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New Report Shows Alaska Seafood Industry Continues to be State Employment and Economic Leader


February 22, 2011

(SitNews) Juneau, Alaska - A new study shows that Alaska’s seafood industry continues to be a national and global leader in the development of sustainable commercial fisheries. The most significant findings for Alaska state policy makers however, may be the industry’s impact on local communities and the state economy.

Funded by the Marine Conservation Alliance (“MCA”) and conducted by Alaska-based Northern Economics, the “Seafood Industry in Alaska’s Economy” is an update of the 2009 report by the same name. The study is now available on the Marine Conservation Alliance's website.

The seafood industry - including fisheries in state waters as well as federal waters fisheries that take place off the coast of Alaska - now employ more than 70,000 people; and generate more than $3.3 billion in annual wholesale value. “The seafood industry operates in dozens of communities along Alaska’s entire coastline,” says MCA President Frank Kelty. “We create family-wage jobs where no other opportunities exist, and we bring significant new money into the state.”

Some study highlights:

  • If Alaska were a nation it would place 14th among seafood producing countries in 2008 (NMFS 2010b and FAO 2010).
  • The seafood industry, through direct, indirect and induced effects, contributed a total of $4.6 billion to Alaska's economic output in 2009 (Northern Economics using IMPLAN 2011).
  • Alaska had 8 of the top 20 U.S. ports based on ex-vessel value in 2009.
  • Alaska landings of global groundfish species groups (including cod, pollock, hake and haddock) and flatfish accounted for 18 percent of the world harvest of these species groups in 2008 (Hiatt, et al. 2010 and FAO 2010).
  • In 2008 about 35 percent of the world capture production of species in the “salmon, trout, smelt” group occurred in Alaskan waters (Hiatt, et al. 2010 and FAO 2010).
  • The 2010 salmon season was one of the best on record with almost 170 million fish harvested in Alaska, the 11th highest number since statehood. Preliminary 2010 estimates show that the salmon harvest generated $533.9 million, the highest ex-vessel value in eighteen years (since 1992) (ADF&G 2010).
  • In 2009, $1.6 billion dollars worth of seafood was exported directly from Alaska to destinations such as Japan, China, South Korea, Canada, and Europe (Office of the Governor of the State of Alaska 2009, NOAA 2010a).
  • In 2009 Japan was the leading direct importer of Alaska fish and fisheries products (by value) followed by China, South Korea, Germany, the Netherlands and Canada (NOAA 2010a).   

On the Web:

The Seafood Industry in Alaska's Economy (pdf)


Source of News:

Marine Conservation Alliance

The Juneau-based Marine Conservation Alliance is a coalition of seafood processors, harvesters, support industries and coastal communities that are active in Alaska fisheries.  The MCA represents approximately 75 percent of the participants in Alaska shellfish and groundfish fisheries and promotes science based conservation measures to ensure sustainable fisheries in Alaska.


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