Real value of kings

Posted: Tuesday, January 21, 2003

A read with interest Eric Fry's article in the Sunday Jan. 12 Empire, "King Plan Hacks at Sport Harvest." I am a sportfisherman, own a charter boat and hold a commercial fishing permit. I do not dispute the article's statement that 10,000 additional king salmon could mean $300,000 to commercial fisherman. Unfortunately the article implies by omission that commercial fisherman are residents of Alaska. Not so, approximately 50 percent of the Alaska power troll permits are owned by individuals who do not reside in Alaska. They catch their fish in Alaska but sell a good portion of that catch outside the state.

According to a study done by a private economic firm for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in 1986, a sport-caught king salmon is worth $724 to the economy of Southeast Alaska. That makes those same 10,000 king salmon that are worth $300,000 to the commercial fisherman have a value of $7,240,000 to the economy of Southeast Alaska, if caught by a person holding a sportfishing license, be it resident or nonresident.

The bottom line is that sport fishing has the least biological impact on the resources while at the same time has the greatest economic benefit to Alaska.

Mike Millar


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