AMCC Blog

Member Q&A with AMCC Outgoing Board Chair, Jon Zuck

Date Posted: September 25, 2017       Categories: AMCC Blog       Tags: board members, Fisheries Conservation, Supporters & Partners

1167642_10201269602115187_1836463116_oParting can be such sweet sorrow especially when the loss is of a long-time, beloved, super-committed and energetic board member! Jon Zuck of Anchorage has served on the AMCC Board for 9 years and will complete his final term at our October board meeting. Jon has served as Board Treasurer as well as Board Chair several times during his tenure in addition to helping to lead our social enterprise and nominations committees. He has gone above and beyond for AMCC volunteering numerous hours and we are extremely thankful for Jon’s dedication and tremendous contributions. Read below to learn more about Jon and his long history in Alaska’s fishing industry. We are so grateful to Jon for being a part of our history here at AMCC!

How long have you lived in Alaska? If you were raised elsewhere, what brought you to Alaska?

I’ve lived in Alaska for almost 35 years.  I was born and raised in New Jersey; attended college (Zoology) and graduate school (Environmental Sciences) in Ohio; worked with Battelle National Labs in Washington State and as a consultant in Seattle before making my way to Alaska.  I first arrived in Alaska to work as a NMFS observer onboard Japanese longliners in the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands.  This was September 1981.  I returned the following year as an observer and then joint venture representative on Taiwanese joint venture catcher-processors around Kodiak Island.  I finally made the move to Alaska for good in July 1983.  The mystique and uniqueness of Alaska, the vast wilderness and wildness, the open spaces, I believe, is what first attracted me to the state and has kept me here ever since.

Tell us about your connection to the ocean and Alaska’s wild fisheries. If you participate in a commercial fishery, please tell us about your fishery and gear type.

Working in the commercial fisheries in Alaska was a second career for me.  While working as a NMFS observer and joint venture representative on Taiwanese, Japanese and Korean catcher-processors starting in 1981, I spent a total of 18 months at sea over a five-year period.  Over the years, I’ve also fished for halibut in the Central Gulf (3A) and worked with local fishermen on St. Lawrence Island (4D) and gillnetted for herring at Togiak and in Norton Sound.  In later years, most of my experience and time was spent managing fishing operations and working with local fishermen in western Alaska through the Bering Sea Fishermen’s Association and Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation, one of six Community Development Quota groups in western Alaska.

Why do you choose to support AMCC?

I’ve been a member of AMCC since the early days and on the Board of Directors for the past nine years.  The fisheries – commercial, sport, subsistence and personal use – are the lifeblood of this state for all of us.  AMCC promotes and advocates for healthy oceans, sustainably harvested seafood and viable coastal communities.  AMCC is unique and a bit of a hybrid amongst conservation groups in that while advocating for conservation interests, it is also promoting and supporting responsible resource utilization in the fisheries.   AMCC has a great track record for accomplishments and respected reputation with those involved in the fisheries.

What part of AMCC’s work interests you the most?

The fisheries conservation work at AMCC is of greatest interest to me.  However, our work focused on access of the small boat fleet and young fishermen to the commercial fisheries and maintaining thriving working waterfronts are extremely important for the viability of economies of our Alaskan coastal communities.

What is your most vivid fishing memory?

It’s from one of my last trips working as a JV representative on Japanese boats during the pollock roe fishery in the mid-80s.  Not a good memory but seeing mile after mile of pollock carcasses floating amidst the fleet during the roe fishery in the Bering Sea.  This was before the ban on roe stripping and one of the reasons that I became so interested and focused on fisheries conservation in waters off Alaska.  I also have so many good memories from nearly twenty-five years of working with local fishermen in communities throughout western Alaska.   I’ll never forget fishermen in Savoonga on St. Lawrence Island hand lining for halibut in small 18 or 20-foot Lund skiffs, pulling in monster 7-8 foot halibut and then bringing their catch to shore by running their skiffs at full blast up and over the rocky beach.

What do you love most about fishing?

What’s not to love!?

How do you celebrate your connection to the ocean as an Alaskan?

Cooking, smoking, eating wild harvested Alaskan seafood as much as possible.

What do you love most about living in Alaska, or in your community?

I love being an Alaskan and bragging to people from Outside that I’m from Alaska!  I continue to love all of those things that first attracted me to Alaska.

