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and Wrangell, also the rural high school of Palmer, the Sheldon Jackson School at Sitka and the Wrangell Institute at Wrangell, are accredited by the Northwest Association of Secondary and Higher Schools. High schools accredited by the Territorial Department of Education include a number of rural schools, as well as those maintained in the incorporated cities of Craig, Haines, Kodiak, Nenana, and Valdez.
The Territorial schools are under the general supervision of a Territorial Board of Education, with the Commissioner of Education as executive officer.
FEDERAL WORKS AGENCY
BUREAU OF COMMUNITY FACILITIES Under the provisions of the Lanham Act, the Federal Works Agency is constructing hospitals, schools, recreational centers, health centers, fire stations, water works, sewerage systems and electric power plants, and aiding in the furnishing of operation and maintenance services. This program is to assist communities in providing public works and services made necessary by expansion of war industries and increased wartime activities of the Army and Navy. During the year seven construction projects, for which the estimated cost totalled $696,731, were completed and placed in operation.
TERRITORIAL FINANCES The fiscal system of the Territory is controlled by laws enacted by the Territorial Legislature, and is separate from revenues received by the Federal Government from business and trade licenses which are covered into and disbursed from the "Alaska Fund" in the Federal Treasury. The general revenue act in effect at this time (ch. 61, art. IV, sec. 3138, Compiled Laws of Alaska, 1933) and amendments thereto, impose license taxes for various occupations and industries.
Alaska's tax system is grossly inadequate. A school tax of $5 is levied on all persons gainfully employed between the ages of 21 and 55 years inclusive. The salmon industry pays a pack tax on each case of salmon packed and a business tax of 1 percent of the net income. Gold taxation is less than 3 percent, and because of a $20,000 exemption a large portion of gold without any taxation whatever leaves the Territory every year. Public utilities pay one-half of 1 percent of gross income. The remainder of the Territorial revenue comes from liquor taxes and a variety of license fees on businesses and professions. There is in Alaska no personal or corporate income tax and no property tax (municipalities tax property, but the law provides a maximum of 2 percent).
· The condition of the Territorial Treasury for the 1945 fiscal year was as follows:
Balance of cash in banks, July 1, 1944.------ $1, 963, 001. 94
209, 967. 21
1, 753, 034. 73 Receipts.--------
2,969, 042. 08 Disbursements.-
3, 314, 232. 56 Net cash balance, June 30, 1945.
1, 407, 844. 25
TERRITORIAL BANKS .. Fourteen Territorial and four National banks were doing business in Alaska at the close of the year. The Territorial Banking Board, composed of the Governor, the Auditor and the Treasurer of the Territory, supervises Territorial banking institutions. All banks make a report of conditions and publish statements under call as required by Territorial law. Aggregate banking figures for the Territory on June 30, 1945, were as follows: Capital, $1,035,000.00; surplus and net undivided profits, $2,208,408.27; deposits, $55,331,987.10. Totals for the previous year were: Capital, $985,000.00; surplus and net undivided profits, $1,836,349.64; deposits, $54,769,659.79.
ALASKA FUND The Alaska Fund is revenue derived from licenses issued for occupations and trade conducted outside of incorporated towns, deposited into the Federal Treasury and disbursed by Congressional appropriation as follows: 65 percent for construction and repair of roads and trails, 25 percent for maintenance of schools and 10 percent for relief of indigents. The total receipts for the fiscal year were $198,787.08.
In 1944, the salmon canning industry was operated in accordance with the Salmon Industry Concentration Plan under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior which, although more liberal than in 1943, required the concentration of the industry in the more efficient plants in order to effect savings in manpower, equipment and critical materials and to lessen the requirements for shipping facilities.
As in previous years, the commercial fishing grounds were patrolled by seagoing vessels, launches and open boats, supplemented with 84 hours of airplane patrol. Fishery management agents, fishery biologists, wildlife agents and seasonal employees were engaged in law enforcement and making observations of runs and escapements. The Fish and Wildlife Service operated 11 weirs in salmon streams for the purpose of determining the ratio of escapement to the commercial catch and for scientific purposes.
STATISTICS OF THE FISHERIES In 1944, 24,665 persons were employed in the commercial fisheries of Alaska, an increase of 954 over 1943. Products of the Alaska fisheries as prepared for market totaled 331,135,017 pounds having a wholesale value of $63,270,100, a reduction from 332,719,560 pounds valued at $66,516,317 the previous year.
The commercial catch of salmon was 72,429,162, consisting of 2,394,093 cohos, 10,474,482 chums, 38,886,142 pinks, 506,239 kings and 20,168,206 reds. The value of the catch of salmon to the fishermen is estimated at $14,527,257. By districts the catch increased 5 percent in southeastern Alaska and decreased 25 percent and 27 percent in central and western Alaska respectively, a total decrease of 16.6 percent for the entire Territory. Traps took about 41 percent of the catch, seines about 35 percent, gill nets 23 percent, lines and wheels the remaining 1 percent.
Of the principal types of gear operated in taking salmon, there were 397 traps, 672 purse seines, 73 beach seines, 3,108 gill nets and 3,651 troll lines.
The canned salmon pack in 1944 was nearly 12 percent under the average for the previous 5 years, amounting to 4,893,059 standard cases of forty-eight one-pound cans, valued at $51,196,140. There were 93 salmon canneries operated, 10 more than in 1943, but employment of persons dropped from 19,143 in 1943 to 19,079 in 1944.
