Fish Radio
March 1, 2013

 This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch … Who fishes where in Alaska? I’ll tell you more after this –

 Who fishes Where in Alaska

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Many people are surprised to learn that 80 percent of Alaska’s seafood landings come from federal waters, meaning from three to 200 miles offshore. Management falls to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council and they’ve compiled a user friendly booklet profiling the fishing fleets through 2010, with an addendum for 2011 that includes names of every boat. Hundreds of other vessels fish for salmon, herring and crab in state waters, which are not included in the profile.

Some highlights for 2011:  81 trawl boats and 16 catcher processors fish in the Bering Sea; 98 trawlers fish in the Central and Western Gulf. There are 67  groundfish longline vessels, 137  pot boats, and 118  vessels in the jig fleet. Seventy seven boats make up the Bering Sea/Aleutians crab fleet, four scallopers and a combined 1,457 boats fish for halibut and sablefish. The largest fleet is the charter halibut boats at 1,090 vessels.   

While most people imagine huge vessels in the federal fisheries, 80 percent are less than 60 feet. By far, most of the boats were built in the 1970s and ‘80s.

Most of the catch in 2010 – 54% – was pollock, followed by flatfishes at 18% and cod at 15%.  Halibut and sablefish were just one percent of the total catch; shellfish at 2 percent. 

 As to where the fleets call home – most of the large catcher processors report Seattle as their homeport, while most of the catcher boats hail from Alaska. Major ports for groundfish are Kodiak, Homer and Sand Point. For halibut and sablefish, homeports are Homer, Kodiak, Juneau, Petersburg and Sitka. … The 72-page Fishing Fleet Profiles can be downloaded.  Find a link at Fish Radio on Facebook.

 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.