Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Anadromous Fish Commission Says Salmon Catches Remain Near Historic High

The North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission in Vancouver, British Columbia says the total Pacific salmon abundance in the North Pacific remains at near record high levels. That conclusion was drawn from data compiled by NPAFC members during their annual meeting in mid-November.

Seventy-one participants from Canada, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation and the United States participated.

Initial North Pacific-wide 2013 commercial catch data, said NPAFC, indicates high catches of pink salmon, with totals of 313,800 tons in Alaska, 241,292 tons in Russia and 13,171 tons in Canada, plus chum salmon catches of 101,395 tons in Russia and 65,120 tons in Alaska.

Catches of Chinook salmon remained at low levels, with 1,640 tons landed in Alaska, 512 tons in Russia, and 214 tons in Canada. These 2013 commercial catches are preliminary estimates and are incomplete because some regions had not finished their fishery seasons at the time of compilation, NPAFC said in a written statement.

While the North Pacific Ocean continues to produce large quantities of Pacific salmon, abundance levels vary among species, often from year to year, the commission said. Total commercial salmon harvests by commission member countries in 2012 reached over 889,000 tons. Of that total, 64 percent came from Russia, Japan and Korea, and 36 percent from the United States and Canada. Pink and chum salmon made up 81 percent of the total catch.

The commission said they were successful this year in efforts to deter illegal, unreported and unregulated salmon fishing in the convention area, with no vessels of interest engaged in driftnet or other types of illegal fishing activities detected.

The overall reduction of sightings of vessels engaged in illegal fishing activity in the North Pacific testifies to the effectiveness of the commission’s cooperative model of enforcement, the commission said.

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