The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute recently released a report titled “The Economic Value of Alaska’s Seafood Industry.” The report, consisting of 2014 data, states that there are 60,000 workers in Alaska’s seafood industry, which earn $1.6 billion per year. In 2014, the Alaska fishing harvest produced 5.7 billion pounds of seafood. Among the commercial fishing sector there are 31,819 skippers and crew and 8,618 fishing vessels. People from all 50 states in the U.S. participate in Alaska’s commercial fisheries. In 2014, only 55 percent of skippers and crew were residents of Alaska; after Alaska, Washington is the largest contributor of fishermen to the Alaska fishing industry. The Alaska seafood industry has significant economic impacts, accounting for about 20 percent of Alaska’s basic private sector economy. In addition, the Alaska seafood industry exports to over 100 countries annually. Furthermore, in 2014, those exports were valued at $3.2 billion (55 percent of U.S. seafood exports). In one of the most significant fishing regions, the Bristol Bay region, commercial fisheries generate an average of $95 million. In addition, Bristol Bay accounted for 11 percent of the value of Alaska’s fisheries in 2014, with a value of $221 million dollars for about 222 million pounds of seafood. The fishery includes 502 resident-owned fishing vessels and 1,619 resident fishermen.
In Alaska, economic impact by species varies. For example, salmon creates the most jobs, the most labor income, and the most total value. In addition, Pollock’s economic impact is a close second, but is the largest single species U.S. fishery by volume. Furthermore, halibut, black cod, and crab are considered high value species, as they account for only 2 percent of total Alaska seafood volume, but 18-20 percent of the labor income and economic output of the fishing industry.
At Kraft Davies Olsson we are proud to represent those who fish in Alaska and recognize the significant impact they have on the Alaskan fishing industry and the state of Alaska.