Fish Radio

Fishermen’s skills showcased at ComFish

March 24, 2016

Net mending competition

Net mending competition

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Putting fishermen’s skills front and center. I’ll tell you more after this –

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Most fishermen can keep engines running, cook, use computers, balance the books and catch fish 24/7.  Skills of fishing professionals will be spotlighted at Kodiak’s first annual Fishermen’s Showcase at ComFish.

We wanted to create a venue where Kodiak fishermen could demonstrate their skills with some competitive fun.

Julie Matweyou is a Sea Grant Marine Advisor and Showcase organizer. The event was inspired by the wildly popular fish filleting contest, where processing pros from each of Kodiak’s seven  plants compete for the title of best fish cutter.

The fillet competition has been super fun and we want to showcase our fishermen’s skills into the event.   The competition will include activities like net mending, coiling, immersion suit donning and throwing hooks.

It was a challenge, Matweyou says, to find skills to include that are common in every fishery.

That’s another thing been interesting in organizing this – what is universal across the fisheries. We have such a diverse fishing fleet here that perhaps a longliner will have some skills that cross over with another fishery, maybe not the net mending skills and vice versa.

Instead of each contest being timed and judged separately, the Kodiak Showcase will run in  heats.

So the fisherman will go from the know tying and run over to the coiling activity, then to the net mending and then back with the final activity entering into the immersion suit. So instead of having each activity time out we felt it would flow better with the competitor moving through all the activities in one sweep.   

The winner will get Most Able Fisherman bragging rights, swag and other prizes.

The Fishermen’s Showcase is set for April 2 starting at 1pm at the Downtown Convention Center. Sign up at ComFish or at the Alaska Sea Grant web site.

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, an Alaska corporation proudly supporting Alaska’s coastal communities and the Alaskans who depend on fishing for their livelihoods and culture.    In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.