UFA report shows fishing’s impact on communities

Estimated ex-vessel income of Cordova-based fishermen in 2015 was $39.4 million.

An updated set of fishing data sheets compiled by United Fishermen of Alaska emphasizes the importance of commercial fishing and seafood processing to many Alaska communities, including Cordova.

The statistics from calendar and fiscal year 2015, the most recent for which complete data is available, were provided by state and federal agencies, and the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.

The data shows that in 2015 there were 339 holders of commercial fishing permits for the Cordova area fisheries, who held a total of 538 permits, of which 287 were fished, and that the number of permit holders who fished, plus crew, came to 595 people- about 25 percent of whom lived in Cordova.

Estimated ex-vessel income of Cordova-based fishermen was $39.4 million, and virtually every business in Cordova benefits from commercial fishing dollars, the report said.

Seafood processing jobs in the Valdez-Cordova Census Area totaled 1,750, of which 341 jobs were held by Alaskans. Total wages for the 17 area processing facilities totaled $24.6 million, including $6.7 million earned by Alaskans.

Cordova received $1 million in fisheries business and landing taxes through the municipal tax-sharing program from Cordova area fisheries, with the state of Alaska receiving a like amount.

The report also noted that much of the seafood harvested in Cordova is shipped or flown out, providing many transportation sector jobs.

Fisheries related government jobs include those in the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Alaska Department of Public Safety, Alaska State Troopers, U.S. Coast Guard, the University of Alaska School of Fisheries, the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory program, and others.

The complete report for Cordova, plus all other areas of the state engaged in the fisheries industry, is online at http://www.ufafish.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/11.-Cordova-2015-v6.1.pdf

“Alaska’s commercial fisheries bring millions in fishing and processing revenue and employ may thousands in the major fishing ports every year,” said Jerry McCune, president of UFA. “Alaska’s seafood industry is also a significant contributor for tax revenues and indirect jobs for virtually all Alaska communities.

“Due to the wide range of state and federal agencies involved in fisheries, it is challenging to understand the many different positive benefits that Alaska’s fisheries provide throughout the state and beyond.

“UFA community fact sheets help consolidate this information and make it easy to understand,” he said.