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ADF&G Releases 2011 Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon Processing Capacity Survey Results

(Juneau) - The annual Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) preseason survey of Bristol Bay sockeye salmon processing capacity is complete. Results indicate that there will be adequate processing capacity for the number of sockeye salmon expected to be available for harvest during the 2011 Bristol Bay season. This conclusion is obtained by comparing the processing capacity survey data with the ADF&G sockeye salmon forecast for 2011.

For 2011, the combined daily processing capacity reported in the survey is 2.07 million sockeye salmon. This is approximately 200,000 fish higher than 2010. The seasonal processing capacity is estimated at 33.7 million sockeye salmon, 5.2 million fish above the ADF&G estimate of the commercial sockeye salmon available for harvest in Bristol Bay during the 2011 season. While data indicates that there is adequate processing capacity, consecutive daily harvests near or exceeding the 2.07 million daily capacity could result in catch limits imposed by processors.

Several processors indicated they would continue to maintain a “long haul” fleet and provided information on the capacity of that fleet in the survey. Some processors also indicated that they plan to increase the number of tenders they will employ in 2011 compared to the 2010 season.

Capacity is defined as a combination of the physical processing capacity and the intent of buyers and processors to use that capacity to purchase and process salmon. Sixteen processors were selected to participate in the survey and fifteen companies submitted completed surveys. These processors include the largest salmon processors in Bristol Bay and collectively the companies responding to the survey purchased 99.0% of the sockeye salmon harvested during the 2010 Bristol Bay season.

The summary of the 2011 processing capacity survey can be found on the ADF&G website at:   http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/fishing/PDFs/commercial/2011_bristolbay_sockeye_capacity.pdf

The 2011 Bristol Bay sockeye salmon forecast can be found on the ADF&G website at: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/fishing/PDFs/commercial/2011_bristolbay_sockeye_forecast.pdf

For further information contact Cathy Tide at (907) 465-6133 or cathy.tide@alaska.gov

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