The mission of the Division of Commercial Fisheries is to manage subsistence, commercial, and personal use fisheries in the interest of the economy and general well-being of the citizens of the state, consistent with the sustained yield principle, and subject to allocations through public regulatory processes.
- Ensure the conservation of natural stocks of fish, shellfish, and aquatic plants based on scientifically sound assessments.
|Mission Results||Core Services|
|A: Result - Stable or increasing economic and social benefits derived from the harvest and use of fish, shellfish, and aquatic plants in Alaska.|
Target #2: Achieve the Amounts Necessary for Subsistence (ANS) established by the Board of Fisheries in 70% of subsistence fisheries.
Percent of Fisheries Within Amounts Necessary for Subsistence
Analysis of results and challenges: Data provided by the Division of Subsistence for the following subsistence fisheries: Yukon and Kuskokwim River salmon, Kuskokwim Bay salmon, Bristol Bay salmon, Kvichak River drainage salmon, Alaska Peninsula salmon, Port Graham-Koyuktolik area salmon, Chignik area salmon, Glennallen Subdistrict salmon, and Sitka Sound subsistence herring. Subsistence data is collected post season through household surveys and consequently lags the harvest by up to a year.
Salmon runs in the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim region are variable, some are now providing adequate surpluses for subsistence use, but the Yukon River and Kuskokwim River Chinook salmon runs have been poor and some subsistence users have not been able to harvest adequate fish for their needs. In some cases, limited commercial fisheries are also occurring. Increased costs, especially for gasoline, may be reducing subsistence fishing activities. Decreases in earnings from commercial fisheries in some regions mean subsistence fishermen do not have money for gas, nets, and other equipment needed for subsistence fishing.
|A1: Core Service - Ensure the conservation of natural stocks of fish, shellfish, and aquatic plants based on scientifically sound assessments.|
Target #1: Achieve salmon escapement goals in 80% of monitored systems.
Salmon Escapement Goals Achieved
Analysis of results and challenges: Managing commercial, subsistence, and personal use harvests in ways that protect the reproductive potential of fish stocks is the most basic responsibility of the Division of Commercial Fisheries (Division). The Division's success in performing this function is the most direct indicator of program success, as well as the best indicator of continued healthy fish stocks. Success in achieving salmon escapement goals is probably the most common measure of success that salmon managers and research staff apply to their own performance.
The division annually deploys and operates numerous weirs, counting towers, and sonar sites to conduct escapement counts. Aerial and foot surveys are also used extensively in the absence of other means of counting escapement.
In 2016, there were 287 salmon escapement goals in Alaska. Of the stocks with goals, 242 were adequately assessed in 2016 and of those, 72% met or exceeded their escapement goal. For Chinook salmon, there are currently 66 stock specific goals. Despite improvements in meeting Chinook salmon escapement goals statewide since 2012, 2016 saw a decrease to 54%. For pink salmon, there are currently 38 escapement goals in even years. In 2016, only 47% of the pink salmon goals were met or exceeded. There was a decrease in percentage of meeting escapement goals for sockeye, chum and coho salmon as well, but not to the extent of Chinook or pink salmon. For sockeye salmon, 86% of the goals were met –down 1% from 2015. For chum salmon, 77% of the goals were met.
Current as of January 3, 2019