Alaska Sea Grant projects and programs produced over $8.5 million in economic benefits to the state last year, as reported to National Sea Grant. These benefits were the result of our work in marine safety training, seafood safety classes, seafood technology programs, professional consultations, and other activities.
Our work helps workers and helps businesses get off the ground or maintain their activity, by providing services such as specialized training and certification. For example, the Alaska Seafood School’s Better Process Control School training provides students with an FDA-recognized certification in thermal processing and acidified food. The training supported nine front-line seafood processing jobs last year.
We produce economic benefit by providing accessible information and training in coastal communities statewide. One example is training we conducted in partnership with the Alaska Marine Safety Education Association (AMSEA), which produced economic benefit by providing essential instruction to 72 workers in coastal communities. The AMSEA Drill Conductor training provided students with a US Coast Guard credential that is required for fishing vessels that operate more than three miles from shore.
We also create economic benefit by helping businesses and constituents through consulting and laboratory services. Our seafood marketing and technology experts provide a range of consulting services to commercial seafood harvesting and processing businesses, helping with business plans, researching processing equipment, and assisting with meeting regulatory requirements.
Some economic benefits are difficult to track and quantify, and so we are not able to put a number on all of the economic benefits from our work. Those efforts can still have substantial value to Alaska’s economy and society. Our work supporting safe and sustainable subsistence harvesting, for example, not only impacts nutrition and village economies, but also is deeply connected to Alaska Native cultures around our state.
Alaska Sea Grant provides substantial economic value, serving a diverse constituency across the state. This economic value is determined using methods and guidance from the NOAA National Sea Grant Office, which provide an established framework for estimating defensible, conservative estimates of the economic benefits of our work.