The Catch 49 program that delivers locally caught seafood to other Alaskans has expanded its 900 customers to include a growing wholesale base.

Princess Holland America lodges in Denali is one of the biggest buyers for Kodiak jig caught rockfish and Tanner crab. The Muse Restaurant at the Anchorage Museum is a client as is North Star Quality Meats, the protein supplier for all of the AC stores in rural Alaska.

“And we were really proud to be one of the first people supply AK caught seafood to those rural communities. It’s kind of shocking they weren’t getting that before. But we’re happy to be filling that gap.”

Katy Rexford is director of Catch 49, an arm of the non-profit Alaska Marine Conservation Council.

It’s the 8th year for the program described as a boat to table community supported fishery.

Customers order their seafood favorites in advance and pick it up at a distribution hub a few weeks later.

“What we do is bring the highest quality Alaska seafood straight from the docks of small boat fishermen in Alaska and deliver it to the tables of Alaskans all across the state from Homer to Fairbanks”

Catch 49 also has opened its first retail space open every Thursday at its distribution center at 15th and Gambell.in Anchorage.

“Previously the model was to have four to five offerings per year – now we’re able to have our distribution center open every Thursday from noon until six. So people in the Anchorage area can order seafood year round and come and pick it up. So we’re trying to position ourselves as a more regular source of sustainable seafood.”

Partners in Homer, Seward, Fairbanks and the Mat Su Valley also help distribution in those regions.

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Rexford says up to 15 boats fish for Catch 49 now and they are always on the lookout for more fishermen across the state.

In a few weeks Catch 49 will be making drop offs of sockeye salmon from Bristol Bay and for the first time, reds from Copper River. A wide selection of other Alaska seafood also is offered.

She says being at the delivery center is like ‘fishmas.’

“I get to hand them this big beautiful bag of gorgeous fillets or beautiful shrimp and it’s a very happy occasion for everyone and also knowing that all of the proceeds are supporting fishing families in the coastal communities of Alaska.”

All Catch 49 proceeds go towards promoting productive fisheries into the future.

 

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