Alaska Dept. of Labor: Seafood Jobs Dropped 4.9% in 2018
SeafoodNews.com by Peggy Parker - November 5, 2019
Seafood jobs in Alaska fell lasat year by 4.9%, erasing the increase posted in 2017. Last year’s drop was slightly less than the 5% drop seen in 2016, the largest decrease since 2010.
The trigger was salmon, which represents the largest share of the state’s harvesting em- ployment. The total decline was about 407 average annual jobs, bringing Alaska’s harvesting employment down to 7,924 average monthly jobs. The loss would have been greater had it not been for increased fishing in September and November.
Data collection on job numbers in the seafood industry began in 2001 by the state. Last year’s monthly employment averages were not worst on record, but the July and August of 2018 hit decade lows.
Salmon fisheries were the worst hit, losing 7.2 percent of their employment in 2018 (a loss of 328 from the year before), with fewer jobs in every month and the heaviest losses in the summer.
Groundfish harvesting employment, which had spiked in 2017, dropped back to its previous level of about 1,195 average monthly jobs. While the 9.1 percent drop (-120 jobs) seems like a large loss, 2018’s total employment remained high relative to past years.
Halibut harvesting’s pattern was similar, with employment growing in 2017 and decreasing in 2018, although this fishery lost less of its prior-year increase. After gaining 298 jobs in 2017, the halibut fishery lost 38 in 2018, settling at 1,068 average jobs per month. Halibut harvesting employment also remains above its recent typical levels, which hadn’t topped 1,000 in nearly a decade.
Herring was the other fishery to lose jobs in 2018, and while its employment dropped 7.1 percent, the fishery is so small at 79 annual jobs that it’s prone to large percent swings. The loss was just six jobs, making the fishery largely stable. Most of the decrease came in the off months. The peak employment month, April, grew 12.3 percent, from 514 to 577 jobs.
Modest increases were seen in the crab industry, sablefish, and miscellaneous shellfish.
Among regions, the Aleutians and Pribilof Islands took the biggest hit, with harvesting employment dropping to levels not seen since 2007 and declines in every month.
The region’s annualized loss was “a staggering 30.9 percent,” wrote author Joshua Warren, dropping total yearly employment to 1,199 due to less fishing. The regions’ fisheries are dominated by groundfish, which showed dramatic employment declines statewide.
Kodiak’s numbers also hit some of their lowest levels since data collection began in 2001, with an employment decline of 14.5 percent to 623 annualized jobs.
The report, written by the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, is available here.
Deckboss - November 5, 2019
The state has released preliminary harvest and value figures for the 2019 commercial salmon season. The all-species harvest of 206.9 million fish generated an ex-vessel value of $657.6 million, a 10 percent increase from last year, the department said.
Why are birds and seals starving in a Bering Sea full of fish?
Seattle Times by Hal Bernton - November 3, 2019
This is the second installment of a Seattle Times series exploring climate change in the northern Bering Sea region. The series is part of the Pulitzer Center’s Connected Coastlines reporting initiative. For more information, go to pulitzercenter.org/connected-coastlines
NOME, Alaska — The shipment arrived airfreight: 47 seabird carcasses collected by the Bering Strait villagers of Shishmaref.
Senate bill includes millions for ocean acidification research
Cordova Times - November 4, 2019
Bipartisan legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate would authorize millions of dollars through 2024 for ocean acidification research, including partnerships between the seafood industry and academic institutions.
News Release: EPA announces $27.5 million in funding for Puget Sound
National Estuary Program provides funds for state, local, tribal, and federal projects.
Epa.gov - October 31, 2019
SEATTLE – The Northwest office of the Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it is providing over $27.5 million in grant funds to state, local, tribal, and federal partners towards Puget Sound recovery and conservation efforts through its National Estuary Program.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pacific Cod in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska
A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 11/05/2019
NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amounts of Pacific cod total allowable catch (TAC) from catcher vessels using trawl gear to catcher vessels using hook-and-line gear, catcher/processors using trawl gear, vessels using jig gear, and vessels using pot gear in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to allow the 2019 TAC of Pacific cod in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA to be harvested.
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