Last updated on 15 October 2016

SUMMARY

SUMMARY

IDENTIFICATION

SCIENTIFIC NAME(s)

Oncorhynchus keta

SPECIES NAME(s)

Chum salmon

COMMON NAMES

chum salmon, dog salmon, keta salmon, calico salmon


ANALYSIS

No related analysis

FISHSOURCE SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

8

Managers Compliance:

10

Fishers Compliance:

7

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

6

Future Health:

6


RECOMMENDATIONS

CATCHERS & REGULATORS

1. Work actively to address and close out conditions placed upon the certification of the fishery in the agreed timeframe.
2. Report achievements publicly to share progress with buyers.

RETAILERS & SUPPLY CHAIN

1. Monitor the progress in closing out conditions placed upon the certification of the fishery and if agreed timelines are met.
2. Express your support to help meet conditions that may be at a government/regulatory level (where applicable). Please contact the relevant SFP Sector Group or Supplier Roundtable for more specific information.


FIPS

No related FIPs

CERTIFICATIONS

  • Alaska salmon:

    MSC Recertified

Fisheries

Within FishSource, the term "fishery" is used to indicate each unique combination of a flag country with a fishing gear, operating within a particular management unit, upon a resource. That resource may have a known biological stock structure and/or may be assessed at another level for practical or jurisdictional reasons. A fishery is the finest scale of resolution captured in FishSource profiles, as it is generally the scale at which sustainability can most fairly and practically be evaluated.

DISTRICT MANAGEMENT UNIT FLAG COUNTRY FISHING GEAR
Alaska Peninsula, Aleutian Islands and Chignik Alaska United States Drift gillnets
Purse seines
Set gillnets (anchored)
Annette Islands Reserve Alaska United States Drift gillnets
Purse seines
Trolling lines
Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim Alaska United States Drift gillnets
Fish wheel
Set gillnets (anchored)
Bristol Bay Alaska United States Drift gillnets
Purse seines
Set gillnets (anchored)
Cook Inlet Alaska United States Drift gillnets
Purse seines
Set gillnets (anchored)
Kodiak Alaska United States Beach seines
Purse seines
Set gillnets (anchored)
Prince William Sound Alaska United States Drift gillnets
Purse seines
Set gillnets (anchored)
Southeast Alaska Alaska United States Drift gillnets
Purse seines
Set gillnets (anchored)
Trolling lines

Analysis

OVERVIEW

Last updated on 12 August 2013

RECOMMENDATIONS
Southeast Alaska

Last updated on 2 December 2016

Improvement Recommendations to Catchers & Regulators

1. Work actively to address and close out conditions placed upon the certification of the fishery in the agreed timeframe.
2. Report achievements publicly to share progress with buyers.

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain

1. Monitor the progress in closing out conditions placed upon the certification of the fishery and if agreed timelines are met.
2. Express your support to help meet conditions that may be at a government/regulatory level (where applicable). Please contact the relevant SFP Sector Group or Supplier Roundtable for more specific information.

1.STOCK STATUS

STOCK ASSESSMENT

Last updated on 13 August 2013

Harvest Monitoring

Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) achieves accurate harvest monitoring through its fish-ticket/e-landing reporting system. However, stock-specific harvest estimates are often not possible in areas where salmon migrate as mixed stocks through a multi-district corridor (Prince William Sound and Southeast Alaska, for example).

Escapement Monitoring

In the main pink salmon production regions of Alaska, Southeast Alaska and Prince William Sound, escapement is primarily monitored through the use of aerial surveys. Aerial surveys in Prince William Sound cover approximately 20% of regional pink and chum salmon streams, which represent 75–85% of total regional escapement. IMeanwhile, Southeast Alaska chum salmon escapement trends are monitored through annual surveys of 81 index streams representing over 1200 streams where chum salmon have been observed to spawn.

Recently, ADF&G has made considerable effort to improve the quality of escapement data for chum salmon in Southeast Alaska, including conducting hatchery straying studies, carrying out concurrent aerial and foot surveys in order to ground truth aerial escapement estimates, and allocating funding toward helicopter surveys to facilitate better viewing of fish in the stream.

