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Seafood industry shows good growth through 2014

April 29, 2016

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Alaska’s seafood industry impacts go far beyond the state. Updated numbers after this –

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Oil and gas might be the big Kahuna, but Alaska’s seafood industry still directly employs more people than any other private industry in the state, and jobs, earnings and harvests showed good growth through 2014.  That’s the breakdown in a report by the Juneau-based McDowell Group for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.

Called the Alaska Seafood Impacts report, it combines yearly averages for 2013 and 2014. Here are some highlights:

Alaskans harvest more seafood than all of the other US states combined.

One fifth of Alaska’s private sector economy is seafood-based. The industry directly employs roughly 60,000 workers in Alaska each year.  The catches from 8,618 vessels add $6 Billion in economic output each year.

On the processing side, Alaska has 176 shore based plants, 73 at-sea catcher processors and more than a dozen floating processors.

By species, salmon provides for the greatest economic impacts in terms of jobs, incomes and total value each year. And get this: Alaska salmon’s contribution to the national economy includes roughly 38,400 full time equivalent jobs and just under $2 Billion in annual labor income.

Pollock, the nation’s largest US fishery by volume, is a close second. Halibut, sablefish and crab account for only 2 percent of total Alaska seafood volume, but those three account for 18-20 percent of the industry’s labor income.

Southeast Alaskans own the most boats and seafood accounted for 20 percent of the region’s monthly employment.  One third of Alaska resident fishermen live in South-central, more than other region, with Cordova and Anchorage leading for first wholesale values.

Kodiak   provides 11 percent of Alaska’s total fish harvests and 8 percent of total processing. For the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands, 53 percent of the region’s value comes from pollock.

By far, most of Alaska’s seafood goes to market as whole, headed and gutted at 36 percent, followed by fillets at 22 percent. Canned products were  just 6 percent of total wholesale seafood value.

The Alaska Seafood Impacts  report is on ASMI’s home page and find links at

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods.  Ocean Beauty has contributed over 10 million meals to the U.S. Food Bank network, and is committed to ending hunger in America.      In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.