Hatchery-raised fish in Prince William Sound accounted for about 30 percent of the statewide salmon harvest this year, a new economic study shows.
The study, done for the nonprofit Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corp., underscores the importance of hatchery fish to the sustainability and health of Alaska's commercial salmon and sport fisheries, and to the regional and statewide economies, the agency said in a press release.
The 2010 season produced the largest run of pink salmon in the history of the fishery, PWSAC general manager Dave Reggiani said in the prepared statement.
The snapshot done for the Cordova-based organization found that the hatchery fish generated $317 million in total economic output, provided 2,70 jobs, accounted for $67 million in labor income for more than 30 regional economies and passed on $1.8 million in fisheries business tax revenue to the state and another $1 million to local treasuries.
PWSAC operates five hatcheries in the Prince William Sound/Copper River region that generate millions of pink, chum, Coho and sockeye salmon. It was established by the Legislature in 1973 and is financed through the sale of hatchery fish to processors and a salmon enhancement tax paid by commercial fishermen.