Hatcheries produce over one-third of AK salmon catch
April 23, 2015
This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Alaska salmon hatchery updates – more than a third of the catch. That’s up after this —
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Each year more than one third of Alaska’s salmon catch are fish that started out in hatcheries.
It’s very different from fish farming, where salmon are crammed into net pens until they’re ready for market. All salmon born in Alaska’s 31 hatchery facilities come from the wild, and are released as fingerlings to the sea.
Those fish make a huge contribution to the catch – Fish and Game’s annual Enhancement report shows that last year’s hatchery take of 58 million salmon was 34percent of Alaska’s total harvest.
By species, the breakdown was 56 percent chums, 47 percent pinks, 23 percent coho, 12 percent Chinook and 5 percent of the sockeye were hatchery starts. Their combined dockside value was $113 million.
At Prince William Sound, 45 million salmon returned to five hatcheries, accounting for 87percent of the harvest last year. Ninety three percent were pinks and 68 percent were chums. It added up to 62 percent of the dockside value of $64 million.
Cohos returned in record numbers last summer to Southeast hatcheries – 1.6 million.
In all, hatchery salmon accounted for 12 percent of the Panhandle harvest, mostly chums at 85 percent.
Kodiak hatcheries accounted for 41percent of the Island’s total salmon take last summer, mostly pinks and chums, and 22 percent of the dockside value.
This year nearly 63 million hatchery produced salmon are projected to return home to Alaska.
Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods. Ocean Beauty has contributed over 10 million meals to the U.S. Food Bank network, and is committed to ending hunger in America. www.oceanbeauty.com In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.