Freezing February weather doesn’t keep Alaskans off the fishing grounds from Southeast to Norton Sound.

In the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska, boats are pulling in pollock, cod, flounders and other groundfish.

Over three billion pounds of pollock will come out of the Bering Sea, another 250 million pounds from the Gulf.

Prince William Sound also has a winter pollock fishery underway that will produce nearly 5 million pounds.

Many Alaska crab fisheries are underway or soon to be.

Bering Sea crabbers have taken only about 17% of their 40.5 million pound snow crab harvest, and 30% of a Tanner crab harvest of just over two million pounds. For golden king crab the catch was nearing 5 million pounds out of a 6 million pound catch quota.

A red king crab opened in Norton Sound on February 1. No buyers mean the crab will be sold to eager locals.

In Southeast Alaska, Tanner and golden king crab fisheries open on February 17.

At Prince William Sound, a Tanner crab fishery will open for one month by special permit in Eastern and Western districts starting on March 1.

Back at the Panhandle, fishing continues for black rockfish (325,000 pounds) and ling cod (856,000 pounds).

About 150 divers are finishing up a 1.7 million pound sea cucumber harvest and 50 more are still going down for over half a million pounds of geoduck clams.

Seafood Auction

Southeast trollers are still fishing for winter king salmon in a season that ends on March 15. Average fish weights are 11 pounds and the average price is $11.42 a pound.

That means at today’s prices a single Chinook salmon is worth more than two barrels of oil. ($125.62 for one salmon vs. $115.48 for 2 barrels of oil at $57.74/barrel on 2/3)

Speaking of 11 pounders, Undercurrent News reports that after nearly 30 years of push back, genetically modified salmon is set to be hitting stores any day. The Franken-fish is grown in tanks in Indiana and Canada. It grows from egg to 11 pounds in around 18 months, 10 months faster than real salmon.

Any sold in the U.S. must be labeled as genetically engineered. Most retail and food service providers say they won’t sell the man-made fish.

Still, shares of producer AquaBounty is trading on NASDAQ at $9.97, five times what it was fetching a year ago.

 

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