Archives for April 2016

AK seafood industry shows good growth

Fish Radio                    Pollock bag

Seafood industry shows good growth through 2014

April 29, 2016

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Alaska’s seafood industry impacts go far beyond the state. Updated numbers after this –

 The Alaska Marine Safety Education Association offers free ergonomics training to seafood processing workers and fishermen to reduce injuries and increase productivity. Visit www.amsea.org  to schedule a training at your plant or vessel.

Federal grants are available to help “Made in America” companies compete with imports and save US jobs. Learn more at www.nwtaac.org.

Oil and gas might be the big Kahuna, but Alaska’s seafood industry still directly employs more people than any other private industry in the state, and jobs, earnings and harvests showed good growth through 2014.  That’s the breakdown in a report by the Juneau-based McDowell Group for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.

Called the Alaska Seafood Impacts report, it combines yearly averages for 2013 and 2014. Here are some highlights:

Alaskans harvest more seafood than all of the other US states combined.

One fifth of Alaska’s private sector economy is seafood-based. The industry directly employs roughly 60,000 workers in Alaska each year.  The catches from 8,618 vessels add $6 Billion in economic output each year.

On the processing side, Alaska has 176 shore based plants, 73 at-sea catcher processors and more than a dozen floating processors.

By species, salmon provides for the greatest economic impacts in terms of jobs, incomes and total value each year. And get this: Alaska salmon’s contribution to the national economy includes roughly 38,400 full time equivalent jobs and just under $2 Billion in annual labor income.

Pollock, the nation’s largest US fishery by volume, is a close second. Halibut, sablefish and crab account for only 2 percent of total Alaska seafood volume, but those three account for 18-20 percent of the industry’s labor income.

Southeast Alaskans own the most boats and seafood accounted for 20 percent of the region’s monthly employment.  One third of Alaska resident fishermen live in South-central, more than other region, with Cordova and Anchorage leading for first wholesale values.

Kodiak   provides 11 percent of Alaska’s total fish harvests and 8 percent of total processing. For the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands, 53 percent of the region’s value comes from pollock.

By far, most of Alaska’s seafood goes to market as whole, headed and gutted at 36 percent, followed by fillets at 22 percent. Canned products were  just 6 percent of total wholesale seafood value.

The Alaska Seafood Impacts  report is on ASMI’s home page and find links at www.alaskafishradio.com

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods.  Ocean Beauty has contributed over 10 million meals to the U.S. Food Bank network, and is committed to ending hunger in America. www.oceanbeauty.com      In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.

Copper River gets set to officially kick off AK salmon season!

Fish Radio

Copper River gets ready to kick off salmon season

April 28, 2016                 Copper River logo

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch — Copper River gets set to kick off salmon season. More after this –

The Alaska Marine Safety Education Association offers free ergonomics training to seafood processing workers and fishermen to reduce injuries and increase productivity. Visit www.amsea.org  to schedule a training at your plant or vessel.

Federal grants are available to help “Made in America” companies compete with imports and save US jobs. Learn more at www.nwtaac.org.

Salmon season officially kicks off in just a few weeks with runs of reds and kings at Copper River!  State managers put the 500 plus fleet on notice that they fishery will likely open on May 16.

Oh my gosh, it’s so exciting to see some of the boats coming in and out of the harbor. Everyone is starting to drop their boats in the water and the harbor is definitely buzzing.

Erica Thompson-Clark handles social media and outreach for the Copper River Prince William Sound Marketing Association, funded by area fishermen. No region celebrates their salmon better than the forces from Cordova, which include ‘familiarity tours’ throughout the year with chefs, magazine writers and foodies from the Lower 48.

You name it , we bring em’ – we tour them through Cordova and the Copper River area and we have them meet with fishermen and management officials and various entities invested in the fishery, and they learn what it takes to have this sustainable salmon run continue every year. 

In March, Paleo Magazine featured a full spread on the famous fishery. Thompson-Clark already is coordinating the First Fish fly-aways with Alaska Airlines delivering straight from the docks to dinner plates in Seattle and beyond.  The marketing group also is very active on Facebook and Instagram, featuring colorful educational campaigns called “Know Your Fisherman” and “Salmon Fishing 101.”

We show hatch covers, fish being iced, we show short videos with interviews with fishermen. We are trying to educate consumers as to how these salmon are being harvested by single boats,  each salmon being picked out of the net and also talk to them about the fact that every time they buy Copper River salmon they are supporting a small business owner. We really want to drive that home. 

A new Corkline blog focuses on the science behind the salmon fishery. And their Copper River salmon website (www.copperriversalmon.org)   has locator tabs to help customers locate the famous fish  in their regions.

The outreach extends beyond summer with coho promotions and more media familiarity tours into the fall. Thompson-Clark says that focus is on coho’s affordability and milder flavor.

The group also takes their messages into the schools where local salmon is served each Wednesday throughout the year. It includes kids’ interviews with local fishermen, processors, restaurant owners and other jobs involved in the fishery.

 Kids can’t believe that I get paid to talk about salmon on Facebook and I tell them there are many ways to support the salmon industry.

The Copper River harvest this year calls for 1.6 million sockeyes, 21,000 kings and 201,000 coho salmon. Find links at our website – www.alaskafishradio.com

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.