Study: Salmon, Trout Fisheries Contribute One Billion to Southeast Economy
It found the combined value of commercial, sport, and subsistence and hatchery fisheries in southeast Alaska tops $986 million and nearly 11 percent of jobs.
One billion dollars.
That's how much a new study says the southeast Alaska salmon and trout fisheries contribute to the regional economy every year.
The study, commissioned by Trout Unlimited, is the first of its kind and found the combined value of commercial, sport, and subsistence and hatchery fisheries in southeast Alaska tops $986 million and accounts for nearly 11 percent of jobs.
Decades ago, timber harvesting impacted some southeast streams and rivers and threatened fish reproduction.
Armed with the new economic information, the group says it wants the U.S. Forest Service to take notice of the fisheries' value.
"The bottom line, it is a huge economic driver of the economy and we hope the forest service will take this information and really move forward with its policy shift and instead of managing the Tongass as a timber forest, they look at it more as a salmon forest and do what they can to enhance and maintain the watersheds there that produce these amazing fish," said Trout Unlimited Communications Director Paula Dobbyn.
The U.S. Forest Service recently announced it was shifting its policies to emphasize more sustainable harvest of the Tongass resources.