Wednesday, May 21, 2014

North Pacific 2013 Salmon Harvests Reached Near Record

North Pacific-wide total salmon harvests reported by North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission member countries totaled 1.11 million metric tons in 2013, the second highest on record since 1925, the commission says.

The report emerged from NPAFC’s 22nd annual meeting in Portland, Ore., May 12-16, where representatives of the five member countries met.

A record 1.14 million tons of salmon was harvested in 2009.

In both 2009 and 2013, more than 50 percent of the catch by weight was pink salmon.

The vast majority of Pacific salmon originate in the waters of the member countries: the United States, Canada, Japan, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Korea.

The 2013 species composition by weight of the North Pacific wide catch was 53 percent pink, 31 percent chum, 12 percent sockeye, 3 percent coho and less than 1 percent each of Chinook and cheery salmon and steelhead trout.

Member nations’ portions of the total catch included: United States, 509.2 thousand tons, or 46 percent, including 483.4 thousand tons in Alaska; Russia, 405.9 thousand tons, or 37 percent; Japan, 164.5 thousand tons, or 15 percent; Canada, 27.8 thousand tons, or 2 percent; and Korea, 219 tons, less than 1 percent.

The North Pacific-wide catch of sockeye salmon was 133.2 thousand metric tons in 2013, with 61 percent of the total by weight coming from Alaska, and 38 percent from Russia.  This is approximately 7 percent less than the total sockeye catch in 2012, researchers said.

Pink and chum salmon are currently very abundant. Coho and Chinook salmon are less abundant than they were previously, while sockeye salmon abundance is highly variable among regions from year to year, researchers said.

The commission also reported a lack of apprehension of vessels fishing illegally in the NPAFC convention area, saying this is testament to the effectiveness of its cooperative model of enforcement.

In a statement issued on May 20, the commission said it is continuing its enforcement collaboration on the high seas to eliminate illegal salmon fishing in the international waters of the North Pacific.  Representatives from fisheries enforcement agencies of NPAFC member countries discussed and planned detailed coordination and sharing of information aimed at increasing effectiveness and efficiency in patrols.

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