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Economics & Social Sciences Research Program

Updating the North Pacific Fishing Community Profiles

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July-Sept 2012
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A NOAA Technical Memorandum finalized in October 2011 documents the process we are undertaking to update the Community Profiles for North Pacific Fisheries – Alaska. In addition, the communities to be included in the updated document were reevaluated to ensure that communities with significant reliance on commercial, recreational, and subsistence fishing are included. This resulted in a total of 196 communities that will be profiled, including the 136 communities that were profiled in the 2005 Community Profiles for North Pacific Fisheries – Alaska (Community Profiles; Sepez et al 2005) and an additional 60 communities that were not previously included. The Economic and Social Sciences Research (ESSR) program staff spent the majority of 2011 developing a template for the new community profiles, researching and compiling data sources needed for the profile update, and working with the Alaska Fisheries Information Network to compile all of the data for the profiles into a database for use during the profile update process. The new template adds a significant amount of new information to help provide a better understanding of each community’s reliance on fishing.  The community profiles comprise additional information including, but not limited to, annual population fluctuation, fisheries-related infrastructure, community finances, natural resources, educational opportunities, fisheries revenue, shore-based processing plant narratives, landings and permits by species, and subsistence and recreational fishing participation, as well as information collected from communities in the Alaska Community Survey, which was implemented during summer 2011, and the Processor Profiles Survey, which was implemented in fall 2011.

A team of research assistants was assembled in November 2011 to start the process of revising the profiles. Throughout 2012, this team has been systematically revising all of the existing community profiles and drafting new profiles for the additional 60 communities. Each of the 195 communities has been sent a copy of their updated profile and is being encouraged to provide comments. All comments received will be incorporated into the profiles to the extent feasible. A final version of each community profile is expected to be completed by early October 2012. In October and November 2012, regional profiles will be drafted that summarize overall involvement in fishing by communities in each of the major regions of Alaska. 

Final versions of the regional profiles and community profiles will be made available on the AFSC website. Program staff have been working with Center GIS specialists to develop an interactive website where the user can view commercial, recreational, and subsistence data through a web mapping tool. The user will also be able to download non-confidential data per community and each community’s profile. The web mapping tool will launch in fall 2012 and can be reached via the existing community profiles website.

By Amber Himes-Cornell, Kristin Hoelting, Peter Little and Conor Maguire
 

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