April 16, 2013
This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – It’s herring season at Kodiak – and that salmon killing virus is back in Chile. More after this –
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Kodiak’s herring season got underway yesterday, and the bust at Sitka has re-energized the fishery again this year. No boat counts yet, but it’s expected to top the 30 or so from 2012, compared to just 17 in previous seasons.
Unlike other Alaska regions where roe herring fisheries can be over in a few short openers, Kodiak openers can occur in up to 81 sections around the island, and the fishery lasts through June. James Jackson is a fishery manager at Fish and Game in Kodiak.
Cut: Kodiak is a big complicated fishery and it is very different. At Sitka, Togiak a lot of those places have large spawning aggregates and they tend to come in usually all at once and you can catch the GHL really fast. Kodiak there are so many different separate spawning aggregates, from Danger Bay to Uganik to Alitak, to all along the east side and they spawn at different times so sometimes in mid April and sometimes in late June.
Kodiak also is a stop off for boats heading to the state’s largest herring fishery at Togiak in Bristol Bay.
Cut: 6 Kodiak is kind of funny in the fact that we are kind of a stopover for a lot of the boats that head over to Togiak as well. So typically until about the first week of May it’s pretty busy and then a lot of boats leave and head out west.
Kodiak herring averaged $300 per ton last year and market reports say the price could be higher.
Switching to salmon news: Chilean salmon reps are urging fish farmers to “remain calm” over recent cases of fast spreading ISA virus reported in two farming centers. They said rules are in place to fight the outbreaks following the 2008 crisis that ravaged Chile’s farmed salmon industry. Production got back almost to pre-virus levels just last year. There is no treatment for the ISA virus – Chile’s new outbreak protocol require the companies to kill all the fish in infected cages within 30 days.
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