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3-Minute Market Insight

EP 595 | AIRED 06/27/2022

Get Ready for Sockeye; Expect Low Avg Weights this Season

June 27th, 2022 - Get Ready for Sockeye - as we stand on the cusp of what might be "THE" Largest Bristol Bay Salmon Run in history - and big landings are expected over the upcoming weeks and throughout July.

[WHAT'S GOOD] But first, as a part of our "What's Good Campaign" (which seeks to spotlight something "Good" happening in the seafood world as opposed to unfortunate news)...

An Italian firm has invented what seems to be the perfect tool for stopping plastic waste from entering the oceans via rivers.

Anchored to the bed at the bottom of the river, River Cleaning is a series of buoys that spin on axels powered by the natural flow of the river. Floating in a diagonal line, their gentle spinning funnels incoming trash towards a collection point at the shore.


This entirely self-powered solution with no environmental impact, River Cleaning became the first product of its kind to achieve the Friend of the Sea sustainability certification after demonstrating that the system preserves the aquatic environment while respecting the well-being of native species.

And that's what's good this week in the world of seafood.

--- Echoing a tweet by Curry Cunningham (a Quantitative Ecologist and Professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks) - "We stand on the edge of what may be the largest Bristol Bay salmon run in history"

Using a mix of Dynamic Models, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning, the team out of the University of Washington's Alaska Salmon Program forecasted a Bristol Bay Sockeye run of 71 million fish.

But on the other hand, Andy Wink (Executive Director of the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association) advised...

Get Ready for Sockeye Salmon; Expect Small Fish This Year

"It will honestly be almost impossible to realize the harvest forecast of 60 million fish. Bristol bay has never eclipsed a 45 million fish harvest. And while we expect there is some room to grow that this year, it's probably more likely that the base harvest comes in between 40 to 50 million fish."

Only time will tell how much Sockeye Alaska will have the capacity to process this season but one thing that is certain, is that large amounts of new season Alaskan Sockeye will be hitting the market in the next few weeks.

In fact, (at the time of reporting) run timing charts may suggest that Sockeye heading towards Egegik may be on a slightly earlier trajectory this year.


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Smaller size fish were anticipated again this season and according to the report by Cunningham and his team, their forecast called for 53 percent 2-ocean Sockeye and 47 percent 3-ocean Sockeye - which translates to a 3.75 to 4.5 pound and a 5.5 to 7.5 pound fish in a Whole Round figure.

A 2-ocean Sockeye has spent two winters in the ocean, and a 3-ocean Sockeye spent 3 years in the ocean.

Cunningham noted that weight-at-age is always low in years of higher salmon abundance, so we are very likely to see average weights for each age class at the low end of the range this season.

Competition for food seems to be a likely reason for this.

Get Ready for Sockeye Salmon; Expect Small Fish This Year

In summary, given the forecasted run size, fish will have low weight-at-age, but a decent proportion of 3-ocean vs 2-ocean fish in the catch.

Current status of test fish result in a 2-3.5 pound and 3.75-4.5 pound category.

Our recommendation is to contact your Tradex Foods rep about your Sockeye Salmon H&G and Fillet needs today.

Although some Alaskan processors have already announced their base price, wholesale market pricing is still yet to be determined.

CHECK OUT OUR #WhatsGood CAMPAIGN Which Seeks To Spotlight Something “Good” Happening In The Seafood World As Opposed To Unfortunate News. #SeaTheGood #WhatsGood

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