Tuesday, November 17, 2009

$370 million worth of salmon!

The Department of Fish and Game has posted a preliminary tally of the 2009 salmon season.

Here are the key numbers:

Total catch: 161.8 million fish

Total value: $370.2 million off the boat

That sounds like a pretty impressive season.

But in 2008, the value was considerably greater at $452 million despite a smaller catch of 146.4 million fish.

I'm not sure how to fully explain the substantial drop in value.

But in comparing the state's 2008 and 2009 tallies, it appears the big mover was pink salmon.

This year's catch of 96 million pinks brought $68.5 million. Last year's 84 million pinks was worth $103.4 million.

The state says the average pink price took a tumble this year to 22 cents a pound, versus 35 cents in 2008.

Matter of fact, average prices for all species of salmon fell this year. Blame it on the recession, perhaps?

My assumption is the value of the 2009 salmon season will climb some as Fish and Game collects better data on what processors actually paid fishermen, including any post-season bonuses.

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