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Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corporation Benefiting Alaska's Economy

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
6 December 2012, at 12:00am

US - Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corporation (PWSAC) recently released the results of a comprehensive study on the impact of its programs on the economy, Alaska's seafood industry, sport, subsistence and personal use fisheries.

Significant benefits to the state and regional economy were outlined, along with ways in which the programs could be expanded to produce greater economic benefit. The study covered direct and indirect job creation and earnings. The study also examined market conditions for salmon species.

A Summary of the Findings

Return-on-Investment

  • PWSAC hatcheries yielded a 271 to 1 return-on-investment. For every dollar of net grant funding the State of Alaska invested in PWSAC facilities since 1975, Alaska's seafood industry received $271 worth of PWSAC salmon.

  • Commercial fishermen received $23 worth of PWSAC salmon for every dollar of enhancement taxes they have paid since 1990.

Impact on Alaska's Economy (2007-2011)

  • PWSAC salmon created annual average of $51 million in total labor income for an average of 2,495 workers.

  • Commercial fishermen collectively earned average gross revenues of $48 million per year harvesting PWSAC salmon. The PWSAC salmon harvest is dominated by Alaska residents with participation by residents from Dutch Harbor to Delta Junction to Petersburg.

  • Seafood processors earned a gross margin of $1.2 billion from processing and selling PWSAC salmon.

Opportunities for Growth

  • Ten years after Alaska's "salmon value crisis", the industry outlook is strong due to the expansion of the global market, a diversified product supply, a sustained marketing effort and a more educated consumer.

  • Providing additional pink salmon to the Prince William Sound fisheries would have a clear financial impact on fishermen and processors in the short-term, and would create jobs in the long-term.

Sport, Subsistence, and Personal Use Fisheries

  • Alaskans harvested 698,900 PWSAC sockeye salmon on the Copper River from 1999 to 2010. Residents of Fairbanks harvested more of these fish than residents from any other community, followed by Anchorage, Wasilla, North Pole, Copper Center, Palmer, Glennallen, Eagle River and Valdez.

"The results of the study highlight PWSAC's importance as an economic engine and source of future growth for the state," said Dave Reggiani, PWSAC General Manager.

Aquaculture continues to be a vital component of the state's fisheries based economy, says George Covel, Chairman of the Board. "Every year that strong harvests occur as a result of PWSAC's efforts there are real and important benefits jobs, thriving communities and the promise of continued prosperity for Alaska."

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