Dutch Harbor does it again!

Fishery values increased substantially for nearly all Alaska ports.

by | June 28, 2023

Filed Under Trends

Top US fishing port for 25th year; Kodiak slips to #5

Port of Dutch Harbor, Alaska

Dutch Harbor held on to the title of top port for fishery landings for the 25th consecutive year with 745 million pounds crossing the docks in 2021.

That’s according to the newly released Fisheries of the U.S. report for 2021 by NOAA Fisheries.

The Aleutian Islands, home to North America’s largest seafood production facility at Akutan owned by Trident Seafoods, again ranked second for volume at nearly 500 million pounds.

Kodiak dropped from third to fifth place with just under 300 million pounds of fishery landings.

U.S. ports ranking third and fourth for total poundage were Empire-Venice, Louisiana and Reedville, Virginia.

In all, 61.5% of all seafood landed in the U.S. came from Alaska with the Gulf of Mexico a distant second at just 13%.

Fishery values increased

In terms of value, pricey scallops again kept New Bedford, Massachusetts in the top spot for the 22nd consecutive year, worth nearly $570 million to fishermen.

Dutch Harbor ranked third for fishery values at $249 million, up from $187 in 2020. Naknek came in fourth at $245.2 million, compared to $242 million the previous year. Akutan ranked sixth for value at $168.4 million, an increase from $112.3 million.

Kodiak came in at number nine at just over $121 million, compared to $87.7 million in 2020.

All major Alaska ports in 2021 showed big monetary gains over 2020, reflecting improvement from the negative impacts of the Covid pandemic.

Fishery values at the Alaska Peninsula, for example, more than doubled to $94.5 million. Cordova values surged to nearly $70 million, up from $25.5 million in 2020.

Sitka fishery values also soared to $73.4 million compared to $33.3 million the previous year. Petersburg landings totaled $38.3 million, up from $20.5 million.

Juneau’s landings jumped to $30.6 million, an increase from just over $17 million. And at Homer, fishery values of nearly $22 million compared to just $12.5 million in 2020.

In all, U.S. fishery landings totaled 8.6 billion pounds in 2021 with a dockside value of $6.5 billion to fishermen. That was a 2.05% increase in volume over 2020 and a 31.4% increase in value.

Imports and Exports maintain big imbalance

In terms of seafood imports, a whopping 6.8 billion pounds were purchased by the U.S. from other countries in 2021 for $28 billion. That was an increase of 10.4% and 29.6%, respectively.

Shrimp was again the top import at 39% followed by fillets/steaks at 33%. Fifty-one percent of the seafood imports come from Asia.

In contrast, the U.S. exported 2.5 billion pounds of edible seafood, which is a 5.3% increase compared to 2020. The seafood exports were valued at $5.2 billion, a 19.4% increase. Nearly half of the value of U.S. seafood exports goes to Asia and 27% to Europe.

Seafood has been and remains Alaska’s top export, comprising over half of the state’s annual export value which averages over $3 billion annually. 

On another bright note:  Seafood consumption by Americans showed an uptick in 2021 with per capita consumption reaching 20.5 pounds, a 1.5% increase from the previous year.

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About Laine

Laine Welch has covered the Alaska fish beat for print and radio since 1988. She also has worked “behind the counter” at retail and wholesale seafood companies in Kodiak and on Cape Cod.


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