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Petersburg is a city in Petersburg Census Area, Alaska, in the United States. According to 2009 Census Bureau estimates, the city has a total of 2,824 full time residents.
Petersburg was named after Peter Buschmann, a Norwegian immigrant who arrived in the late 1890s and established his homestead on the north end of the island. He built a cannery for fish, a sawmill, and a dock between 1890 and 1900.
Petersburg is located on the north end of Mitkof Island, where the Wrangell Narrows meets Frederick Sound. It is halfway between Juneau, 120 miles to the north, and Ketchikan, 110 miles to the south. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 46.0 square miles, of which, 43.9 square miles of it is land and 2.2 square miles of it (4.74%) is water.
The island is largely covered by low mountains, while the lowlands are mainly made up of muskeg, a type of soil made up of plants in various states of decomposition.
Commercial fishing is the dominant contributor to the economy of Petersburg. Petersburg has the most efficient and effective small boat fishing fleet in the world. The top producers harvest well over a million dollars of seafood each and every year. There is a vibrant salmon troll and gillnet fleet as well as participants in the dungeness crab and dive fisheries, but the main producers in Petersburg are the 58 foot limit 'seiners'. These 58 footers harvest salmon, halibut, black cod, king crab and herring.
Since the city is on an island, it can only be accesssed by sea or air.