Alaska Peninsula/Aleutian Islands
Volume data of 24,835 metric tons is the annual average catch from 2002 – 2011 according to NPAFC.
The Alaska salmon fisheries were some of the earliest fisheries to receive MSC certification, being first certified in December 2000. Since then, the fisheries were re-certified in October 2007 and again in November 2013. Four conservation groups filed an objection to the most recent certification effort, citing insufficient evaluation of harvest rates on depleted, non-Alaskan salmon stocks intercepted in Southeast Alaska fisheries. However, an independent adjudicator dismissed the objection. The Units of Certification (UoCs; sub-components of the fishery that are individually evaluated) have varied among assessments, with the most recent assessment defining 14 units based on geographic area. Thirteen of the units were scored to pass certification, but the Prince William Sound (PWS) UoC is still under assessment, likely due to issues regarding hatchery production and the potential impacts on local wild stocks. Indeed, one of the most important fishery concerns is the accelerating release of hatchery pink and chum in Kodiak, PWS and Southeast Alaska (SEAK). Another issue is that some fisheries may affect stocks with low abundances that are designated as ‘stocks of concern,’ which are specified as ‘yield concern’ (escapement goals met but expected yields not met) or ‘management concern’ (escapement goals not met). Although the Alaska salmon fisheries benefit from the availability of high quality spawning habitat and a management system that closely monitors catches and escapements, there are still improvements to be made.
The Alaska Peninsula/Aleutian Islands UoC is in the Westward Management Region and has three fishery components. The South Unimak and Shumagin Islands component is located on the south side of the Alaska Peninsula west of the Chignik Management Area. The Aleutian Islands and Atka-Amlia Islands component extends southwest from Unimak Island and encompasses all of the Aleutian Islands to the Russian border, in addition to the Pribilof Islands. The northern Peninsula component extends along the northern side of the Alaska Peninsula from Cape Sarichef on Unimak Island to Cape Menshikof near Port Heiden, where it joins the Bristol Bay Management Area. The Alaska Peninsula/Aleutian Islands fishery catches mostly sockeye salmon, including interceptions of sockeye bound primarily for Bristol Bay and harvest of local stocks originating primarily from the north side of the Alaska Peninsula. Catches of coho, pink and chum are significant but largely incidental to sockeye salmon harvest. Purse seines, drift gill nets, and beach seines are the only commercial gear allowed.
Escapement goals are used to manage the fisheries where most of the salmon are locally caught. There is 1 escapement goal for Chinook, 13 for sockeye, 3 for coho, 2 for pink (different for odd and even year runs) and 6 for chum salmon. The lower bounds of the escapement goals have been exceeded in most years. Management of interception fisheries relies on preseason quotas and forecasts for the primary stocks being intercepted. Swanson Lagoon sockeye salmon were designated as a stock of management concern in February 2013. The decline of this stock appears to be due to natural causes, and fisheries that may impact the stock have been closed. There are no hatcheries in the region.
Purse Seine Vessels Owners Association (PSVOA; fishery client), Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G), Wild Salmon Center, Raincoast Conservation Foundation, Watershed Watch Salmon Society, David Suzuki Foundation, SkeenaWild Conservation Trust, Wild Fish Conservancy, American Bird Conservancy, Sustainable Fisheries Partnerships, Pacific Salmon Foundation, World Wildlife Fund, Ecotrust, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Native Corporations involved in Alaska salmon fisheries:
Arctic Slope Native Association, Bering Straits Association, Northwest Alaska Native Association, Association of Village Council Presidents, Tanana Chiefs’ Conference, Cook Inlet Association, Bristol Bay Native Association, Aleut League, Chugach Native Association, Tlingit-Haida Central Council, Kodiak Area Native Association, Copper River Native Association
The 2013 Public Certification Report for the Alaska salmon fisheries was released on November 12, 2013. No conditions (fishery improvement targets) were placed on the Alaska Peninsula/Aleutian Islands salmon fishery.
An Action Plan outlining timelines and activities that would be taken to address conditions was written by the Client, approved by the assessment team, and included in the assessment report. As no conditions were placed on the Alaska Peninsula/Aleutian Islands UoC, it was not included in the Action Plan.