Kodiak is the center of fishing activities for the Gulf of Alaska. Its fishery is among the most diverse in the state. Residents participate in at least 27 different fisheries not including the numerous groundfish fisheries, which are lumped together in a single category by the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission . In addition to being quite diverse, Kodiak's fishing industry is also one of its oldest, dating back to the early 1800s when the Russians built the first salmon cannery in Karluk.
Kodiak is consistently one of the top fishing ports in the United States both in terms of quantity and value.
Salmon has traditionally been the mainstay of Kodiak's fisheries. Because of the cyclic nature of the salmon fisheries -- especially pink salmon -- the volume and value of Kodiak's salmon catch varies greatly. Increased competition in world markets has also driven prices to new lows.
During recent years, the groundfish fishery (primarily pollock and cod) has become increasingly important to Kodiak's economy. From 1986 through 2005, the wholesale value of this fishery increased from $23.5 to more than $35 million.
Fisheries-Related Research Facilities
In addition to the fish harvesting and processing sectors, there are also several government and educational institutions that operate fisheries-related research facilities in Kodiak.
Fishery Industrial Technology Center (FITC) is a unit of the University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. In addition to its graduate program, the center conducts training in the areas of fisheries and food science. FITC scientists also do research in fish harveting technology, seafood science and processing technology.
The new multi-million dollar Kodiak Fisheries Research Center (KFRC), built by the Kodiak Island Borough, is a world-class research institute, open to both state and federal researchers. KRFC is committed to the preservation, enhancement and management of North Pacific marine ecosystems and resources. The facility provides labs and office facilities to the National Marine Fisheries Service, State of Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the University of Alaska.
Learn about the 1999 Alvin expedition to the seafloor offshore Alaska by visiting the official Earthguide website of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
Some of the seafood landed in Kodiak:
- Descriptions from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Other Kodiak seafood industry-related links: