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International Affairs and Research Collaboration

North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission

Research Reports
Spring 2015
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The Alaska Fisheries Science Center had many scientists who attended the annual meeting of the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission (NPAFC) which was held 11-14 May 2015 in Kobe, Japan, and culminated with the 3-day “International Symposium on Pacific Salmon and Steelhead Production in a Changing Climate: Past, Present, and Future.

The history of Pacific salmon catches from the North Pacific regions was updated through 2014 (Table 1). The total catch was 392 million fish or 864,000 t. Catches were reported by the United States (345,800 t, 40% of total weight; Alaska totals 328,000 t); Russia (336,100 t , 39% of total weight); Japan (144,300 t, 17%); Canada (37,700 t, 4%), and Korea (437 t, < 1%). Chum and pink salmon constituted the majority of the total catch (38% and 36% by weight, respectively). Sockeye salmon comprised 20% and coho salmon was 5% of the commercial catch by weight. Chinook comprised 1.4% and cherry salmon and steelhead trout each comprised < 1% of the commercial catch by weight.

figure 1, see text
Figure 1.  North Pacific commercial catch (thousands of metric tonnes) of Pacific salmon by species from 1925 to 2014 (2014 catches are preliminary).
 

Pacific salmon abundance in the North Pacific, as indexed by aggregate commercial catches, remains at near all-time high levels (Fig. 1). The highest catches on record occurred during the four most recent odd-numbered years (i.e., 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2013) when more than 1.0 million t were caught.  More adult salmon caught in odd-numbered years than even years because pink salmon, are most abundant in odd-numbered years.  The total catch in 2014 was 864,000 t which shows a recent falling trend in the last several even-numbered years (2010, 2012, 2014).

figure 2, see text
Figure 2.  Annual North Pacific hatchery releases (millions of fish) of Pacific salmon by member countries from 1952 to 2014.
 

North Pacific salmon hatchery releases have been fairly stable for the last few decades at a total of approximately 5.0 billion fish released (Table 2, Figure 2). Favorable marine conditions for pink and chum salmon and improved hatchery technologies have played a role in increasing the abundance of chum and pink salmon in Asia. Pink and chum salmon remain the primary species released from North American hatcheries.
 

Proposed Research Cruises:  The Parties to NPAFC reported on their following cruise plans:

  • Canadian cruise plans for salmon research in 2015 are planned for the waters surrounding Vancouver Island and central British Columbia and in the Salish Sea.  These cruises will be conducted by the CCGS W.E. Ricker (summer, fall), CCGS Neocaligus (summer), and a chartered fishing vessel (summer).
  • Japanese cruise plans for salmon research in 2015 are planned for the central Bering Sea (summer) and western North Pacific (spring).  The R/V Hokko maru and the R/V Oshoro maru will conduct these surveys, respectively. In addition, Japanese research vessels are scheduled to conduct 15 high-seas research cruises for pelagic fishes and squids in the North Pacific Ocean in 2015.  These surveys have a possibility of incidental salmon catch during fishing operations with driftnets, trawl, or saury dip-net. 
  • Russian cruise plans for salmon research in 2015 will occur in the northwestern North Pacific (summer) and western Bering Sea (summer and fall) and southern Okhotsk Sea and adjacent waters (fall).  These surveys will be conducted by the R/V Professor Kaganovsky: R/V Professor Levanidov, and R/V TINRO
  • United States cruise plans for 2015 are scheduled in Southeast Alaska (spring-summer), Gulf of Alaska (summer), southeastern Bering Sea (late summer-fall), and the northern Bering Sea (late summer).  The survey vessels used will include R/V Sashin and F/V Northwest Explorer, a chartered trawl vessel, R/V Oscar Dyson, F/V Alaska Endeavor, and R/V Pandalus.
     
Table 1.  Preliminary 2014 commercial salmon catches in Canada, Japan, Korea, Russia, and the United States.  Commercial catches by foreign fleets in the Russian EEZ are not included.

(a) Preliminary 2014 commercial catch in millions of fish.
 
  Sockeye Pink Chum Coho Chinook Cherry Steelhead Total
Canada 9.288 4.239 0.717 0.274 0.318 - - 14.837
Japan - 2.397 40.882 0 0.001 - - 43.281
Korea - - 0.144 - - - - 0.144
Russia 14.788 108.477 43.237 5.106 0.110 0.004 - 171.722
USA 44.827 95.717 12.414 7.209 1.795 - 0.069 162.031
  Alaska 44.085 95.716 11.236 6.276 0.506 - 0.001 157.820
  WOC 0.741 0.001 1.178 0.933 1.288 - 0.069 4.211
Total 68.903 210.831 97.394 12.589 2.223 0.004 0.069 392.014
WOC:  Washington, Oregon, and California


(b) Preliminary 2014 commercial catch in metric tons (round weight).
 
  Sockeye Pink Chum Coho Chinook Cherry Steelhead Total
Canada 24,712 6,594 3,630 781 1,981 - - 37,698
Japan 1 3,451 140,014 1 6 807 - 144,281
Korea - - 411 - - - - 411
Russia 37,606 147,566 135,840 14,478 641 7 - 336,139
USA 114,647 149,366 47,745 23,908 9,819 - 188 345,673
  Alaska 112,747 149,363 42,545 21,069 3,080 - - 328,803
  WOC 1,900 3 5,200 2,839 6,739 - 188 16,870
Total 176,966 306,977 327,641 39,167 12,447 814 188 864,202
WOC:  Washington, Oregon, and California



Table 2.  Preliminary 2013 hatchery releases in NPAFC member countries in millions of fish.
 
 
  Sockeye Pink Chum Coho Chinook Cherry Steelhead Total
Canada 92.017 22.275 78.504 10.712 35.930 - 0.334 239.862
Japan 0.194 122.948 1,767.938 - - 11.944 - 1,903.024
Korea - - 28.250 - - - - 28.250
Russia 13.883 10.303 178.275 3.684 0.999 0.594 - 207.738
USA 74.744 999.400 698.454 65.936 202.551 - 22.491 2,063.577
  Alaska 60.223 998.665 651.320 26.867 9.246 - - 1,746.320
  WOCI 14.522 0.735 47.134 39.069 193.306 - 22.491 317.257
Total 180.928 1,154.926 2,751.420 80.332 239.481 12.538 22.825 4,442.451
WOCI:  Washington, Oregon, California, and Idaho

 

 

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