Alaska dominates U.S. seafood industry

Alaska is the nation’s superpower when it comes to seafood. American fishermen landed just shy of 10 billion pounds of fish and shellfish last year valued at $5.4 billion, both up slightly from 2016. Of that, Alaska accounted for 61 percent of total landings (6 billion pounds) and 33 percent of the value ($1.8 billion).

That’s according to the 2017 Fisheries of the US Report released by NOAA Fisheries, which covers all U.S. regions and species, recreational fishing, aquaculture, trade and more. The annual report also includes the top 50 U.S. ports for seafood landings and values, and once again, Alaska dominated the list.

“The Alaska port of Dutch Harbor led the nation with the highest amount of seafood landings — 769 million pounds valued at $173 million — for the 21st year in a row,” Ned Cyr, NOAA director of science and technology, said at a media teleconference. “New Bedford, Massachusetts, had the highest value catch for the 18th year in a row — 111 million pounds valued at $389 million with 80 percent coming from the highly lucrative sea scallop fishery.”

The Aleutian Islands ranked second for seafood landings thanks to Trident’s plant at Akutan, the nation’s largest seafood processing facility. Kodiak bumped up a notch from fourth to third place. The Alaska Peninsula ranked seventh, and Naknek came in at No. 9.

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