Report: Alaska Fishing Businesses Struggling As Coronavirus Holds Court

Tough times for many businesses left helpless by the COVID-19 pandemic. With Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy installing a 14-day quarantine to any Alaska visitors from out of state (through at least June 2) could have a carryover effect for instate fishing businesses that rely on tourists. Here’s more from the Anchorage Daily News:

Sportfishing is big business in Alaska. A 2017 study funded by the Matanuska-Susitna Borough determined that out-of-state sportfishermen spend $358 million per year at Alaska stores and businesses in Cook Inlet alone, about as much as in-state fishermen did in the region.

Statewide, the market for tourist-related sportfishing is huge. Last year, nearly 300,000 Alaska visitors bought temporary sportfishing licenses, according to statistics kept by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

An informal poll conducted by the Alaska Charter Association found two-thirds of respondents have seen their bookings fall by at least half. Only 28% said they were confident they will be in business next year.