Kodiak is the main city and one of seven communities on Kodiak Island in Kodiak Island Borough, Alaska. All commercial transportation between the island's communities and the outside world goes through this city via ferryboat or airline. The population was 6,130 as of the 2010 census. 2018 estimates put the population at 5,968.
Originally inhabited by Alutiiq natives for over 7,000 years, the city was settled in the 18th century by the subjects of the Russian crown and became the capital of Russian Alaska. Russian harvesting of the area's sea otter pelts led to the near extinction of the animal in the following century and led to wars with and enslavement of the natives for over 150 years. The city has experienced two natural disasters in the last century: a volcanic ashfall from the 1912 eruption of Novarupta and a tsunami from the 1964 Alaska earthquake.
After the Alaska Purchase by the United States in 1867, Kodiak became a commercial fishing center which continues to be the mainstay of its economy. A lesser economic influence includes tourism, mainly by those seeking outdoor adventure trips. Salmon, halibut, the unique Kodiak bear, elk, Sitka deer (black tail), and mountain goats attract hunting tourists as well as fishermen to the Kodiak Archipelago. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game maintains an office in the city and a website to help hunters and fishermen obtain the proper permits and learn about the laws specific to the Kodiak area.