Alaska’s eight month long halibut fishery ends today and nearly all of the 17.5 million pound catch limit has crossed the docks.
Kodiak led all ports for landings, followed by Seward and Homer.
The industry will get a first glimpse of next year’s potential catches at the International Pacific Halibut Commission meeting later this month in Seattle.
The halibut fishery will reopen in early March.Alaska’s biggest fishery – pollock – called it a wrap on November 1 with a catch topping three billion pounds.
Also winding down – the red king crab fishery at Bristol Bay with a harvest just under seven million pounds.
Both pollock and crab again made the Top 10 list of America’s seafood favorites, at numbers 5 and 8 respectively.
The top three again were shrimp, salmon and canned tuna.
The list, compiled each year by the National Fisheries Institute, showed that U.S. seafood consumption fell in 2016 from 15.5 pounds to 14.9 pounds per person.
Almost the entire drop was attributable to a 300 million pound shortfall in salmon coming out of Alaska, said market expert John Sackton of Seafood.com. When converted to edible weight, it accounts for the decline in consumption of America’s number 2 favorite.
Two farmed whitefish – tilapia and pangasius – are among America’s seafood favorites, along with cod, catfish and clams.
Cod is the biggest winner, Sackton said, adding that the eating trend data are most useful when looked at over time. Cod has taken an increased share of the whitefish favorites over the past five years.