2017 regional commercial fisheries and NSSP operations infuse more than $8.5 million into Norton Sound communities over the summer
UNALAKLEET—A record $6.05 million was paid to 172 fishers delivering to Norton Sound Seafood Products (NSSP) in the 2017 commercial crab, salmon and halibut fisheries. Another $2.5 million was paid to 258 seasonal NSSP employees working in processing plants, at buying stations and on tender vessels. NSSP is a division of Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation (NSEDC) which supports the regional commercial fisheries.
“An infusion of $8.5 million in communities where jobs are limited makes significant impact in the lives of individuals, families and communities,” NSEDC Chairman Dan Harrelson said. “We have men and women harvesting these resources, often with their own family members or friends employed to process the crab, salmon and halibut. Our mission of providing economic development is ultimately fulfilled through the dedication and hard work of these fishers and seasonal employees.”
“And it was the hard work of not only our fishers, but of our processors, specifically, that brought our season to record levels,” NSSP Manager William “Middy” Johnson said of the 2017 season. To allow for maximum capacity in the fishing season, processors worked 12 hours a day and seven days a week for 10 weeks straight. “Fishers are always ready to work hard and make deliveries, and it shows in our numbers this season,” Johnson said. “The processors stepped up and met the demand, allowing for a record-setting harvest this season.”
The 2017 salmon harvest is valued at $2.8 million, more than doubling last year’s ex-vessel value of $1.2 million. The growth came from the amount of chum and coho delivered by the 139 regional salmon fishers. The year’s 1.1 million-pound chum harvest more than tripled the 2016 harvest of 344,613 pounds. The year’s 1.3 million-pound coho harvest nearly doubled the 2016 harvest of 701,450 pounds.
2017 NSSP COMMERCIAL FISHERIES
|Fishery||Number of Fishers||Total Harvest (Pounds)||Ex-Vessel Value|
|Halibut & Cod||20||129,140||$705,030|
The 2017 crab harvest remained steady with 409,374 pounds delivered to tender vessels and the Northern NSSP Processing Plant in Nome, nearly matching the salmon ex-vessel value at $2.5 million. The region’s halibut and cod fishery, with 20 fishers out of Nome and Savoonga, saw a payout of $705,030.
Success in the 2017 fisheries can be traced to the fishers and 258 individuals who were employed as processors, buyers, vessel crew members and office support. With processing plants in Nome, Unalakleet and Savoonga, buying stations in Shaktoolik, Golovin, Koyuk and Elim, and six vessels moving product, another $2.5 million was infused into the region through wages paid to support Norton Sound fishers.
For more information on the 2017 Norton Sound Seafood Products fishing season, contact William “Middy” Johnson at (907) 624-3190 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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