Alaska salmon at a glance

Want to know the value of Alaska’s salmon catches by every region? Or what products the fish are made into and where each goes to market? Find it at a glance in the latest Seafood Market Bulletin from the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.

It’s compiled by the McDowell Group and also includes dock side values over a decade, and the rank of each species as a percent of Alaska’s harvests.

Here’s a sampler: The projected pink salmon catch this summer of 142 million is up by more than one million fish over last year. The average pink price paid to fishermen last year was $.34 a pound. Frozen fish accounted for 44 percent of the pink salmon value last year with canned pinks at 37 percent.

Chum catches this year should increase to about 17 million due to higher catches in western Alaska. Chums accounted for 15 percent of the Alaska salmon harvest and value over the past two years. The average dock price in 2016 was $.61 price per pound. Globally, chum production dropped by 30 percent due to decreased catches in Japan. That pushed up roe prices to over $14 a pound. Roe accounts for 37 percent of Alaska’s chum salmon value.

Silver salmon catches are expected to increase to 4.7 million this year. The average coho price to fishermen last year was $1.17 a pound. Silver are the latest running of all Alaska salmon species and account for 3 percent of the harvest and 5 percent of the value.

Alaska’s sockeye catch is expected to decline 23 percent this year to about 41 million fish, and prices are expected to increase. Fishermen averaged $1.05 a pound last season, up $.23 from the previous year. Sockeye accounted for 34 percent of Alaska’s salmon harvest over the past two years and 55 percent of the value, ringing in at $302 million in 2016.

The king harvest is projected to drop by 27 percent this year and produce the smallest harvest in state history. The average Alaska price last year was $4.88 a pound, for a value of nearly $24 million. Ninety-nine percent of Alaska’s king salmon go to markets in the U.S.

Alaska’s 2017 salmon harvest calls for 204 million fish, up nearly one million from last year.

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Laine Welch is an independent Kodiak, Alaska-based fisheries journalist. Click here to send her an email.

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