3-Minute Market Insight
EP 396 | Aired 07/23/2018
Black Cod Update: Secure PO’s Early, Avoid Missing Opportunities, Fish Are Still Small

July 23, 2018 - Although the Black Cod fishery abundance decreased substantially in 2015 and 2016, new trawl surveys from 2017 show an increase in biomass by about...

2018 Alaska Salmon Commercial Harvest Counter
(Harvest in thousands of fish)
Tradex 2018 Alaska Salmon Commercial Harvest Counter
Updated: MON JUL 23 2018 8:00AM (View Previous Weeks Totals)

89 percent.

NOAA Scientists believe the spawning biomass is projected to increase rapidly from 2018 to 2022 when it will stabilize.

SINBAD Atlantic Cod
With that in mind, the 2018 quota was set at 14.9 thousand metric tonnes, up 14 percent from the 2017 quota.

This year so far, overall harvest volumes are nearly on par to last year - 6,800 metric tonnes have been caught to date, compared to 7,000 metric tonnes this time in 2017.

Although landings are normal, Black Cod continues to land in very small sizes.

After some discussion with a local processor, we learned the typical Black Cod offload recently has been mainly 2-3lb and 3-4lb headed and gutted.

The most desirable headed and gutted size is 5-7lb and 7lb up, of which only 15 percent and 3 percent of recent offloads are yielding, respectively.

We can see that Black Cod grows in size between Spring and Fall, especially in the Eastern Gulf of Alaska.

As nearly 43 percent of the current harvests are from the Eastern Gulf this could be a good indicator that we will see fish sizes improve.

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Factory boats are confident they will be able to harvest more 7lb+ in much deeper waters, but abundance will be limited and prices will be high.

Pricing this Spring on last year's production of headed and gutted Black Cod was $10.85/lb for 5-7lb and $11.35/lb for 7lb ups.

Currently, headed and gutted Black Cod prices have risen to the low $11s for 5-7lb fish and mid-high $11s for 7lb ups.

Buyers are advised to request Black Cod now and secure POs early to avoid missing opportunities.

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