The ADF&G escapement monitoring methods and estimates of wild harvest, in principle, allow for estimates of wild run size and productivity for particular management districts.

Southeast Alaska

Last updated on 16 January 2012

Harvest Monitoring

Harvest is actively monitored through the fish ticket system; though lack of stock specific harvest information in mixed harvests and potential underestimation of the contribution of wild stocks are concerns. Area-wide estimates of wild harvest are dependent on hatchery harvest estimates which introduce additional error (Piston and Heinl 2011).

Escapement Monitoring

Annual escapement surveys provide indexed counts for a representative portion of stocks. There is uncertainty in the escapement measures due to factors that inhibit accurate identification and counting of wild chum salmon.Considerable effort has been and is continuing to be made to improve escapement monitoring (Piston and Heinl 2011; Piston and Heinl 2012a and 2012b).

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

Last updated on 10 August 2013

The ADF&G managers may set two types of target reference points: Biological Escapement Goals and Sustainable Escapement Goals. Biological Escapement Goals are generally based on a more extensive and complex analysis of stock performance in light of escapement observations and are considered to represent the escapement with the greatest potential for maximum sustainable yield. In contrast, Sustainable Escapement Goals represent an escapement level that is known to provide for sustained yield over a 5- to 10-year period.

Regional escapement goal review occurs once every three years and ADF&G recommendations for stock-specific goals of either type go before the Board of Fisheries afterward for consideration and approval. The Board of Fisheries may substitute its own Optimum Escapement Goal for either a Sustainable Escapement Goal or a Biological Escapement Goal if the Board finds a need to do so to meet competing objectives.

Escapement goals for eight Southeast Alaska chum salmon stocks were established in 2009 and have never been lowered. Concerns that no accountability for hatchery chum salmon present in escapements might confound escapement goal analyses have been partially addressed, as recent studies indicate that accounting for hatchery chum salmon in escapements would not result in meaningful changes to escapement goals. Stock specific brood and return estimates are not available for chum salmon, but there is separate stock management by space (regional stream aggregates) and time (summer and fall run stocks). While choice of indicator stocks and management aggregates of stock groupings (for which single escapement goals are established) are considered scientifically justified, there are also unrepresented stocks (Northern Southeast Inside and Taku River fall run stocks).

Prince William Sound currently has escapement goals in place for five districts. Goals for all districts were lowered once eleven years ago (in the 2002 regional escapement goal review). During the subsequent escapement goal review in 2005, the Southeastern district goal was lowered again. No further goal lowering has occurred since.

The FishSource method gives salmon fisheries lower scores on Criterion 2 (Escapement Goals) if escapement goals are being lowered repeatedly in association with missed management objectives. There are instances where well-intentioned managers have set escapement goals too high, and after careful analysis conclude that by lowering the goals there will be a better balance between future needs (conservation) and the immediate benefits to the fishery participants (yield)—which is the balance managers are attempting in a sustained fishery. However, there can also be instances when escapement goals are lowered without a careful consideration of these tradeoffs.

Reference Points

Last updated on 10 Aug 2013

Performance against escapement goals varies by region and district fishery. In Southeast Alaska, due to the absence of escapement goals for chum salmon until 2009, it is more meaningful to look at escapement trends for stock units over the past 15 years rather than escapement performance against goals.

According to our analysis using the method of Geiger and Zhang (2002), Southeast Alaska chum salmon escapements have declined by over 50% in 1997-2011 for 6 of 10 stocks. Of the remaining four stocks. two stocks showed trends of considerable increased abundance and two had insufficient data for analysis, but were presumed to have declined by greater than 30%.

In the Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC’s) fourth surveillance report (Moody Marine 2011), it was noted that, according to ADF&G’s assessment, (which looked at a larger number of smaller stock units) most chum salmon stocks in Southeast Alaska are in a period of stable or, in some cases, increasing abundance. Trends for other Southeast Alaska salmon species may suggest that declines in chum salmon escapement are attributable in part to conditions that are not fishery related. Furthermore, variations in survey routines in recent years may have contributed to counts in recent years that are biased low relative to earlier in the time period. Nonetheless, given the available data, it is not clear that the productivity of the stock units at the management scale has been maintained.

