Cordova still among nation’s top 20 fishing ports

59 million pounds of seafood delivered to Cordova in 2018 were worth $55 million

Cordova Harbor. (Jan. 2, 2020) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times

Landings were down and value too over 2017, but in 2018 Cordova still ranked among the nation’s top commercial fishing ports for the poundage and value of seafood deliveries.

According to the annual report released on Feb. 21 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Fisheries of the United States, Cordova ranked 16th in the nation in 2018 for fishery landings with 59 million pounds delivered, down from 99 million pounds in 2017. Cordova also ranked 18th in the nation for value, with those landings worth $55 million, down from $65 million a year earlier.

Dutch Harbor held its own for the 22nd year as the top port for landings, with deliveries of 763 million pounds of seafood, down from 769 million pounds a year earlier, and ranked third in the nation for value, with those deliveries valued at $182 million, up from $173 million in 2017. New Bedford, Massachusetts, held on to its status for the 19th consecutive year as the top port nationally for value, with deliveries worth $431 million, up from $390 million a year earlier, with the port of Naknek ranked second for value at $195 million, up from $154 million in 2017.

Empire-Venice, Louisiana, was second for quantity, with $569 million pounds, up from 294 million pounds in 2017, followed by the Aleutian Islands with 539 million pounds, down from 552 million pounds in 2017, and Kodiak, with 391 million pounds, down from 530 million pounds a year earlier. Naknek placed eighth, at 191 million pounds, up from 187 million pounds. Rounding out the top 20 were Bristol Bay in 15th place with 70 million pounds, up from 43 million pounds; and Sitka, in 20th place, with 46 million pounds, down from 91 million.

On the value side, other Alaska ports in the top 20 included the Aleutian Islands in fourth place, with deliveries worth $116 million, up from $106 million; Bristol Bay in seventh place, $106 million, up from $104 million; Kodiak in eighth place, at $104 million, up from $64 million; the Alaska Peninsula, 14th, at $61 million, down from $112 million; Sitka, 15th $61 million, down from $75 million; and Cordova at $55 million, down from $65 million.

Nationwide, the highest value species groups included lobster, $684 million; crab, $645 million; salmon, $598 million; scallops, $541 million; and shrimp, $496 million.


The report noted that Alaska delivered overall 58 percent of all landings in the nation, as well as 32 percent of the value, including 1.6 billion pounds of Alaska Pollock, whose value once processed came to $1.98 billion.

Estimated per capita consumption of fish and shellfish nationally was 16.1 pounds, up just 0.1 pounds from 16 pounds consumer per capita in 2017. The report does not include per capita consumption of seafood in Alaska itself.

Overall commercial landings by domestic fishermen at ports in all 50 states were 9.4 billion pounds, valued at $5.6 billion, down 531 million pounds, or 5.3 percent, and an increase in value of $150 million, up 2.8 percent from 2017.  Finfish comprised 88 percent of total landings, but only 45 percent of the value.

The import of edible and nonedible fishery products rose to $40.3 billion in 2018, up $1.9 billion or 5 percent from 2017, while the total export value of edible and nonedible seafood stood at $28.8 billion in 2018, a decrease of $218.4 million, or 7.5 percent from 2017.