I was most surprised by the average age of the fisherman. Overall, a must read. This season was the 11th largest on record, but that’s hard to believe if you were fishing in Southeast Alaska.
By Laine Welch | Capital City Weekly
What is the average age of Alaska deck hands and where do they all live?
Find the answers in this month’s issue of Alaska Economic Trends by the state Dept. of Labor, which highlights “Employment in Alaska's Seafood Industry.”
Here’s a sampler: Fish harvesting jobs in Alaska have shown two distinct trends over the past nine years. From 2000 to 2002, employment numbers fell dramatically; then through 2008, fishing jobs stabilized and recovered a bit. Over the entire period, harvesting employment lost 1,436 jobs, a 16.5 percent decrease.
When fish harvesters are combined with processing workers, 52,000 people were directly employed in the seafood industry in 2008. A breakdown by age groups shows that 47 percent of Alaska deckhands were 29 or younger. Permit holders were much older than their crew, with an average age of 46. Processing workers had an average age of 39.
Forty-six percent of Alaska’s crew members lived outside the state in 2008. Of the 54 percent who lived in Alaska, 82 percent lived in a coastal region, and 18 percent lived in Anchorage and Fairbanks. Southeast was home to just over 14 percent of Alaska’s deckhands, 10.2 percent lived in Southcentral, 5.9 percent in Western Alaska, 5.4 percent in Bristol Bay, 4.9 percent in Kodiak, and 3.1 percent lived in the Aleutians/Pribilof region.
For permit holders, 21.1 percent resided in Southeast, 13.5 percent in Western Alaska, 13.1 percent in Southcentral, 8.1 percent in Anchorage, 6.9 percent in Bristol Bay, 4.6 percent in Kodiak, 2 percent lived in Aleutians/Pribilof region.
Twenty-seven percent of Alaska permit holders were nonresidents, and 74 percent of seafood processing workers lived outside the state.