October 1, 2013 | Vol 69, No 10

Economic Value of Alaska Seafood is $6.4 Billion

An economic report produced by The McDowell Group in Juneau for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute puts the combined value of Alaska seafood exports and retail value of Alaska seafood sold in domestic markets at an estimated $6.4 billion. Total direct and secondary economic output in the United States stemming from the Alaska seafood industry was estimated at $15.7 billion, the report said. Meanwhile, the Alaska seafood industry directly employed 63,100 workers in Alaska in 2011, making it the state’s largest private sector employer, the researchers noted.

“Put another way,” the report said, “for every Alaska fisherman, processor, or direct support worker, an additional 1.24 US jobs were created by the Alaska seafood industry.”

Of particular importance, ASMI officials said, was that the report noted that “seafood is Alaska’s most valuable renewable resource and, with responsible stewardship, jobs created by the industry can be passed down from generation to generation.” Thanks to Alaska’s long-standing responsible fisheries management, Alaska has been able to increase the economic value of the resource over time, creating new wealth in Alaska and the region, making “the cumulative value of Alaska’s seafood resource virtually priceless,” according to the report.

The 104-page document, released late this summer, is online at the ASMI website, www.alaskaseafood.org

In all, in 2011 alone, Alaska seafood resulted in 94,000 jobs for workers who earned $2.8 billion. The jobs included the harvesting, processing, management, sales, cooking and serving of Alaska seafood. On average, Alaska seafood directly created 61,200 jobs a month in the domestic market, the report said.

That total included some 32,000 workers each in commercial fishing and seafood processing, plus another 4,900 involved in management, hatcheries and tendering.

Also counted were 1,000 workers in wholesale and distribution, 6,200 workers in the grocery business and 17,900 workers in restaurants.