Federal regulators on Thursday approved a genetically engineered salmon as fit for consumption, making it the first genetically altered animal to be cleared for American supermarkets and dinner tables.
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The approval by the Food and Drug Administration caps a long struggle for AquaBounty Technologies, a small company that first approached the F.D.A. about approval in the 1990s. The agency made its initial determination that the fish would be safe to eat and for the environment more than five years ago.
Next year promises to be a big year for sockeye harvests. Both Bristol Bay and Upper Cook Inlet are forecast to have sizable sockeye returns in the midst of global and domestic market hostile to U.S. higher sockeye prices detailed in a new economic report.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) has compiled preliminary figures for the 2015 commercial salmon harvest and harvest value. The total 2015 statewide commercial salmon harvest was 263.5 million fish, and was comprised of 474,000 Chinook salmon, 15.2 million chum salmon, 3.6 million coho salmon, 190.5 million pink salmon, and 54 million sockeye salmon. Overall, this represents the second largest salmon harvest on record, and was exceeded only by the record harvests of 2013.
The iconic Alaska chinook salmon has unequaled world-renown for big fish tales.
The largest fish on record, a 97-pounder pulled from the Kenai River in 1985, changed the focus of the Alaska fishing economy, bringing in waves of fish tourists and seeding the politically influential guided angler industry.
Since then, the chinook, or king, salmon across the state have been getting smaller, researchers have found.
Trolling for salmon is a big business for many fishermen in Southeast Alaska. But this summer was a bit unusual. More effort was put into catching Chum salmon than Coho and fishermen only had one shot at Kings.
The 2015 commercial chum season in Kotzebue was one of the best. But despite being the third largest harvest in the last 25 years and the 12th largest in the 54-year history of the fishery, it's still living in the shadow of the 2014 season, which was one for the record books.
The Department of Fish and Game released a summary of the Bristol Bay 2015 fishing season, now noting a total inshore run of 58 million sockeye salmon.
That makes 2015 a near-record-setting year, says Fish and Game area biologist Tim Sands. “It’s second out of the last 20 years – the only one that beat it was 1995 – and it’s the third-largest run of all time,” said Sands.
Deliveries of wild Alaska salmon to processors reached nearly 236 million fish as of Aug. 25, exceeding the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s forecast by more than 15 million fish, and the pink salmon forecast alone by upwards of 26 million fish.
The humpy harvest alone stood at 166.6 million fish. Processors had also received some 503,000 kings, 13.7 million chums, 2.4 million silvers and 52.6 million reds.
Southeast Alaska’s commercial pink salmon catch has reached 25 million fish by the third week in August. That’s well short of the pre-season forecast and nowhere near the record setting run from two years ago.
While pink returns elsewhere in the state have been strong, Southeast pink numbers this summer have fishery managers scratching their heads.
With the bulk of the sockeye season over, biologists and fishermen have continued to notice smaller than average weight for one of Alaska’s most valuable exports.
Workers statewide from offices of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, or ADFG, noticed an early in-season trend of smaller-than-average fish. Throughout the state’s early season salmon fisheries, particularly sockeye and chum, fish were coming in shorter and lighter for their age.
Alaska’s wild salmon harvests rose to more than 211 million fish through Aug. 18, as the humpy harvest alone climbed to 143.6 million, exceeding the forecast of 140 million pinks.
That was an overall estimated catch increase of 35.7 million fish over the last week, including 33.2 million pink salmon. The preliminary Alaska commercial salmon harvest report is updated daily during the salmon season by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
In the first five months of 2015, fishery and aquaculture product exports from Chile reached a value of USD 2,192 million, 24 per cent less than in the same period of 2014, when USD 2697.6 million was obtained.