Production of various types of cured salmon was considerably below normal. Only 2,374,558 pounds of mild-cured salmon were produced and 109,950 pounds of pickled salmon. Dried salmon for food and for animal feed on fur farms amounted to 385,155 pounds. Total production of cured salmon was 3,769,663 pounds valued at $915,488.
Although the poundage of fresh salmon for market in 1944 was about a half million less than in 1943, there was an increase of more than a million pounds of frozen salmon. Production of fresh salmon was 1,360,794 pounds valued at $203,068 and frozen salmon, 10,854,098 pounds valued at $1,478,089.
Salmon by products maintained about the same level of production as in recent years except that 34,175 pounds of salmon eggs were shipped from the Territory for preparation as caviar. Oil and meal products amounted to 1,583,700 pounds valued at $80,986.
Herring Herring products totaling 39,628,460 pounds valued at $2,458,170 represented an increase of more than 22 percent in quantity and more than 34 percent in value over 1943. There was a significantly large increase in the output of oil and meal, which increased 27 percent and 40 percent, respectively, from the previous year.
Seventeen plants were operated for herring, 11 in southeastern and 6 in central Alaska. Catches of 300,000 barrels in the Kodiak area, 200,000 barrels in the Prince William Sound area, and 200,000 barrels in southeastern Alaska, on the basis of 250 pounds to a barrel, were permitted under the quota system of limiting the total commercial catch, exclusive of fishing for bait. .
The herring industry gave employment to 710 persons, although 237 of these were engaged primarily in other fishery operations.
April 16 was the opening date established by the International Fisheries Commission for the North Pacific halibut fishery. The catch quota was increased by 500,000 pounds, making a total of 23,500,000 pounds for area 2, which extends from Willapa Harbor north to Cape Spencer, and 27,500,000 pounds for area 3, which extends from Cape Spencer westerly to Unimak Pass.
A halibut allocation system was put into effect by the Coordinator of Fisheries to assure orderly processing and distribution of the fish. The industry was somewhat upset by price ceilings which had the unusual effect of diverting a large percentage of the catch from Seattle and Prince Rupert to southeastern Alaska ports, particularly Ketchikan.
The Alaska halibut fleet, the fares of which included some landings at British Columbia ports, produced 29,209,837 pounds of fresh, frozen and canned halibut and halibut livers and viscera valued at $4,656,817. There were 935 fishermen engaged in the fishery, of whom 113 were engaged primarily in other fisheries.
Shellfish The shellfish industry, producing clams, crabs, shrimp and oysters, employed 991 persons of whom 244 also were engaged in the salmon canning industry.
Razor, butter, and cookle clams were produced in southeastern and central Alaska as canned whole and minced, frozen, bottled as juice, and sold fresh in shell and as fresh meats. Production increased 19 percent in quantity and nearly 15 percent in value over the previous year with a total poundage of 947,210 valued at $576,607.
Twelve operators in southeastern and central Alaska increased the production of Dungeness and king crabs more than 60 percent over 1943, with a total output of 316,416 pounds valued at $252,206.
Although the output of 140,620 pounds of shrimp in 1944 was only slightly greater than that in 1943 when 114,120 pounds were produced, the 1944 value of $118,439 represented an increase of more than 100 percent. Four operators in the Wrangell-Petersburg district in southeastern Alaska were engaged in shrimp production, which was limited to cold-packed and frozen meats.
Oyster production was about the same as in recent years with sales of 4,248 pounds of fresh shucked meats having a value of $1,888.
Miscellaneous Miscellaneous fishery products, which are classified as miscellaneous only because most are taken to a large extent incidentally to other fisheries, and not because they are unimportant, amounted to 7,687,177 pounds valued at $1,289,061. They included cod, flounders, lingcod, rockfishes, sablefish, sharks, skates, trout and mixed livers, viscera and oil.
FISHERY PRODUCTS LABORATORY The Fishery Products Laboratory, operated at Ketchikan jointly by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Territorial Fisheries Experimental Commission, conducts studies, surveys, and experiments to develop new fishery products and processes.
During the 1945 fiscal year surveys were made to locate new shrimp fishing grounds in southeastern Alaska and to determine the commercial feasibility of constructing and operating cold-storage plants at fishing centers of central Alaska. Studies, experiments, and tests were conducted on improvement of cannery loaf from salmon cannery trimmings, a product previously developed, to determine the practicability of producing meal and oil from cannery wastes in certain areas, to develop uses for halibut heads, to determine the most suitable methods for packaging fish for freezing, to estimate commercial value of hair seal meat, blubber, liver and skin, on several procedures for salting herring, on methods for storing salmon cannery waste for subsequent reduction. A practical and simple alkali process for producing commercial salmon oil from cannery wastes was developed, a report prepared on the vitamin content of various samples of Alaskan fish, and analyses made of numerous samples of fish livers.
FUR-SEAL INDUSTRY The comparatively small take of 47,652 skins from surplus fur seals on the Pribilof Islands in 1944 was accomplished in the same period as resettlement of the natives in their homes after nearly 2 years in evacuation status in southeastern Alaska. The herd was computed to include 2,945,663 animals as of August 10, 1944, an increase of 8.77 percent over 1943.