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Fishing for pink salmon in Alaska. (Photo: ASArchive)

Alaska's salmon harvest expected to reach 203 mln

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Tuesday, March 08, 2011, 01:30 (GMT + 9)

Alaska’s 2011 commercial salmon harvest is expected to yield 203 million salmon of all species, informed the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG).

This figure represents the state’s fifth largest total harvest and fourth highest pink salmon harvest ever since Alaska became a state and assumed management of its fisheries in 1960. 

ADFG anticipates that all major pink salmon producing areas will produce copious harvests. Sockeye and chum salmon are also forecast to provide excellent harvests across Alaska, with chum salmon expected to provide the fifth largest yield since 1960.

As the Southeast Alaska Chinook harvest quota is set under the terms of the Pacific Salmon Treaty, the state’s Chinook salmon forecast remains unavailable. The Pacific Salmon Commission will disclose the Southeast Alaska quota late this month or early the next.

ADFG’s harvest forecasts for the year for four other salmon species are the following: 122,000 Chinook salmon in areas outside Southeast Alaska, 45.1 million sockeye salmon, 4.7 million coho salmon, 133.7 million pink salmon and 19.2 million chum salmon. 

Annual harvest of pink salmon in Southeast Alaska compared to the ADF&G preseason harvest forecast, 1998–2010. The 2007–2010 ADF&G harvest forecasts were adjusted using NOAA’s juvenile pink salmon data

The aforementioned forecasts are derived from quantitative projections of the next year´s salmon run using data on previous spawning levels, smolt outmigrations, returns of sibling age classes and recent survival rates observed for hatchery releases.

The high numbers are attributable to favourable environmental conditions over the past few years in combination with careful management by the state, reports Reuters.

"Probably the biggest influence of all is general conditions in the ocean for providing food, and those seem to have been favorable," said Geron Bruce, deputy director of commercial fisheries for ADFG.

At the same time, prices are not expected to fall, as they rely on international market forces such as general economic conditions and production from competing salmon companies, he said.

For 2010, the Alaska all-species salmon harvest reached 171.2 million - some 33.9 million more than the preseason forecast of 137.3 million. The combined harvest was made up of 378,000 Chinook salmon, 40.8 million sockeye salmon, 4 million coho salmon, 107.6 million pink salmon and 18.5 million chum salmon. 

Related article:

- Alaskan salmon yields historic USD 534 mln in 2010 

By Natalia Real
[email protected]
www.fis.com


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