Last updated on 20 October 2011
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.
In the main pink salmon production regions of Alaska, Prince William Sound and Southeast Alaska, escapement is primarily monitored through the use of aerial surveys. Aerial surveys cover approximately 20% of the Prince William Sound pink salmon streams, which represent 75–85% of total regional escapement. Meanwhile, some 718 of the 2,500 pink salmon spawning streams in Southeast Alaska are monitored.
The escapement monitoring method and estimates of wild harvest, in principle, allow for estimates of wild run size and productivity for particular management districts.
Last updated on 20 October 2011
ADF&G has a formal process for internal peer review of research, including district escapement goal reviews that occur once every three years. External review has been less intensive, but two MSC assessments (2000, 2007) have reviewed research processes and findings. Research results are provided to stakeholders. Under Alaska’s Sustainable Salmon Policy, ADF&G “has expended considerable effort since 2000 to update salmon stock status information and review and update the scientific basis of salmon escapement goals—producing an extensive series of published reports in the process. There are currently 287 escapement goals established for salmon stocks or stock aggregates throughout the state.
Scientifically defensible escapement targets for appropriately defined stock units generally prevail for pink salmon stocks in Alaska.However, there are several relevant, open Marine Stewardship Council conditions from the 2012 certificate pertaining to issues regarding straying hatchery fish into wild stock escapements in Prince William Sound (25 and 26), and concerns over the contribution of non-local stocks to the Peninsula/ Aleutian Island region fisheries (58) (Moody Marine 2011).Publication of results from Western Alaska Salmon Stock Identification Project (WASSIP), which has occurred in 2012 and 2013, is expected to close the latter condition during MSC re-certification of Alaska salmon in 2013. Some progress has been made on components of conditions 25 and 26 as well; however, their full intent is not likely to be met imminently. Recently published results of ADF&G research on the magnitude and distribution of hatchery straying in PWS (Brenner et al. 2012) further reinforce the need to quantify hatchery straying rates to the extent that they can be accounted for in estimates of wild spawning abundance and management goals, and the importance of evaluating potential adverse effects to wild stock fitness as a result of intermingling hatchery and wild stocks in spawning escapements.
Last updated on 20 Oct 2011
Performance against escapement goals varies by region and district fishery. The majority of significantly exploited pink salmon stock groupings in Alaska are actively managed and monitored for escapement, and extended periods of below target escapements have generally been avoided. In Prince William Sound, however, district-specific escapement objectives have been repeatedly missed in the past 15 years, especially in the even years. At the other end of the spectrum, escapement goals for pink salmon in Southeast Alaska have not been missed more than twice for any stock in the last 15 years.
Last updated on 12 August 2013
Stock status is assessed based on multi-year escapement trends and performance against escapement goals (see synopsis under reference point section and more detailed information under district profiles).
Last updated on 12 Aug 2013
Commercial fishery harvest trends for pink salmon in achieved a historic peak in the 1940s of approximately 49 million fish annually. However, a new peak has been achieved in recent history, with harvests since 1980 amounting to approximately 92.6 million fish annually, or about 53% above the prior peak (Figure 2).
Stock status is assessed based on multi-year escapement trends and performance against escapement goals. See synopsis under reference point section.