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Fishing is Big Business for Alaska

For Alaska as a whole, fishing is big business, and it’s culturally important for indigenous peoples who depend on marine resources for sustenance. On a larger scale, the entire nation benefits from fish caught here. In fact, commercial harvest of groundfish, shellfish, salmon, and other resources in Alaska constitute more than 60 percent of marine fish landings in the United States. The Alaska pollock fishery is the largest and one of the most valuable, generating more than $1.9 billion annually.

To identify opportunities while ensuring sustainability, NOAA is working to better understand how changing environmental conditions in the Arctic are affecting marine resources.

Alaska’s Arctic coastline has historically been inaccessible to most forms of commercial fishing due to the presence of sea ice for most of the year. NOAA Fisheries is working to better understand what marine resources exist in this region (the “Arctic Management Area”), and whether those resources could support viable fishing operations, before permitting these waters for sustainable commercial fishing.