fishing boat in a bay

Alaska’s fisheries are critical to its livelihood

Alaska is home to several of the largest and most valuable commercial, subsistence, and sport fisheries in the nation. Commercial fisheries in the federally managed waters of the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska produce the highest volumes of groundfish (pollock, cod, rockfish, sablefish, and flatfish) in the country, close to 2 million metric tons per year, valued in 2013 in excess of $2 billion.

Wild salmon fisheries range from Ketchikan in the south to Kotzebue, north of the Arctic Circle. In 2014, the commercial catch of salmon in Alaska totaled more than 717 million fish worth $576 million.

Crab fisheries in the Bering Sea, Gulf of Alaska and Southeastern are annually valued at over $280 million with halibut fisheries contributing over $140 million.

Subsistence fishing is critical to the cultural as well as economic well-being of the more than 100,000 Alaska Natives and non-Natives living in rural Alaska. Four percent of fish harvested in Alaska is used for subsistence purposes.

Sport fishing is also important, occurring in saltwater and freshwater regions of Alaska.

How Alaska Sea Grant helps fisheries

The Marine Advisory Program provides information and technical assistance to Alaskans involved in commercial, subsistence and sport fishing. We coordinate workshops, carry out applied research, and publish materials of interest to fishermen.

Fisheries Explorer map

Map showing Alaska fishing regions and species fished in each region.
Visit the interactive Fisheries Explorer map to learn about various commercial fisheries around the state, including harvest seasons, commercial access, gear types, and links to more in-depth information. The results can be filtered by region, species, gear types, and more.


Fishing boats of the coast of Dillingham

Helping a Western Alaska fishing community cope with an influx during the pandemic

July 27, 2020

By Davin Holen Each summer, around 13,000 workers from outside Alaska travel to the Bristol Bay region to participate in the world’s most valuable wild salmon fishery. How the fishery,…

AYFS 2020 participants in Juneau

Young fishermen learn the business and management side of commercial fishing operations

April 23, 2020

Fifty fishermen from around the state gathered in Juneau in January for the eighth Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit (AYFS) for three days of training, networking and interacting with the Alaska…

Selfie of Chris and Iris Nash on the water

Gearing up for summit of young fishermen

December 19, 2019

The eighth Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit (AYFS) is coming soon. Sponsored by Alaska Sea Grant, the three-day networking and skill-building conference is aimed at new entrants in Alaska’s commercial fishing…

Alaska Fish Radio: 8th AK Young Fishermen’s Summit set for January

December 18, 2019

Alaska Sea Grant’s Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit since 2007 has aimed to build a sustained network of fishing operations across the state. The next summit is set for late January in Juneau.

Pacific Fishing: Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit graduates put conference skills into practice (PDF)

November 29, 2019

Armed with knowledge and connections from Alaska Sea Grant’s Alaska Young
Fishermen’s Summit, the Nashes are steering their family’s fishing
business in a new direction.

Vigilance advised after saxitoxin found in clams

November 19, 2019

Scientists have detected toxic algae in clams from the Bering Strait and Chukchi Sea regions of northern and western Alaska, according to a new bulletin. It’s an indication that ocean…

Juneau Empire—Opinion: Investing in fisheries pays off

November 10, 2019

Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski’s funding priorities include fishing-focused programs including NOAA Sea Grant, which supports the next generation of Alaska fishermen through development programs like the annual Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit.

overlooking Kodiak harbor, with mountains and dramatic clouds

Kodiak workshop helps fishing community build resilience

November 7, 2019

More than 70 people gathered in Kodiak recently for a workshop to address how the island community can build resilience and adaptability in the face of climate change. The October…

Business assistance through FishBiz

FishBiz includes financial and business tools for Alaska commercial seafood harvesters. Find information on starting and managing your business, growing and diversifying, and planning an exit strategy. Go to Fishbiz

Gabe Dunham

MAP Leader, Fisheries Specialist, Juneau

(907) 474-6982

Contact Gabe

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Sunny Rice

Marine Advisory Program Agent, Petersburg

(907) 772-3381

Contact Sunny

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Julie Matweyou

Marine Advisory Program Agent, Kodiak

(907) 486-1514

Contact Julie

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Tav Ammu

Marine Advisory Program Agent, Dillingham

(907) 631-8361

Contact Tav

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