In Prince William Sound, meanwhile, district-specific escapement objectives were repeatedly missed in 1996-2010 by two of the five stocks for which escapement is managed to achieve objectives. Performance has improved in the last half of the time series, with most of the misses occurring in the first eight of those fifteen years.

The third most productive region for chum salmon, Westward Alaska, includes the component districts of Kodiak, Chignik, and the Alaska Peninsula. In Kodiak, escapement goals for the two stocks managed to achieve goals (Kodiak Mainland District and Kodiak Archipelago aggregate) have been met in the past several years. However, prior to that, the record is more mixed. Kodiak Mainland district stock escapements fell below the escapement goal a total of 7 times between 1998 and 2012.

Meanwhile, in the Alaska Peninsula and Chignik, escapement goals during the recent 15-year period have mostly been achieved consistently. The weakest performances were by the Alaska Peninsula stocks of Unimak District and the Northwestern District, each of which failed to meet their goals a total of five times during the 15-year period of 1998-2012.

Southeast Alaska

Last updated on 16 January 2012

Management Objectives

Escapement goals for eight Southeast Alaska chum salmon stocks were established in 2009 (Eggers and Heinl 2008), and have not yet been lowered. Concerns that no accountability for hatchery chum salmon present in escapements might confound escapement goal analyses have been partially addressed, as recent studies indicate that accounting for hatchery chum salmon in escapements would not result in meaningful changes to escapement goals (Piston and Heinl 2011). Stock specific brood and return estimates are not available for chum salmon, but there is separate stock management by space (regional stream aggregates) and time (summer and fall run stocks).While choice of indicator stocks and management aggregates of stock groupings (for which single escapement goals are established) are considered scientifically justified, there are also unrepresented stocks (Northern Southeast Inside and Taku River fall run stocks). Related FishSource scoring of Criterion #2 is reflected in Table 1 below. Although there is room for improvement, the fishery scores a “10” overall, as the fishery score represents the 25th percentile of all nested stocks’ scores.

Table 1: Per-stock and cumulative FishSource scoring of the Southeast Alaska chum salmon fishery for Criterion 2 (Management Objectives)(Heinl 2005; Eggers and Heinl 2008; Munro and Volk 2012).

Reference Points

Last updated on 16 Jan 2012

Our assessment using the methods of Geiger and Zhang (2002) indicated that, for 6 of the managed stocks, escapement abundance declined by over 50% between 1997 and 2011 (Table 2).Two stocks showed trends of considerable increased abundance and two had insufficient data for analysis, but were presumed to have declined by greater than 30%. In the Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC’s) fourth surveillance report (Moody Marine 2011), it was noted that, according to ADF&G’s assessment, (which looked at a larger number of smaller stock units) most chum salmon stocks in Southeast Alaska are in a period of stable or, in some cases, increasing abundance.Trends for other Southeast Alaska salmon species may suggest that declines in chum salmon escapement are attributable in part to conditions that are not fishery related.Furthermore, variations in survey routines in recent years may have contributed to counts in recent years that are biased low relative to earlier in the time period. Nonetheless, given the available data, it is not clear that the productivity of the stock units at the management scale has been maintained, and accordingly the fishery was awarded a ‘6’ based on the FishSource guidelines for the escapement-focused sub-criterion (4.1).

Table 2: FishSource Scoring for Criterion #4.1: Southeast Alaska Chum Salmon (Geiger and Zhang 2002; Heinl 2005; Eggers and Heinl 2008; Davidson et al 2012; Munro and Volk 2012).

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

HATCHERY IMPACTS

Three of the largest-scale chum salmon producing regions of Alaska – Southeast Alaska, Prince William Sound, and Kodiak – conduct large-scale salmon hatchery operations. Alaskan releases of juvenile chum salmon from hatcheries have increased steadily over the last 20 years, fueling an overall increase in Alaskan hatchery releases of all salmon species to a new peak of 1.671 billion releases in 2012 (including 633 million chum salmon) (Figure 1).


