Sustainability

 

All Alaskan salmons are wild and the fisheries are sustainable.

Sustainability means that the fisheries can exist long-term without compromising the surrounding ecosystem.

The fisheries in Alaska are managed to protect against overfishing, damage to the natural habitat and pollution.

Alaska is far away from major sources of industrial pollution. This combined with the earth's Water and air circulation patterns makes Alaska's waters among the cleanest in the world.

In order insure the long-term sustainability of salmon fishing,  Alaskan fishery management methods include:

Time and area closure

Salmon stocks have unique population characteristics in each river to which they return to spawn.

Each "run" of salmon in a particular river must be understood, forecasted, and managed as an individual unit, not related to other runs of salmon in that river, or nearby rivers.

In the years since Alaska became a US state, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has kept comprehensive data on salmon runs.

The Department's scientists use thiese data, together with in-season assessments of run strength (number of fish), to set escapement goals for the fisheries. "Escapement" means the annual estimated number of spawning salmon that escape capture in a fishery. Achieving the escapement target is the main priority for fishery managers.

The fishery can be modified "in-season" to adapt to the realities of the run, the weather and other parameters.

In the state-managed salmon fisheries , managers can open and close the fisheries in response to the "run strength", i.e. the number of salmons returning to their natal streams. 

Restrictions on the number and size of fishing boats

The number and size of fishing boats are controlled through "licence limitations" . 

In Bristol Bay , for example, salmon fishing boats are limite to 32 feet.

Restrictions on fishing gears

Salmon fisheries have restrictions on the size, design and usage of certain types of fishing gear.

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