Salmon season wraps up

Alaska’s 2018 summer salmon fishery is about wrapped up. The harvest will be well below the preseason forecasts due to unexpected timing of some runs, which disrupted fishing. Sockeye catches are coming in on target at about 50 million fish but pink and silver harvests are below expectations. Bristol Bay had its second-best sockeye harvest, however.

Fall fisheries pick up statewide

With summer over the state’s busy fall fisheries are getting underway. Harvesters in Southeast are bringing in sidestripe and pink shrimp and spot shrimp fishing begins Oct. 1. About 900,000 pounds of sidestripe and spot shrimp are expected to be harvested. Dungeness crab fishing also begins again in October along with the niche dive fisheries, such as for sea cucumbers. Most of this is in Southeast but cucumbers are also harvested near Kodiak and in the Alaska Peninsula and Bering Sea regions

Halibut fishing is also underway, with about 78 percent of the 20-million-pound catch limit harvested so far. The halibut season started last March and ends Nov. 7. Pollock fishing in the Bering Sea gets underway Oct 1 also, and the red king crab and snow crab fishing begins in mid-October. Meanwhile, fishing for cod continues.

Ocean Beauty Petersburg plant

Ocean Beauty Seafoods is permanently closing its cannery in Petersburg, in southeast Alaska, and will rely on its facilities at Excursion Inlet, 40 miles west of Juneau, and in Cordova and Kodiak to meet canning needs. This leaves Icicle Seafoods as the only company operating a cannery in Petersburg. Ocean Beauty officials said the new arrangement give it flexibility to deal with increasingly erratic pink salmon runs in Southeast.

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