Where in Alaska would you like to visit or spend more time?

I’ve traveled and worked extensively in western Alaska, and live and spent lots of time in South Central.  I think that would like to explore and spend more time in Southeast Alaska.



AMCC Engine Revved Up for Fall While Director Search Continues

Date Posted: September 14, 2017       Categories: AMCC Blog

AMCC is re-opening the search process for an Executive Director after an initial first round of trying to identify our next leader. Outgoing Executive Director, Kelly Harrell, will be departing the organization October 15th after nearly 7 years at the helm. We will be announcing the appointment of an Interim Director in the coming weeks. We had hoped to find the right person for the job before Kelly departed, but we also know that this is a very unique position and filling this important role will take time and patience. Our dedicated Board is committed to a  successful transition and is working with staff to ensure the organization continues to fire on all cylinders. The updated Executive Director job posting can be found here. Please share!

While the organization is entering a period of transition with this and other roles being filled, our core team and our work remain strong. We have some exciting developments underway this fall. In the coming month, we will be unveiling a new brand for our local seafood sales that will be tied into our fall offering. Stay tuned for exciting news and events around the launch and contact David Fleming, our Local Seafood Sales Manager at david@akmarine.org with questions or to help out with the launch. Anchorage folks can still order Homer halibut now for the freezers

October also kicks off the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) meeting season. Long-time AMCC staffer Theresa Peterson will step back into her role as one of 11 voting members on the Council. Deputy Director Shannon Carroll will also be back in action on the Council’s Advisory Panel. Both Theresa and Shannon will be attending the Council’s Ecosystem Committee meeting in Seattle next week. This will be Theresa’s first meeting after being appointed as co-chair of the committee in June. For more information on the Ecosystem Committee click here.  

Theresa remains active in connecting rural communities around Kodiak on federal fish policy issues and is aiming to expand that role by engaging with western Alaska and other communities in the future.

Shannon has his finger on the pulse of Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA) reauthorization and continues to serve in a leadership roles with both the Fishing Communities Coalition and Marine Fish Conservation Network. He recently delivered invited testimony on MSA at a Senate field hearing in Soldotna. You can view the video of that hearing here.

The Young Fishermen’s Development Program Act, a bill that would create a grant program to bolster the next generation of fishermen and was developed by AMCC and partners, is also gaining momentum in Congress. Stay tuned for how you can show your support for the Act. AMCC will be at Pacific Marine Expo in Seattle once again this year with more info on  our fisheries policy work in Seattle so stop by our booth and say hello to Theresa and Shannon there! 

Our Working Waterfronts Program led by Dr. Rachel Donkersloot is also moving ahead full steam. In October, Rachel travels to Santa Barbara to meet with researchers, fishermen and managers to advance work on better integrating well-being concepts into fisheries management through the State of Alaska Salmon and People initiative. At the same time, she is wrapping up a multi-year social science research project in collaboration with UAF and Alaska Sea Grant aimed at identifying barriers and solutions to supporting the next generation of fishermen. The Graying of the Fleet project is coming to a conclusion in the next few several months but exciting outreach products are being created like tips for beginning fishermen, PSAs, and short videos. Check out the project’s Facebook page here for tips and more to come.

The Alaska Young Fishermen’s Network (AYFN) is also in high gear under the leadership of Rachel. Five young fishermen from across the state will take on roles with host organizations this fall in the first cohort of AMCC’s  Young Fishing Fellows Program. We are also gearing up to host a strategic planning retreat for the Alaska Young Fishermen’s Network at the end of October. This gathering will bring together young fishermen from across the state to develop a future vision for the AYFN. After over a year of development, the first ever Young Fishermen’s Almanac will be published in December. The Almanac is  a compelling compilation of tales, poetry, artwork and musings by young fishermen from across the state. We’ll be hosting launch parties and more to celebrate the publication and the role of the next generation in Alaska’s fishing industry and communities.

Rachel and Kelly will also be heading to Bristol Bay next week to help guide a workshop on seafood marketing and branding for students in the region. AMCC plans to continue partnering with the Bristol Bay Borough School District and others to grow the region’s first fisheries focused Career and Technical Education (CTE) training in the future.

