Alaska Seafood Home

  About The Fisheries

Sustainability
Harvesting Methods


Sustainability

Effective, precise management assures Alaska’s fisheries are productive, sustainable, clean, and healthy-as mandated by the State of Alaska. Alaska is the only state that has written conservation laws into its Constitution.

In the case of salmon, the season coincides with the return of salmon to their spawning streams, but before fishing is opened, state biologists make sure ample numbers have already passed upstream to lay eggs. A variety of methods are used to ensure ample escapement. One of those methods is stationing state fishery workers in towers above the water to count individual salmon as they swim up current. When biologists ascertain that the quota for a particular run has escaped, word goes out by radio to boats waiting beyond the river mouth. And so, in-season harvest decisions are made on local rivers by personnel who know the fishery best.

For the whitefish industry most vessels fishing for Alaska Pollock and Cod are required by the U.S. federal law to carry an independent scientific observer on board to record catch data and report back the National Marine Fisheries Service, which enforces federal fisheries regulations. Biological studies are performed to estimate future allowable harvest levels.

For Shellfish only prime males that meet a minimum size for their species are kept. Females and crabs too small are returned to the wild, assuring a future supply of these treasures of the sea.

Regardless of seafood being harvested, once the quota has been reached, the season is closed, ensuring the needs of the harvest are balanced with the needs of the ecosystem. Limits are precisely calculated to keep the world-stocked with a continuous, ever-replenishing supply of seafood the way nature intended it from the wild of Alaska.

Swiming Fish

Fishermen Handeling Crab Pots At See
   

Harvesting Methods