The Alaska salmon return for 2015 is posed to set new records - forecasts show harvests of 221 million salmon, equating to about 1 billion pounds, reports Rob Reierson in the Tradex Foods 3-Minute Market Insight.

First, the important question: How bad does 200 tons of cod liver smell?

Not bad at all, say the investors behind a new effort to parlay mountains of once-discarded fish livers into a nutritional supplement bursting with Bering Sea goodness.

Mediation talks are set to begin June 8 in Seattle regarding participation in a Marine Stewardship Council client group for Alaska salmon certification held by the Seattle-based Alaska Seafood Processors Association.

After several days of emotional testimony, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council voted on Sunday afternoon to reduce limits on halibut bycatch in the Bering Sea – by 21 percent overall.

Many in the groundfish fleet say it will take a big toll on their industry. But halibut fishermen in the Bering Sea say the cut isn’t big enough to save their communities.

As a fishery scientist who has worked for more than 20 years with trawl fishermen to reduce salmon, crab and halibut bycatch, I find the recent rhetoric around proposed North Pacific Fisheries Management Council changes to the Bering Sea halibut bycatch cap very frustrating. In particular, I hear media campaigns underwritten by environmental NGOs claiming, “It’s been 20 years since the halibut bycatch cap was last reduced,” implying that this has created a conservation issue.

The Marine Stewardship Council will facilitate mediation for the salmon processors who disagree about who can participate in the client group that has the council’s sustainability certification. Back in April, ten of Alaska’s major salmon buyers asked to rejoin the label they dropped in 2012, saying it will help them tap back into picky European markets.

Shelikof Strait, in the Gulf of Alaska, is an important spawning area for walleye pollock, the target of the largest--and one of the most valuable--fisheries in the nation. This year, a team of NOAA Fisheries scientists went there to turn their usual view of the fishery upside-down.

Nowhere do people have as much opportunity to speak their minds to fish policymakers as in Alaska. And as a key decision day approaches, a groundswell of Alaska voices is demanding that fishery overseers slash the halibut bycatch in the Bering Sea.

Many Alaskans are speaking out against the more than 6 million pounds of halibut dumped overboard each year as bycatch in trawl fisheries targeting flounder, rockfish, perch, mackerel and other groundfish -- not pollock.

A fish-filled Alaska Airlines jet touched down at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport shortly after 6 a.m. today, carrying 18,000 pounds of wild Alaska Copper River salmon — about 4,500 more pounds than the weight of a Learjet 31. A second plane carrying an additional 30,000 pounds is scheduled to arrive in Seattle around 10:20 a.m. Today officially marks the start of the salmon season that is anticipated by seafood lovers throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute officials say a major seafood trade show in Brussels in mid-April brought in high sales in the nick of time, on the eve of what are projected to be some of the largest salmon runs in recorded history.

On site sales were reported to be more than $44 million, according to the ASMI, which promotes the sale of Alaska’s wild seafood on a global scale.