Sitka, Alaska

The Fishermen’s Fall Expo at Sitka next month will be virtual and while everyone misses meeting together, more people can benefit from workshops and good discussions no matter where they live.

Natalie Sattler is program coordinator for the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association and the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust.

“Usually, it’s Sitka fishermen and women that come in and get to participate in these trainings and workshops. But this year, we’re hoping to have a broader scope of folks throughout the region and the state and maybe beyond, too. We’ve got quite a line up and yes, it is a bit pot heavy.”  

 Sattler is referring to the lightweight, coiled, slinky pots that keep whales away from black cod catches and are changing the game, especially for smaller boats.

“Part of that is from pot gear manufacturers, and they are two folks from out of state, but they’re going to do a demo virtually, and show us what they’ve come up with. And we have Paul Rioux from Precision Boat Works talking about how to really set up your deck and hydraulics with pots, since that’s sort of a newer thing for some folks. And then we have a couple of folks that are fishing with pots, both slinky pots and some of the larger pots.”  

A forum will focus on the co-existence of gear types as the new pots could lead to new fishing policies.

“Because our hope is we want to help both hook and line and pot boats to really coexist on the grounds and ensuring that small boats continued to have a viable future in the sablefish fishery.”  

Also in the lineup:  updates on local mariculture, vessel energy efficiency, hybrid technology, management 101 – even fishermen’s ergonomics.

How to take care of your body when you’re fishing to prevent certain injuries. So that’ll be kind of fun -we’ll get folks that moving in the comfort of their own home.”  

The Fishermen’s Expo also features raffles for bait, welding and other prizes. It’s set for November 11 and 12.

Sign up for free to get the Expo link at alfafish.org.

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