This winter we've been able to attend some great events, many centered around our local food systems and the people behind them. A few highlights were the Young Fishermen's Summit in Juneau, Local Catch – a direct seafood marketer's gathering in Norfolk, Virginia, the Alaska Marine Conservation Council's 'Sea to Taproot' event in Anchorage, and the Alaska Food Festival & Conference. There is so much valuable information exchanged at these events and we want to make sure it gets out the door and passed on to anyone interested in their food and local producers. We've included many resources below for fishermen too!
But, before we dive in, a few general announcements!
Some inspiration for young fishermen:
"Success is not common. Therefore it is not enjoyed by the common man or woman. Ask Yourselves, What are you willing to do to be successful? Start early stay late? Go to the Bering Sea in January where you its cold dark and lonely? Hone your craft. Stay sober, alert, ready for the challenge.
If you want to run a marathon or climb a mountain you need a plan. you need to train. What is your plan? What are you doing today to execute it? What do you want to accomplish this year? This month? This week?"
– Buck Laukitis' keynote address
Inspired by our community of young fishermen at YFS, we decided Fridays would be Young Fishermen Friday on Salmon Sisters social media. Check out our Instagram and Facebook to join the tribe and see each week's featured fisherman.
Local Catch: http://www.localcatch.org/
Information from Fishermen for Fishermen:
LocalCatch.org is a community made up of fishermen, organizers, researchers, and consumers across North America that are committed to providing local, healthful, low-impact seafood via community supported fisheries and direct marketing arrangements in order to support healthy fisheries and the communities that depend on them.
We were fortunate enough to attend the 2016 North America Local Seafood Summit thanks to sponsorship by the Alaska Marine Conservation Council, dedicated to educating and acting as a resource for Alaska’s next generation of commercial fishermen. The summit was geared towards moving Community Supported Fisheries & Value-Based Fishing Businesses forward.
Reba Temple, daughter of a fishermen, skipper of the F/V Cloud 9 in Bristol Bay, and math teacher at Homer High School is helping bring marine trades into the classroom! High schoolers can learn new skills associated with working on boats, mending nets, and marine safety as part of a 6-week workshop taught by Homer Marine Trades Association throughout the school year.
Read Homer News article: "HHS, KBC, marine trades partner to open doors to job opportunities"
Marine trades are also offered at Homer's Kachemak Bay Campus for those not in high school. Here's the calendar:
A unique boat-to-plate experience! This delicious evening was celebrating with wild Alaskan seafood and fishermen while also raising funds to support AMCC's work to ensure healthy oceans and vibrant coastal communities. A multi-course seafood dinner was prepared by Chef “Delicious” Dave Thorne, a one-of-a-kind bouy art auction (you can see the one we made below!) had the crowd hollering.
View the complete conference agenda.
In February, we also sponsored and attended the Alaska Food Policy's two-day conference and attended classes on our local food systems. Here's an example of the Local Fishing Livelihoods & Community Well-being class we attended:
Local Fishing Livelihoods and Community Well-Being: Assessing the Role of Local Fisheries Access in Community Sustainability Alaska’s community-based fisherman play an important role across the state as small business owners and local food producers. This panel provides a discussion of the value of local fishing livelihoods at the intersection of culture, food, and economy. We will explore some of the challenges fisherman face linked to rising entry and operating costs and policy challenges limiting access to the resource. The aim is to promote a better understanding of the social, cultural, and economic value of local strategies and potential solutions to sustaining local fishing livelihoods in coastal Alaska and discuss how we as consumers, citizens, and communities can help shape a positive future for our fishing communities. (Rachel Donkersloot, Alaska Marine Conservation Council (AMCC); Gary Cline, Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation; Alana Peterson, Haa Aani, LLC; Hannah Heimbuch, commercial fisherman, Homer; Darius Kasprzak, Alaska Jig Association, Kodiak)
Our favorite part of the conference was the talk given by Chef Kirsten Dixon from the Tutka Bay Lodge and Winterlake Lodge. She makes some incredible food -- invest in her cookbooks or visit the Tutka Bay Lodge for a cooking class!
We love the Generally Nautical blog.
Until next time! Stay wild, friends.
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Every week we share the stories of Alaskan makers and young fishermen on our social media channels. This project has given us a deeper appreciation for the community who work on Alaska waters and those who work to create Alaska goods. Everyday we learn from new people who inspires us to be better fishermen and create more beautiful things. Enjoy the following stories from a few of the Alaskan fishermen and makers we've learned from. Stay tuned for more wonderful stories this summer!
Thank you Vogue and the amazing Evgenia Arbugaeva for capturing this community of hard-working women that we hold in such high esteem. What a day for this diverse group of strong and independent women to have a moment of recognition. We feel incredibly to lucky to be able to use our Salmon Sisters audience to highlight our larger community and Alaska’s commercial fisheries.
This year, we traveled to Astoria, Oregon to attend the annual FisherPoets Gathering, a celebration of the commercial fishing industry in poetry, prose and song. FisherPoets has attracted storytellers and their many fans since 1998. We dare say it was one of the highlights of our winter.