Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Norton Sounds Harvesters Get Record Payout

Norton Sound Seafood Products (NSSP), a subsidiary of Norton Sound Economic Development Corp. in Nome, Alaska, has paid a record $6.05 million to 172 harvesters who delivered crab, salmon and halibut during the 2017 fishing season. Another $2.5 million went to 258 seasonal employees of NSSP who worked in processing plants, at buying stations and on fishing tenders.

“An infusion of $8.5 million in communities where jobs are limited makes significant impact in the lives of individuals, families and communities,” said Dan Harrelson, chairman of the economic development corporation, as NSSP announced the payout on Oct. 24.

The processors played a big role in bringing the harvest to record levels, said NSSP manager William “Middy” Johnson. “To allow for maximum capacity in the fishing season, the processors worked 12-hour days and seven days a week for 10 weeks straight,” he said.

The 2017 salmon harvest was valued at $2.8 million, more than double last year’s ex-vessel value of $1.2 million. The growth came from the amount of chum and coho salmon delivered by the 139 regional salmon harvesters. The year’s 1.1 million-pound chum harvest more than tripled the 2016 harvest of 344,613 pounds. The 1.3 million-pound coho harvest nearly doubled the 2016 harvest of 701,450 pounds.

The 2017 crab harvest was steady with 409,374 pounds delivered to tender vessels and the Northern NSSO processing plant in Nome, nearly matching the salmon ex-vessel value at $2.5 million. The region’s halibut and cod fishery, with 20 harvesters out of Nome and Savoonga, got a payout of $705,030.

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