Tag Archives: Japan

Commercial Fishing Photo Of The Day | F/V Island Pride | Sitka Herring 2014


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The second opener of the Sitka Herring season was whopper!  Just over 5000 tons were harvested from the beach just outside Stargavin Bay.  Moments before the opener began, boats started to crowd the beach.  Needless to say, there were a few collisions and some tangled nets.  The fishery is poised to continue tommorrow!

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Commercial Fishing Photo Of The Day | F/V Optimus | Sitka Herring 2014


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The Sitka Sac Roe Herring officially started yesterday at 1:45.  Numerous boats tested their nets one last time in the early morning, before the fishery got underway.  Fishermen are extremely determined to harvest the entire quota after last season’s lackluster harvest.  The fish seem to be spawning fast and early, it should be interesting to see how the harvest develops this season.  Price is pretty much at its lowest ever, fishermen are receiving 150 up front and will hope for a better price as the fish goes to market.

Commercial Herring Fishing Starts in San Francisco Bay


California fishermen are harvesting the first herring of 2013 in San Francisco Bay this week.  The total gillnet quota is 2,690 tons and the fishery  will last until March 15, 2013.  The historic herring stocks of the past are long gone, but the surge in sustainability and eating locally has sparked the troubled industry.  The real value of the herring comes in the from of the roe or eggs, which is a delicacy in Japan.  Market prices could improve this year, with smaller harvests predicted in Alaska.

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California Squid Fishing Update | Lets go, Loligo!


Market squid is trickling in down in California.  While no huge biomass has been reported, about 5 tons were delivered today.  A number of searches about a strike have surfaced on the website, but no conformation of that rumor can be found.  According to a harbor official, this recent 5 tons marks the beginning of the new squid season deliveries.  Over the past three years, the squid market has been remarkable.  It’s now one of California’s most valuable fisheries.  Here is an excerpt from a recent LA times article that sums up the market squid scenario.  I included a great video about the biology of the California squid, too.  Let’s hope that this year of squid is as good as the last.  Good luck out there, guys!

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Five nights a week, the third-generation fisherman from San Pedro steps into a pair of rubber boots and hunts for squid along the Southern California coast. The 50-year-old with spiky blond hair and wraparound sunglasses looks the part of a man who’s wrestled with nets in the salty air since he was a teenager — his arms are taut, his neck creased and weathered, his voice gravelly from going without sleep.

On a night like this, the 90-foot steel vessel can bring in as much as $50,000 worth of the seafood so popular worldwide that all but a fraction is shipped overseas to be served as calamari.

But for the Cape Blanco and dozens of squid fishing boats working out of ports like San Pedro and Monterey, the boom is an uncertain one. Doubts are emerging about how long one of California’s last remaining money fish will stay bountiful.

Though Jurlin and his crew are four hours from shore tonight, they are not alone.

Rocking in the waves around them are a dozen other purse seiners beginning the same ritual: encircling the darting mass of tentacled, hot dog-sized sea creatures with huge nets that will be cinched up like the drawstring of a purse.

A flotilla of smaller boats assists by following the swarms and coaxing them to the surface with 30,000-watt lanterns that light up the ocean with an otherworldly green and white glow.

On Jurlin’s signal, a deckhand swings a hefty metal bar above his head and slams it into a pelican hook, freeing a clunky metal skiff that plunges into the water and rumbles away, its motor filling the night air with exhaust.

Each man takes his position on the Cape Blanco’s deck, working among strained cables and ropes as thick as fire hoses. A hydraulic winch whirs, engines roar and propellers gurgle as a tangle of black netting, yellow floats and steel rings tumble into the water off the back of the boat. The skiff tows it all in a wide circle around the squid, trapping the school.

Most of the world’s market squid is harvested from California’s shallow waters, where they gather in enormous schools each year to mate, deposit their eggs on the seafloor and die.

Cold ocean conditions have drawn them in such numbers lately that fishermen have handily caught their 118,000-ton limit — enough to fill 60 Olympic-size swimming pools — and the state has shut them down early two years running. Surging demand in China, Japan, Mexico and Europe has boosted prices and launched a fishing frenzy worth more than $70 million a year.

via Lots of black ink in squid catch – Los Angeles Times.

Salmon Summery | Looking Back and Pushing Forward


Commercial salmon fishing can be a really fickle business. It wasn’t that long ago, 2003 to be exact, when the price of pinks were a mere 9 cents a pound. This past summer just might be the Grand Daddy of all salmon seasons. Across the state, many regions increased profits to record breaking proportions. The real heros were the 65 permit holders in Chignik, who managed to catch 150% more than the previous 5 year average. Southeast Alaska was no chump, either. With an overall catch value of 200 million dollars, last summer in southeast remains the number one financial seasons of all time. Read below to get a full recap on last years season from AJOC.

So, how do things look this summer? Well, the total catch forecast for the state is 132 million salmon, which is about a 25 percent decrease from last year’s 177 million. Pinks are forecasted to be nearly 40% less than last year. However, chum salmon and other “money fish” could make for an interesting summer. Prince William Sound is expected to have a huge run this coming summer. However, southeast Alaska could be in for a rough season.  The lack of pink salmon could seriously affect the number of fishing days in the overall season. Another factor to take into account is that AFDG isn’t always correct in its prediction and modeling of the forecastable harvests. Overall, wild salmon is in high demand. China just overtook Japan as our number one export. So, the markets are diversifying a bit. A huge influx of Chilean farmed salmon could affect the overall price of wild salmon and the weakening global economy doesn’t show signs of changing. That’s why it’s called fishing and not catching! Every season is a gamble and all my bets are on wild salmon.  Ive included a link to Gunnar Knapps presentation on Salmon Market Trends at comfish in Kodiak this year.

