Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Norton Sound Salmon, Crab Prices Rising

Fishermen delivering salmon and king crab to Norton Sound Seafood Products, a division of Norton Sound Economic Development Corp., are getting a boost this year for their harvest.

NSSP said it would pay fishermen 72 cents a pound for chums and 25 cents a pound for pinks landed at the dock in Unalakleet to begin the 2011 season. That’s a 20 percent increase for chum and 25 percent increase for pinks over last year, when fishermen were paid 60 cents a pound for chums and 20 cents a pound for pinks at the dock.

NSSP said it would start the season with three tenders on the fishing grounds to support its harvesters. Deliveries to tenders in 2011 will initially net fishermen 67 cents a pound for chum and 20 cents a pound for pinks. Early season fishing will primarily be delivered to tenders with deliveries to the dock at Unalakleet coming later in the season.

Fishermen delivering Norton Sound red king crab this year will be paid $5.29 a pound by the CDQ group’s subsidiary. Last year the crab price was set at $3.77 at the dock.

The CDQ crab fishery is to open on June 28. Once the first deliveries can be checked for quality and meat fill, NSSP will immediately proceed with accepting deliveries from the open-access fishery, NSSP said.

NSSP is working on plans to continue its offering of tendering services from the Golovin area and in the southern portion of Norton Sound. Tendered crab will fetch $5.04 a pound for harvesters, the company said.

A company spokesman, Rich Ferry, said the strong demand worldwide for crab prompted the price increase to harvesters.

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