Kodiak remains one of the largest, most productive seafood ports in the country, according to a report sponsored by the Marine Conservation Alliance examining the importance of the seafood industry to the state of Alaska.

The report, The Seafood Industry in Alaska’s Economy, updates information gathered two years ago and uses totals from 2009, the most recent year to be catalogued. It was distributed Tuesday.

Citing information gathered from the National Marine Fisheries Service, the report said Kodiak remains the third largest port in the country when it comes to value of commercial fishery landings, with $103.8 million, up from $98.7 million the year before.

Kodiak comes behind only New Bedford, Mass., and Unalaska-Dutch Harbor

The Kodiak Island region ex-vessel value is reported to be $129.8 million with 157,200 metric tons of seafood harvested.

Kodiak is listed as the fourth largest port in the country when it comes to the volume of commercial fisheries landings with 282.9 million pounds. The only ports with a higher quantity are Unalaska-Dutch Harbor, Empire-Venice, La., and Reedville, Va.

The seafood processing industry is estimated to account for 35 percent of the private sector payments to labor in Kodiak in 2009.

The report also cites the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development to show the seafood industry employed nearly 6,600 people across the Kodiak Island region, with 3,664 employed in harvesting and 2,934 employed in processing.

Statewide, the total value of Alaska’s commercial fishery harvest is estimated at $1.3 billion. The value-added nature of seafood processing brings the wholesale total to more than $3.3 billion for the state. If direct, indirect and induced effects are considered, the seafood industry contributed $4.6 billion to Alaska’s economic output in 2009, according to the report.

Alaska also produced more than half of the volume of commercial seafood harvested in the United States in 2009.

If Alaska were a country by itself, it would be the 14th largest fisheries producing country in the world by 2008 numbers.

The fishing industry is also reported to be the largest employer statewide, outside of government employment, with more than 70,000 people engaged in the industry when both harvesters and processors are included.

Mirror Writer Wes Hanna may be reached via e-mail at whanna@kodiakdailymirror.com.

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