The commercial fishing fleet is gearing up for another season of production, as we have been doing in Haines for more than 100 years.

According to Haines Economic Development Corporation’s new Economic Baseline Report, 103 Haines Borough residents own 86 commercial fishing vessels and 160 limited entry permits. Each of these small businesses represents significant investment, income and employment. About 100 residents fish as crew members each year, and there are more than 300 seafood processing jobs in the borough at four facilities. From 2007-2016, harvest values ranged from $4.9 million to $8.8 million annually. Fish tax revenue to the Haines Borough was $130,000 in 2016, and $213,000 in 2015.

Virtually every business in our community benefits from commercial fishing dollars and many provide fisheries-related jobs. Earnings generated from commercial fishing circulate in the local economy through sales and property taxes, fuel, repair and maintenance supplies and services, freight, vehicles, food, travel, medical services, rentals, hotels, and more. Government jobs include Fish & Game, Public Safety/Fish and Wildlife Protection, and Ports and Harbors.

Healthy habitat is the critical piece that makes our fish-based economy possible. It is imperative that Haines Borough leaders recognize our contribution to the longstanding stability of our community, and back us up by doing all in their power to ensure our fish-bearing rivers are fully protected.

Laurie Mastrella

Haines Fishermen’s Alliance