2006 Economic Status of the Groundfish Fisheries off Alaska

September 26, 2006

The domestic groundfish fishery off Alaska is the largest fishery by volume in the U.S. This report contains detailed information about economic aspects of the fishery, including figures and tables, reports on the various fleets operating within the fishery, market analyses for the most commercially valuable species, and a summary of the relevant research being undertaken by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Program (ESSRP) at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC).

More specifically, the figures and tables in the report provide 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.   Generally, the data presented in this report cover the years 2002 through 2006 but limited catch and ex-vessel value data are reported for earlier years in order to illustrate the rapid development of the domestic groundfish fishery in the 1980s and to provide a more complete historical perspective on catch1. 

In addition, 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, domestic per capita consumption of seafood products, and fishery imports. 

In order to summarize the collective activities of the fleets targeting two of the most important groundfish species in and off of Alaska, we have added profiles of the pollock and Pacific cod fleets to this report. We present brief histories of the fisheries and discuss the gear types used by the fleets, the available biomass of the target species over the years, the Total Allowable Catches (TAC) and the seasons set by fisheries managers, the allocations of quota among the various sectors in the fisheries, the amounts of catch, ports where landings were made, vessel counts, ex-vessel prices and value, and the product forms processed from the catch.  

Another new addition to this report is a set of market analyses for pollock, Pacific cod, sablefish, and flatfish.  These analyses discuss the current state of the markets for these species in terms of pricing, volume, supply, and demand.  We discuss trade patterns, market share, and provide forecasts of future prices. 

This report also includes profiles of the top ten Alaskan ports involved in North Pacific Fisheries  (based on volume of landings), which update key community-level fisheries indicators from the Community Profiles for North Pacific Fisheries—Alaska (Sepez et al. 2005). These profiles examine population trends; the volume of landings at the ports; and the numbers of vessels owned, permits held, and crewmember licenses issued to residents of the communities.

We also provide project descriptions and updates for ongoing research activities of the ESSRP at the AFSC.  Contact information is included for each of the ongoing projects so that readers may contact us for more detail or an update on the project status. Finally, we have also included a list of publications that have arisen out of our work since 2002.

Additional Resources

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

Alaska Groundfish Research Alaska Groundfish Management