Alaska salmon catch projected to drop in 2012

This year’s Alaska salmon catch is forecasted to come up about 45 million fish shy of last year’s harvest, according to the Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G).

In its 96-page preseason report, released this month, the agency projected a 132.1-million-fish catch in 2012, compared to 177.1 million salmon in 2011. Though last year’s 177.1-million-fish catch fell well shy of the forecast, it was the third most valuable harvest since 1975, reaching USD 603 million.

As for 2012, the anticipated decline in the overall salmon catch is due largely to an anticipated decline in the pink salmon catch, which is expected to total just 70.2 million fish this year, which would be down from 116.1 million fish last year. However, valued at more than USD 170 million, last year’s pink salmon harvest was a record.

The sockeye salmon catch is also expected to decline, albeit slightly, from 40 million fish in 2011 to 38.4 million fish in 2012, while the chinook salmon catch is expected to slip from 468,000 fish in 2011 to 120,000 fish in 2012.

However, the coho salmon catch and chum salmon catch are forecasted to increase by 800,000 fish and 2.1 million fish, respectively, to 4.3 million fish and 19.1 million fish.


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