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JUNEAU, Alaska — The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) announced that they have compiled the preliminary harvest and value figures for the 2017 Alaska commercial salmon fishery (PDF 130 kB).
Although there are still fish being caught, the vast majority of the 2017 salmon fisheries has come to an end. The 2017 commercial salmon fishery all-species harvest has been determined to be 224.6 million wild salmon caught, with an estimated preliminary ex-vessel value of $678.8 million, this is a 66.7% increase from 2016’s value of $407.3 million.
Of this total, Sockeye salmon once again, came in as the most valuable species, accounting for 48% of the value at $326.1 million and 23% of the harvest at 52.4 million fish. Pink salmon accounted for 25% of the value at $169.0 million, and 63% of the harvest at 141.6 million fish. Chum salmon accounted for 19% of the value at $128.3 million and 11% of the harvest at 25.2 million fish. Coho salmon accounted for 6% of the value at $37.6 million and 2% of the harvest at 5.1 million fish. The harvest of Chinook salmon was 251,141 fish, with an estimated preliminary value of $17.8 million.
Forrest Bowers, the Deputy Director of the Division of Commercial Fisheries, characterized the 2017 Alaska salmon season as a banner year for the industry, as well as the State of Alaska. He said of the season, the “tremendous harvests occurred across Alaska from Kotzebue to Southeast, and were highlighted by an all-time record statewide chum salmon harvest.” In addition, he continued, “2017 was the third year in a row of a statewide Sockeye salmon harvest that exceeded 50 million fish.” Of the record year, Bowers noted, ” Record wild salmon harvests like these are a testament to Alaska’s sound, science-based management, and the professionalism of ADF&G’s staff, as well as the thoughtful stakeholder engagement.”
In terms of fish poundage, the all-species wild salmon harvest of 1,041.0 million pounds ranked third for the years 1975-2017 , This is the third time the salmon harvest has exceeded 1 billion pounds. In terms of ex-vessel value, the all-species harvest of $678.8 million, only ranks third for the years of 1975-2017. This year’s Chum salmon harvest of 25.2 million fish boasted the largest harvest ever. Along with record breaking numbers, this year’s Chum salmon ex-vessel value, of $128.3 million, ranked second best to the 1975-2017 period. This year’s Pink salmon harvest ranked third in terms of ex-vessel value, and fourth in terms of poundage in that same period.
Bristol Bay enjoyed yet another great Sockeye salmon season, with 37.7 million Sockeye salmon valued at $209.9 million.
Not to be outdone by Bristol Bay, other fisheries experienced record salmon harvests in 2017. Most notably, in Norton Sound, where a strong Coho salmon return provided a record harvest of 191,000 Coho salmon. In Chignik, the Pink salmon harvest of over 7 million salmon, set a new record. The Alaska Peninsula harvested nearly 22 million wild Pink salmon, this too is a new record.
Please note that these are preliminary harvest and value estimates that will change as fish tickets are processed and finalized. Dollar values provided by ADF&G are based on estimated ex-vessel prices and do not include post-season bonuses or price adjustments. The final value of the 2017 salmon fishery will be determined in 2018 after seafood processors, buyers, and direct marketers report the total value paid to fishermen in 2017.
2017 Commercial Salmon Harvest Summary Printable PDF (PDF 443 kB)