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Community profiles for North Pacific fisheries - Alaska


Abstract

This document profiles 196 fishing communities in Alaska with information on social, economic and fisheries characteristics. Various federal statutes, including the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and the National Environmental Policy Act, among others, require agencies to examine the social and economic impacts of policies and regulations. These profiles serve as a consolidated source of baseline information for assessing community impacts in Alaska.

The communities profiled in this document were selected through a quantitative process that assessed involvement in North Pacific fisheries. Demographic and fisheries data from the year 2009, the most recent year for which data were available when community selection occurred, were used to determine fisheries involvement. Data envelopment analysis was used as a quantitatively rigorous method to rank communities based on their overall engagement and/or dependence in North Pacific fisheries (including commercial, recreational and subsistence fisheries). Engagement was defined as the value of each indicator as a percentage of the total present in the state, for example, the percent of all fishing vessels registered in the state that are owned by residents of a given community. Dependence was then defined as a per capita measurement of each indicator within the community, reflecting the importance of fishing to residents. The quantitative indicators used to represent commercial fisheries participation included commercial fisheries landings (e.g., landings, number of processors, number of vessels delivering to a community), communities that are the registered homeports of vessels participating in the fisheries, and communities that are home to documented participants in the fisheries (e.g., crew license holders, state and federal permit holders, and vessel owners). The indicators used to represent recreational fisheries participation included sportfish licenses sold in the community, sportfish licenses held by residents, and the number of charter businesses and guides registered in the community. The indicators used to represent subsistence fisheries participation included participation in the Subsistence Halibut Registration Certificate program, number of subsistence salmon permits issued to households in the community, and local marine mammal harvests. A community was selected to be profiled when it surpassed the median index score on either the ranking of community dependence or engagement.

Each community profile is given in a narrative format that includes six sections: People and Place, Natural Resources and Environment, Current Economy, Governance, Infrastructure, and Involvement in North Pacific Fisheries. People and Place includes information on location, demographics (including age and gender structure of the population, racial and ethnic make-up), education, housing, and local history. Natural Resources and Environment presents a description of the natural resources in the vicinity of the community, as well as specific information on local parks and preserves, resource exploration opportunities (e.g., mining and fishing), natural hazards and nearby environmental contamination sites. Current Economy analyzes the principal contributions to the local economy, including the distribution of occupations and industries that employ residents, as well as unemployment and poverty statistics. Governance lays out information regarding city classification, taxation, Native villages, corporations, and other organizations, proximity to fisheries management and immigration offices, and details regarding municipal revenue and fisheries-related grants received by each community. Infrastructure covers connectivity and transportation, facilities (e.g., water, waste, electricity, schools, police), medical services, and educational opportunities. Involvement in North Pacific Fisheries details community activities in commercial fishing (e.g., processing, permit holdings, and vessel ownership), recreational fishing, and subsistence fishing. The term ‘community’ was defined based on Census place-level geographies where possible, and communities were grouped only when constrained by fisheries data. In total, profiles were written for 188 individual communities. Regional characteristics and fisheries issues are briefly described in regional introductions.


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