May 3, 2013
This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch — Juneau celebrates fishing and more during National Maritime Month. More on its annual festival after this –
Fish Radio is brought to you by the At-sea Processors Association. APA fishing companies donate one million nutritious Alaska pollock meals each year to food banks–in Alaska and nationally–to help fight hunger in America. Learn more about APA’s Community Catch program at www.atsea.org.
Find out who’s catching all that seafood and their favorite recipes at a new micro site from the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute – find it at www.wildalaskaflavor.com
When Alaskans think of Juneau, they don’t usually think of commercial fishing.
Cut: Many people in our state and here in Juneau, even though they live here don’t recognize or appreciate how important our seafood industry is to our community. 14
Brian Holst is director of the Juneau Economic Development Council which hosts the annual maritime festival in May. Juneau is home to 800 fishermen, 330 fishing vessels and four processors. Last year nearly 18 million pounds of seafood were landed there, valued at $28 million. It all adds up to the largest private employer in the state capitol.
Cut: The fishing industry apart from our processors are lots of individual small businesses. If you compare it to mining, which is something Juneau is well known for, we have more employment in the seafood industry than we do in the mining sector. So it is very important in our community. 10
Juneau’s Maritime Festival, now in its 4th year, celebrates the region’s ocean culture, history and commerce. The day begins with First Alaskans arriving from Douglas in their canoes, a traditional welcome and dancing, followed by events and lots of seafood donated by local processors. Holst says a highlight is the filleting contest using rockfish and salmon.
Cut: As they were serving up the free samples we were all mesmerized by the folks that were demonstrating their skill in filleting. It’s not a new thing so we found some rules from elsewhere and we had a wonderful event last year. 12
Winning filleters gets an iPad. Fishing vessel tours also are a hit and Holst says it’s a first time experience for many on a working vessel.
Cut: And that’s why we know it is very valuable. People see these things but they are off in the water and if you are not involved directly it’s easy to not really appreciate all that goes into a small fishing business. 17
The Juneau Maritime Festival takes place on Sunday, May 19.
Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, celebrating 103 years of partnership with Alaska’s coastal communities. www.oceanbeauty.com In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.