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Economics & Social Sciences Research

Developing an Alaskan Community Data Collection Project

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC), the AFSC, and community stakeholder organizations have identified as a priority ongoing collection of community-level economic and socioeconomic information in Alaska, specifically related to commercial fisheries. The AFSC's ESSR Program is developing a voluntary data collection program intended to provide systematic annual data for economic impact assessment of communities involved in North Pacific fisheries (initially focused on Alaska communities for feasibility reasons) and will ensure that both commercial fisheries data and community-level socioeconomic and demographic data are collected at comparable levels of spatial and thematic resolution. Such data will facilitate analysis of the impact of commercial fisheries and proposed changes in commercial fisheries management, both within and across North Pacific communities involved in commercial fishing.

Data collected from communities in this survey will include information on community revenues based in the fisheries economy, fisheries support program costs, vessel expenditures in ports, fisheries infrastructure available in the community, support sector business operations in the community, and demographic information on commercial fisheries participants from the community. Information to be collected in this program is intended to capture the most relevant and pressing types of data needed for economic analyses of plants, vessels, and communities. Additional data categories may be added once the survey instrument is pretested.

The ESSR Program is developing a draft survey instrument for this data collection. Pending Office of Management and Budget clearance, the ESSR Program anticipates mailing the questionnaire to 136 fishing communities in Alaska in spring 2011.

By Amber Himes

Alaskan Community Meetings Being Held to Revise Profile Template

Community Profiles for North Pacific Fisheries--Alaska, NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-AFSC-160 published in 2005, developed community profiles for 136 communities engaged in or dependent upon the fisheries in and off Alaska. ESSR Program researchers will revise and update that report following the availability of new community data from the 2010 U.S. Census.

To assist with planning the community profile updates, ESSR staff will contact end-users of the profiles document (such as researchers employed by NPFMC and NOAA to conduct social impact assessments) to gather their input on how the document can be improved and what parts of the current document are most useful to them. In addition, ESSR Program staff will conduct five public meetings with community members from the 136 communities in the 2005 profiles.

The community meetings will be held in late August and early September in Anchorage, Dutch Harbor, Bethel, Nome, Petersburg, and Kodiak. The meetings will be used to create a revised template for the community profiles, increase input of communities and the fishing industry into the profiles, facilitate a greater understanding of the relationship between communities and fisheries in the fisheries management process, increase the utility of the profiles, and build ongoing relationships between the AFSC and local communities.

By Amber Himes

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