Value of Oregon seafood at 23-year high


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
June 5, 2012

For many Oregon fisheries, both the volume and value of their 2011 catches were the best in decades, according to the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

Last year, 285 million pounds of seafood were landed in Oregon, up from 216 million pounds in 2010. And many fisheries enjoyed higher prices. The value of the state’s catch amounted to USD 145 million in 2011, up from USD 105 million in 2010 and up 44 percent from the 10-year average.

The pink shrimp fishery had its best season in 19 years, with 48 million pounds valued at USD 24.6 million. Dungeness crab, which represents 30 to 50 percent of Oregon’s annual seafood catch (in terms of value), was valued at USD 44 million in 2011, with the average price hitting a record high of USD 3.37 per pound. Albacore tuna landings were average, but high demand resulted in the harvest’s value reach a 33-year high of USD 18.7 million.

However, salmon landings fell to about 2.4 million pounds in 2011, although prices for the fish were slightly higher. The sardine fishery experienced a downturn, with a value of USD 3.2 million, down from USD 5.3 million in 2010.

“We continue to remind fishermen that it’s not the pounds of fish that you take to the bank, it’s the dollars that you take to the bank,” said Nick Furman, director of Seafood Oregon. “All this speaks well for the health of the ocean it speaks well for the management schemes presently in place that ensure we have sustainably-harvested stocks. The resulting evidence is the increase in pounds of fish harvested and dollar value.

“The total picture for last year was great, and we’re seeing some continued evidence of the same level of activity this year,” he added.

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