Thirty-two thousand jobs may sound like a large labor force in a state with a population of under 750,000, but those familiar with federal fisheries policy in Alaska waters know otherwise. Catch shares, the recent trend in fisheries management that has taken over much of Alaska fisheries, essentially grants ownership of the fisheries to a small number of stakeholders and has led to massive job losses and wage reductions. The fabled Bering Sea king crab fishery lost 1,000 jobs virtually overnight, and halibut has been no better, losing more than 7,300 jobs in the first five years, with even more eliminated in the decades since.
So when a recent report concluded that the Alaska fishing industry employs 32,000 fishermen on roughly 8,600 fishing vessels, one should ask how many jobs the fisheries could provide if managed more responsibly. . . to read the remainder of the article, please click here.