Big chum run of hatchery fish helped Southeast economy

Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2001

JUNEAU (AP) -- Douglas Island Pink and Chum hatchery pumped nearly $40 million into the Southeast economy in 2000, according to a study commissioned by the private, nonprofit fish hatchery in Juneau.

Last year was an especially good year because of large returns of chum salmon at a time when Japan suffered poor returns of chums, said Chris McDowell, an analyst with the McDowell Group, which conducted the study. Chum salmon are valued for their eggs in the Japanese caviar market.

The state expects this year's returns of chums from the hatchery to be closer to normal -- about half of last year's. At normal levels over the past 11 years the hatchery-raised fish have been worth about $2 million a year to fishermen and $9.5 million to Southeast processors, according to the study.

The report also estimates the broader economic effects as fishermen's and processors' earnings flow through the economy. In 2000, the hatchery fish resulted in $10 million in payroll and the equivalent of 360 year-round jobs, excluding commercial fishing jobs, the report estimated.

And, the hatchery fish play a role in sport and personal-use fisheries, which also affects the economy, according to the report.

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