Our ocean acidification kiosk moved to Cordova in August and can be found at the Cordova Center thanks to a partnership with the Prince William Sound Science Center. We’re continuing to work with the Alaska Ocean Observing System and other partners to connect fishermen and coastal residents to the science on ocean acidification. You can stay up-to-date by signing up for the Alaska Ocean Acidification Network here. Videos from the kiosk can be viewed here. 

So while the makeup of our team is changing in the coming months, our vision, mission and commitment to addressing issues that impact the health of our fisheries and communities remains strong. Our team, our programs, and our work is as important and as active as ever. We thank our members and partners for your support that makes this work possible! Please feel free to reach out to any staff or board members with any thoughts or concern during this period. We are confident AMCC that we will weather this transition and come out stronger than before.

Like What We’re Up To?



Join Our Crew: Hiring Two New Positions

Date Posted: August 29, 2017       Categories: AMCC Blog Uncategorized       Tags: AMCC jobs

AMCC Bids Farewell to Hannah Heimbuch & Jen Leahy; Hiring Two New Positions

AMCC is seeking two talented individuals to complement our current team: a Fishing Community Organizer and a Communications and Development Manager. Deadline to apply for both positions is Monday, September 18th; but apply early as the positions are open until filled.

AMCC bid farewell to Homer-based Community Fisheries Organizer, Hannah Heimbuch this summer. Hannah joined AMCC in the fall of 2014 and played an integral role in growing the Alaska Young Fishermen’s Network, serving as a voice for fishing communities in Washington D. C., and engaging coastal residents on a wide range of issues from ocean acidification to fishing opportunities and bycatch reduction. We will miss Hannah’s creativity, character, and unrelenting wit, but we are thrilled to know that she will be able to spend more time on the water doing what she loves. Hannah will be focusing more of my energy on her fishing business and creative opportunities while continuing to support the Alaska Young Fishermen’s Network as a steering committee member and volunteer.

In September, AMCC will also say goodbye to Communications and Engagement Manager, Jen Leahy. Jen has been with AMCC since early 2016 and has helped enhance social media engagement, improve our outreach materials, ramp up marketing for Catch of the Season, and increase our presence in Seward. The organization is restructuring this position back into a role based in Anchorage and responsible for both communications and fundraising functions from our main office. We thank Jen for her dedication to AMCC and her work during her time with us.

Please click here to view the new position postings. 

 

 

 



Catch Your Chance at $10,000: Get Your Raffle Ticket Today

Date Posted: August 23, 2017       Categories: AMCC Blog       Tags: raffle

raffle_blogTickets for AMCC’s annual cash raffle are now on sale! The raffle has been popular across Alaska for years, as it offers a chance to win a grand prize of $10,000 by purchasing a $100 ticket. The odds of winning are outstanding, as only 350 tickets are sold and 16 will receive cash prizes. In addition to the $10,000 grand prize, one $1,500 prize, three $500 prizes, and eleven $250 prizes will also be awarded. As a bonus, you also receive a complimentary AMCC membership for the coming year with your purchase of a raffle ticket! The drawing this year will take place on December 16th at the Homer Ocean Boogie. You need not be present to win. Tickets sell out so get yours today by calling the AMCC office at 907-277-5357 or emailing fish@akmarine.org.’  



Sockeye Salmon Pick-Up Info

Date Posted: August 15, 2017       Categories: AMCC Blog       Tags: Catch of the Season, Local Seafood

Bristol Bay sockeye salmon subscribers: It’s time to clear out your freezers! Read on for confirmed pick-up locations.

If you’re picking up a 10 or 25lb. share, remember to bring a cooler for your fish. Those size shares will be bagged; 50 lb. shares will be in boxes with liners.

Please note: Your ability to pick-up your share at the designated place and time is critical to our program. If there are extreme circumstances that prevent you or someone you know from picking up your share, please contact us ASAP by emailing seafood@akmarine.org Please ask friends and family first if they can pick up your share. If you do not contact us and do not pick up your share at the time and place designated and we cannot reach you, you may forfeit your share.

Pick-up Locations:

SEWARD

Date: Monday, August 21st

Time: 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Location: 304 2nd Avenue

*Look for a white house with a white picket fence at the corner of 2nd and Adams Street

MAT-SU VALLEY

Date: Tuesday, August 22nd

Time: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm 

Location: UAF Matanuska Experiment Farm (near Mat-Su Regional Medical Center). 1509 Georgeson Rd, Palmer.

