Alaska's fishermen support a large processing industry with over 500 licensed processors. More than half are catcher-processor vessels that both harvest and process seafood; these range from huge factory trawlers in the Bering Sea to the small independent salmon fishermen that head, gut and freeze their catch onboard. Of the more than 200 shoreside processors, about 30 handle the majority of the harvest. Direct marketing fishermen, who operate outside the traditional harvester/processor relationship, compose a growing segment of the processing industry in Alaska. The Office of Fisheries Development has dedicated a section of its web site specifically fo seafood direct marketers.
The majority of processing in Alaska consists of "primary processing" wherein processors perform the first modification to the seafood. Secondary processors add value to the product, creating skinless/boneless fillets, smoked salmon, fish patties and many other seafood products. A growth in the number of Alaska businesses that perform secondary processing is one opportunity for increasing the value of the state's seafood industry.
Seafood processing licenses and permits are available at the Alaska Tax Division’s Online Permit and License Application System. The online application includes the Intent to Operate and the DOR license application.
The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation’s “Seafood Processing Application” is available online.
You may also wish to study the recovery and yield rates for the species you’re interested in processing.
Lists of Alaska seafood processors are available at Department of Environmental Conservation’s web site.
Toll Free Hotline 1-800-478-5626 within Alaska