Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Report Evaluates BSAI and GOA Fisheries

New catch and economic reports on groundfish fisheries in the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands and Gulf of Alaska show that the groundfish catch off Alaska totaled 2.3 million tons in 2014, up 4.2 percent from a year earlier. And that harvest was roughly five times larger than the combined catch of Alaska’s other commercial domestic species.

The information is contained in the National Marine Fisheries Service’s annual stock assessment and fishery evaluation (SAFE) report released this past week.

Groundfish accounted for 85 percent of Alaska’s 2014 total catch, which was slightly greater than typical because of lower Pacific salmon catch, reduced halibut catches, and increased Gulf of Alaska groundfish harvest, biologists said. The groundfish fishery off Alaska is an important segment of the US fishing industry. In 2013, it accounted for 48 percent of the weight of total domestic landings.

The ex-vessel value of Alaska pollock was $474 million in 2014, with pollock prices falling slightly in the Gulf, but rising slightly in the BSAI. Together with the catch increase, the net effect was a 4.1 percent increase in pollock ex-vessel value.

However, larger gains in ex-vessel value came from Pacific cod, with an increase of 22 percent to $204 million in 2014. The report also notes that the real ex-vessel value of all Alaska domestic fish and shellfish catch, including the estimated value of fish caught almost exclusively by catcher/processors, decreased from $1,950.6 million in 2013 to $1,845.8 million in 2014. The first wholesale value of 2014 groundfish catch was $2,345.6 million. The 2014 total groundfish catch increased by 4.2 percent, and the total first-wholesale value increased by 7.6 percent relative to 2013, the report said.

Groundfish fisheries accounted for 50.8 percent of the ex-vessel value of all commercial fisheries off Alaska, while the Pacific salmon fishery was second with $546 million or 29.6 percent of the total Alaska ex-vessel value. The value of the shellfish fishery came to $244.1 million or 13.2 percent of the total for Alaska, and exceeded the value of Pacific halibut with $106.7 million or 5.8 percent of the total for Alaska.

The complete report is online at

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