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Alaska ports surged in national rank during 2018 salmon season

    Salmon got its due in the latest “Fisheries of the United States” report by the National Marine Fisheries Service, released last week. 

Covering the year 2018, the latest figures available, the report shows the Bristol Bay sockeye salmon harvest increased in value a whopping $40 million over the previous year, putting it ahead of Dutch Harbor for the first time in decades. The value of landings in Naknek rose from $154 million to $195 million on a catch of 191-million pounds of sockeye, or red, salmon, placing it second nationwide, behind only New Bedford, Mass. 

While Dutch still claims the top spot nationwide in tonnage landed -- mostly Alaska, or Walleye, Pollock, the total catch in 2018 declined about 6-million pounds. The catch value, however, went up, from $173 million to $182 million. New Bedford saw its catch value soar to $431 million, up approximately 10 percent over 2017.

Other Alaska ports making the list for quantity, include Akutan, Kodiak, False Pass, Sand Point, Egegik, Sitka, Ketchikan and Petersburg. Both Seward and Kenai made the list.

More Alaska communities are grouped near the top of the catch value list, and Juneau joins it at number 48, just above Bellingham, Wash.

Alaska-caught seafood accounted for 2.45-million metric tons landed in 2018, for a value of $1.78 billion. Though the total catch was down by about a half-million pounds from 2017, the value was up $17.5 million.