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.
Whale entanglements in fishing gear are infrequent near Petersburg but when they happen the Petersburg Marine Mammal Center needs trained people to respond. On June 30, NOAA’s Ed Lyman helped build the response team by training nine people in large whale disentanglement response methods.
Camron Christoffersen, a Utah resident, is spending his summer in Alaska exploring how long and at what temperature fish need to be frozen to be parasite-free. At the same time, Phil Ganz is working on how best to communicate complicated science topics to the public.
Juneau, Alaska—The behavior of pollock fishermen may yield insights about the effects of climate change on fishing operations, according to preliminary findings of a University of Alaska Fairbanks student researcher.…
Cordova, Alaska—With the dual perspective of a commercial fisherman and educator, Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory agent Torie Baker strives to help Cordova fishermen connect with each other and run…
Juneau, Alaska—New Alaska commercial fishermen will get a chance to meet and learn with their peers at the sixth Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit coming up in January 2016. The summit,…
Sitka, Alaska—Four humpback whales in Southeast Alaska have discovered their own fast-food restaurant. The whales have been eating juvenile chum and coho salmon at hatchery release sites in Chatham Strait,…
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