Alaska seafood harvests typically exceed $2 billion U.S. dollars. Catches are dominated by large factory ships and trawlers that harvest pollock. Other important catches include crabs, salmon, and whitefish.
Alaska Commercial Fishing Ports
Alaska ports typically rank among the highest in the USA in both volume and value of annual seafood catches. Top Alaska ports include Dutch Harbor, Unalaska, Naknek-King Salmon, Seward, and Cordova. Dutch Harbor-Unalaska, Alaska has been the top port for landings for more years than any U.S. port.
Productive fishing grounds include the Gulf of Alaska (GOA), Bering Sea (BS), Aleutian Islands (AI), Chukchi Sea, Beaufort Sea, and coastal rivers.
Alaska is world famous for its Pacific salmon fisheries.
There are five species of wild Alaska salmon:
* Sockeye or Red (Oncorhynchus nerka)
* Chinook or King (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)
* Coho or Silver (Oncorhynchus kisutch)
* Keta or Chum (Oncorhynchus keta)
* Pink or Humpback (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha).
Groundfish are an important segment of Alaska’s commercial fishing industry. Alaska groundfish include pollock, Pacific halibut, yellowfin sole, rock sole, arrowtooth flounder, Pacific cod, Pacific ocean perch, sablefish (black cod), Atka mackerel, and other species.
Alaska Pacific herring fisheries include a highly valuable sac roe fishery and a food/bait fishery.
Most King and Tanner crab fisheries in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) are managed via rationalized crab fishery programs.
Alaska crab fisheries include:
* Bristol Bay red king crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus)
* Western Aleutian Islands (Adak) golden king crab (Lithodes aequispinus)
* Eastern Aleutian Islands (Dutch Harbor) golden king crab
* Western Aleutian Islands (Adak) red king crab
* Pribilof Islands blue king crab (P. platypus) and red king crab
* St. Matthew Island blue king crab
* Bering Sea snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio)
* Bering Sea Tanner crab (C. bairdi)
Fisheries Management and Regulations
Thee National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) manages federal fisheries. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) develops federal fishery management plans (FMPs) for fisheries occurring within the 3 to 200 mile EEZ.
The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) sets total allowable catch (TAC) limits for Pacific halibut stocks, which include Alaska.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) manages state fisheries.