National Fisherman

Alaska’s 2013 salmon season has yielded the largest catch ever, and the value of the fishery is also headed for the record books.
 
The statewide catch on Sept. 6 was nearing 265 million fish – the old record was 222 million in 2005. A bumper run of pink salmon is behind the big harvest - the mindboggling catch was approaching 213 million fish. The previous record was 161 million pinks, also in 2005.
 
Some boats are still out on the water, but the big pink catches have gone by, said Geron Bruce, Assistant Director for the state commercial fisheries division.
 
Things are pretty close to being wrapped up in Prince William Sound and also at the Alaska Peninsula, where a catch of nearly eight million pinks ended a long string of disappointing seasons.    
 
“At Kodiak they are still plugging away, but it’s very low numbers. Enough to keep a few of the die hards but not big fishing anymore,” Bruce said.  Southeast will see one or two more pink openers, “where catches have dropped, but are still larger than in other areas.”
 
Total salmon catches at the Panhandle topped 100 million, another record. 
 
“It’s really nice to see the whole Gulf of Alaska producing like this,” he added.
 
It will be a few more weeks before we will know how much the 2013 catch is worth to Alaska salmon fishermen. The preliminary ex-vessel values (at the docks) will be released in October, and Bruce believes the total will top the chart. 
 
“I’m sure it will be a record. It’s just a question of how far into record territory we will be going,” Bruce said.
 
Read the full story at the Stories in the News>>

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 11/06/14

In this episode:

NOAA report touts 2013 landings, value increases
Panama fines GM salmon company Aquabounty
Gulf council passes Reef Fish Amendment 40
Maine elver quota cut by 2,000 pounds
Offshore mussel farm would be East Coast’s first

 

Inside the Industry

Fishermen in Western Australia captured astonishing footage this week as a five-meter-long great white shark tried to steal their catch, ramming into the side of their boat.
 
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EAST SAND ISLAND, Oregon—Alexa Piggott is crawling through a dark, dusty, narrow tunnel on this 62-acre island at the mouth of the Columbia River. On the ground above her head sit thousands of seabirds. Piggott, a crew leader with Bird Research Northwest, is headed for an observation blind from which she'll be able to count them.
 
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