Fish Radio

Salmon news you can use

May 27, 2016

Unchilled, bruised salmon won't cut it in this year's market.  Credit

Unchilled, bruised salmon won’t cut it in this year’s market.

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – More salmon news you can use. That’s up after this –


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Global market conditions and lower supplies point to a brighter outlook for salmon prices this year. That will reverse a slide that saw prices to fishermen drop by more than 40 percent over back to back years that produced Alaska’s biggest salmon harvests on record.

Sockeye prices dropped 61 percent averaging 81 cents a pound, pinks dropped 51 percen  averaging 22 cents. Coho prices dipped 45 percent to 76 cents, kings were down 19 percent to $3.51, and chum salmon prices decreased by 17 percent to 55 a pound.

Market experts now predict  that salmon prices will begin improving and could rebound in 2017.

That’s a main takeaway from the Salmon Market Information Service from the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.

Things are looking better supply wise, currency wise, from the way the first wholesale market sales have been going the processors probably doing better cash flow wise. I think it’s important for people to realize how good markets were in 2013 and 2014 and keep their expectations realistic.

 Andy Wink is a fisheries economist with the McDowell Group, which compiles twice yearly salmon market analyses for ASMI.

Another takeaway this year is that canned salmon packs from the past two bumper seasons are still stockpiled, meaning processors will be focusing more on fresh and frozen, headed and gutted fish – called H&G –  and fillet production.    Fish that is unchilled, bruised or marked won’t cut it in that market.  Maximizing sockeye quality this summer, notably at Bristol Bay, will be more important than ever to in maximize the value of the catch.

Over the last two years, frozen H&G and canned production accounted for 61 percent of the first wholesale value of Alaska salmon, while all other product forms combined accounted for the rest, including salmon meal, oil, strips, and frames.

Sockeye and pink salmon accounted for the largest share of Alaska’s harvest volume and value to fishermen- a combined 84 and 78 percent, respectively.  Chum, coho, and Chinook salmon accounted for the other 16 percent of harvest volume and 22 percent of the dockside value.

You can track all of Alaska’s salmon catches daily at the commercial fishing division’s Bluesheet, along with weekly summaries and five year averages. Find links at our website

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, an Alaska corporation proudly supporting Alaska’s coastal communities and the Alaskans who depend on fishing for their livelihoods and culture.    In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.