An aging work force is affecting Alaska’s fisheries. Last year, 45 percent of all permit holders were between the ages 45 and 60, with an average age of 47. Crew members were much younger, averaging around 21 years old.
For 2012, around 10,000 permit holders went registered, along with more than 22,000 crew members. Salmon represents more than half of the total fishing jobs, averaging more than 16,000 jobs a month between June and August. That’s 80 percent of total summer harvesting employment.
Three gear types accounted for almost 60 per cent of total harvesting jobs in the state: Longliners, gillnetters and set netters. In terms of gender – 85 per cent of fish harvesters last year were men.
Alaska remains the nation’s leaders for value of fisheries at nearly $2 billion of the $5.3 billion US total.