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3-Minute Market Insight

EP 668 | AIRED 11/27/2023

Fall Chum Salmon: No Puget Sound Fish, Larger Fish Scarce, Hokkaido Chum Salmon

Nov 27th, 2023 - The current pulse on Fall Chum Salmon along the West Coast are indicating a poor harvest, and a noticeable scarcity of fish.

Two of the larger Chum Salmon harvesting areas in the Puget Sound fisheries are now closed and any remaining open areas will likely close by the end of November.

This season was so unusual that the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife had to put out a statement to advise that due to the current state of the market for salmon, fishermen were to call and secure a buyer before participating in commercial salmon fisheries.

While exact figures for this year's catch are yet to be determined, it's clear that they won't match last year's exceptional yield of over 1 million fish. It could be estimated, however, that the catch will align more closely with the levels observed in 2019 to 2021.

Over in Japan, Chum Salmon catch in Hokkaido remains stable, aligning with the harvest levels of 2019 to 2021 at around 50,000 metric tonnes. However, it's noteworthy that this year's catch falls short of the 85,000 metric tonne bumper harvest experienced last year.


Although Japan consumes a significant portion of its Chum Salmon harvest domestically, Japan's exports of Salmon products to Thailand and Vietnam in recent years, have surpassed those to China.

Consequently, the current trade barriers between Japan and China may not have a substantial impact at present.

In Russia, although Chum Salmon harvest will fall short of the preseason forecast for a 4th consecutive year, Russia’s total Pacific Salmon harvest for 2023 would be Russia’s second largest harvest in history at over 600,000 metric tonnes.

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Given the current market conditions, our recommendation is that buyers procure their Chum Salmon requirements promptly for the current and upcoming year.

Additionally, there is a significant shortage of larger fish, as the majority of this year's harvest comprises smaller ones.

Furthermore, any availability of larger fish are being quickly secured by buyers.


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