Fish Radio

May 8, 2013

AK Salmon Roe Estimates Credit:  ASMI

AK Salmon Roe Estimates
Credit: ASMI


Alaska salmon roe

Alaska salmon roe

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch … A look at salmon roe forecasts and prices. That’s up after this –

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Salmon roe might not be an American favorite, but it’s a highly valued delicacy elsewhere. The main sources of salmon roe are pink, chum and sockeye, in that order. This year roe production is projected to total 27 million pounds, a big increase from the five-year average of 23 million pounds. Pink salmon  usually provide more than  half of Alaska’s  total salmon roe haul and this summer nearly 15 million pounds of pink roe is projected , 54 percent of the total.

Chum salmon are the second largest source of roe, producing a quarter of the Alaska pack. Chum roe is the priciest and about 7.5 million pounds should come out of the 2013 catch.

For sockeye, the 34-million-fish projection should yield a modest 4.7 million pounds of roe.

The roe follows different market trends than other Alaska salmon products. Fisheries economist Gunnar Knapp says that’s because roe wholesales  into different end markets, and it faces very little competition from farmed salmon.

Looking at sales trends:  all salmon roe prices surged from Sept through December last year.  For pink roe, over 5.5 million pounds fetched nearly $12 per pound, compared to less than $8 on average for all of 2011.  For chums, over 3.2 million pounds was sold   at $18.76 a pound, an increase of $5 dollars a pound from the previous year.  For sockeye 1.6 million pounds was valued at $8.97, up more than $2.  All total, Alaska salmon roe had a first wholesale value of nearly $200 million in 2011; the sales totals for 2012 will be out in early July.

 State Dept. of Revenue’s Tax Division   

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, celebrating 103 years of partnership with Alaska’s coastal communities.  In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.