Certifier : 
MRAG Americas, Inc.
Certified status : 
Certified since : 
01 Oct 2000
Certificate expires : 
11 May 2024


The Alaska salmon fishery targets five species of salmon in US territorial waters off the coast of Alaska.

Salmon hatch in fresh water, spend part of their life in the ocean, and then migrate back to spawn in fresh water. Millions of salmon head to Alaska’s rivers during these salmon runs. All salmon die after spawning.

Sockeye salmon support one of the most important commercial fisheries on the Pacific coast of North America, representing about a quarter of the total salmon harvest. They are increasingly sought after in recreational fisheries, and are a mainstay of many subsistence users.

Chinook salmon is Alaska's state fish and is one of the most important sport and commercial fish native to the Pacific coast of North America. It is the largest of all Pacific salmon, with individual fish commonly weighing over 30 pounds (13 kg).

Chum salmon are the most abundant commercially harvested salmon species in Arctic, northwestern, and interior Alaska.

The other species harvested are coho salmon and pink salmon, the smallest species.

Salmon are harvested by nets (drift and set gillnets, purse seine), trolling and fishwheels. Trolling is fishing by drawing a baited line or lure behind a boat. A fishwheel operates much like a water-powered mill wheel: fish travelling upstream are caught in baskets on the wheel, then transferred into a holding tank.

Sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) illustration © Scandinavian Fishing Year Book