The report released this week by the McDowell Group, a Juneau based research firm, also notes that Alaska’s commercial fisheries are the most productive in the nation, accounting for 60 percent of the total 2014 US commercial fishery harvest volume.
During 2014, the latest year for which complete data was available, first wholesale production of 1.28 million metric tons of all Alaska species combined was valued at $4.27 billion, researchers found.
Key markets for finished products derived from Alaska groundfish and crab are the United States, Europe and Japan, typically accounting for more than 80 percent of first wholesale value, the report said.
About one-third of Alaska groundfish and crab production volume is reprocessed in China, and after secondary processing there, a large share of that product is re-exported to markets in Europe, the United States and Japan. A significant amount of product exported to South Korea meanwhile is held in cold storage facilities or reprocessed before being re-exported to Japan and Europe.
While species profiled in this report represent a significant proportion of the global seafood trade between nations, most species face market competition from fisheries in other countries, the report said.
The report was produced and funded by the National Marine Fisheries Service’s Alaska Fisheries Science Center. Funding was awarded through competitive contracts to the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission and McDowell Group, in Juneau, Alaska. The analysis was conducted during the summer and fall of 2015, based primarily on 2014 harvest and market data, with a final review by AFSC staff completed in February of this year, and finalized in March.