Salmon prices collapse, chums selling for 20 cents a pound

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Trident Seafoods notified Alaska fishermen that things aren’t looking good for the rest of the salmon season in Alaska in terms of prices.

In a letter sent to Alaska fishermen who sell to Trident, the management explained that the company wills stop buying most Alaska salmon at the end of August, with the exception of coho salmon in the Petersburg and Cordova South fishery.

Also, the price for chum salmon is dropping from 60 cents to 20 cents a pound because the “chum market has collapsed.”

“The current state of the salmon markets is volatile, and future indicators are even more concerning. We know this is not an easy time and we understand and empathize with our fishing community. Given how quickly things are changing we are committed to being as transparent as possible so you can make timely and informed decisions,” Trident’s executives wrote to the fleet.

This comes on the heels of Bristol Bay sockeye prices caving to 50 cents a pound, prompting protests by the commercial fleet in the bay.

The reality for Bristol Bay fishers is that there’s not enough room in freezers in a world that is overstocked with last year’s salmon. The increasing number of farmed salmon operations around the world and compounding the problem for Alaskans, who only provide wild fish to the market.

Trident also pointed out that Russia is selling pink salmon at extremely low prices and using the profits to fund the war on Ukraine.

“Last week, Russia harvested pink volume equivalent to our entire Alaska pink annual forecast, and they have shown a willingness to offload inventory at very low prices in part to fund the war in Ukraine. We haven’t seen a collapse in value like this since the 1990s, when pinks went well under ten cents a pound,” Trident wrote. The company forecasts it will be dropping the price for pink salmon.

That all adds up for a lean times for those with commercial permits in Alaska, one quarter of which are held by nonAlaskans.

Trident is also not going to buy fish in the Puget Sound or the fall salmon fishery.

Founded in 1973 by Alaska fisherman Chuck Bundrant, Trident became the largest seafood company in America.

22 COMMENTS

  1. Salmon prices have to be the only prices in the world that are currently falling and not rising.

    Obviously, Trump and climate change are to blame.

    • Let’s look at the chicoms’ factory trawlers overfishing in U.S. territorial waters… There are still too few fish in the Yukon River.

      • Rich – you keep insisting that the Chinese are commercial fishing in American Territorial Waters. Where is your proof? The fact is that the Seattle based factory trawl fleet is responsible for decimating Yukon River salmon.

  2. The fleet needs to start fishing in drag and flying that stupid alphabet banner.

    Trident would be shut down for hate crimes if the fleet went drag. Democrats would be obliged to buy drag salmon.

  3. Of course its Putin.
    He ruined the fish market the same way he ruined the energy supply by blowing up the Nordstream Pipeline.
    He is just ruining everything for us all.
    Pass the hat and collect some more money to donate to the Ukranian mobster.
    I will bet a trillion taxpayer foreign aid dollars Zielinski will stop Putin in his tracks.
    Hunter will deliver the money in his very fast powerful expensive sports car he bought working overtime for Burisma. Hard working boy that son of mine! He is the smartest guy I know…

  4. All part of the plan. Destroy our fisheries so it will go insolvent. The boats won’t be kept up, the crews will find other work or paid not to work (thanks, Lisa), and no new fishermen will be trained. Another Alaska industry down the drain.

  5. We use to use chum salmon for dog food. Because it was cheaper than shipping in dry, sacked dog food.
    It’s pretty much considered a trash Fish in the Bush..

    • Chums are not “trash fish” in the bush.
      Historically they are the 2nd most important fish along the Yukon River.
      In addition to the Chums subsistence value in Kotz, they are also a viable commercial fish there; flown whole to Japan & sold fresh @ the Tokyo fish market ….. the largest in the world.
      Yes, Chums were so prolific they were caught & fed to sled dogs, when everyone had sled dogs.
      Chums were also dried, half dried (then boiled – gemachluk), salted, put away in pokes (& later wooden barrels) for human consumption all winter.
      Imo …. Yukon Kings (high oil)….. Copper River reds (high oil) …. Kings …. Reds …. Chums, but there are many places that don’t get reds & some people who prefer Chums.
      Then silvers ….. the last to show, but the best fighting salmon for rod & reel.
      I really like chums …..
      Pinks are the trash fish, if any salmon were to be labled that way.
      I never can understand why anyone bothers to catch pinks & I especially can’t understand why the State of AK built a Pink hatchery in Valdez (where silver fishing is awesome) …. Too much oil $ I guess.
      Just because there were SO many chums & they were fed to dog teams 70 years ago and were tagged w/ that name does not mean they are a trash fish. Just saying.

  6. > “Last week, Russia harvested pink volume equivalent to our entire Alaska pink annual forecast”

    Information.

    > “and they have shown a willingness to offload inventory at very low prices in part to fund the war in Ukraine.”

    Corporate prop. Fishing for some federal funding or perhaps a kind word in government run media?

  7. Commfish did this to themselves with their 1991 ban on aquaculture in AK. The ban propped up worldwide salmon prices for a decade or so, allowing fledgling fish farming operations to learn how to turn a profit in a worldwide marketplace. At the same time, AK commfish learned nothing. When the ban was passed, farmed salmon was only about 10% of the worldwide marketplace. Today it is pushing 80%.

    Now, we do aquaculture for pinks here in AK, by releasing a billion or two pink fry into PWS from the hatcheries. They graze in the North Pacific, wiping out other species, and are caught by commfish for a profit. From an environmental perspective, this has a worse impact on PWS and Cook Inlet salmon than Exxon Valdez did.

    Somewhere along the line, we are going to have to start rolling back all the protectionist measures passed over the course of the last half century and get AK back into the business of competing in an actual marketplace. The include but are not limited to:

    – Repeal of limited entry
    – Repeal of fish farming ban
    – Repeal of fish trap ban
    – Change in how the returns are managed – maximum economic value? Maximum sustainable return? Something else? ADF&G can manage miniscule, stable salmon returns (see Kenai king returns in recent years or those in the MatSu). Is that what we really want?

    To keep doing what we have been doing expecting better results is the definition of insanity. We can do better. Rule of holes: When you figure out you are in a hole (and we are regarding salmon prices), the first thing to do is stop digging. Cheers –

  8. Most, if not all, of Russian production of pink salmon is destined for their own domestic consumption. Blame the retards at the State Department for imposing sanctions against Russia that are hurting Americans more than the Russians. A lot of salmon roe from Alaska was bought by Russia, but because of sanctions, not the case anymore. Wonder why gas in Alaska is approaching $5 a gallon? Again, we can’t buy cheap Russian oil, but instead have to get it from middlemen countries who are only too happy to stick it to Americans. The State Department is our own worst enemy. Impeach Biden before he thoroughly destroys Alaska and the USA!

  9. Commercial fishermen will be begging for a government bailout and Peltola/Murkowski will lead the charge to buy their support with public funds. If only the fishermen were paying dues to the AFL-CIO, this would have never happened. I’m sure the Peltola people are already on the union organizing campaign… most commercial fishermen have lost all their rugged individualism and toughness so they are now perfect targets for union thugs to “protect” them.

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