More Alaskans are taking to the fishing life, as indicated by upward ticks in harvesting jobs for three years running.
That's according to the November Alaska Economic Trends by the state Labor Department, which provides a look at the numbers of "boots on deck" by region and fishery. A first: economists Jack Cannon and Josh Warren also looked at how much time is put into fishing pre- and post-season prep work and clean up, and what jobs fishermen do during the off times.
Each month last year, on average, 8,189 fishermen plied the waters of the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea, an increase of 122 jobs from the year before and up 318 jobs since 2010.
Of the 31,800 people who fished in Alaska last year, about 22,000 were crew members and 9,800 were permit holders. The crew tends to be young, with an average age of 34; over a third were between the ages of 21 and 30. Permit holders were considerably older, at 47 on average.
In terms of average monthly jobs, more than 56 percent were in salmon harvesting; groundfish and halibut fisheries followed at 15 and 12 percent, respectively.
Statewide, 57 percent of harvesting jobs take place between June and August.
Read the full story at the Anchorage Daily News>>