Summary with Alex Wertheimer

  1. 40 years of experience working with Alaska salmon issues
  2. Presentation is put together in response to concerns from  seafood certification groups regarding hatchery interactions
  3. Certification a marketing tool to label seafood ‘sustainable’; Prince William Sound not certified due to concern about enhancement
  4. Data from ADFG, management reports, otolith tagging data
  5. In recent years, 40% of pink harvests are  from hatcheries and 65% of chum from hatcheries
  6. First hatcheries in Alaska started in the late 1890s to mitigate for impact on harvest…thought to have done little to address the underlying problem of overharvest
  7. FRED division of ADFG built on success of Japenese “ocean ranching” to invest in Alaska hatchery framework
  8. Number of hatcheries peak in the mid 1980s at about 45, and has settled to about 30, most being Private non Profit hatchery operation
  9. Alaska hatchery programs have had benefit of learning form Pacific NW experiences…a key lesson being to evaluate hatchery production  not just number of fish stocked or spawned
  10. Many safe guards in terms of genetic policies, site identification of hatcheries, and locations of releases to try and minimize impact on wild populations
  11. Purpose of Alaska hatcheries not intended to mitigate anything (e.g. habitat) but rather to enhance fisheries harvest
  12. Anadromous Stream Act affords special protection to anadromous habitat (downside is that waters have to be documented as anadromous before being protected under this legislation)
  13. Sustainability of natural resources for optimum use is a mandate of Alaska State Constitution
  14. Pinks and chum make up over 90% of hatchery returns/harvests in Alaska- a result of their short life history in freshwater
  15. Frequency of obtaining escapements for pink salmon more common in the period of hatchery production with some caveats. What are some of those major caveats?
  16. Summer chum salmon in SE AK have also met consistently escapement goals during hatchery era…similar caveats from PWS apply
  17. Question is not whether there is any impact of hatchery stocks on wild fish but rather are  the benefits of hatchery enhancement consistent with certification criteria and goals?
  18. Conclusions that hatchery production has resulted in increases in commercial harvest of 6-10 times over pre-hatchery averages and ultimately are consistent with pre-cautionary principle

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