Personal glimpses that chronicle the fishing life make up the Alaska Young Fishermen’s Almanac and volume 2 is available now. The 124 page book contains 50 submissions from all across Alaska.
“The almanac serves as a cultural touchstone for a community that not a lot of people outside of that community can find a window into. So for people who fish it’s a really great community builder. People who don’t participate can get a window into this livelihood and why it’s important and worth preserving.”
Jamie O’Connor is a fisherman who heads the working waterfront and young fishermen’s programs for the Alaska Marine Conservation Council.
The first Alamanac last year was so popular it covered the costs for volume 2 and it may go to a second printing. O’Connor says each is very different and has its own tone.
“Last time there were some really cool photos and lots of them and this time we still got great photos but a lot more original art and written pieces which is really exciting.”
It also includes recipes, a fishermen’s simple yoga sequence and multi-generational family musings.
My co-worker Theresa Peterson of Kodiak put together a story about her entry into fisheries and her fishing livelihood and then her son Charlie also submitted a companion piece. So you’ve got the family mother/son angle on what these fishing livelihoods can be and feel like to people which is really beautiful.”
The Almanac is modeled after a publication for farmers that dates back to 1792. O’Connor says reactions by sellers in book and gift stores has been very enthusiastic.
“I took it into several businesses in Homer where I’m based for the winter and shopkeepers asked if I had them in my car and could they get 20. And I said yes, of course you can! It’s really lovely to see the response especially in our Alaska coastal communities.”
“We don’t have the distribution infrastructure to support online sales through AMCC”
O’Connor says plans already are underway to gather submissions for Almanac’s number three and four.