The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute created this amazing chart of the seasons for Wild Alaskan Seafood, as well as the areas in which they are generally caught. Check it out - buy sustainable and buy seasonal for the best quality!
Alaska fishermen and women are experts at a variety of fishing methods. Because the State of Alaska requires all Alaskan Fisheries to be sustainably managed, all methods are monitored to make sure that the correct gear type is being used, and that only mature fish of the targeted species are caught.
Gillnetting: Gillnets are set across the path of returning salmon, stretched out their entire length. The salmon swim into gillnets, their heads push through the web and are caught just behind the gill plate. The openings in the net are regulated to ensure that they catch the appropriate size of salmon. Anything too small will swim on through!
Seining: Purse seiners catch salmon by encircling them with a large, smaller mesh net. While the net is being released from the seiner, a deckhand "plunges" the water to scare fish away from the boat so they'll go back toward the net. The skiff man tows the net around a group of salmon in a powerful small boat or "skiff", then circles back around to the seiner to close the circle. Then the bottom of the net, the leadline, is tightly closed, or “pursed,” to capture the fish, and the set is hauled aboard.
Longlining: Longliners catch halibut and blackcod using a long weighted line with several baited hooks. The lines are laid on the ocean floor, anchored in place and left to “soak” for around 24 hours before they are hauled aboard. Our fish are dressed, bled, and packed in ice on board the vessel, then quickly taken to a processor where they are portioned and flash frozen.
Jigging: Cod and rockfish are also caught using automatic jigging equipment. Similar to longlining, lines with baited hooks are automatically “jigged” up and down, mimicking live bait to attract the fish. In most cases the fish caught by jigging are immediately dressed and iced on board the boat.