two pink salmon openings, it looks like the harvest and escapement – and we just flew our first aerial surveys – is tracking slightly above average,” he told KMXT.
Landings of pink salmon in Kodiak as of July 20 are 683,000 fish.
The statewide catch of keta, or chum salmon, at about 3.65 million fish is about 54% lower than 2019 and 68% behind the 5-year average. Among all regions, Kodiak and Ak Pen. & Aleutian Islands are faring the best—and current figures exclude a full week of fishing for both regions due to confidentiality requirements. AYK and Southeast are 89% and 66% behind 2019, respectively.
Coho production is also behind 2019 and the 5-year average. Statewide Chinook landings are about a third lower than the 2019 pace, though Southeast production is relatively strong.
Fishing industry seeks relief from observer coverage
Chinook Observer by Katie Krankowicz - July 21, 2020
PACIFIC OCEAN — West Coast trawlers and fishing industry leaders looking to minimize the risk of exposure to the coronavirus are asking for an emergency waiver from a requirement to carry human observers.
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