Alaska/Pacific Coast

ASMI Report Stresses Key Role of Seafood in Alaskan Economy
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Peggy Parker – October 2, 2017
In case anyone in the Alaska Legislature is wondering how important the seafood industry is to Alaska’s economic recovery, they should lay aside their doubts and pick up ASMI’s latest report on the state’s seafood industry.

“The Economic Value of Alaska’s Seafood Industry” is a top-line report on the basic components of what makes the seafood industry in Alaska a major economic driver. To wit, seafood directly employs more workers than any other industry in Alaska, and is the third-largest overall job creator in the state next to the oil/gas and visitor industries (including multiplier effects).

The scale of Alaska’s annual catches is enough to feed everybody in the world at least one serving of Alaska seafood. Every year.

Unlike the oil and gas industry, Alaska’s fisheries are renewable and sustainably managed — likely at the top of the list of sustainably managed major fisheries in the world.

The report, authored by the McDowell Group for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, looks at sectors within the industry, describes them and notes specific economic contributions. For instance, the seafood processing sector is the largest manufacturing sector in Alaska, accounting for 72% of the state’s manufacturing employment.

The economic impacts from Alaskan fisheries is broken down by species (salmon is king in terms of jobs, labor income, and value added amounts, with pollock close behind) and regions (Bering Sea wins hands down thanks to pollock.) Pollock is first in harvest volume and total ex-vessel value, with salmon close behind.

State budget wonks and members of the Legislature can look at individual regions to see how big a role the seafood industry plays in their own districts. Economic components like jobs, labor income, number of workers, and output are quantified, and a narrative describing seafood-related regional benefits, such as the US Coast Guard facility in Kodiak, is included.

Another observed benefit for Alaskans is the drop in cost of living expenses due to the seafood industry.

“The majority of Alaska’s consumer freight is a one-way, northbound haul,” note the authors. “Shipping seafood on southbound routes provides “backhaul” revenue for shippers, allowing for more competitive rates on northbound freight.

“Alaska’s seafood industry ships approximately 1 billion lbs. of  finished product southbound each year, or the equivalent of roughly 23,000 containers (at 20 mt/container),” the report concludes.

“Everyone benefits from the seafood industry, especially smaller communities in Western Alaska,” says Kevin Anderson, president of Alaska Marine Lines, a barge transportation company that provides service between Seattle and nearly 100 ports and villages throughout Alaska. “Our ability to serve smaller communities, like those in Bristol Bay, would be drastically reduced without the prospect of southbound seafood shipments. Instead of six or seven sailings per year there might only be enough freight to support one or two.”

Another section of the report lists tax revenue from the industry as well as fees and other contributions to the state’s infrastructure.

“While the seafood industry and other industries cannot fill the hole in State General Fund revenues left by declining oil prices, seafood can play an increasingly important role in Alaska’s economy by creating employment and income opportunities for Alaskans,” the report notes.

Finally, the economic impact of Alaska’s seafood industry on the nation includes 99,000 FTE (full-time equivalent) jobs in the U.S., with workers in these jobs earning $5.2 billion in total annual labor income.

The total U.S. economic output related to Alaska’s seafood industry is $12.8 billion including all direct and multiplier impacts. That’s the value of Alaska’s seafood resource as it moves from the  fishing vessel to the consumer’s plate, plus output arising from secondary impacts.

Sockeye salmon return low in B.C. despite federal response
Cohen commission was launched after the fish’s near disappearance in the Fraser River system in 2009
The Canadian Press – September 28, 2017
The federal government says it has implemented most recommendations from a 2012 report aimed at revitalizing B.C.’s Fraser River sockeye salmon run, but the outlook for the species remains murky.

Southeast economy down, with a few bright spots
KRBD by Ed Schoenfeld – September 29, 2017
The loss of state jobs is hitting Southeast Alaska hard. And tourism has overtaken fishing as the region’s largest private industry. That’s the word from a new report released in September detailing the region’s economic booms and busts.


Sea critters hitchhiked across the Pacific on tsunami debris
Migration after Japanese quake in 2011
Daily Astorian by Seth Borenstein – September 29, 2017
WASHINGTON — Nearly 300 species of fish, mussels and other sea critters hitchhiked across the Pacific Ocean on debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami, washing ashore alive in the United States, researchers reported Thursday.

Labeling and Marketing

3MMI – Upcoming Chum Salmon Run in Johnstone Strait Prompts Hand-to-Mouth Purchasing
TradexFoods – October 2, 2017
Upcoming Chum salmon openings in Southern British Columbia expected to return decent harvests on par with the 2016 Fishery.


At seafood giant Trident, new generation is at the helm
Trident Seafoods is an industry powerhouse, but Joe Bundrant, son of the founder, still runs it from a drab Ballard building that gives little indication of its regional clout.

Seattle Times by Hal Bernton – September 29, 2017
Joe Bundrant’s first Alaska summer with Trident Seafoods was back in 1979, a tense time for the Seattle-based company founded by his father Chuck Bundrant.

Sea Watch International Donates 35,000 Pounds of Seafood to Hurricane Harvey Victims
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Amanda Buckle – October 2, 2017
Maryland based company Sea Watch International has donated 35,000 pounds of soups, chowders and sauces to those affected by Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall in Texas and Louisiana in late August.

Sea Watch, which is a leader in the domestic offshore clam industry and owns multiple processing plants, delivered the food to the Houston Food Bank so it could be distributed to victims of the storm.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with those who were directly affected by the storm, as well as with those who have loved one struggling in the aftermath of this natural disaster,” Guy Simmons, Vice President of Marketing at Sea Watch, said in a statement.

Harvey was the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since 2005, when Hurricane Wilma made landfall in Florida. Harvey was a Category 4 hurricane when it first touched down in Texas, bringing 130 mph winds with it. A state of emergency was declared for 50 counties in Texas, as well as the entire state of Louisiana. Numerous homes, businesses and other buildings were destroyed from the winds and flooding.

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
Office Manager
1900 W Emerson Place Suite 205, Seattle, WA 98119
Phone: 206.281.1667
E-mail:; Website:
Our office days/hours are Monday-Friday
8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.

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October 2, 2017