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Regional Seafood Development Tax
Historical Overview

The seafood development tax is an elective tax levied on certain fishery resources using specific gear types sold in or exported from designated seafood development regions. Fishermen pay seafood development taxes to licensed buyers at the time of sale or to the Division for resources sold to unlicensed buyers or exported from Alaska. Buyers remit taxes collected from fishermen to the Division.

Commercial fishermen harvesting salmon elected tax rates for the following development regions and gear types:

Prince William Sound (drift gillnet)1%2005
Bristol Bay (drift gillnet)1%2006
Prince William Sound (set gillnet)1%2009

Buyers file returns and pay the tax monthly. The due date is the last day of the month following the month of purchase. Buyers file returns for bonus payments made to fishermen after the close of the fishery season. Returns for these payments are due with additional taxes by the last day of the month following the bonus payment. Fishermen selling to unlicensed buyers or exporting from Alaska file returns and pay taxes annually. The due date is March 31 following the year of sale or export.

Resources harvested under special harvest area permit (typically, salmon harvested on behalf of salmon hatcheries) are exempt from the seafood development tax.

The Division deposits all seafood development tax revenue into the General Fund. Under AS 43.76.380(d), the legislature may appropriate seafood development tax revenue to provide financing for qualified regional seafood development associations.


2004 - The legislature adopted the Seafood Development Tax Act. The Act authorized a tax of between 0.5% and 2%, upon election by commercial fishermen harvesting within designated regions, on fishery resources transferred to buyers in or exported from Alaska.

2005 - Commercial salmon drift gillnet fishermen in the Prince William Sound seafood development region elected a 1% tax.

2006 - Commercial salmon drift gillnet fishermen in the Bristol Bay seafood development region elected a 1% tax.

2009 - Commercial salmon set gillnet fishermen in the Prince William Sound Seafood Development Region elected a 1% tax.