More Alaska salmon fisheries are opening up around the state and weekly updates track catches and trends in every region.
“We email them out at the beginning of every week that cover the prior week’s salmon harvests statewide, broken out by region. And the goal here is to just provide context for what our state is harvesting relative to the prior year, relative to historical averages and kind of highlight interesting things that are happening in near real time throughout the salmon season. We typically start sending them out the beginning of June and through the end of the season usually in September.”
Garrett Evridge is a fisheries economist with the McDowell Group in Anchorage.
His team compiles the weekly salmon send outs under contract with the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. They work closely with the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game to get the weekly numbers out as quickly as possible.
“Over the last few years, that’s one of the things we’ve improved. We’ve narrowed the delay from about a week to 10 days down to, just a few days. So, there’s fisheries happening statewide that conclude on the weekend and by Monday and Tuesday, we’re getting that information out to everybody. So it’s near real time.”
The team uses Fish and Game’s daily blue sheet and other in-season data and repackages it with some narrative on trends.
“That’s rewarding for us to kind of see different data and anomalies pop up, different trends. Because one thing we’ve learned is that every season is unique and different. And it’s just interesting to be observing those changes pretty closely.”
Early on, Evridge says fresh fish markets remain in a Covid-induced slump putting a downward press on prices. Conversely, the canned market – the lowest valued commodity – is expected to remain strong.
“One thing we’ve observed in the canned market is when everybody was panic buying groceries in March in the domestic market, canned sales were quite strong. Canned sales are actually even stronger than before the pandemic. And so that market is expected to be pretty strong in 2020.”
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