Volume data of 878 metric tons is an annual average from 2002 – 2012. Volume obtained from catches described in ADF&G Area Management Reports. Catches were reported in numbers of fish and converted to volumes by assuming an average fish weight for each species and region (weights calculated using ADF&G data from 2004-2012).
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 Yakutat salmon fishery is located immediately north of Southeast Alaska and south of the Copper River. A primary spawning river (Alsek) extends to the east and into Canada. Sockeye, Chinook, coho and pink salmon are targeted by set gillnet. Yakutat Area troll fisheries are managed as part of the Southeast Alaska Region. The gillnet fishery is managed to achieve escapement goals of local stocks, including the Alsek River. Overall there are 2 goals for Chinook, 3 for coho, 1 for pink, and 4 for sockeye salmon. During the past 9 years, escapement goals were achieved during most years for sockeye, pink, coho salmon. Chinook salmon escapements were met in about half of those years. There are no hatcheries and no stocks of concern in the Yakutat 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 Yakutat 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 Yakutat UoC, it was not included in the Action Plan.