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
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.
Alaska Sea Grant has received new federal funds to help develop aquaculture projects in Alaska and to work with partners on regional and national priorities. It’s part of a $16 million award from National…
An Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit $500 scholarship, established by the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program, will help send recipients to a three-day crash course in fisheries management.
Prized by five-star chefs and seafood connoisseurs, weathervanes are a bit of a mystery animal. Major gaps exist in our understanding of the tasty mollusks, which are native to Alaska.
With assistance from Alaska Sea Grant, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council recently adopted what some are calling a groundbreaking ecosystem management plan for the Bering Sea that incorporates local…
Climate change in Alaska’s high Arctic often captures headlines. Images of vanishing sea ice, dead seabirds, beached marine mammals, melting permafrost and houses tumbling into the ocean are common. Less…
The Prince William Sound fishing community of Cordova celebrated its 58th annual Cordova Iceworm Festival this winter, and as usual, Alaska Sea Grant was there to help. One of the…
Cordova’s mayor is expressing strong support for the continued presence of an Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory agent in the Prince William Sound fishing community. Mayor Clay Koplin, in a…
Alaska Sea Grant is helping lead a group of Bristol Bay students in the state capital this week. Our Dillingham agent Gabe Dunham, together with University of Alaska Fairbanks emeritus…
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