Alaska's Seafood Industry:
Global Stature, Local Impact
Commercial Fishing Nets Statewide Economy $5.8 billion
January 22, 2009
Alaska's seafood industry is global in stature and has a $5.8-billion
economic impact on the state and local economies. That's the
conclusion of the report The Seafood Industry in Alaska's Economy,
prepared by Northern Economics of Anchorage and commissioned
by the Marine Conservation Alliance, At-sea Processors Association
and the Pacific Seafood Processors Association.
"Alaska's seafood industry
has played a major role in the state's history and remains a
major part of Alaska's economy today, with more jobs than any
other private sector spread from the biggest cities to the smallest
villages," said David Benton, executive director of MCA.
"With key issues affecting fisheries and fishing communities
facing the Legislature and Congress, this report is a vivid reminder
of the importance of fisheries throughout the entire Alaska
Among the findings of the report:
- If Alaska were a nation, it
would place 9th among seafood producing countries.
- The harvest of Bering Sea
pollock, cod and other groundfish (2 million metric tons annually)
ranks among the largest fisheries in the world.
- Alaska produces 42 percent
of the world's harvest of wild salmon and 80 percent of the production
of high value species such as sockeye, king and coho salmon.
- Alaska accounted for 62 percent
of all seafood landings in the United States in 2007.
- Unalaska/Dutch Harbor has
reigned as the national top fishing port in terms of volume for
decades and is the nation's number 2 port in terms of ex vessel
- Kodiak is number 3 on the
top 20 port list in terms of value of fish caught, along with
Naknek-King Salmon (7), Seward (9), Sitka (10), Cordova (11),
Homer (13) and Petersburg (16).
- Akutan, King Cove and Sand
Point would also make the top-20 were it not for confidentiality
- The overall value of the Alaska
seafood industry is over $1.5 billion paid to fishermen in 2007
and $3.6 billion at the wholesale level.
- Direct and induced economic
output boosts the total to $5.8 billion, more than that of mining
or tourism sectors and second only to oil and gas
- Alaska's seafood industry
generates $71 million in state taxes and fees annually in addition
to local fish taxes.
- The seafood industry is the
largest private sector employer creating 56,600 direct and 22,000
indirect jobs annually, more jobs than oil and gas and mining
- Jobs are spread widely across
the state, with more than 10,000 jobs each in Southeast, South
Central, the Aleutian Islands and Bristol Bay; 5,000 jobs in
Kodiak and 2,500 jobs in the Northwest, Arctic, Yukon, and Kuskokwim
- The Community Development
Quota program, an allocation of the Bering Sea catch given to
coastal communities generates more than $100 million in revenue
annually, employs 2,000 workers, pays $15 million in wages and
invests millions more in training.
- The inflation adjusted wholesale
value of Alaska seafood has steadily increased over the past
five years from $2.88 billion in 2003 to $3.63 billion in 2007,
an increase of 26 percent and led by a 62 percent increase in
the wholesale value of salmon.
- State and federal fishery
managers set catch allocations at scientifically set levels to
protect the resource. As a result, no stocks of groundfish are
- Key habitat areas are closed
to protect the broader ocean ecosystem totaling more than five
times the entire US National Park System.
- Alaska fisheries operated
under limited access or catch share quota systems now recognized
as a key strategy to prevent overfishing.
- National Geographic listed
Alaska as one of only three well-managed fisheries in the world,
the others being Iceland and New Zealand.
"Wild fish stocks are
a dynamic resource, subject to swings in abundance, Alaska's
Seafood Industry continues to earn superlatives thanks to a commitment
to stewardship and sustainability," Benton said. "With
continued science-based management, Alaska's seafood industry
is a growing, sustainable and vital part of the Alaska economy."
Based in Juneau, the Marine
Conservation Alliance is a seafood industry trade association
that represents most of the fishermen, vessel owners, processors
and many communities involved in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska
Groundfish and crab fisheries. Among its members are the At-sea
Processors Association and the Pacific Seafood Processors Association.
On the Web:
Complete Report: The Seafood
Industry in Alaska's Economy
Executive Summary: The Seafood
Industry in Alaska's Economy
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