Pollock A Season Gets Underway Amid Price Uncertainty
Monday, January 21 2013
The Bering Sea’s largest fishery got underway on Sunday with the opening of pollock A season.
The quota is slightly up from last year, at 1.266 million metric tons. Roughly 40 percent of that is slated to be caught during A season, which runs until June. Despite the smaller volume, the winter fishery tends to be more lucrative because the pollock are carrying valuable roe, but Unisea fleet support supervisor Guy Collins says prices could be down this year for both fish and roe becuase of larger quotas in both the US and Russia.
Local processors haven’t finalized dock prices yet. Last A season, pollock was fetching around 15 cents per pound.
Unalaska resource analyst Frank Kelty says despite the expected downturn in the market, the pollock fishery should bring in the same amount of tax revenue as last year because of the increased volume.
“It was nice to get that little bit of an increase in case ex-vessel value is down. The stability of the pollock fishery is very important. This is a major revenue producer for the community not just in fish tax revenues, but in sales tax revenues and the health of our support-sector businesses in the community."
Kelty says the combined local and state taxes on the pollock fishery will add approximately $6.5 million to the city’s coffers.