August 30, 2013
This is Fish Radio. Seafood economics for Alaska and beyond. Plus fish prices over a decade. I’ll tell you more after this —
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What is likely the most comprehensive report ever done on Alaska’s seafood industry was just released by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. It was compiled by the McDowell Group in Juneau and covers all of the direct and indirect economic effects of the seafood industry for Alaska, Washington and the nation. It outlines every Alaska region, the numbers of active permit holders and crew by place of residence over a decade through 2012, and average fish prices at the docks.
Here are some highlights: The seafood industry directly employed more than 63,000 people in Alaska in 2011, meaning 1-in-8 workers earned at least part of their annual income directly from seafood. The industry accounted for 9 percent of all private sector resident earnings. The Alaska seafood industry created an estimated 34,500 jobs and nearly $2 billion in labor income for Washington residents; Nationwide, the Alaska seafood industry puts 94,000 people to work.
Alaska’s commercial fishing fleet included 32,000 fishermen on roughly 8,600 fishing boats in 2011. Alaska seafood accounts for roughly 10 percent of the total U.S. seafood supply; seafood caught in Alaska accounts for 58 percent of all U.S. seafood exports
Salmon is the most valuable species, worth 31 percent of the total dockside value in 2011. Alaska pollock is by far the largest fishery by volume, and the second most valuable. Halibut and black cod combined make up the third most valuable species, followed by crab, Pacific cod and flatfish.
The three largest seafood processing companies are Trident Seafoods, Icicle Seafoods, and Ocean Beauty Seafoods.
In terms of fish prices, Alaska pollock averaged 17 cents a pound last year; cod was 27 cents. There were big drops in prices for halibut at $4.19 a pound, black cod at $3.53 and crab averaged $2.46. Prices for herring increased from 11 cents to 26 cents a pound. And the average salmon price of 92 cents was a 9-cent increase from 2011. The total average dock price for fishermen last year dropped four cents to 35-cents a pound.
In all, the ASMI report concludes that seafood is Alaska’s ultimate renewable resource which can provide economic benefits for centuries.
Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. (www.oceanbeauty.com) In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.