Are you considering your options for moving into more fisheries?

A new interactive map from Alaska Sea Grant lets you search 183 commercial fisheries across the state.

Sunny Rice is a marine agent at Petersburg.

“So I only want to look at what’s happening in Prince William Sound. So you can sort it by region, by species, and by gear type – and as you put all of these limiting factors and hit Go, just the icons will pop up representing those fisheries.”

Fisheries also can be sorted by limited entry, quota shares, open access and other categories.

The fishing map came about, Rice says, from frequent comments at the Young Fishermen’s Summits.

“I didn’t realize there was this kind of fishery in the part of the state; I didn’t even know that there were other people fishing Dungeness crab in other regions.  Or, what are my options for moving into additional fisheries. I don’t even know what fisheries are out there.”

The map is an ongoing collaboration with Sea Grant agents across the state and United Fishermen of Alaska.

It is aimed mostly at new fishing entrants or those who want to grow their operations.

“Maybe you are already are fishing a certain species and you didn’t realize there was a possibility of fishing that at another place.  Or you already have the gear to do one fishery and maybe you could use that gear somewhere else. So you can sort it in those ways.”

The map, which is part of Sea Grant’s popular Fish Biz tool kit, also provides links to money matters, such as permit costs and fishery earnings from the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission.

“If you’re really considering getting into a fishery, you can look back into the quartile tables and find out what people in that fishery have earned in the past.”

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The map is a good start but Rice says the best go-to place for answers is local fishery managers.

“If they are really serious about considering a new fishery is call the fishery manager for that area. Those guys are very available to answer questions about stuff like that.”

Feedback on the fishing map is encouraged.

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