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2000 Economic Status of the Groundfish Fisheries off Alaska

September 26, 2000

The domestic groundfish fishery off Alaska is an important segment of the U.S. fishing industry. This report contains figures and tables which summarize various aspects of the economic performance of the fishery. Generally, data are presented for the domestic groundfish fishery for 1996 through 2000. Limited catch and ex-vessel value data are reported for earlier years in order to depict the rapid development of the domestic groundfish fishery in the 1980s and to provide a more complete historical perspective on catch. Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) is not included in data for the groundfish fishery in this report because for management purposes halibut is not part of the groundfish complex.

All but a small part of the commercial groundfish catch off Alaska occurs in the groundfish fisheries managed under the Fishery Management Plans (FMP) for the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) and the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands area (BSAI).  The footnotes for each table indicate if the estimates provided in that table are only for the fisheries with catch that is counted against the Federal TACs or if they are for other Alaska groundfish fisheries as well. 

The report provides estimates of total groundfish catch, groundfish discards and discard rates, prohibited species bycatch and bycatch rates, the ex-vessel value of the groundfish catch, the ex-vessel value of the catch in other Alaska fisheries, the gross product value (F.O.B. Alaska) of the resulting groundfish seafood products, the number and sizes of vessels that participated in the Alaska groundfish fisheries, vessel activity, and employment on at-sea processors.

In addition to data from the groundfish fisheries, this report contains data on some of the external factors which, in part, determine the economic status of the fisheries.  Such factors include foreign exchange rates, the prices and price indexes of products that compete with products from these fisheries, cold storage holdings, domestic per capita consumption of seafood products, and fishery imports.

The estimates in this report are intended both to provide information that can be used to describe the Alaska groundfish fisheries and to provide industry and others an opportunity to comment on the validity of these estimates.  It is hoped that the industry and others will identify estimates in this report that can be improved and provide the information and methods necessary to improve them for both past and future years.  There are two reasons why it is important that such improvements be made.  First, with better estimates, the report will be more successful in monitoring the economic performance of the fisheries and in identifying changes in economic performance that should be addressed through regulatory actions.  Second, the estimates in this report often will be used as the basis for estimating the effects of proposed fishery management actions.  Therefore, improved estimates in this report will allow more informed decisions by those involved in managing and conducting the Alaska groundfish fisheries.  The industry and other stakeholders in these fisheries can further improve the usefulness of this report by suggesting either what other estimates should be presented or other ways of summarizing the data that are the basis for this report.

This report also includes a working paper titled Effects of the American Fisheries Act on the Harvesting Capacity, Capacity Utilization, and Technical Efficiency of Pollock Catcher-Processors.  The working paper uses data envelopment analysis and stochastic production frontier models to examine effects of the American Fisheries Act (AFA) on the fishing capacity, technical harvesting efficiency (TE), and capacity utilization (CU) of pollock catcher-processors. The results indicate that fishing capacity fell by more than thirty percent and that harvesting TE and CU measures increased relative to past years.  This work provides examples of how existing data, which is currently devoid of operator costs and provides only general indicators of earnings, may be used to analyze changes in elements of fleet and vessel performance in response to management actions. 

Additional Resources


Last updated by Alaska Fisheries Science Center on 05/23/2019

Alaska Groundfish Research Alaska Groundfish Management