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Alaska's sockeye salmon harvests up sharply from last year

At this stage early in the season harvest numbers for 2019 are so far mixed.

Alaska's salmon harvest is beginning to pick up, although it is still early in the season and early numbers for 2019 are mixed, according to an update produced by McDowell Group for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI).

In a typical year, less than 10 percent of the annual harvest occurs in June.

While sockeye production in Kodiak, Cook Inlet, and Chignik are off to a slow start, Prince William Sound (PWS) landings have been strong.

Year to date, statewide harvest of sockeye is more than three times that seen this time last year. Chinook production is up 50 percent year on year with strength in PWS moderated by a slower southeast harvest, the update said.

Meantime, keta volumes are roughly double those of last year at this time, led by the PWS harvest.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game forecasts a 2019 harvest of 213 million salmon, which is 84 percent above the 2018 harvest and on a par with 2017.

The pink forecast is comparable to recent odd-year harvests. After a record sockeye harvest in 2018, this year’s production is expected to be 18 percent lower, but close to the long-term average.

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