Figure 1: Annual releases of the five species of salmon from Alaskan hatcheries, 1982-2012.

Information about the Kodiak and Prince William Sound chum salmon hatchery programs can be found in the respective profiles for those fisheries. The information that follows below is specific to Prince William Sound, which is responsible for the Alaska chum score of “<6” for Criterion 5.

In the 2007 MSC assessment, the Prince William Sound fishery (including chum salmon) rated “barely 60” for performance indicator 3.1.10 regarding evaluation of hatchery practices and impacts on wild stocks (SCS 2007). A relevant condition (#67) was assessed (and remains open) (Moody Marine 2011). Since the 2007 assessment, Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) has adopted a two-phase hatchery review schedule that is moving from region to region annually. The review began in Western Alaska in 2011, but only looked at policies and regulations in the first phase. Impacts on wild stocks will be examined only in the second phase. Prince William Sound will undergo first-phase review in 2012, but the second phase will likely not take place for another five years, meaning that this condition will have gone unanswered for 10 years (Mark Stopha, ADF&G Hatchery Program Evaluation Specialist, personal communication, 2012).

An internal ADF&G review of Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corporation (PWSAC), which unearthed several violations of regulations that protect wild stocks and other regulations, was conducted in 2009 (Lewis et al. 2009). The review was posted, then subsequently pulled from the ADF&G website, and no public information exists indicating that any actions have been taken on the recommendations of the reviewers.

Risk of hatchery enhancement activities in Prince William Sound has increased since the 2007 assessment date due to approved production increases that have occurred since then. In 2010, a 34 million fry (15% regional increase) permit alteration request (PAR) submitted by PWSAC was approved. A memo from prominent ADF&G staff scientists that argues against approval of the PAR was overlooked (Regnart et al. 2010).

Greater scientific evidence of risk of hatchery activities in the region has also been documented since 2007. Results of ADF&G research on the magnitude and distribution of hatchery straying in PWS using data for chum salmon since 2004 showed very high straying rates (0-63%) in historically significant spawning areas (Brenner et al. 2012). Preliminary findings from a second study conducted in the region indicate both low and high rates of introgression of hatchery stock genetic markers occurring in wild chum salmon (Habicht 2012).

Currently, there is insufficient information to conclude that harvests targeting enhanced fish are not adversely affecting wild chum stocks or that enhancement activities are not negatively impacting wild stock abundance or fitness. In light of this fact, it is troubling that permit alteration requests are being approved, hatchery evaluation plans are developing slowly, and recommendations of prominent scientists are not being followed.

Specifically, due to the “barely 60” 2007 MSC assessment rating for performance indicator 3.1.10, slow management response to this indicator, and heightened risk introduced by regional hatchery volume increases implemented since then, FishSource considers that the fishery no longer meets the MSC 60 standard for this indicator, reflected in a “<6” rating for this criterion.

3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

FishSource Scores

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

Click on the score to see subscores

As calculated for 2015 data.

The score is 10.0.

No escapement goals have been lowered due to missed management targets.

Click on the score to see subscores

×

Management Responsiveness Subscores

As calculated for 2015 data.

The score is 8.0.

There is some in-season management for directed wild chum salmon harvests. New management strategies are evolving for developing chum salmon troll fisheries.

As calculated for 2015 data.

The score is 10.0.

Management has acted to restrict harvest in cases when abundance has declined over a period of time

As calculated for 2015 data.

The score is 10.0.

ADF&G has a division devoted to permitting and monitoring the use of freshwater habitat. The agency has a record of altering or halting projects that may diminish salmon habitat.

×

Adequacy of Data Subscores

As calculated for 2015 data.

The score is 10.0.

ADF&G has an extensive fish-ticket reporting system, with compliance monitoring and criminal penalties for intentional misreporting.

As calculated for 2015 data.

The score is 9.0.

Harvest monitoring is accurate, although lack of stock specific harvest information in mixed harvests and potential underestimation of the contribution of wild stocks is a concern.

As calculated for 2015 data.

The score is 7.0.

