Seafood Processing:

Foreign Ownership of Facilities in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington

RCED-91-127: Published: Jul 31, 1991. Publicly Released: Sep 3, 1991.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined information on foreign investment in the seafood processing industry in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington.

GAO found that: (1) in 1989, Alaska, Oregon, and Washington harvested about $1.4 billion worth of seafood, amounting to 44 percent of the total national harvest; (2) of the three states, Alaska was the primary producer of seafood products; (3) Alaska had 660 facilities in 1989, compared with 56 in Oregon and 257 in Washington; (4) because many companies have multiple shore-based plants or processing vessels, the number of plants in the industry is greater than the number of processing companies; (5) some processors had one or more plants in Alaska, but had their headquarters in Washington; (6) federal and state agencies collect certain foreign investment data that do not relate specifically to the seafood processing industry, but recently enacted legislation should improve the overall quality and availability of such data; (7) the three states have different requirements regarding the disclosure of ownership interests for business operations, and no state agency collects information on loans from, or other nonownership involvement, with foreign sources; (8) foreign involvement in Alaska seafood processors ranged from partial or complete ownership to sales agreements to representation in company management positions; (9) 37 percent of 347 Alaskan processing facilities had some foreign ownership in 1989; and (10) Japanese firms were the most frequent foreign owners of Alaska facilities.

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