The abundance of groundfish and crab in Alaska’s Aleutians West population census area provides several hundred year-round opportunities for employment annually in the seafood processing business.
Several hundred residents of the Aleutians West census area were employed in 2011 in the manufacturing industry, including seafood product preparation and packaging, state labor economist Mali Abrahamson noted in an article in the November edition of Alaska Economic Trends.
In fact only 1,550 of the total 3,844 jobs available in the Aleutians West were outside of the seafood processing industry.
In other areas of Alaska, seafood jobs tend to be filled more often by migrant and transient workers, and in fact in 2010, nearly 75 percent of seafood processing workers in Alaska were nonresidents.
In some other areas of the state, by comparison, seafood jobs tend to be filled by migrant and transient workers. In fact, in 2010, nearly 75 percent of seafood processing workers in Alaska were nonresidents.
But Abrahamson notes that the crab and groundfish fisheries of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands that use Dutch Harbor as a processing port are unlike the coastal salmon fisheries in other Alaska regions. They take place far offshore in federal waters, and span both summer and winter, and by their volume draw the neighboring salmon fisheries.
In 2011, for the 15th consecutive year, Dutch Harbor was recognized as the top ranking seafood port in the nation for pounds of fish harvested. The crab and groundfish fisheries have prompted the development of an area dedicated to the harvesting, packaging and delivery of seafood to dealers all over the globe.