*Look for signs and our seafood mobile parked near the entrance to the farm.

ANCHORAGE

Date: Wednesday, August 23rd

Time: 10:00 am to 7:00 pm

Location: Alaska Pacific University (APU) Farmer’s Market on the APU Campus

Carr-Gottstein Building Parking Lot at 4101 University Drive

*Look for signs, our seafood mobile & a large reefer van that will be parked in the Carr-Gottstein building parking lot.

HOMER

Date: Wednesday, August 23rd

Time: 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Location: Coal Point Seafoods. 4306 Homer Spit Rd.

FAIRBANKS

Date: Friday, August 25th

Time: 10:00 am to 7:00 pm

Location: Beaver Sports Parking Lot. 3480 College Road.

*Look for signs, our seafood mobile & a large reefer van that will be parked in the back of the parking lot by the canoe center.

 



Local Halibut Available in Anchorage

Date Posted: August 15, 2017       Categories: AMCC Blog       Tags: Catch of the Season, Local Seafood

Copy of halibut ad_fbPacific Halibut Now Available in Anchorage!

Caught by two long-time Homer resident fishermen in Gulf of Alaska waters with longline gear. Packaged as 10-12 oz. frozen, vacuum-sealed, boneless, skin-on portions. Halibut is $20 per lb. and the minimum purchase is 5 lbs. Available for pickup at the AMCC office in Anchorage.

Email seafood@akmarine.org or call (907) 277-5368 during office hours of 9am-5:30pm M-F to place your order! 

**Stay tuned for our Fall 2017 Catch seafood offerring that will once again feature Norton Sound king crab!**



Member Spotlight: Su Salmon Co.

Date Posted: July 31, 2017       Categories: AMCC Blog       Tags: Business Members, Fisheries Conservation, Working Waterfronts

AMCC is thrilled to welcome Su Salmon Co. as our newest business member! Su Salmon Co. is five friends who setnet sockeye and silvers on the Susitna River Delta at the base of the Sleeping Lady. They are Anchorage and the Mat-Su Valley’s most local commercial fishery with a twin focus of providing fresh, high quality fish to Alaska residents, and deepening human connection to the Susitna River and Cook Inlet in the process. 

Salmon are picked live from the net, bled, chilled in slush ice, gutted, gilled, kissed and delivered to Anchorage or Talkeetna within 24 hours. They deliver on Tuesdays and Fridays. Ordering is simple – just let them know how many fish you need with a couple days notice. Prices are $6/lb for sockeye and $4.50/lb for silvers. Order online at susalmonco.com, email susalmonco@gmail.com or call Melissa at 907.242.0779. 

Tell us about your connection to the ocean and to Alaska’s wild fisheries. 

We have an obvious literal connection of making money from the salmon resources of Alaska’s coastline, but our being here is a little ironic because at heart we’re river people. Mike and Molly live upstream from Talkeetna on a remote off-grid part of the Su while I (Ryan) live in Anchorage but have spent years as a river sportfishing guide all through salmon country from California to Kamchatka. Yet here we are in the mud of Cook Inlet.

How did you first get started fishing? 

Joshua Foreman_3217We came together a few years ago when the State proposed the colossal Susitna-Watana Dam Project. The Su means a lot to us personally and professionally and the thought of it being choked by a dam was spooky. Public reaction to the dam meanwhile was sort of ho-hum and it surprised us that even though the Susitna is a top 5 salmon-producer and the single most visited watershed in Alaska, people did not jump up to defend it as fervently as they are doing in Bristol Bay with the Pebble Mine, for example, or even on the Kenai recently with the Snow River Dam proposal. We wanted to do something to help boost the Susitna’s cultural cachet. Then, market-wise, there was this funny coincidence of Anchorage and the Mat-Su not having a local commercial salmon source. Finally, we’re all good friends and suckers for camping out on the coast and watching the salmon parade in real time and eating them every day. Su Salmon Co just sort of sprung out of all this.

What is the most rewarding (or challenging) part of your business? 

