Fish Radio
July 18, 2013                            

World's biggest sockeye salmon run Credit:

World’s biggest sockeye salmon run

 This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – A big pay day at Bristol Bay. More after this – 

Bristol Bay sockeye price soars, nation benefits

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 The base price for sockeye salmon at Bristol Bay surged to $1.50 a pound this summer, up 50 cents from the past two years.  The final price will be even higher for many fishermen who will get an extra 15 cents for chilled fish and another nickel for bled.

The price boost comes from a lower catch than expected – roughly 15 million — and big improvements in fish quality. Last year for the first time over half of the Bristol Bay salmon pack was chilled, and even more this summer. The improved quality is the result of a coordinated effort by all participants —  

 I think that after the fishery bottomed out in the Bay in the early 200’s, we got the benefit of the state legislature passing a tax investment credit program that allowed for the addition of a lot of quality improvements that we are now seeing and the market is seeing. And it is helping everybody. And it is floating all the boats. Everyone literally has stepped up – harvesters, processors, marketing, sales transportation, everything has improved in the whole supply chain. A lot of hard work from a lot of people.     

 Glenn Reed is the director of the Pacific Seafood Processors Association.

 Bristol Bay boasts the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery – and sockeyes are Alaska’s big money fish.

Last year, for example, sockeyes were worth fully half of the statewide total of $505  million at the docks.

The economic benefits circulate far beyond the Bay – the fishery also supports thousands of jobs in Pacific Coast states and beyond. According to a University of Alaska report, the Bristol Bay fishery also creates nearly 8,000 jobs nationwide in transportation and all along the distribution chain as it heads to markets in the US and around the world.

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 Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. ( In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.