The longest running commercial fishing tradeshow
Comfish Alaska 2017 kicks off this Wednesday in Kodiak. The three-day event is packed full of presentations, vendors, and fun. This is the 37th year that the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce has hosted the event, providing the fishing community with the latest products, safety updates, and access to industry professionals.
Just to name a few of the presenters…
State Representative Louise Stutes and Alaska Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Sam Cotten are holding open meetings, along with many others.
Bill Tweit, Vice Chair of The North Pacific Council will be sharing updates on Electronic Monitoring, set to launch this year.
“Come hear the latest on how we are progressing at electronic monitoring as an alternative to human observers for the small boat fleet. We want attendees to ask questions and make suggestions about what they think will work and what they hope we can tackle next. “
Sea Grant Marine Advisor Julie Matweyou will talk about how to get the best out of your fishing business.
“The fish Biz site covers entry, managing, growing, and exiting your business. It’s a pretty exciting site and there is a lot of useful tools, and I hope to be able to share it with the community.”
From the University of Alaska South East (Fish Tech Program) Fisheries Technology Program, Professor Reid Brewer is presenting training for future jobs in fisheries.
“I am going to talk about some of the academic programming that we are doing both in Kodiak and other towns around the state to reach out to the younger, greener students and get them interested in fisheries careers.”
Other presentations include market updates, Navy war games, and safety regulations. And author Tim Troll will give a sneak peak of his Sailing for Salmon exhibit.
“So it is a photo narrative of the early years of the commercial fishing in Bristol Bay.”
Matweyou adds, that Alaska Sea Grant will host a reception for the exhibit and it will be displayed at the Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center. The Alaska Marine Conservation Council will host a fish taco night at the local brewery. Wrapping up all of the events, on Saturday there will be a few fish dissection; Local processors will recognize their longest working employees, and a Fishermen’s Showcase that challenges their skills.
Chamber Director Trevor Brown-
“They do tying of Knots and throwing the hook and things like that. People get to cheer on their friends and family. So we are looking forward to that. We have good door prizes for those that attend. We have a lot of great events, a lot of great information and a lot of great vendors coming to town.”
Comfish begins March 30th and ends April 1st.
Check out the ComFish Forum lineup
Wednesday, March 29th
4:00 – 6:00
Fish Taco Night at the Kodiak Island Brewery Sponsored by the Alaska Marine Conservation Council, Alaska Jig Association and Kodiak Jig Seafoods. Come jig it up and celebrate our islands bounty with fish tacos. Fish supplied by Kodiak Jig Seafoods and prepared by the Association of Latin Women in Alaska.
Thursday, March 30th
9:30 – 10:00 Strengthening Alaska’s Fish Habitat Permitting
Process Presenters:Melanie Brown, Salmon State Organizer and Bristol Bay Commercial Permit Holder, Valerie Brown, Trustees for Alaska Senior Staff Attorney At the formal request of Alaskans, Alaska’s Board of Fisheries submitted a letter to the Alaska State Legislature in January 2017 asking them to review and update Title 16: Alaska’s Fish Habitat Permit Law. Therefore, Alaska currently has the opportunity to strengthen its fish habitat permitting law to ensure that future large-scale development projects in Alaska do not compromise the productivity and sustainability of Alaska’s salmon fisheries and seafood industry.
10:00 – 11:00 Dock to Conference Room:
Stakeholder Engagement in Fisheries Policy and Management Presenters: Duncan Field, former North Pacific Fishery Management Council member, Sue Jeffrey, Alaska Board of Fisheries Member, Natasha Hayden for the Native Village of Afognak, and a representative from the Kodiak Seiners Association This panel discussion aims to generate information and dialogue around stakeholder engagement in fisheries management processes. The input of all stakeholders in a resource is vital to its management, but these processes and their complex, dynamic nature often present challenges. This conversation is focused on highlighting opportunities for fishermen and marine industry workers to engage, examining where stakeholder involvement is strong and where and how it could be improved or supported. Short talks from the panel participants will be followed by a Q&A discussion with the audience to better examine the ideas raised. Sponsored by The Alaska Marine Conservation Council.
11:00 – 12:00 Alaskan Command/U.S. Pacific Fleet -Exercise Northern Edge 2017 Presenters: Lt. Gen. Ken Wilsbach, Alaskan Command and Rear Adm. John Korka,
U.S. Pacific Fleet The Northern Edge 2017 exercise will be conducted in Alaska in May 2017 with the maritime portion of the exercise being conducted in the Gulf of Alaska. ALCOM and PACFLT will provide an overview of the exercise, its goals and the activities that will be conducted, as well as the environmental analysis and mitigations measures that have been developed for Navy training in the Gulf of Alaska.
1:00 – 2:00 Alaska Department of Fish & Game Update Presenter: ADF&G Commissioner Sam Cotten
2:00 – 3:00 State Legislative Update Presenter: Representative Louise Stutes
3:00 – 4:00 Electronic Monitoring – Where are we headed?Presenters: Bill Tweit, Vice-Chair of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council and members of the Council’s EM Workgroup.
Longline and pot vessels in the groundfish and halibut fisheries now have a choice to install cameras for electronic monitoring as an alternative to carrying an observer to meet their monitoring requirements. Panelists from the Council’s EM Workgroup will share their perspectives about how this program is working and how it will develop over the next three to four years, and will answer questions and solicit feedback.
