Jobs harvesting salmon and halibut in Alaska declined slightly in 2012 but gains in other fisheries, especially crab and groundfish, more than made up the difference. Overall, Alaska’s seafood harvesting employment rose from 8,067 average monthly jobs n 2011 to 8,189 jobs in 2012, state labor economists reported in the November issue of Alaska Economic Trends.
In terms of average monthly jobs, more than 4,500 jobs - over 56 percent – were in salmon harvesting. Groundfish and halibut followed with about 15 percent and 12 percent respectively, the economists said.
While fishery employment for salmon is largely concentrated in summer months, some fisheries such as sablefish, crab and groundfish have longer seasons, with jobs spread out over a longer period of the year.
By gear type, the average monthly jobs in 2012 included gillnet, 1,706; longline, 1,552; set net, 1,433; seine, 892; pot gear, 863; troll, 679; trawl, 405; dive, 126, and other gear types, 531.
Most of the statistics gathered for the article were for time spent actively fishing, but those numbers did not include time crew spent on preparation at the start of the season and cleanup at the end. In 2013, the Alaska Department of Labor survey asked permit holders to specify the time their crew spent on preparation and cleanup in 2012. This work on the edges of the seasons generated an additional monthly average of some 385, economists said. Annual average monthly preparation and cleanup employment for longliners was about 130, higher than for any other single gear type.
The complete report is online at http://labor.alaska.gov/trends/nov13.pdf