Alaska’s fishing fleet of 9,400 vessels would span nearly 71 miles if lined up from bow to stern.
And Alaska’s fishing industry catches and processes enough seafood each year to feed every person on the planet one serving; or a serving for every American for more than a month.
Those are just a few of the fish facts highlighted in the annual “Economic value of Alaska’s seafood industry” annual report by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute compiled by the McDowell Group.
It breaks down the trends by region in a colorful, user-friendly way that should be required reading for every Alaskan, especially policy makers. Here are some highlights:
The Alaska fishing industry employs nearly 60,000 workers, of which nearly half are fishermen.
Thirty -six percent of those fishermen live in south central Alaska towns, more than any other region.
Most of the Alaska’s fishing boats– about 2,000 – are between 33 and 49 feet in length.
Southeast residents own the most vessels at nearly 2,700 and they own more fishing quotas than any other region.
Seafood processing is the largest manufacturing sector in Alaska, accounting for 72 percent of manufacturing employment.
At Kodiak, seafood accounts for nearly 40 percent of all jobs, and 48 percent of all processing workers are year round residents, the highest number in the state.
Salmon accounts for the greatest economic impact in terms of jobs, value and income with pollock a close second.
Seafood is Alaska’s top export by far – more than two billion pounds went to 105 countries in 2016, valued at over $3 billion. Exports account for about two-thirds of the sales value, with the rest going to U.S. markets.
Since statehood in 1959, Alaska’s seafood industry has harvested just under 170 billion pounds of seafood.
The largest harvest ever was in 2015 at 6.1 billion pounds.
Find the seafood industry economics report at ASMI’s website –