AMCC Blog

Executive Director Search Re-Opened

Date Posted: November 17, 2017       Categories: AMCC Blog Uncategorized

AMCC has re-opened the search process for an Executive Director after an initial first round of trying to identify our next leader. Outgoing Executive Director, Kelly Harrell, departed the organization October 15th after nearly 7 years at the helm. 

AMCC is offering a rare opportunity to lead a thriving nonprofit organization supporting sustainable fisheries, marine conservation, and strong communities. For more than two decades, AMCC has been a respected force in advancing major policies and advocating for marine conservation. The successful candidate for Executive Director (ED) will demonstrate a strong commitment to this vision and have a proven track record as a highly effective and collaborative team leader with demonstrated fundraising skills. Under the direction of a dedicated Board of Directors and working with a highly accomplished staff, the ED will lead the organization into the next chapter of a successful history.

The ED will work with a dynamic board and staff to sustain and increase the capacity of the organization through strategic and annual planning to achieve the organization’s goals. The ED is responsible for all aspects of fundraising, fiscal and operations management, staff development, and program innovation and evaluation. The ED manages an organizational budget of approximately $1 million. The position is based in AMCC’s main office in Anchorage, Alaska. The salary range is $70-80,000, depending on experience.

Applications are being accepted now and the next review will be December 10, 2017, and considered until the position is filled as they are received thereafter. Please see http://www.akmarine.org/who-we-are/our-team/jobs-and-internships/ for directions on how to apply and a more detailed description.

The updated Executive Director job posting can be found here. Please share!

An Interim Director has been appointed while our search for a permanent E.D. continues. Our dedicated Board is committed to a  successful transition and is working with staff to ensure the organization continues to fire on all cylinders.



Ocean Acidification’s New Adventure — Nancy Lord’s pH: a Novel

Date Posted: November 11, 2017       Categories: AMCC Blog       Tags: Ocean Acidification, Ocean Acidification in Alaska

phcoverReview by: Courtney Schuman, AMCC Intern

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Nancy Lord, a founding member of AMCC and author of the new science-in-fiction novel entitled ph: A Novel.

pH: A Novel provides a futuristic account of Ocean Acidification through fiction and science. Nancy Lord has produced a unique work that brings ocean acidification to life in a way not many have attempted before. Lord and a few other authors (like Barbara Kingsolver and her book Flight Behavior) have ventured into the genre of science in fiction, as opposed to science fiction. In pH, Lord allows real science to intermingle with fictional characters. Using a bit of humor, Lord is able to take the rather daunting topic of Ocean Acidification and make it into an enjoyable read.

Lord has a Master of Fine Arts and is no foreigner to the field of Ocean Acidification. She has been a Homer, Alaska resident for 44 years, commercial fished for many of those years and was a founding member of the Alaska Marine Conservation Council. Her research for this novel included participation on a scientific cruise, attendance at an Ocean Acidification Conference in Monterey Bay, and extensive reading.

Lord had a vision to place her novel in the future, which made for an interesting battle with the fast-developing field of Ocean Acidification. It was almost as if it was a race between the scientists and Lord to see who could find the next piece of the puzzle first.

Even though pH is a science-based book, Lord has made this adventure accessible to all readers. This book is perfect for any reader who is interested in science but still enjoys a well told fictional story. The novel takes place entirely in Alaska, focusing on the Alaskan experience of science and the effects of Ocean Acidification.

The seriousness of Ocean Acidification is acknowledged in Lord’s novel, but she hopes that the main takeaway by readers includes some joy as well as learning. She has said, “The big problem is that the solution is so difficult. The solution is reducing our carbon emissions….we need to be adaptive and resilient.”

To find out more about Nancy Lord and any of her books, please visit her website:
www.writernancylord.com.

nancylord

 

 

 

 

 

 



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

Date Posted: November 10, 2017       Categories: AMCC Blog       Tags: raffle

Tickets for AMCC’s annual cash raffle are now on sale!

raffle_blog

 

  • 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.’  

RAFFLE MEME



Catch 49: Fall Seafood Pickup Information

Date Posted: October 30, 2017       Categories: AMCC Blog       Tags: Catch of the Season, Local Seafood

 

Catch 49, formerly “Catch of the Season,” is offering the same high quality, the same convenience with a fresh new look, name, and website.
 Sourced from Alaska commercial fishing families, Catch 49 provides local seafood offerings periodically throughout the year to homes of Alaskans stretching from Homer to Fairbanks. The best part? By purchasing seafood through us, the fishermen who caught your fish receive a larger percentage of the proceeds than if you purchase it in a retail store.
Our first Catch 49 offering is live now! Pickup will be available in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Homer, and Seward in mid November. The seafood lineup includes:
  • Norton Sound red king crab
  • Kodiak Jig rockfish
  • Homer Pacific halibut
  • Barnacle Kelp Salsa and Pickles

Anchorage offering pickup will be on Monday, November 13th, 2017 at AMCC’s downtown office location 106 F St., Anchorage, AK 99501 from 12pm-630pm.

Fairbanks offering pickup will be November 14, 2017 at Beaver Sports, 3480 College Rd. Fairbanks, AK 99709 (back of parking lot) from 12pm-6pm.

Homer and Seward pickup or customer delivery will be arranged by local staff.



AMCC Staff Support Seafood Marketing Course for Bristol Bay High School Students 

Date Posted: October 26, 2017       Categories: AMCC Blog       Tags: Fisheries CTE Program, Young Fishermen's Network

bbpicfromseafoodmarketingclass

Last month, Working Waterfronts Program Director, Rachel Donkersloot, and outgoing Executive Director, Kelly Harrell, traveled to Naknek to help lead the first fisheriesCareer and Technical Education (CTE) program in the Bristol Bay region. In 2016, the four rural school districts in the region recognized the need to work collaboratively to better prepare youth to perceive and pursue commercial fishing opportunities in the region through development of a formalized region-wide fisheries-focused CTE program.The first step toward this end occurred in September 2017 with the launch of an intense week-long course covering safety and cold-water survival, seafood marketing and brand development, net hanging, and tours of local drift boats and setnet operations.

Rachel and Kelly led the seafood marketing and branding component of the fisheriesCTE program. This course provided an overview of 1) the role of Alaska seafood in the global economy, 2) current efforts in Alaska and across the nation to build brands and seafood markets and supply chains that bring greater benefits to fishermen (examples include Community Supported Fisheries), and 3) the opportunities, challenges and resources available to Alaska fishermen who want to direct market their catch.

Over the two-day course, students developed a seafood product and marketing pitch that they delivered to a ‘Buyers Panel’ who joined us near the end of day 2. Some of the value-added seafood products and brand names that students developed include specialty items like ‘Poppa Lox’ (salmon lox), Sonny’s sushi grade salmon, and T & O PetFood Co which offered high-end fish-meal based pet food products (one of our personal favorites). Students spent time perfecting their ‘seafood story’ and honing their public speaking skills as part of this course. It was a pleasure to spend two days with these eight brave, creative and committed students and to learn more about their lives and livelihoods. We are eager to see the Bristol Bay fisheries CTE program grow in the years ahead and thrilled to be a part of its early success.



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. 

 

 

 



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.


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