For Department of Fish and Game, only commercial fishing pays its own way

Commercial fishing once again comes up as the biggest moneymaker by far for the entire Alaska Department of Fish and Game. A new department report released last month shows that among sport and commercial fisheries and wildlife management activities, commercial fishing is the only segment that brings in more money than it costs the state.

According to state figures, commercial fishing revenues rebounded in fiscal 2000, with increased receipts from fish landings, salmon enhancement and salmon marketing taxes, and processors’ voluntary marketing assessments.

The seafood industry pumped $69.2 million back into state coffers in fiscal 2000. In return, Alaska spent $47.4 million to keep its fisheries up and running. The cities and boroughs of the state receive one-half of the state’s fisheries business tax, and last year they shared nearly $20 million. For many coastal communities, those fish bucks represent the bulk of their tax base.

In contrast, sport fishing revenues rang in $30.7 million, while getting $33.7 million in funding from the state. Wildlife management activities cost the state $34.8 million and returned $21.8 million to the state’s bank account.

photo: fish_factor
03/03/2001 - 8:00pm