Salmon harvested in Cook Inlet are preserved in a cooler on Saturday, July 10, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

Salmon harvested in Cook Inlet are preserved in a cooler on Saturday, July 10, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

Commercial fishing sees jump in salmon harvest this season

When compared to the period between 1975 to 2020, this season is the third-highest on record for both total salmon and total pounds harvested.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced preliminary estimates for the 2021 commercial salmon harvest in a press release Monday, calculating a “significant” increase in the 2021 commercial fishing season’s overall value compared to last year.

In 2021, the value was an estimated $643.9 million, while 2020 produced a $295.2 million season. The ADF&G stated that when compared to a longer span of time, from 1975 to 2020, this season is the third-highest on record for both total salmon and total pounds harvested.

According to the release, nearly 234 million salmon were harvested, which is more than a 98% increase from 2020, in which approximately 117 million fish were harvested.

This year, sockeye salmon accounted for around 56% of the total value — $361.4 million — while pinks made up about 28%, chum accounted for close to 10% and coho accounted for 4%.

The release also states that just over 265,000 kings were harvested this season, amounting to a preliminary ex-vessel value of $17.1 million.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an ex-vessel value refers to “the dollar value of commercial landings, usually calculated as the price per pound at first purchase of the commercial landings multiplied by the total pounds landed.”

The release stated that the figures are still preliminary, and subject to change as fish tickets are processed and finalized.

For more information contact Forrest Bowers with the Division of Commercial Fisheries at 907-465-6139.

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