Seafood Sustains Alaska
Alaska’s commercial seafood industry sustains Alaska’s economy in many ways.
Discover how a thriving commercial seafood industry based on responsive, ecosystem-based sustainability practices support and sustain families, businesses and communities across the state.
An Economic Mainstay
Even Alaskans who don’t work directly in the commercial seafood industry benefit from the support industries that grow around it; welders, mechanics, upholsterers, bankers, retailers, and many more Alaskan jobs rely on our seafood industry.
The commercial seafood industry helps anchor Alaska's economy.
- 62,000+ direct jobs
- 8,900+ vessels
- 160+ processing facilities (both shoreside and at-sea)
- $4-$5 billion annual product value
- $120+ million coming back to Alaska communities from taxes and fees paid by the Alaska seafood industry
These big numbers are made possible by all sorts of small businesses – from fishermen, machinists, engineers, electricians, cooks and more.
In fact, communities across the state benefit from the industry because it lowers the cost of shipping rates and fuel prices, not to mention supplying jobs to many non-fishing professions like welders, mechanics, upholsterers, bankers, retailers, accountants and more.
All Alaskans are more connected to the seafood industry than they might think. How?
- First, there are the obvious ways. Seafood provides jobs for over 62,000 people – more than any other private industry in Alaska. A majority of the skippers, active permit owners, and crew are Alaska residents. Many participate in multiple fisheries, making it a full time career. Others fish to supplement income from other jobs or work as crew for friends and family. They reside all across Alaska and are our neighbors, teachers, coworkers and friends.
- The industry also creates 10,500 “secondary jobs.” This group includes seafood-adjacent professions like welders, accountants, and chefs.
- In many rural communities, the seafood industry is one of the largest employers, which also adds benefits like tax revenue, infrastructure and support services. This all makes a significant impact on day to day life for those communities.
Southcentral Alaska is a hub for Alaska seafood.
Essential freight, supplies, fishery management meetings, and thousands of seafood industry workers come through Anchorage, and each piece of that puzzle has local economic benefits – even though there’s not a major seafood port in the immediate region. Southcentral is also home to multiple seafood processing facilities and thousands of Alaska fishermen.
Economic activity from the seafood industry actually lowers the cost of utilities, shipping, fuel, and local taxes for residents in many Alaska communities. How?
The majority of Alaska’s consumer freight is a one-way, northbound haul. Shipping seafood on southbound routes provides “backhaul” revenue for shippers, allowing for more competitive rates on northbound freight.
In addition to all this “hub” activity, over a third of Alaskan commercial fishermen call Southcentral home. Anchorage residents earned $42 million in Alaska’s commercial seafood industry in 2019.