calendarevents

Get Ready to Boogie at the 9th Annual Ocean Boogie

Date Posted: October 6, 2015       Categories: AMCC Blog       Tags: Calendar/Events, Donate, Get Involved, Local Seafood

BOOGIE_AMCC_KODIAKWhat: The 9th Annual Kodiak Ocean Boogie
When: 7pm Saturday, October 24th
Where: Tony’s Bar, Kodiak, AK
Tickets: $30 (Call 907.539.1927 to get yours today!)

Join the Alaska Marine Conservation Council for an evening of music, dancing, delicious seafood appetizers, and silent auctions at Tony’s Bar in Kodiak on October 24th, 2015. The Ocean Boogie is an annual fundraiser for AMCC and also features the drawing for AMCC’s Annual Cash Raffle with prizes ranging from $250-$10,000! Contact Kodiak Outreach Coordinator, Theresa Peterson, to purchase your Ocean Boogie ticket ($30) at theresa@akmarine.org or 907.539.1927.

Don’t forget to invite your friends on Facebook.

We’ll see you on the 24th ready to boogie!

 

 

 

 

 



Midnight Sun Brewing Co. Hosts Fish & Sips Oct. 5-9th

Date Posted: October 2, 2015       Categories: AMCC Blog       Tags: Calendar/Events, Catch of the Season, Local Seafood, Working Waterfronts

Midnight Sun Brewery Promotes Local Seafood and Marine Conservation

For the week of October 5-9th, Midnight Sun Brewing Co. in Anchorage will be hosting “Fish & Sips” a week of seafood from community-based Alaskan fishermen. Check out the menu below for details on each night’s seafood specials. 20% of seafood special sales, 50¢ for each pint and $1 for each growler of Sockeye Red IPA sold will go directly to supporting AMCC’s work to keep our oceans healthy and our coastal communities thriving. So have a drink for the oceans and enjoy some delicious seafood at Midnight Sun, October 5-9th!

full menu



Halibut Capital of the World Kicks off First Homer Halibut Fest

IMG_0537_zpsu9uz7cttby Homer Community Fisheries Organizer, Hannah Heimbuch

There’s no place like home. And in my case, that place is Homer, Alaska, location of the first ever Homer Halibut Festival. We set aside a lovely fall weekend in September to kick off this festival of the flat fish in the Halibut Capital of the World, and we couldn’t have asked for a better year-one shindig. We set out to celebrate the halibut resource, to share some great information and great food with the community, and Homer showed up in droves to make it happen.

We hosted some fantastic speakers from Seattle, Anchorage and Homer who filled us in on halibut ecology, examined economic dynamics from the international market to businesses in our own backyard, and IMG_1173_zps7ti7sw5bprovided insight into the policy process that manages the incredible economic and ecological engine that is the halibut fishery.

Did you know that halibut larvae spawned in the Eastern Gulf of Alaska drift on major Pacific currents back to the Bering Sea nursery where they mature into those adult fish we all love? Did you know that the sport halibut fishery has become one of the growing avenues for young people to enter into a fishing career? Or that Homer’s commercial halibut landings have often been higher than any other port in Alaska? Those are just a few of the many things I learned from the great presenters on September 19th.

The community meal was a testament to the power of local food — feeding at least 300 people with halibut donated by local fishermen and produce from many of our local farmers. At the Halibut Cabaret we had IMG_1182_zpsfqdnernomusicians and storytellers sharing the personal side of the fishing life, and a generous showing of community support through donations and auction bids on the fabulous buoys donated and decorated by Homer fisherfolk and artists. The Halibut Hustle, a 5K run that zipped us around the harbor trail on Sunday morning, had a great turnout of weekend runners.

The other piece of this that I want to celebrate are the dozens of volunteers that gave their time and resources to help plan the festival, paint buoys, prepare food, put up posters, staff events and more. Dozens of businesses donated funds, goods and services — without IMG_1222_zpsi3sj0u5qwhich the festival would not have been possible. The community of Homer and beyond truly showed up to make the Homer Halibut Festival a reality.

