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Study Finds Alaska Spends More on Commercial Fishing Than it Earns

12 January 2016

US - A new study by researchers Bob Loeffler and Steve Colt from the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) has found that Alaska State spends more on managing its commercial fishing industry than it collects from it.

The study found that the state spends about $27.2 million more on commercial fishing than it receives in revenue from the industry.

This includes regulation, operations and capital projects. However, it does not consider federal funds, which play a role in Alaska’s fisheries, as many salt-water fisheries are federally managed, at least partially, reports AlaskaDispatchNews.

Local governments make out considerably better — taking in about 40 per cent of the revenue from the commercial fishing industry, according to the analysis. 

The report also found that state revenues from tourism roughly equal what the state spends for management and mining brings in about six times more than the state spends to manage it.

Mr Loeffler explained the study was not intended to be a cost-benefit analysis but more background information about how the state spends its money on these industries and how they fit into Alaska’s overall economy.

“I think it is important to look at the fiscal effects of each industry,” Loeffler said. “The industries bring huge benefits to communities, to individuals, in lots of ways. We’re not suggesting they don’t. I think they’re a very important part of state policy.”

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