Fish Radio
Kodiak measures role of seafood industry

May 5, 2016

Kodiak Island, AK Credit: wikipedia

Kodiak Island, AK
Credit: wikipedia

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Kodiak measures the impacts of its island seafood industry. More after this –

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Kodiak is grappling with how new ways of managing groundfish might affect the island’s economy.  Plans being crafted now affect catches of up to 25 different fish species – which together  made up 83 percent of all Kodiak landings in 2014.

To provide some guidance, a new economic impact report breaks down how the entire seafood industry plays out throughout the Kodiak Island borough, which includes six outlying villages for a total population of 14,000 residents.

The draft report done by the McDowell Group gives a 10 year snapshot starting in 2005, covering all the  local actions it takes to be a seafood powerhouse year after year.  Nearly  500 million pounds of seafood worth  $150 million to fishermen was delivered to Kodiak Island in 2014.

Some highlights show that the seafood industry accounted for 38 percent of total Island employment –  nearly 4,000 Kodiak jobs produced $236 million in labor income.

Kodiak processors handle year-round deliveries of fish caught by boats from all parts of the Gulf   and Bering Sea. Kodiak’s eight seafood companies employ the highest percentage of local residents of any Alaska region, topping 3,000 workers in 2014.

Fish landings in Kodiak have trended up over the last decade, increasing 34 percent since 2005.  Groundfish deliveries of cod, rockfish and flounders have about doubled, and pollock landings have increased by 162 percent.

Halibut landings at Kodiak fell by nearly 70 percent during that time.   The number of resident halibut IFQ holders has fallen every year, from 291 in 2005 to 219 in 2014. At the same time, the amount of quota shares owned by Kodiak resident has been relatively stable.

The value of salmon permits held by Island residents has increased substantially over the last decade, while permit ownership had dropped. In 2005, Kodiak residents owned 398 permits worth about  $11 million. Ten years later, local ownership was at 289 permits valued at $29 million.

Kodiak ranks second in the US for fish landings and third for value.  Residents  wants to make sure new ways of running the fisheries sustain that status.

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Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, an Alaska corporation proudly supporting Alaska’s coastal communities and the Alaskans who depend on fishing for their livelihoods and culture.    In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.