There are big concerns regarding fishing in Alaska. Why is Alaska commercial fishing permits rising like never before? Is this a consequence of good catches or merely fishermen’s greediness? Perhaps it is a combination of both or none of them at all. Keep on reading to find out what’s going on in the last frontier state.
Alaska’s economy has a great dependence on fishing for subsistence as well as for sport. Seafood is highly abundant, with the primary fisheries in the Bering Sea and the North Pacific. One of the most important local fish is the salmon. Although is cheaper to buy seafood within the state than out of it, salmon permits prices have skyrocketed in recent years and the experts are trying to figure out why.
Unexpected Rise In Salmon Fishing Permits at Bristol Bay
If you are interested in fishing in Alaska and take a look at the prices of the permits, you might get your socks blown off. Some of them go up to $200.000 or even more. The first thing you might want to do is throw in the towel unless you have that many savings and you are a big salmon fan. However, these outstanding prices have their explanation.
As of October 2021, most fishermen in major regions ended up with good catches, and dock prices were up from recent years. That’s pushed up permit prices, notably at the bellwether fishery at Bristol Bay, where driftnet permits have topped $200,000. Fishing permits in Alaska don’t have any kind of government regulation, so the value is quite literally whatever a buyer is willing to pay for it.
Buyers are hesitant to pay these really high prices, and many are hoping it’s a pretty short spike. On top of it, sellers are holding out for high prices while at the same time expressing concerns over increased tax burdens if they sell this year following such a good season. Those two things combined have really restricted the market and there haven’t been that many sales.
Opportunities In Other Salmon Fisheries
Despite the unaffordable prices for salmon permits in Bristol Bay, there are many other places across Alaska that are attracting interest. Permits that have been relatively quiet for a few years are now getting inquiries, which is good news and means that optimism is spreading throughout the fisheries.
Troll permits in the Southeast are making a comeback. Before the summer season, power troll permits were selling in the low $20,000s and are now in the $28,000-$30,000 range. Movement in other Southeast salmon permits, however, is lackluster.
Drift permits at Cook Inlet ticked upward from lows of $16,000-$17,000 to $30,000, while seine permits at Kodiak have been on a steady rise from the mid-$30,000 range up to $40,000 since the season ended. On the other hand, permits at Prince William have become stagnant; a few drift permits have sold in the $110,000 range. No seine permits have sold yet there, and many fishermen are moving from Prince William Sound seine to Bristol Bay.
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