In an update on Alaska’s commercial fisheries in 2014, the state’s director of commercial fisheries told participants at the recent Pacific Marine Expo in Seattle that the preliminary estimated ex-vessel value of the salmon harvest exceeded $576 million. Fishermen delivered to processors some 156,676,000 salmon, weighing in at more than 717 million pounds, said Jeff Regnart.
The sockeye salmon harvest alone totaled 43.5 million reds, worth $349,297,000, while the harvest of 95.3 million humpies had an exvessel value of $98 million.
The king salmon harvest of 479,000 fish was worth $23,497,000 to harvesters and the coho harvest of 6,105,000 silvers had an exvessel value of $49,915,000.
Regnart also summed up regional highlights.
In the central region, the all species Bristol Bay harvest value of $196,6 million was just shy of the all time record of $202 million in 1990, and was Alaska’s most valuable salmon fishery in 2014. The Bristol Bay sockeye salmon harvest of 28.8 million fish was 61 percent above the preseason forecast of 17.9 million fish.
The Prince William Sound Pink salmon harvest of 36.8 million fish was slightly above the 31.4 million fish forecast, for the second largest even year harvest ever.
In Southeast Alaska the 2014 summer Dungeness crab season was the most successful in recent history. The preliminary harvest of 4.1 million pounds, and a total fishery value of $12.2 million is one of the most lucrative in the fishery’s history, Regnart noted.
In the Westward region, nearly 60 million pounds of Pacific cod were harvested in state waters fisheries, including some 17 million pounds from the newly created Dutch Harbor sub-district fishery. The Bristol Bay red king crab fishery, with just shy of 10 million pounds harvested and a preliminary exvessel value of $61 million, was up from 8.6 million pounds and an exvessel value of $55 million a year ago.
And in the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim region, the Yukon Chinook salmon run proved better than forecast. 2014 was the second season during which dip net gear was used to harvest surplus chum salmon on the Yukon River while allowing for the release of Chinook salmon. There were also substantial salmon harvests in Kotzebue and Norton Sound, along with strong red king crab harvests in Norton Sound.