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Southeast Alaska’s salmon catch rang in at $200 million, a record since statehood, and the highest value salmon fishery for the year. The region’s pink salmon catch of 59 million fish fetched an average price of 42 cents per pound at the docks, and totaled $94 million.

Chums at 81 cents per pound were the second-most valuable, adding another $60 million to the Panhandle this summer. More than 1,900 permit holders fished in Southeast, a 4 percent increase.

At Prince William Sound, the salmon harvest topped 39 million fish, most of which were pinks (33.4 million). At Copper River, the sockeye catch topped 2 million fish, nearly double for the previous decade. The 20,000 Chinook catch was below the 10-year average.

At Upper Cook Inlet, the harvest of 5.5 million sockeye salmon was the fourth-largest in the past 20 years. The dockside value of $51.6 million was the fifth-highest since 1960, and the highest since 1992. All five salmon species are caught in the upper Inlet, but sockeye have accounted for nearly 93 percent of the fishery over the past 20 years. The estimated value of $518,000 for chinook was about 1 percent of the value of the UCI fishery.

Bristol Bay’s sockeye catch of 21.9 million was 21 percent below expectations. The preliminary value of the Bay’s total salmon catch of 22.7 million fish was  $137.7 million, 17 percent above the 20-year average.

Kodiak had its highest participation in 11 years with 339 of the region’s 593 permit holders, or 57 percent, going fishing. Kodiak’s salmon catch of 20 million fish topped $44.2 million, the highest since 1990 and double the 10-year average. Kodiak salmon seiners averaged $120,161 among 175 permits last summer; 157 set gillnetters averaged $31,137.

That was dwarfed at Chignik, where 65 permit holders each averaged $371,327, the highest value ever. At Chignik, the salmon fishery was worth almost $24 million. Nearly 2.5 million sockeye were taken at Chignik, 150 percent higher than the average harvest for the past five years.

The Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim region had a total harvest of nearly 1.5 million salmon, valued at $8 million. Chinook salmon catches were well below average, while chum and coho salmon harvests were well above.

A total of 510 permit holders fished in the Kuskokwim area, where the ex-vessel value was about $2.3 million for the region.

At the lower Yukon, a total of 82 chinook were taken in the commercial fishery and zero in the upper river. A total of 409 permit holders participated in the summer chum fishery, about 15 percent below the 10-year average. The fall chum fishery on the lower Yukon was the largest since 1995; the coho harvest was the largest since 1991. The average price for both was $1 per pound, making a record value of $2.1 million for the region.

Norton Sound’s salmon fishery included the second-highest chum catch since 1986, and a record $1.27 million in dockside value. A total of 123 permits fished, the highest since 1993. The average prices were $1.70 per pound for coho salmon, and 68 cents per pound for chums.

At Kotzebue Sound, the catch of 264,321 chums was the second highest since 1995. A total of 89 permit holders fished, compared to 67 last year, and the highest number since 1995. The total value was nearly $868,000, meaning $9,743 to each fisherman.

All of the values are preliminary and will go higher after the final Commercial Annual Operator Reports are submitted to the state by Alaska fish buyers. Those will include bonuses paid for iced fish (up to 15 cents per pound in some regions) and other price adjustments and sales factors. It will be interesting to see if Bristol Bay topples Southeast to regain its title as Alaska’s most valuable salmon fishery.

via COMMENTARY: State forecast: salmon harvest will be 25 percent lower than 2011 – Alaska Journal of Commerce – AJOC March 4 2012 – Anchorage, AK.

Gunner Knapp | Trends in Salmon Markets

Sitka Herring 2012 | Third Opener


Sitka Herring is in full swing.  After somewhat of a confusing start, fishermen has harvested just under half the quote.  On this pace, it should only take another three openers to fill the quota.  The price is still a mystery and the early spawn was just an anomaly.  The weather couldn’t be better and fishing will resume tomorrow.  Stay tuned @JuneauTek on Twitter for all the latest updates.

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That puts the fleet at 14,000 tons so far, well below its goal of a record 29,000 tons.

Fishermen were growing increasingly anxious over the five day interval between Saturday’s fishing and the previous opener on Monday. In the interim, ADF&G mapped nearly 37-miles of active spawn.

The Sac Roe fishery depends on landing the herring just BEFORE they spawn. The egg sacs are sold to gourmet markets primarily in Japan.

ADF&G opened fishing on Saturday in a large area to the north of Sitka, including Krestof and Salisbury sounds. Finding marketable volumes of unspawned fish has been challenging. ADF&G biologist Dave Gordon sounded almost like he was organizing an easter-egg hunt.

“So, a very large area. The situation through last night appears to be that fish moved out of Salisbury, down into Krestof Sound, but there still remains a decent volume of fish in the Salisbury sound area.”

Fishing took place between 2:15 and 5:30 in the afternoon.

via Herring hunt nets 3,700 tons on Saturday | KCAW.

Sitka Herring 2012 | Second Opener


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.

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Sitka Herring 2012 | First Opener


After a really long wait in Sitka, fishermen have finally started harvesting this year’s massive herring quota. The total catch for the day hasn’t quite been tallied, but guesstimates are around 4500 tons. The possibility of another fishery is very unlikely for tomorrow, since the total harvest is so huge. Typically, there is a day off between fisheries for the processors to unload all the boats. Enjoy the video and stayed tuned for updates from the fishery.