4:00 – 5:00 EXHIBITOR RECEPTION
Sponsored by Trident Seafoods, APL, and Samson. Location: ComFish Trade Show Come and sample some of Trident Seafoods ready to eat seafood products with beer hosted by Samson and wine hosted by APL.
Friday, March 31st
9:30 – 10:00 Sailing For Salmon – The Sailboat Days In Bristol Bay Presenter: Tim Troll, Executive Director of the Bristol Bay Land Trust
For 66 years Bristol Bay salmon were harvested from sailboats, double-ended, wooden, gillnetters manned by two rugged fishermen. This changed in 1951 when the Territory of Alaska allowed powered boats to fish the waters of the Bay. Author Tim Troll captures the sailboat era in a photographic narrative. This presentation provides a sneak preview of the full photo exhibit on display at the Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center. Hosted by the Alaska Sea Grant.
10:00 – 10:30 Looking Beyond the Tip of the Iceberg: Commercial Fishing Safety Updates from NIOSH Presenters: Samantha Case and Laura Syron,
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Fatalities among commercial fishermen in Alaska have significantly decreased since the 1990s. Improvements in emergency response, safety training, and fisheries management have resulted in reducing the number of vessel disasters and increasing survivability. It’s time to start looking past the tip of the iceberg and start looking at preventing nonfatal injuries in the industry. Researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health will present new data on the state of commercial fishing safety in Alaska, including a 5-year update of fishing fatalities and recent research into nonfatal injuries.
10:30 – 11:00 Greening of the fleet: Innovative ways the University of Alaska is reaching out to younger audiences Presenter: Reid Brewer, Ph.D., University of Alaska Southeast, Fisheries Technology program
Over the last three years, the UAS Fish Tech program has been changing the way we offer education so that it is more flexible and more engaging to audiences young and old. In this forum, we present ways that we are reaching out to younger generations in hopes of inspiring them towards future jobs in fisheries.
11:00 – 12:00 Fish Biz Can Help Your Fishing Operation! Presenter: Julie Matweyou, Marine Advisory Program Agent for Kodiak, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Whether you are starting, managing, growing or exiting your commercial fishing business, Fish Biz can help! Fish Biz offers financial and business tools that can help you – the seafood harvester! Come explore the website tools and learn how you can access these resources. Hosted by the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program. 1:00 – 2:00 USCG Air Station Kodiak Aviation Search and Rescue Procedures, Operations and Capabilities Presenters: LCDR Jerred Williams and LCDR Mike Benson A presentation on the procedures and operations of Coast Guard C-130 Fixed Wing and H60/H65 helicopter Search and Rescue Capabilities. This presentation will inform the Alaska fishing community of the Coast Guard resources available to them in the event they may need air support when underway, and the procedures for communications, prepping for dropping of survival gear, readying the deck for a helicopter basket hoist and rescue swimmer operations.
1:00 – 2:00 USCG Air Station Kodiak Aviation Search and Rescue Procedures, Operations and Capabilities Presenters: LCDR Jerred Williams and LCDR Mike Benson
A presentation on the procedures and operations of Coast Guard C-130 Fixed Wing and H60/H65 helicopter Search and Rescue Capabilities. This presentation will inform the Alaska fishing community of the Coast Guard resources available to them in the event they may need air support when underway, and the procedures for communications, prepping for dropping of survival gear, readying the deck for a helicopter basket hoist and rescue swimmer operations.
2:00 – 2:30 Sea Share Presenter: Jim Harmon, Executive Director of Sea Share SeaShare
A domestic hunger-relief organization, is expanding the storage and distribution capacity of frozen seafood in Western Alaska. SeaShare will give an update on the extensive network they’ve developed to provide more seafood to more people.
2:30 – 3:00 Economic Development via Global Food Aid Presenter: Bruce Schactler, Global Food Aid Director
The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s Global Food Aid program literally covers a lot of ground, in both program variability and geographically. Market expansion and product development of Alaska Seafood products into the foreign and domestic Food Aid programs of the world is the primary function of the Program. The success of these efforts is the definition of economic development for the Alaska Seafood Industry and does the double duty of helping to feed hungry and food insecure people in America and around the world.
3:00 – 4:00 Alaska Seafood Market Update Presenters: Jeremy Woodrow, Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute and Andy Wink
McDowell Group ASMI & McDowell Group have teamed up to share Alaska seafood’s current state in the global marketplace. Learn about where your catch is going, the value at home and abroad, and how global economics create challenges and opportunities for Alaska seafood.
4:00 – 5:00 Exhibitor Reception Location: ComFish Trade Show Beer hosted by Kodiak Diesel, John Deere, and Scania.
4:30 – 5:00 Popping the Life Raft! Location:
ComFish Trade Show Outside Presenter: Arthur Schultz, Instructor with Alaska Marine Safety Education Association While enjoying the Exhibitor Reception, stroll to the veranda to watch a surplus life raft be deployed! It is a sobering example of how much worse your day could get.
5:00 – 7:00 Sailing for Salmon Photo Exhibit Location:
Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center, 118 Trident Way (Near Island) Join us for an evening with Tim Troll and the Sailing for Salmon Exhibit on display at the KSMSC. Author Tim Troll captures the sailboat era through a photographic narrative. The reception opens at 5:00 pm. A short presentation describing the work will be held at 5:30, followed by casual viewing and conversation. Light refreshments will be provided. Hosted by the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program.