What did all of this show me? It showed me something that I already suspected — that fisheries are a vital piece of culture and economy here in Homer; and that our community, and many others along the coast, is tied in countless ways to the marine ecosystem. And finally this reminded me that the working waterfronts across Alaska and their coastal residents are vital pieces of the marine web. We are fishermen, neighbors and marine stewards, and together we represent the past, present and future of Alaska fisheries.

 

Thank you to all of our generous sponsors!

IMG_1203_zpsotwf7kaaInternational Pacific Halibut Commission
Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute
Representative Paul Seaton
Trident Seafoods
Alaska Boats & Permits
ANL Corporation
Bulletproof Nets
Captain Mike’s Charters
Cook Inletkeeper
Homer Chamber of Commerce
Icicle Seafoods
North Pacific Fisheries Association
IMG_0538_zpshibatpz3Preventive Dental Services
Salmon Sisters
Salty Girls Gifts and Booking
Alice’s Champagne Palace
Auction Block
Coal Point Trading Co.
Paul and Jennifer Castellani
Bob Durr
F/V Captain Cook
F/V Challenger
F/V Dangerous Cape
F/V Nuka Point
F/V Sheik
Robert Heimbach
Todd Hoppe
DSCF4692_zpsnnizx8irIslands & Ocean Visitor Center
Lori Jenkins
Kachemak Bay Running Club
Sunrise Kilcher
La Baleine Cafe
Land’s End Resort
Chris Moss
Jessica Shepherd
Spit Sisters
Kyra Wagner

*For more information about how you can get involved in next year’s Homer Halibut Festival, you can contact Hannah at hannah@akmarine.org. And be sure to check out homerhalibutfest.org.



Local fishing, farming groups to bring Greenhorns director to Alaska

Date Posted: September 10, 2015       Categories: Press Releases       Tags: Calendar/Events, Young Fishermen's Network

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Local fishing, farming groups to bring Greenhorns director to Alaska
Young Farmers Advocate, Severine von Tscharner Fleming, Embarks on Alaska Speaking Tour

Contact: Samantha Baker, Engagement & Development Director, Alaska Marine Conservation Council
907.277.5357 // sam@akmarine.org

Severine von Tscharner Fleming, director of the young farmers organization, The Greenhorns, is coming to Alaska this September for a 9-day speaking tour and to meet with young farmers and fishermen in Kenai, Homer, Palmer and Anchorage. Fishing and farming groups worked together to bring the farmer, activist and organizer from New York’s Champlain Valley to engage with young Alaskan farmers and fishermen in conversations about their livelihoods and local food.

Fleming’s work and lectures celebrate the entrance of a new generation of farmers into American agriculture, and the rebuilding of regional food sovereignty. Now in its 6th year, Greenhorns focuses on convening in-person networking mixers, conferences and workshops, as well as producing new media and publications for their national network.

In addition to directing the Greenhorns, Fleming also runs the Agrarian Trust, working to build a national network, tools, templates and pilot projects to support new farmers with land access, and opportunity, and address the ownership transition of 400 million acres of US farmland.

“After seeing Severine speak at conferences in the Lower 48 last year, our staff wanted to bring her up to speak with young fishermen in Alaska because of the similarities between challenges faced by young fishermen and young farmers,” said Kelly Harrell, Executive Director of the Alaska Marine Conservation Council (AMCC) and board member of the Alaska Food Policy Council. AMCC is currently working on a multi-year research project with University of Alaska Fairbanks and Alaska Sea Grant called ‘The Graying of the Fleet,’ exploring barriers young fishermen face when entering the industry.

“What we are learning about young fishermen in Alaska seemed to parallel what Severine talks about with young farmers: they face high costs of entering this career path tempered by a love for the lifestyle those jobs create and a real care and stewardship for the sustainable resources these young people are using,” said Harrell.

