Salmon, Chum, Keta, Calico or Dog salmon
Capture method — All applicable methods
Capture area — North East Pacific (FAO 67)
Stock area — USA
Stock detail — Alaska
Certification — Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and or FAO-Based Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) Certification Programme
Chum is the second most abundant species of Pacific Salmon (Asian stocks are more abundant than North American), albeit it is the least commercially valuable. All chum salmon caught in waters off Alaska is from fisheries certified to the FAO-Based Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) Certification Programme as responsibly managed for sustainable use. There are also a number of fisheries certified to the MSC standard for responsible fishing. Certified salmon is the best choice for Chum.
Pacific salmon occur from California north along the Pacific coast throughout the Pacific Ocean, Bering Sea and Arctic Ocean waters adjacent to Alaska. The five species (Chinook, Chum, Coho, Pink and Sockeye) are members of a large family of fish known as salmonidae, which are abundant throughout the temperate zones of the northern and southern hemispheres. Pacific salmon are a shorter lived species and much more prolific breeders than Atlantic salmon.
Chum salmon, also known as dog salmon, is the most widely distributed of the five species of Pacific salmon, and occurs from northern Kyushu, Japan to the Siberian arctic in Asia, and in North America from the Sacramento river, California northwards to the MacKenzie river in the Canadian arctic. Chum salmon spends most of its life in the ocean and returns to freshwater (anadromous) to spawn once and then dies (semelparous). Chum salmon are typically the last salmon to spawn, and most do not travel far upstream to spawn (usually at the mouth or lower reaches of rivers within 100 km of the ocean), albeit some do travel up to 2000 miles up the Yukon river. Although most Chum spawn in the autumn there are two distinct races with the earlier race known as summer chum salmon and the later race known as fall chum salmon. Each female lays 2-4,000 eggs. Juvenile chum salmon spend only a few days or weeks in freshwater before migrating to the ocean.
There are hundreds of Chum salmon stocks throughout Alaska with diverse population trends - some stocks are in decline while some are at equilibrium or increasing. Stock assessment is complicated as some Chum salmon are captured in mixed salmon fisheries with inadequate stock identification measures to distinguish between species and hatchery fish or fish from the wild. Chum salmon stocks can vary dramatically from year to year, and trends over the last 15 years provide evidence of declining abundance over this period. Overall Chum salmon stocks in Alaskan waters are considered to be healthy, albeit Chum salmon stocks from some western Alaskan rivers are at very low levels, (reasons for this decline are not known). Chum salmon populations are enhanced by the Alaskan hatchery programme and hatchery fish currently make up more than half the total commercial chum salmon harvest in Southeast Alaska and Prince William Sound. These two areas produce 80% of all Alaskan chum salmon harvest, and there are concerns over the impact of the hatchery programme on wild chum salmon populations. There are recovery programmes in operation for several Alaskan chum salmon populations.
Alaska’s state constitution includes a mandate that “fish…be utilized developed and maintained on the sustained yield principle”. The Alaska Pacific salmon fisheries occur within US territorial waters adjacent to the coast of the State of Alaska, and are managed principally by staff of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG). The Alaska Board of Fisheries establishes regulations based upon scientific and technical advice provided by the Alaska Department of Fisheries and Game (ADFG). Following State constitution, management measures implemented include: establishing open and closed seasons, in season (realtime) management by virtue of Emergency Orders, setting quotas, bag limits, harvest limits (after escapement goals are reached), sex and size limitations, establishing the methods and means employed in the pursuit, capture and transport of fish, watershed and habitat improvement, management, conservation, protection, use, disposal, propagation and stocking of fish, regulating commercial, sport, guided sport, subsistence, and personal use fishing as needed for the conservation, development, and sustainable utilisation of fisheries. The following Chum salmon fisheries are currently certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC); Alaska (FAO 67), British Columbia (3, FAO 67), Annette Island Reserve (FAO 67) and Iturup Island (FAO 61), with two more in assessment (Hokkaido Fall and Norody Severa-Bolsheretsh, both FAO 61). The Alaskan salmon fishery has been certified as being in conformance with the FAO-based Responsible Fisheries Management criteria.
The principal methods of capture of chum salmon are purse seine / gill nets and trolling, and these methods have minimal adverse impact on fish habitats. Capture methods are relatively selective and the principal by-catch species are other types of salmon due to the fact that they school tightly and do not mix much with non-salmon species
Based on method of production, fish type, and consumer rating: only fish rated 2 and below are included as an alternative in the list below. Click on a name to show the sustainable options available.Anchovy, anchovies
Herring or sild
Salmon, Atlantic (Farmed)
Salmon, Chinook, King Salmon
Salmon, Chum, Keta, Calico or Dog salmon
Salmon, Coho , Silver, White
Salmon, Pink, Spring , humpback
Salmon, Sockeye , Red Salmon, Bluebacks, Redfish