Dutch Harbor remains nation’s top port for 21st consecutive year

More than 90 percent of the seafood landed in Dutch Harbor in 2017 was Alaska pollock. (Sarah Hansen, KUCB – Unalaska)

For the 21st consecutive year, Dutch Harbor is America’s largest fishing port.

According to an annual National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report released Thursday, the Port of Dutch Harbor led the nation with 769 million pounds of seafood landed in 2017, worth $173 million.

That’s down $25 million and a million pounds from 2016.

(Courtesy of NOAA Fisheries)

Much of Dutch Harbor’s haul was made up of pollock. According to NOAA’s Ned Cyr, pollock was also a significant fishery nationally.

“The nation’s largest commercial fishery, Alaska pollock, had near record landings of 3.4 billion pounds,” Cyr said. “That’s up around 1 percent from 2016 [and it’s] valued at $413 million.”

Alongside Alaska pollock, the highest value species include salmon, crab, lobsters, shrimp and scallops.

Overall Alaska was responsible for more than half of the nation’s seafood, about six billion pounds worth $1.8 billion. That’s an increase in both volume and value from the previous year.

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Zoe Sobel is a reporter with Alaska's Energy Desk based in Unalaska. As a high schooler in Portland, Maine, Zoë Sobel got her first taste of public radio at NPR’s easternmost station. From there, she moved to Boston where she studied at Wellesley College and worked at WBUR, covering sports for Only A Game and the trial of convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.