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2014

Already A Better Year

Right out of the gate, 2014 is looking to be a better year than 2013. Not that I’m superstitious; I’m not (usually). However, the only traffic violation I ever received, and that was more than twenty years ago, was for going thirteen miles over the speed limit, thirteen minutes after midnight, on the thirteenth of the month. Bad luck with the number thirteen? You be the judge.

As for 2014—I am hopeful and encouraged for Alaska. There is great promise for a better economy and a better future for our children and grandchildren. We are buoyed up, of course, by the positive changes coming forth in the oil and gas industry, the quintessential financier of the Alaska state government. Another big economic engine, but one that’s often overlooked, is the seafood industry.

“Alaska Seafood Industry Creates Jobs, Opportunities: Facilitating growth in business, total economic output” is a most informative article by Vanessa Orr (page 86). A frequent freelancer to Alaska Business Monthly, Orr details how well the industry is doing by sharing interviews and information from the Deckers, a Southeast Alaska family that makes their living via commercial fishing; a fisheries guru, Northern Economics Vice President and Senior Economist Marcus Hartley; and a man who knows all about the Alaska seafood industry—Tyson Fick of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.

Learning about the literally tens of thousands of jobs and multiple billions of dollars infused into the economies of Alaska and the United States via Alaska’s fisheries will astound many. I know I was surprised to learn the Alaska seafood industry is the basis for employing more than one hundred thousand people across the United States—with billions in associated labor income and retail value.

I did know that there are tens of thousands of Alaska jobs related to the industry and billions of dollars of wages and direct investments flowing back into the Alaska economy and that it is a multi-billion dollar industry in the state. I don’t want to be a spoiler for our readers this month though, so I’ll stop with the statistics. Suffice it to say that readers will find out what a huge and important sector of the state’s economy the seafood industry actually is. For export specifics, readers will want to peruse the “Export Partners and Commodities: Top 25 via Alaska” in the World Trade Special Section (page 73).

The rest of the magazine is sure to inform and delight readers with excellent coverage of the Arctic in both special sections and woven throughout the February issue. The team at Alaska Business Monthly has put together another really great magazine. Enjoy!

—Susan Harrington, Managing Editor

This first appeared in the February 2014 print edition of Alaska Business Monthly magazine.

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