Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Wild Salmon Deliveries to Processors in Alaska
Top 93 Million Fish

Commercial deliveries of wild salmon to processors in Alaska rose by eight million fish in the past week, bringing the total estimated catch to about 93.6 million fish through August 14.

Deliveries included 48,575,000 sockeyes, 30,919,000 humpies, 12,462,000 chums, 1,440,000 cohos and 202,000 Chinooks.

The state’s central region, Bristol Bay in particular, with Cook Inlet and Prince William Sound, brought in nearly 70 million of those salmon. The Bristol Bay harvest alone came to a preliminary harvest estimate of 43.5 million fish, including nearly 42 million sockeyes, while Prince William Sound brought in upwards of 23.7 million fish. However, the catch continued to lag well behind most forecasts.

McDowell Group economist Garrett Evridge noted in his weekly report for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute that the year-to-date catch is five percent behind 2016 and 40 percent below the five-year average. With only three weeks of fishing left, the year-to-date statewide pink salmon volume is roughly equal to 2016, a year in which economic disaster declarations were issued, Evridge said. Pink salmon harvests in Prince William Sound and Kodiak were about double the year-to-date 2016 volume, while Southeast is two-thirds lower.

Keta harvests of 12 million fish so far are about 20 percent lower than the five-year average, and sockeye production continues to be slow in Cook Inlet, Southeast and Chignik fisheries.

On the bright side, sockeye fillets were back in the coolers at Costco stores in Alaska, still at $9.95 a pound. Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle, Wash., had plenty of fresh wild caught salmon too, including sockeye fillets at $24.99 a pound, although not saying online where they were caught. Anchorage two top seafood retailers, New Sagaya and 10th & M Seafoods, also had fresh sockeyes for sale. New Sagaya had plenty of whole sockeyes at $5.99 a pound, while 10th & M offered fresh sockeye fillets at $10.95 a pound and fresh wild sockeye steaks for $7.95 a pound.

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