Hatchery contributions to salmon harvest reviewed
Home grown salmon are Alaska’s largest crop – but don’t ever refer to it as farming. Whereas farmed fish are crammed into closed pens or cages until they’re ready for market, Alaska salmon begin their lives in one of 35 hatcheries and are released as fingerlings to the sea. When the fish return home, they make up a huge part of Alaska’s total salmon catch.
The state’s annual report on its fisheries enhancement programs show that last year, hatchery returns and harvests were down by more than half from 2010, when a record 77 million hatchery salmon were caught when returning t...