5.6 Billion Pounds of Seafood Had $5.2B Impact on Alaska

Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s latest economic value report concludes that the state’s 2016 seafood harvest of 5.6 billion pounds had a $5.2 billion impact on Alaska’s economy.

The commercial harvest itself had a total ex-vessel value of $1.7 billion, ASMI reported in the report prepared by the McDowell Group in Juneau.

The impact came from a total of some 56,800 workers who earned $1.518 million, including 29,200 harvesters earning $842 million, 24,500 processing workers who earned $467 million, and 3,200 workers in management, hatcheries and other areas who earned $228 million.

Processors produced 2.7 billion pounds of Alaska seafood products in 2016, worth a first wholesale value of $4.2 billion, while employing an average of 24,500 workers in 2015/2016, including an estimated 7,200 Alaska residents, the report said. The industry for that period included 169 shore-based plants, 73 catcher-processors, and more than a dozen floating processors.

On the national scale, the Alaska seafood industry creates an estimated 99,000 full time equivalent jobs, $5.2 billion in annual labor income and $12.8 billion in economic output, McDowell Group economists concluded. The national economic impacts of Alaska’s seafood industry include $5.4 billion in direct output associated with fishing, processing, distribution and retail. The impact also includes $7.3 billion in multiplier effects generated as industry income circulates through the national economy. The Alaska seafood industry employed some 29,600 residents of other states who came north to work in the state in 2016.

Alaska exports more than one million metric tons of seafood annually, bringing over $3 billion in new money into the nation’s economy. Since statehood in 1959, Alaska’s abundant fisheries have produced over 169 billion pounds of seafood. The largest harvest to date was 6.1 billion pounds in 2015.

The industry catches and processes enough seafood each year to feed everybody in the world at least one serving of Alaska seafood, or one serving for every American for more than a month, the economists said.

In 2016, Alaska seafood was sold in 105 countries. Export markets typically account for about two-thirds of sales value, while the domestic market buys the remaining one-third, the report said.

The complete report is online at