Study: Alaska seafood sales top USD 3.3 billion

Fishing and seafood continue to be the pillar of Alaska’s economy, according to new study funded by Juneau, Alaska-based Marine Conservation Alliance (MCA).

Released on Tuesday, “Seafood Industry in Alaska’s Economy” found that the seafood industry directly and indirectly contributed a total of USD 4.6 billion to Alaska’s economic output in 2009. In Alaska, seafood generates more than USD 3.3 billion in annual wholesale value, while the industry employs more than 70,000 people.

“The seafood industry operates in dozens of communities along Alaska’s entire coastline,” said MCA President Frank Kelty. “We create family-wage jobs where no other opportunities exist, and we bring significant new money into the state.”

If Alaska were a nation, it would place 14th among seafood-producing countries in 2008, according to the report.

In 2008, Alaska’s groundfish and flatfish landings represented 18 percent of the world’s groundfish and flatfish harvest, while the state’s salmon, trout and smelt landings accounted for 35 percent of the world’s catch of these species.

In 2009, USD 1.6 billion worth of seafood was exported directly from Alaska to destinations such as Japan, China, South Korea, Europe and Canada.

Alaska had eight of the top 20 U.S. fishing ports based on ex-vessel value in 2009.

The study was conducted by Anchorage, Alaska-based Northern Economics.


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