Alaska salmon catches are starting to pick up, due mostly to strong catches at the Alaska Peninsula. The Southern district there is seeing well above average catches of sockeyes, pinks and chum salmon with catches topping 6.2 million  – out of a total statewide take so far is 7.2 million salmon.

Sockeye and Chinook salmon catches remain slow so far at most other regions, and chum and pink runs also are behind pace. The weekly salmon harvest update by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute compiled by McKinley Research Group points out that peak harvests for those species are more than a month away, and most cohos arrive in mid-August.

Meanwhile, customers are lined up to buy wild salmon.

Alaska is expected to produce a catch of just over 190 million fish. The main competitor, Russia, is projecting a salmon harvest this year of 300 million salmon with negligible amounts coming from other regions.

Global marketer Tradex advises that buyers get their salmon orders in now.

“Salmon will be higher in demand that last year and as such, expect inventories to be already pre-sold or tight, and prices to trend upwards. It’s a seller’s market this year and anyone stalling or counter-offering will be sent to the bottom of the pile.”

Peter Pan’s early posting of a base price of $1.10 a pound for Bristol Bay sockeyes is a good indicator of stronger prices.

And KFSK at Petersburg reports that’s the case for trollers at Southeast who are getting $10.40/lb on average for their Chinook salmon, three dollars above last year and $1.50 above the 10 year average.