We started Su Salmon Co with the idea of selling fresh salmon to Alaska residents. But the premise was a little risky. What self respecting Alaskan doesn’t harvest their own salmon? Well it turns our there are a lot! Not everyone is able to get out dipnetting, or they go but have bad luck, or some don’t get off on fishing in the first place. But everyone in Alaska eats salmon and likes to have it in the freezer by fall. Alaskans also inherently know what excellent rather than merely good salmon should look, taste, and feel like. So the most rewarding part of our business is providing people in our communities with that little endorphin buzz that comes with every bite of a perfect wild salmon.

Why do you choose to support AMCC? 

Joshua Foreman_3210Alaska has more coastline than the rest of the US combined. With few people and endless natural resources, we’re rich. To capitalize on it in a meaningful way, though, takes investment and participation in community as much as industry. AMCC seems to get this and we like how their stewardship keeps eyes on the big picture.

What is your most vivid fishing memory, or what do you love most about fishing?

Personally, my initial introduction to Alaska’s amazing salmon resources came from flyfishing. I still think it’s about the most fun you can have. I’d been around commercial fishing a lot growing up but never participated in it directly. So when we laid out the net for the first time in 2015 and fish started hitting it, it was a surprise to recognize the electric rush that came from it as the same exact one you feel when a fish grabs your fly.

How do you celebrate your connection to the ocean as an Alaskan? 

“First fish” bbqs, winter king sushi parties, smoked salmon, shorebird festivals, solstice beach bonfires, taking pictures, telling stories, shrimping, hunting, and a million other ways. The active choice to live in Alaska on the coast is in and of itself a statement of celebration.

What do you see as the biggest threat to Alaska’s small-boat commercial fisherman?

Ryan Peterson_aerialClean environment and commerce are so intertwined in Alaska as to often be indistinguishable from one another. We’re so thankful for the sophisticated, successful fisheries management in Alaska that has protected against over harvest better than anywhere in the world. But it’s the massive threats from outside the fishing industry that are of highest concern. Mining, Damming of rivers, irresponsible logging in fish habitat – if salmon could vote they would vote against these things every time. Then there is ocean acidification driven by global warming–a terrifying problem we are just starting to understand and are all contributing to through our fossil fuel use. In short, the biggest threats to fishing are the same ones facing all life on earth.


Fisheries Policy Update: Summer 2017

It’s hard for many of us to keep up on what’s happening on the policy front during the long, busy days of summer. Fortunately, our fisheries policy guru Shannon Carroll has the latest on the Young Fishermen’s Development Act from D.C. and key takeaways from June’s North Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting.

Young Fishermen’s Development Act

AMCC is extremely appreciative of Senators Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Ed Markey (D-MA), and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) for cosponsoring the Young Fishermen’s Development Act, a bipartisan and bicoastal bill that would give fishing communities a needed boost by addressing steep and growing obstacles facing the next generation of America’s commercial fishermen. The Senate legislation, which aligns closely with a House version introduced in April by U.S. Reps. Don Young (R-AK) and Seth Moulton (D-MA), would launch the first coordinated, nationwide effort to train, educate and assist the next generation of commercial fishermen, providing grants of up to $200,000 (totaling $2 million annually) through NOAA’s Sea Grant Program. The introduction of the legislation in both the House and Senate clearly reflects the Alaska delegation’s commitment to improving access to our state’s fisheries.

While we are grateful for the introduction of the bill, it is essential that we continue to build support for this important piece of legislation. 

***

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) met in Juneau this past month, and as always, the June meeting was busy.

Abundance-based management for Bering Sea halibut bycatch

The Council made tangible progress on the issue of abundance-based management (ABM), by providing further direction for the ABM workgroup related to the various indices of abundance under consideration. The Council also provided input on, among other things, the range of starting points and the types of control rules it would like to see it would like to see in the next discussion paper. Importantly, the State of Alaska, in making the Council’s motion, explicitly reiterated that it supported the development of ABM in a timely manner because it wants to rebalance the parity between the directed halibut fishery and the groundfish fishery, while also reducing bycatch and ensuring a directed fishery in the Bering Sea.

AMCC continues to view ABM as a means of providing a science-based approach to halibut bycatch management in the Bering Sea. The development of this policy has been slower than we expected; nonetheless, we see great value in ensuring that the foundation of the policy—the index of abundance—is well vetted and robust. At the same time, we also recognize that the root of this issue is the prioritization of the groundfish fishery bycatch over the directed fishery, particularly at low levels of halibut abundance. This is an essential element of this action and one that requires a timely resolution, as continued access to the halibut resource is of great cultural and economic significance to the communities in the Bering Sea. These two concepts—a science-based approach to halibut bycatch and reprioritization of the directed halibut fishery—are not at odds and we believe that the Council is on right path to accomplish both.

