Alaska Department of Fish and Game
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Bering Sea / Aleutian Islands Area
Overview — Subsistence Fishing
The Aleutian Islands covers a vast geographic area stretching between Alaska and Asia. Subsistence fishing efforts in the Aleutian Islands are orientated mainly towards the sea, yet the islands do harbor freshwater fish within the numerous rivers and lakes. The major communities of the Aleutian Islands Area are Akutan, Unalaska-Dutch Harbor, Nikolski, Atka and Adak. In 2009, population estimate for Aleutian Islands Area was 7,327 people.
The Bering Sea is the most productive ground fishery in the world and in the Aleutian Islands nearly all communities are involved with fishery, either at sea or on-shore in fish processing facilities. Important subsistence fisheries in the area include salmon (all five species), halibut and shellfish fisheries. Commercially salmon, Pacific cod, King crab, halibut, rockfish, sable fish, Atka mackerel and other species are harvested by both local and non-resident fishermen and processed in local facilities. The population and economic activity center for the Aleutian Islands Area is Dutch Harbor-Unalaska, which continuous to be the largest fishing port in the United States in terms of volume of seafood caught, and second largest in terms of monetary value. In 2009, commercial fisherman unloaded 506.3 million pounds of fish and shellfish at the port of Dutch Harbor-Unalaska. The total value of this catch was $159.7 million.