Annual escapement surveys provide indexed counts for a representative portion of stocks. There is uncertainty in the escapement measures due to factors that inhibit accurate identification and counting of wild chum salmon.

STOCK HEALTH:

Click on the score to see subscores

Click on the score to see subscores

×

Stock Status Subscores

As calculated for 2015 data.

The score is 6.0.

During the three years since escapement goals were established, two stocks have performed poorly, but the majority of stocks have been meeting the goals. However, escapement abundance declined significantly for 6 of the 8 stock groups over the past 15 years.

As calculated for 2015 data.

The score is 7.0.

Available harvest data for wild Southeast Alaska chum salmon, though limited, suggests significant declines have occurred over the past 15 years, and to a larger extent than some neighboring stocks.

×

Hatchery Impacts Subscores

As calculated for 2015 data.

The score is 0.0.

Hatchery production accounted for over 70% of common property harvest in 2010 and 2011.

As calculated for 2015 data.

The score is 6.0.

Lack of stock identification of hatchery fish in mixed stock fisheries limits management's ability to monitor wild harvest and abundance trends and implement wild stock management priorities.

As calculated for 2015 data.

The score is 6.0.

Average proportions of hatchery chum salmon in wild escapements are near or exceed 10% in some locations. Further study is warranted.

As calculated for 2015 data.

The score is 8.0.

There is no evidence of intentional stock mixing.

As calculated for 2015 data.

The score is 7.0.

There are general policies in place to guide hatchery practices and minimize impacts of hatchery production on wild stocks. However, scientifically-based guidelines more specific to the species and location, as well as a formal review of local hatchery practices and impacts, are lacking.

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To see data for hatchery releases, please view this site on a desktop.
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To see data for management quality, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for stock status, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for hatchery impacts, please view this site on a desktop.

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Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs)

No related FIPs

Certifications

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

SELECT MSC

NAME

Alaska salmon

STATUS

MSC Recertified on 1 September 2000

SCORES

Principle Level Scores:

Unit of Certification Principle Score
Southeast Alaska Principle 1 – Target Species 80.7
Principle 2 - Ecosystem 81.0
Principle 3 – Management System 91.5
Yakutat Principle 1 – Target Species 97.1
Principle 2 - Ecosystem 83.7
Principle 3 – Management System 96.5
Prince William Sound

Principle 1 – Target Species

83.5

Principle 2 - Ecosystem 86.0
Principle 3 – Management System 91.5
Copper/Bering Districts Principle 1 – Target Species 82.4
Principle 2 - Ecosystem 85.7
Principle 3 – Management System 91.5
Lower Cook Inlet Principle 1 – Target Species 91.0
Principle 2 - Ecosystem 86.0
Principle 3 – Management System 89.5
Upper Cook Inlet Principle 1 – Target Species 94.3
Principle 2 - Ecosystem 85.7
Principle 3 – Management System 91.5
Bristol Bay Principle 1 – Target Species 98.9
Principle 2 - Ecosystem 87.3
Principle 3 – Management System 96.5
Yukon River Principle 1 – Target Species 91.7
Principle 2 - Ecosystem 87.3
Principle 3 – Management System 96.5
Kuskokwim Principle 1 – Target Species 91.2
Principle 2 - Ecosystem 87.3
Principle 3 – Management System 96.5
Kotzebue Principle 1 – Target Species 88.3
Principle 2 - Ecosystem 87.7
Principle 3 – Management System 96.5
Norton Sound Principle 1 – Target Species 84.2
Principle 2 - Ecosystem 87.3
Principle 3 – Management System 96.5
Kodiak Principle 1 – Target Species 82.5
Principle 2 - Ecosystem 85.3
Principle 3 – Management System 91.5
Chignik Principle 1 – Target Species 87.1
Principle 2 - Ecosystem 87.7
Principle 3 – Management System 96.5
Peninsula/Aleutian Islands Principle 1 – Target Species 97.4
Principle 2 - Ecosystem 87.3
Principle 3 – Management System 96.5

Certification Type: Silver

Sources

References

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    Chum salmon - Alaska, Southeast Alaska, Alaska, United States, Drift gillnets

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