Catchin on to local fisheries


This is Fish Radio. I’m Stephanie Mangini. Connecting  Alaskas working waterfronts. Hear more after this . . .ASMI CSF

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Farmers began a trend when they started Community Supported Agriculture programs on the East coast. Fishermen quickly caught onto the concept developing their own Community Supported Fisheries . The Alaska Marine Conservation Councils Executive Director Kelly Harrell explains . . .

“Fishermen who wanted to develop a new market for their product, and had learned about the CSA model that farms had been using, started doing the same thing when it came to fish. So selling shares of fish caught by local fishermen to people in their local communities.”

The first CSF in Alaska was started in Sitka by the Alaska Long Line Fishermen’s Association, known as Alaskans Own. The concept is taking off in leaps and bounds.

“They started just in Sitka and now they have expanded to Juneau and they have an interest in expanding to other parts of the state, and not just expanding that CSF but helping fishermen who are interested in developing possibly their own way to direct market their product in a way similar to a CSF.”

The AMCC is jumping aboard this year by sending some of the Kodiak Tanner crab down to Sitka to be added to the Alaska Own subscriber boxes. Herrell and the AMCC team hope to expand into more local fisheries.

“We started to try and form a marketing structure for jig fishermen that creates quality standards and the mechanism to process jig caught cod and rock fish and brand it so that it isn’t a low impact community-based fishery and get it out on the streets and people eating it.”

The ultimate goal is connecting more people to Alaskas working waterfronts.

“We are hoping that the program and some of our work at AMCC is able to make an impact when it comes to helping people in Alaska, who don’t have an opportunity to connect with the coast, to connect with fishermen who don’t really understand that way of life and that is important to Alaskas economy. For them to learn to appreciate the hard work of our fishermen and the importance of our coastal communities and the wonderful seafood products that they can provide to us that are really right out of our back door.”

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods who says thanks to its hard working fleet for another successful salmon season.   In Kodiak, I’m Stephanie Mangini.