This fall, Salmon Sister's designer Emma created a book called Ocean Notes. Ocean Notes is a collection of words, photographs, lists, artwork and letters from seafaring women in our commercial fishing community. These women call themselves fishermen and find themselves at sea sometimes for months at a time. Commercial fishing in Alaska has traditionally been considered men’s work, but a fiercely resourceful, intelligent and creative community of women are working in the industry today. Because Alaska is big, the water is wide, and modern modes of communication are often challenging while fishing, these women send letters and write stories and reflect on their experiences through drawings and lists and poems that attempt to capture or illustrate their reality. Life at sea can be physically and mentally trying; it can also be inspiring, life-defining, and at times indescribable to those who haven’t experienced the beautiful wilds of Alaska’s oceans themselves. Each page of this publication holds a different female fisherman’s experience, the combination of pages defines a collective identity of Alaskan seafaring women.
The book contains 118 pages, some of which we've shared below. It is organized into sections of Alaska's main fishing areas, and full of amazing content submitted by women around the state. Ocean Notes is not currently for sale, though we have dreams that someday we will start sending our customers semi-annual publications like these, full of interesting, beautiful, relatable content. Emma loves designing them and there are so many amazing people and stories still to celebrate. Thank you everyone who contributed something to this project, you are all such inspiring women.
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Since starting our business, we have been sure of one thing: we love our customers! You have pushed us to new places and inspired us everyday with your enthusiasm for what’s wild and strong and beautiful in the world. We wanted to create a special experience for our customers that goes beyond our webshop, and lets us be more flexible and connected to our Alaskan community. We’re excited to announce the newest additions to our Salmon Sisters family, the Fleet and the Flagship!
Last summer, we had the opportunity to host a film crew from Maersk, a Danish shipping company that plays a major role in Alaska's seafood industry, during our fishing season. This project made us think about what it means to share the fish we catch and our designs with the world. Our passion is providing people with healthy sustainable wild seafood, and honoring our relationship with the ocean by creating good sand garments that speak to the wildness in all of us.
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!