Illustration of Salmon (Chum)

Salmon (Chum)

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Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Chum salmon

Oncorhynchus keta

Method

Wild

Gillnet

Location

United States: Washington North Pacific

Overall Rating

2.9 / 5

Summary

Salmon is one of the most economically important seafood species to the US. Washington provides a small fraction of the salmon on the market, and most is sold domestically. Chinook coho and chum fisheries on the US west coast are supplemented by hatchery fish which intermingle with wild salmon stocks. Thus there are some uncertainties with regards to the abundance of the wild populations. Pink and sockeye salmon have limited hatchery contribution. The Chinook, coho, chum and sockeye populations of Washington North Pacific are healthy. The pink salmon in the Puget Sound are the most abundant salmon species in the area. Abundances have reached up to 10 million recently with very little contribution from hatcheries.

Management of the salmon populations has improved; especially with the listing of several stocks under the Endangered Species Act. Managing the wild salmon stocks of the US is complicated due to a combination of endangered species, natural populations, hatchery stocks, migratory fisheries, and multiple user groups. Considering the complexity of the fishery, management is reasonably effective especially concerning efforts to minimize bycatch of endangered salmon stocks.

Bycatch of endangered salmon occurs in several of the US West Coast fisheries. Stocks of concern include the west coast troll fisheries of Chinook and coho, as well as the Puget Sound sockeye caught by gillnet and seine. However, in the Washington North Pacific fisheries, the bycatch of endangered salmon is negligible.

The fishing gear used in salmon fisheries do not typically cause habitat damage as little contact is made with the ocean floor. Of concern is the lack of ecosystem-based management. Hatchery fish are allowed to spawn in rivers which could potentially lead to hybridization or competition with the wild population. Regulatory measures could improve around the management of hatchery fish.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Eco-Certification:

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) - British Columbia Chum Salmon

Variety

Chum salmon

Oncorhynchus keta

Method

Wild

Gillnet, Purse seine, Troll

Location

BC: Inner South Coast, West Vancouver Island

Eco-Certification

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
British Columbia Chum Salmon

Summary

Ocean Wise recommends some Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fisheries, but not all. Learn more about how the MSC certification was bench-marked to Ocean Wise.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Eco-Certification:

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) - VA-Delta Kamchatka salmon

Variety

Chum salmon

Oncorhynchus keta

Method

Wild

Beach seine, Trap net

Location

Russia: Sea of Okhotsk and Ozernaya, Koshegochek, Golgina, Opala, Kol and Vorovskaya Rivers

Eco-Certification

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
VA-Delta Kamchatka salmon

Summary

Ocean Wise recommends some Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fisheries, but not all. Learn more about how the MSC certification was bench-marked to Ocean Wise.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Eco-Certification:

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) - Alaska Salmon

Variety

Chum salmon

Oncorhynchus keta

Method

Wild

Gillnet, Purse seine, Troll

Location

Alaska except South East Alaska, and Annette Islands Reserve.

Eco-Certification

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Alaska Salmon

Summary

Chum, like other pacific salmon, require both freshwater and marine systems to complete their life cycle. Over thousands of years of returning to their native streams to spawn, salmon have become reproductively isolated and genetically distinct from salmon in other river systems. Habitat degradation, changing ocean conditions and fishing pressure threaten many of these distinct groups of salmon.

Chum have a 3-5 year life cycle. Fry migrate to sea relatively soon after hatching and emerging from the gravel. They then spend two to three years in the ocean before returning to their natal rivers to spawn and die. Chum are the most widely distributed of the Pacific salmon species and are fairly abundant throughout their range.

In Alaska, salmon fisheries are managed by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. A major challenge in salmon fisheries management is the significant year-to-year variation in salmon run abundance. In both Canada and the US salmon fisheries managers establish pre-season estimates and then perform in-season assessments to determine catch limits. In both regions, conservation is the primary objective in management decisions; however, these objectives need to be balanced with the social and economic requirements of the various stakeholders, in particular, obligations to Aboriginal peoples.

Chum harvests are highly specific so bycatch is considered low compared to total catch. Most commercial salmon harvests operate as mixed-stock fisheries which can capture several different stocks at once. This poses a challenge to managing stocks that are of conservation concern. Gillnet , seine and troll gear have minimal impact on marine habitats. Removing salmon from ocean river systems may have significant ecosystem impacts. Marine and terrestrial mammals and birds rely on salmon for food and the forests adjacent to salmon bearing streams are closely linked to the nutrients from the salmon.

Ocean Wise recommends some Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fisheries, but not all. Learn more about how the MSC certification was bench-marked to Ocean Wise.

Learn more about harvest methods

Variety

Chum salmon

Oncorhynchus keta

Method

Wild

Gillnet, Purse seine, Troll

Location

US Washington, Oregon, California ** except WA North Pacific

Overall Rating

2.6 / 5

Summary

Global production of salmon reaches about 926,000 mt per year. Washington, California and Oregon are relatively small producers. An average of 12,986 mt were caught between 1998 and 2012 by these three states. Chinook salmon caught in the lower US comprise about half of the total North American catch.

Chinook coho and chum fisheries on the US west coast are supplemented by hatchery fish which intermingle with wild salmon stocks. Thus there are some uncertainties with regards to the abundance of the wild populations. Pink and sockeye salmon have limited hatchery contribution. Of special concern are the Puget Sound Chinook and Columbia coho fisheries which target hatchery fish but accidentally catch the natural-origin salmon which are listed as endangered under the United States Endangered Species Act.

Management of the salmon populations has improved; especially with the listing of several stocks under the Endangered Species Act. Managing the wild salmon stocks of the US is complicated due to a combination of endangered species, natural populations, hatchery stocks, migratory fisheries, and multiple user groups. Considering the complexity of the fishery, management is reasonably effective especially concerning efforts to minimize bycatch of endangered salmon stocks.

Bycatch of endangered salmon occurs in several of these fisheries. Stocks of concern include the west coast troll fisheries of Chinook and coho, as well as the Puget Sound sockeye caught by gillnet and seine. The fishing gear used in salmon fisheries do not typically cause habitat damage as little contact is made with the ocean floor. Of concern is the lack of ecosystem-based management. Hatchery fish are allowed to spawn in rivers which could potentially lead to hybridization or competition with the wild population. Regulatory measures could improve around the management of hatchery fish.

Learn more about harvest methods

Variety

Chum salmon

Oncorhynchus keta

Method

Wild

Trap

Location

Iturup Island, Russia

Eco-Certification

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Iturup Island pink & chum salmon

Summary

Ocean Wise recommends some Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fisheries, but not all. Learn more about how the MSC certification was bench-marked to Ocean Wise.

Learn more about harvest methods