March 12 2014


SWAMC Conference 2014

This is Fish Radio. I’m Stephanie Mangini. Rural communities weigh in at SWAMC. More after this…

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SWAMC highlighted energy, economic development, politics and fisheries at their annual meeting last week in Anchorage. The South West Municipal Conference hosted over 100 members from over 50 rural communities.

SWAMC Director Erik O’Brien…


“This years theme is titled “Accessing Opportunity” So we are approaching it from a systems thinking way to understand the total value of our resources.”


Various Alaska candidates, including our U.S. Senator Mark Begich came to speak.

Senator Begich- 


“When you think about our fisheries it is important to make sure it is a healthy, sustainable, and generational business. And when I say that, it’s not only from a commercial end but also for the people that need it for subsistence and for nutritional value.”


Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell –


“Fisheries are our biggest export. I know how important this is . We are the worlds fish basket, and I believe as I said before we can not let D.C. suits make decisions that will jeopardize this resource for future generations.”


National Fishermen Magazines Editor in Chief- Jessica Hathaway’s presentation hit home when she talked about, “promote, preserve, sustain, and go fish.”


“The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute contracted with the Mcdowell group to assess the effects of the effects of the Alaska seafood industry and the rest of the country. What they found wad that the fishing communities experience the economic ripple effect, but that there is also remarkable trickle down effect. So not only does the fishing industry provide the number one source of income for the state of Alaska, but it also contributes significantly to the Nations economy.”


Hathaway encouraged community leaders to lend support to local fishermen.


“There is a time and a place for big boats. But most of our seafood still comes from small boats run by fishing families. This is an image that the American public loves to see, but doesn’t often see because many of the people who run these boats don’t have the time or the impotence or the where with all to invest in their own marketing.”


SWAMC’s O’Brien says that fisheries is what ties every one together.


“The one unifying need of the whole industry is making the most value out of fisheries and seafood. Because that is really the one single thing everyone has in common.”


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