Fleming’s speaking tour will consist of the following presentations:

  • Friday, September 18th at 7pm: “Growing Local Food Systems: Tales from the Frontlines” presented at the Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association in Kenai, AK.
  • Sunday, September 20th at 12pm: “Greenhorns – Lessons of Young Farmers for Young Fishermen” presented at the Homer Council on the Arts in Homer, followed by a conversation and lunch for young fishermen. This event is part of AMCC’s Homer Halibut Festival (September 19-20th).
  • Tuesday, September 22nd at 7pm: “Growing Local Food Systems” presented at the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Matanuska Experiment Farm in Palmer.
  • Wednesday, September 23rd at 7pm: Following Alaska Pacific University’s Farmers Market, Fleming will present at the Carr-Gottstein Lecture Hall at APU in Anchorage.
  • Thursday, September 24th at 3pm: A screening of the Greenhorns documentary film  followed by a discussion with Fleming at the Bear Tooth Theatrepub in Anchorage.

All events are free and open to the public. Severine’s Alaska speaking tour is sponsored by the Alaska Food Policy Council and the Alaska Marine Conservation Council.

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A Weekend in Naknek

Date Posted: July 27, 2015       Categories: AMCC Blog       Tags: bristol bay sockeye salmon, Calendar/Events, Protect Bristol Bay from Offshore Drilling
Photo by Sam Baker

Photo by Sam Baker

Fistival 2015

By Kate Vollrath

Since coming to Alaska, I have felt the urgency surrounding the need to protect Bristol Bay from offshore oil and gas development. While I understood that this place boasted one of the world’s largest salmon runs and that Alaskans do love their salmon, Bristol Bay took on a new meaning for me after a trip to the area last weekend. As soon as I stepped off of the plane in Naknek, I knew that this place was unique. Little did I know that my first trip to an Alaskan fishing community would be an experience I would never forget. It has impacted how I think about salmon, Bristol bay, and why this area is so unbelievably special.

Photo by Sam Baker

Photo by Sam Baker

The weekend began with renting a car and navigating the gravel road from King Salmon to Naknek. We were already soaked from the rain and decided our first stop should be D&D Restaurant to dry off and warm up while eating pizza. We then drove to the setnet beach. As we walked along the beach we saw setnet sites and the cabins that people stay in during their weeks of fishing. It was a quiet time of day as far as fishing was concerned, but I could imagine the setnetters on this very beach bringing in thousands of pounds of fish! The amount of human energy that fuels the set netting operation in Naknek is nothing short of impressive. I couldn’t believe how little the family we stayed with slept during our time with them! The salmon season is frantic.

We then decided to drive to a lookout point that would give us a better perspective from up above the beach. When we got to the point we could see numerous boats in the water. What really struck me while we took in the scene of the water was that so much of what happens in Bristol Bay occurs out on that water, away from land and towns. That world of boats, crews, nets, and salmon is a whole other city of its own, functioning all for the sake of catching salmon. Before coming to Naknek, AMCC’s Community Fisheries Organizer, Hannah, mentioned to me that Bristol Bay turns “into an offshore metropolis for salmon season”. As I gazed out at the water I understood what she meant. It truly is a sight to see that offshore metropolis come to life during the intense couple of weeks the salmon are here.

IMG_4882

Photo by Sam Baker

Later in the weekend, we ventured to Naknek Lake to take in the scenery during some down time we had. The trip to the lake was the experience that tied everything together in my mind and solidified the specialness of Bristol Bay. As we approached a dock on shore, we met a biologist who pointed out the many salmon that were swimming inches from the dock. At first glance, we could see red masses moving beneath the surface of the lake. The red seemed to move as a separate wave of water. Within in seconds of staring at the water, salmon were leaping left and right all around us! You could feel that this lake was pulsing with the energy of the salmon run…the water was alive with fish. My coworker Sam mentioned, “It’s pretty cool to see a wild resource, so much of our food is far from wild”.This resource is indeed wild, and therefore incredibly unique. Seeing the wild Bristol Bay sockeye salmon jump inches away filled me with gratitude, for the place of Bristol Bay and for those who have vigorously fought to protect it.

Photo by Sam Baker

Photo by Sam Baker

On our last night in Naknek, we hosted a film screening of Bristol Bay: A Legacy Story. Although I had already seen the film, watching it after spending time in Naknek made the history of Bristol Bay’s protection from offshore drilling much more real. After the film, we even received “thank you’s” from fishermen who had taken a break from their busy season to come in to Naknek for Fishtival and the film.

