July 12, 2022
Alaska’s Bristol Bay summer harvest of sockeye salmon is on track to break all records since commercial fishing began in 1883, according to state fisheries officials.
Accumulated catches in Bristol Bay through July 11 hit 46.6 million fish, Alaska Department of Fish and Game reported Tuesday. The previous harvest record of 44.3 million sockeyes was set in 1995.
The numbers were still on the rise with a long time left of the season.
“This record-breaking harvest reflects the collaboration between Bristol Bay fishermen, biologists, the community and shellfish breeders,” said Lilani Dunn, Marketing Director of the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association.
“When enjoying Bristol Bay sockeye salmon, Americans should feel a sense of pride that they have chosen to support a fishery that has taken extreme care for decades to preserve true sustainability and ensure that future generations will also be in able to feed themselves with this “almost perfect protein,” Dunn said when announcing the inventory.
ADF & G has predicted that the Bristol Bay race could bring back 73.4 million salmon, the largest coastal race ever, with potential landings of up to 61 million fish.
“This year’s salmon fishery will continue for weeks, with a final record set,” the BBRSDA noted.
“Congratulations to all the resourceful fishermen, processors, tender crews and support workers who are now part of the story, the biggest harvest in Bristol Bay’s long history,” said Andy Wink, BBRSDA’s CEO. “It takes thousands of tough people working through exhaustion, hard weather, sore muscles, mechanical problems and more to make it happen. Thank you to the dedicated biologists who continue to help keep this fishery thriving and have the ability and confidence to predict this massive race. “
Bristol Bay sockeye is now popping up fresh in supermarket fish counters across the United States. BBRSDA counts 3,200 retail stores carrying summer salmon, including Publix Super Markets, Hy-Vee, Whole Foods, Heinen’s in Cleveland, Ohio, New Seasons Market in Portland, Ore. , Wegmans, Harris Teeter, Rosauers Supermarkets, Raley’s, Quality Food Centers and Dierbergs Markets.
To learn more about the Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon marketing program, visit marketing.bristolbaysockeye.org. The program is funded by the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association.