The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute released a report titled “Economic Value of the Alaska Seafood Industry,” which measures the impact of Alaska’s seafood industry on the U.S. economy.
The Alaska seafood industry accounts for over half of all U.S. fisheries production and is a key economic driver in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. It is estimated that the Alaska seafood industry provides a total of 165,800 American jobs, including 34,000 jobs for Washington residents in 2011.
Produced by Alaska-based research firm The McDowell Group, the report is the first of its kind, and finds that in 2011:
· The combined value of Alaska seafood exports and the retail value of Alaska seafood sold in the U.S. totaled an estimated $6.4 billion.
· The Alaska seafood industry directly employed 63,100 workers in Alaska, making it the state’s largest private sector employer.
· Total direct and secondary economic output in the U.S. stemming from the Alaska seafood industry was estimated at $15.7 billion.
One important factor pointed out in the report is 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.”