January 1, 2013
This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch….January marks the start of Alaska’s largest fisheries – and that means more jobs than any other Alaska industry! More after this –
Fish Radio is brought to you by the At-Sea Processors Association – The APA’s Alaska pollock companies fund marine research programs at Alaskan universities to improve our understanding of the environment, and to promote conservation of ocean resources. Learn more about APA’s conservation efforts at www.atsea.org
Find out who’s catching all that seafood and their favorite recipes at a new micro site from the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute – find it at www.wildalaskaflavor.com
Salmon will always be the heart of Alaska’s fisheries. That’s why many people think of summer as the fishing season. But that’s not the case.
The heart of winter is when Alaska’s largest fisheries get underway each year. On January first, hundreds of boats with hook and line gear or pots will begin plying the waters of the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska for Pacific cod, rockfish and other groundfish. Then on January 20th trawlers take to the seas to target Alaska pollock, the world’s largest food fishery with harvests opping three billion pounds.
Crab boats will soon be out on the Bering Sea in earnest for snow crab, Alaska’s largest crab fishery.
Late February or early March sees the start of the eight month long halibut and sablefish seasons. March also marks the beginning of Alaska’s roe herring circuit, usually at Sitka Sound, and those fisheries will continue for several months all the way up the coast as far west as Norton Sound, assuming there are herring buyers.
And although wild Alaska king salmon is available from Southeast trollers nearly year round, mid May marks the official start of Alaska’s salmon season with the runs of kings and reds at the Copper River. Salmon fisheries take center stage all summer and into the fall.
That’s followed by another of Alaska’s fishing highlights – red king crab from Bristol Bay … and so it goes on through the end of each year.
In all, more than five billion pounds of seafood crosses Alaska’s docks each year. Alaska’s seafood industry each year provides more jobs than oil and gas, mining timber and tourism combined.
Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, serving Alaska’s fishing communities since 1910. On the web at www.oceanbeauty.com – In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.