Central Gulf of Alaska Tanner Crab

After reviewing a discussion paper on existing federal protections for Tanner crab in the central Gulf of Alaska, the Council initiated a follow-up discussion paper that will provide data on flatfish trawl and pot cod fishing effort in specific areas off of Kodiak, as well as observer coverage rates in those areas.

The Tanner crab fishery is an important small-boat fishery for communities throughout Kodiak Island. The State of Alaska has closed the fishery for the last four years due to poor abundance of mature male Tanner crabs. While there are likely many factors involved in the recent low abundance of crab in Kodiak, AMCC supports the Council’s efforts to ensure that it has the data it needs to make informed decisions regarding habitat closures, bycatch limits, and observer coverage.  

North Pacific Observer Program

The Council made reviewed the observer program annual report, which provides a scientific evaluation of the deployment of observers so that the Council can assess whether the objectives of the Observer Program have been met. This review was done in the context of reviewing the 2018 Annual Deployment Plan and the renewal of the partial coverage observer contract. The Council expressed concerned over the levels of funding for the observer program, which have resulted in lower levels of observer coverage. To address these concerns, the Council tasked a subgroup of the Observer Advisory Committee to consider options to address low sampling rates in partial coverage, and a scoping of data concerns and potential solutions related to vessels delivering to tenders. The subgroup will report its findings this fall.

***

As we look ahead to the October meeting, several policy priorities are emerging:

Abundance-based management for Bering Sea halibut bycatch

For the third meeting in a row, the Council will seek to make progress on ABM. The discussion paper for the October meeting will likely provide a significant amount of substantive information as the Council looks to begin selecting alternatives and options to move forward.

Bering Sea Fishery Ecosystem Plan

The Council will be taking a preliminary look at the proposed fishery ecosystem plan (FEP) for the Bering Sea. AMCC has been actively engaged and in support of the Bering Sea FEP. We believe that the FEP presents an opportunity to build more adaptive and resilient management processes that can better reduce bycatch, conserve important habitat, protect marine food webs, monitor ecosystem health, and evaluate the ecological, social, and economic trade-offs of different management actions. The meeting in October will be an important opportunity to help define the direction of the FEP in a way that can help achieve our shared fishery goals.

***

Shannon Carroll is AMCC’s deputy director. 



Order Now: Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon

Date Posted: June 29, 2017       Categories: AMCC Blog       Tags: bristol bay sockeye salmon, Catch of the Season
know your fishermen_direct email
The reds are running, which means our most popular seafood offering of the year is here! Catch of the Season, AMCC’s community supported fishery (CSF) is once again thrilled to provide Alaskans with wild sockeye salmon direct from Bristol Bay. This year’s catch will be sustainably harvested and handled with care by the Hill family and Kvichak Fish Company.

 

Shares will be available in 10, 25, and 50 lb. sizes, from $10/lb. Pick-up locations include Anchorage, Fairbanks, Homer, Seward and Palmer-Wasilla.

 

Visit catchoftheseason.org for more details and to order your sockeye.

 

For questions or media inquiries, contact seafood@akmarine.org.


AMCC Announces Transition of Executive Director & Launch of Search Process

Date Posted: June 26, 2017       Categories: AMCC Blog

From Jon Zuck, Board Chair of Alaska Marine Conservation Council

Click here for the Executive Director Job Announcement

The Board of Directors of the Alaska Marine Conservation Council announces the pending departure of long-time Executive Director (ED), Kelly Harrell from the organization in October.  After seven years at the helm of AMCC as the ED and over twelve years on staff with the organization, Kelly is expanding her professional horizons. She will start a position with Ecotrust based in Anchorage as the Director of Fisheries and Coastal Communities.

