Alaska’s Department of Fish & Game has released its preliminary numbers on the 2022 commercial salmon fishery harvest. fishing harvest.
Counting all salmon species, the value is estimated to be $720.4 million, which is significantly higher than 2021’s $643.9 million.
In total, Alaska fishermen caught 160.7 million salmon, which is down from the 2021 harvest of 233.8 million. The state said the lower number was due to the relatively low pink salmon run this year, which is a “consistent trend for even-numbered years over the last decade.”
Overall, sockeye salmon comprised 66% of the 2022 harvest (or 74.8 million fish), valued at $473.8 million. Pink salmon accounted for 14% of the value at $102.2 million, and 43% of the harvest with 69.1 million fish. Chum salmon contributed 15% of the value at $110.6 million and approximately 9% of the harvest at 14.9 million fish. Coho salmon made up approximately 2% of the value at $15.0 million and 1% of the harvest at 1.6 million fish. Chinook salmon harvest is estimated to be just under 310,000 fish.
There were 6,126 commercial fishing permit holders this year, a slight decrease from the 6,362 in 2021.
When looking at trends over the past 36 years (1985-2021), the 2022 salmon harvest of approximately 160.7 million fish is close to the long-term average (167 million fish) and is the largest even-year harvest since 2010.
In terms of pounds harvested, the 2022 harvest of 734.2 million pounds is slightly below the long-term average (762 million pounds) but is the third largest even year volume in the 21st century.
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The 2022 statewide sockeye salmon harvest of 74.8 million fish is the largest on record, mostly due to significant harvests in the Bristol Bay Area.
These preliminary estimates will change, the state noted, as fish tickets are processed and finalized. Additionally, the dollar values do not include post-season price adjustments. The final value of the 2022 salmon fishery will be determined in 2023 after seafood processors, buyers, and direct marketers report total value paid to fishermen in 2022.