This summer has been a mixed bag of salmon highs and lows. Copper River started the salmon season with a huge record breaking run of sockeye. Bristol Bay has met many expectations, but the lack of a price jump puts a damper on a successful season. However, King salmon returns are poor. In Kenai, the failiure of the natural king run was considered a disaster. Southeast Alaskan trollers have suffered from the lack of kings, as well. Prince William Sound is the next big show. A huge run of pink salmon is predicted for this year and many boats are still waiting. In southeast Alaska, harvests are expected to be low, but the value and abundance of chum salmon has added some real economic diversity to fishermen. The summer is salmon is almost over, but the real story will still unfold. Will the pinks show up? Read on for more details of the state of salmon this summer.
Pacific salmon play a vital part of our worlds ecology. Over 22 different species feed off the bounty of the salmon‘s epic yearly migration. For millions of years, the salmon ruled the pacific ocean and populations flourished thought out the Pacific Rim. Native cultures revered these massive returns as gifts and celebrated each season’s salmon return with art and ceremony. In 1779, Captain James Cook discovered the Columbia River and its salmon bounty while searching for the inside passage. Once the Europeans hit the west coast, large-scale salmon exporting by the Hudson Bay Fishery ramped up. In 1876, the first salmon cannery opened in Astoria and there were 70 more along the coast by the turn of the century.
Salmon production vigorously continued along the coast well in the next century. By the mid 1900’s, it was obvious that the salmon stocks were in serious decline. Mismanagement by the federal government was blamed for most of the problems, then in 1959 Alaska became a state and took control of the fisheries. New management techniques included escapement, which ensured that sufficient numbers of salmon escape capture to ensure the health of future spawning generations. Even with new measures in effect, salmon stocks declined to record lows in 1972. The Limited Entry Act passed in 1973 to regulate the overall number of permits. This system has proved successful in rebuilding the salmon runs to today’s epic standards.
The history of salmon is full of flaws and mistakes, yet the saga of salmon defines the west coast. This majestic fish still dominates Pacific waters and provides the world with one of nature’s greatest proteins. Salmon have survived through all the hardships man has delivered over the years and remains one of natures greatest events. Next time salmon is on your dinner plate, think of the history of a truly amazing fish.
The Juneau Maritime Festival just turned three this past weekend. The event was initially canceled the previous week, yet many locals and tourists turned out for the free salmon! That’s right! Fresh FREE Sockeye salmon courtesy of Alaska Glacier Seafoods. There were also various tours of local marine vessels and native traditional dancing. Overall, it was a big success. Enjoy the pics.
Its that time again in Alaska. Summer is just around the corner. Its actually been a crazy mix of rain and sunshine today. Here’s a pic of the LIVE cam pointing at the docks downtown. The summer cruise season begins today with the arrival of the Carnival Spirit at 2 p.m., kicking off a summer cruise season expected to be solid, if not spectacular. Despite the industry’s travails elsewhere, the cruise industry is expecting to do well in Alaska, cruise officials say. via Cruise ship influx begins today | Juneau Empire – Alaska’s Capital City Online Newspaper.
The battle to harvest the massive quota before everything spawns out continues in Sitka. So far, about 11,000 tons have been harvest in just two openers. Processors are super plugged today, but chances of a fishery today are possible, because of the rate of spawn around the islands. There will be announcement today at 11:00 AM. I’ve been recording these and posting them on soundcloud, if you are interested in hearing them. You can find the link in the sidebar. As always follow me on twitter for micro updates and make sure to like the facebook page. All of this info is in the sidebar.
The biggest names in the industry have gathered in Boston to show off the latest and greatest in the world of retail seafood. Enjoy some live video from the show and check back later today for all the winners.
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Here you will find the newest products, solutions and industry connections that will keep your business growing. This, along with an extensive education program will leave you more knowledgeable, connected and prepared to meet your customer needs.
International Boston Seafood Show & Seafood Processing America has been connecting qualified buyers with leading suppliers for more than 30 years. Take advantage of this experience and expertise and join us this year in Boston – March 11th – 13th!
Its about that time again. Whales are starting to gather in southeast alaska, and that means one thing. Its herring time! The winters can be a bit long in Alaska. When the herring arrive, you know it spring again. I’m heading down to Seattle this weekend to bring the F/V Quandary north for the fishing season. Let’s hope that Sitka is a bit more lucrative that last year. Click thru to hear the audio from KRBD.
Alaska’s Board of Fisheries on Tuesday voted to close part of Sitka Sound to commercial herring harvests. But it wasn’t as much as some wanted.
The board faced a number of proposals to lower catch levels, limit commercial fishing areas, or both. The Sitka Tribe of Alaska and some others wanted further protections for subsistence harvests of herring and their roe.
The board voted down eight of the nine plans before it on Tuesday. The one that passed created subsistence-only zones by closing lucrative commercial harvest areas.
Just about 70 fishermen from all over Alaska have gathered in Juneau for the Young Fishermen Summit. Nearly every fishery is represented here, with gillnetters being the highest volume. Most of the attendees are from Southeast, however Bristol Bay is highly represented as well. The two day event covers many facets of the fishing industry, including fishery management, private marketing and politics. I’ve included some quick video from Bruce Gabry’s talk on record keeping. The images are from the media package included at the summit. Check back for more updates as the day continues. Later today, we will be at the NOAA Headquarters at Lena Point. Stay tuned and post any questions if you are interested.