Fisheries Contribute $1 Billion To Southeast Alaskan Economy

Fisheries Contribute $1 Billion To Southeast Alaskan Economy

A new study commissioned by Trout Unlimited Alaska finds that Southeast Alaska's healthy salmon and trout populations pump nearly $1 billion into the local economy every year and account for more than one in ten jobs. This is the first study that takes a combined look at the economic value of all four sectors of the regions salmonid fisheries commercial, sport, subsistence/personal use and hatchery production. Previous studies have looked at each of the sectors separately. The study shows the healthy and abundant salmon and trout populations of Southeast Alaska are a huge driver of the regional economy. The reason we have such rich and sustainable fisheries is careful harvest management as well as a lack of the dams, pollution, and agricultural and urban development that have decimated so many runs in the Lower 48, said Tim Bristol, director of Trout Unlimited Alaska. Southeast fishermen and regulators agree. I hope this study helps to raise awareness of the critical importance of coldwater fish to the economy, ecology and identity of this region. I think we as Southeast Alaskans sometimes take salmon for granted and yet it's literally the lifeblood of our communities, said Linda Behnken, a Sitka-based commercial longliner/troller and executive director of Alaska Longline Fishermen's Association. Although past timber harvesting has degraded fish habitat in some Southeast Alaska watersheds, Southeast still supports a disproportionately high share of the wild stocks of trout and salmon remaining in the Pacific Northwest. Limiting habitat degradation, restoring impacted streams and riparian areas and minimizing the negative impacts of climate change will be key to continuing Southeast Alaska's salmon success story. As someone who worked in the timber industry 35 years ago, I welcome the chance to be involved with efforts to restore impacted high-value, fish-producing watersheds. Especially given the economic and environmental importance of salmon to the communities within the Tongass National Forest, I'd also like to see some intact watersheds safeguarded from future development that could negatively affect the productivity of these areas, said Steve Reifenstuhl, general manager of Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association.The study, conducted by economist Thomas Wegge of TCW Economics, used 2007 as a snapshot year. Wegge determined that Southeast Alaska's salmon and trout populations contribute nearly $1 billion to the regions economy by calculating the economic values and impacts of Tongass fisheries. Use values measure the monetary importance of these fisheries to those who participate in them. Economic impacts, on the other hand, measure the contribution the fisheries make to economic activity within a region, as measured in terms of jobs and personal income. An input-output model developed by Wegges colleagues for the Southeast Alaska economy specifically allowed Wegge to estimate how fishery economic activity multiplies as it ripples through the regional economy.The following are some of the studys highlights:

  • $986.1 million: estimated annual total economic output generated by commercial, sport, subsistence and hatchery production of salmon and trout in Southeast Alaska, as purchases made in each sector ripple through the regional economy
  • $466.1 million: estimated annual value of salmon and trout to people who fish them commercially, for recreation and for subsistence and personal use
  • 7, 282: estimated number of full or part-time jobs sustained by the four fishing sectors
  • 10.8 %: approximate portion of regional employment that stems from salon and trout fishing
  • $188.9 million: estimated annual personal income generated by salmon and trout fisheries and hatcheries
With this study, we can now say conclusively that salmon and trout are a cornerstone of the Southeast Alaska economy and that maintaining and enhancing the conditions that allow these fish to thrive should be a key goal for land managers and everyone else who cares about jobs in this state, said Bruce Wallace, a Juneau-based purse seiner who has commercially fished Southeast Alaska waters for three decades. Wallace also sits on various boards including United Fishermen of Alaska and the Southern Southeast Alaska Regional Aquaculture Association.

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Yo-Zuri

Yo-Zuri's 3DB Pencil Popper, 3DB Jerkbait 110 & 110 Deep

Bass pro Clent Davis gives the inside info on Yo-Zuri's new-for-ICAST lures.

2 New Ice-Fishing Rods from 2 Brothers

2 New Ice-Fishing Rods from 2 Brothers

Greg Thorne of 2 Brothers Innovations highlights two new ice-fishing rods, as part of our ICAST 2020 New Fishing Gear Guide.

Saltx 4000 And 6000 Spinning Reels

Saltx 4000 And 6000 Spinning Reels

Fully sealed design to The new Saltx 4000 & 6000 Spinning Reels will come with a fully sealed design to keep to prevent saltwater or sand intrusion. It features a titanium-coated line roller, and Saltx a 50-pound max drag. MSRP $399.99to prevent saltwater or sand intrusion.

VMC Crossover Pliers and Rings

VMC Crossover Pliers and Rings

Quick and easy Neko and whacky rigging; ICAST Fishing Gear Guide.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Dozens of different bait types are commonly used for catfish, including these great options. Catfish

12 Great Catfish Baits

Jeff Samsel

Dozens of different bait types are commonly used for catfish, including these great options.

When it comes to fishing baits, you won't find a more unusual variety than the strange brews of smelly ingredients often used to catch catfish. Catfish

How To Make Your Own Catfish Dough Bait

Keith Sutton - August 04, 2015

When it comes to fishing baits, you won't find a more unusual variety than the strange brews...

Shad are a big part of the catfish angler's arsenal, as long as you can catch a few that is. Fishing How-To

How to Use Electronics to Catch Baitfish

Game & Fish Staff

Shad are a big part of the catfish angler's arsenal, as long as you can catch a few that is.

Innovation, customization, continue to lead the way in fishing-tackle storage. ICAST

ICAST 2020: New Tackle-Management Systems

Game & Fish Staff - July 16, 2020

Innovation, customization, continue to lead the way in fishing-tackle storage.

See More Trending Articles

More News

It's no bull, MJ is a wizard at deep-sea fishing at Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament. News

NBA Legend Jordan Reels in Big Blue Marlin in Tourney

Lynn Burkhead - June 10, 2020

It's no bull, MJ is a wizard at deep-sea fishing at Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament.

30 awards presented (virtually) from the New Product Showcase. ICAST

ICAST 2020 Best of Category Winners

Game & Fish Staff - July 16, 2020

30 awards presented (virtually) from the New Product Showcase.

Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris is personally donating protective masks to medical workers across the U.S. News

BPS's Morris Donates 1 Million Masks: COVID-19

Lynn Burkhead - April 21, 2020

Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris is personally donating protective masks to medical...

So far, ICAST still on, but fly-fishing show canceled. Conservation & Politics

COVID-19 Brings Hope, Despair for 2020 Fishing Shows

Lynn Burkhead - April 08, 2020

So far, ICAST still on, but fly-fishing show canceled.

See More News

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now