Kelly’s tenure with AMCC as ED has been one of growth, expansion of programs, successes and many accomplishments.  Results during this time period that were achieved thanks to the support and partnerships from people like you include:

  • Helping to lead a coalition that succeeded in securing permanent protection for Bristol Bay from offshore oil and gas drilling (protection that was not unraveled by recent Trump administration actions);
  • Transforming Catch of the Season into a successful social enterprise that brings seafood caught by Alaskans to Alaskans, and is based on a robust business model that was a winner in the international Fish 2.0 competition;
  • Building an impressive staff team and growing a respected and effective presence for AMCC in the federal fisheries management process;
  • Steadily diversifying AMCC’s revenue and increasing the organization’s budget by more than 100% in the last 5 years;
  • Creating signature programs like the Alaska Young Fishermen’s Network and developing national legislation to authorize a Young Fishermen’s Development Program to provide training and education for the next generation;
  • Gaining recognition for our contributions by receiving the Alaska Conservation Foundation 2016 Lowell Thomas, Jr. Award for Outstanding Achievements, and being noted as “Best Fish Advocate” and “Best Go-To-Bat-For-Fishermen” by Alaska fisheries journalist, Laine Welch;
  • Catalyzing the movement and statewide interest towards practical and informed solutions to keep fishing opportunities in our coastal communities;
  • Fostering smart solutions to bycatch in the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea that consider the needs of local communities and long-term conservation;
  • Helping to build a national coalition of small-scale fishermen ready to defend the Magnuson-Stevens Act through the Fishing Communities Coalition;
  • Advancing an ecosystem-based approach to management in the North Pacific—one that addresses fishing impacts, supports inclusive decision-making and considers the effects of climate change;
  • Supporting research, action, and engagement on the impacts of ocean acidification on Alaska’s fisheries and fishing communities;
  • Growing the role of fisheries in the food movement through partnerships with organizations like the Alaska Food Policy Council and LocalCatch.org.

We are all very proud of these accomplishments.  Kelly helped guide AMCC through difficult times and a national recession to an organization that is financially stable and an effective advocate for our coastal communities and working waterfronts.

This is a great opportunity for Kelly to continue to launch her career forward and carry with her the successes of the past 7 years and the name of AMCC.  We wish her well.

This is also a great opportunity for AMCC to hire a new Executive Director who meets the current needs of the organization and who will carry forward and build on these successes. The coming months will be a time of leadership transition for AMCC and more growth for the organization.

Kelly will continue working in her current capacity for roughly 4 months and will help in the search, training and transition of her replacement.  During this time and after completion of the leadership transition, AMCC, its membership and seasoned staff will continue as before with programmatic work and continue to achieve great results.

A far-reaching search for Kelly’s replacement at AMCC will immediately commence.  Please see the following job posting and distribute it far and wide to those who may be interested. We thank you so much for your support of AMCC.

Sincerely,

Jon Zuck, AMCC Board Chair

 

A Letter from Kelly Harrell, Executive Director on Departure from AMCC

Dear friends and partners of AMCC,

It is with a deep sense of gratitude and optimism for the future that I recently submitted my letter of resignation to the AMCC Board of Directors. After 12 amazing years with AMCC, I will be leaving the organization as of October 15th to transition into a new role. I am so thankful for the opportunity to work with so many of you to help guide AMCC into a new era, and am confident in the strength of the organization today. The AMCC staff team is extremely talented and experienced, and our programmatic work will continue unimpeded under the tremendous leadership of Shannon Carroll and Rachel Donkersloot.

The position I have accepted with Ecotrust as Director of Fisheries and Coastal Communities represents a major opportunity to generate impact on issues important to us all. In this new role, I will help create a fresh vision for the organization’s fisheries program and am excited to engage on a larger geographic scale with communities from Alaska to California. I will continue to be based in Anchorage with travel to the Ecotrust main office in Portland, and to other coastal communities. I hope that through the Community Fisheries Network, and in other capacities, we will build on the long history of collaboration between Ecotrust, fishing organizations, and fishing communities including in Alaska.

I am deeply committed to working with the AMCC Board of Directors to ensure a successful transition and find an excellent replacement. Please know that even though I am changing roles, my passion and support for AMCC, and for healthy fisheries and coastal communities is not diminished, and I look forward to staying connected and working with you all in my new capacity.

Please do not hesitate to contact myself or Board Chair, Jon Zuck at director@akmarine.org , with any questions you may have about the transition, or to pass along any ideas for stellar candidates.

Sincerely,

Kelly Harrell

Kelly@akmarine.org



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PHYSICAL ADDRESS: 106 F Street; Anchorage, AK 99501
CONTACT US     (907) 277-5357