After spending time in Bristol Bay talking with fishing families, seeing wild sockeye salmon, and learning more about the culture and history of this place, I feel more strongly than ever that the uniqueness of Bristol Bay and what it means to those who depend upon its incredible fish resource, is worth protecting, once and for all.

 



Rolling into Summer with the Local Seafood Mobile

Date Posted: June 1, 2015       Categories: AMCC Blog       Tags: Calendar/Events, Local Seafood

DSC_0518_zpsxndul8ziBy Lark Starkey

“I don’t understand how people believe in unicorns when there are so many unbelievable and wonderful things that exist in our own world.” – One of the many words of wisdom I gathered from Ray Troll as he casually supervised Memo Jauregi in the painting of what would become the bright, blue, and fantastic Local Seafood Mobile.

DSC_0513_zpswnuota1xAs the van underwent its transformation, it turned from white, to baby blue, to baby blue with comic book like outlines, to its full glory in my very own garage. I watched Memo work and offered coffee and food as a contribution to the creative process. Ray would stop by occasionally, swooping me up and away from the office for a mini photo shoot, offering Memo advice on the placement of pectoral fins among other fins, and a few expertly placed sharpie marks.

DSC_0343_zps3phsgf7k

After Memo finished the paint job, working until midnight and flying out at 1am, Ray showed up on my lazy Sunday morning to finish up some details. I was soon enlisted to help in the cleanup and unofficial unmasking of the van in all its grandeur. Between peeling off strips of masking tape I learned about the other passions of Ray – sharks and geology, two interests which have resulted in Ray being a big part of the reveal of the helicoprion fossil, a prehistoric shark with a bizarre saw like wheel of teeth (look it up – it is really stranger and more fantastical than unicorns). As the evening drew to a close, I found myself cruising around with Ray on a test drive of the van around our sleepy neighborhood. That night we ended up discussing toxics in our environment, our passion for the natural world, how that led him to fish art, and he offered some well placed life advice.

DSC_0597_zpsjgbkxh5oNow after the fact, it seems very lucky I was able to make these connections with Memo and Ray. And of course, the Local Seafood Mobile looks awesome! See it for yourself around town at farmers markets, festivals, and events throughout Southcentral Alaska (check out AMCC’s Calendar and Events page for more). We’ll be selling seafood and talking about buying local in Alaska. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at #LocalSeafoodMobile. We hope to see you soon!

 

 



AMCC Hosts First Homer Halibut Festival

The Alaska Marine Conservation Council is excited to host the first ever Homer Halibut Festival on September 19th & 20th, 2015!

Homer is often called the Halibut Capital of the World, and this is a title we want to celebrate! We are kicking off the Homer Halibut Festival as an opportunity for the community to celebrate the iconic halibut resource of Homer and of Alaska. The weekend’s activities will provide ample opportunity to learn about halibut science and fisheries management, enjoy a community meal with friends, run the 5K Halibut Hustle and through music, storytelling and art, honor the fish and fishing traditions that have enriched the End of the Road. Through knowledge and celebration, we hope to increase awareness and stewardship of both halibut and marine ecosystems.

Learn more and view the full festival schedule at www.homerhalibutfest.org.

Thank you to all of our generous sponsors who made this event possible!

Skipper Level Sponsors $1000+
International Pacific Halibut Commission

Deckboss Level Sponsors $500-999
Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute
Representative Paul Seaton
Trident Seafoods

Deckhand Level Sponsors $150-499
Alaska Boats & Permits
ANL Corporation
Bulletproof Nets
Captain Mike’s Charters
Cook Inletkeeper
Homer Chamber of Commerce
Icicle Seafoods
North Pacific Fisheries Association
Preventive Dental Services
Salmon Sisters
Salty Girls Gifts and Booking

 

In-Kind Donors & Partners
Alice’s Champagne Palace
Auction Block
Coal Point Trading Co.
Paul and Jennifer Castellani
Bob Durr
F/V Captain Cook
F/V Challenger
F/V Dangerous Cape
F/V Nuka Point
F/V Sheik
Robert Heimbach
Todd Hoppe
Islands & Ocean Visitor Center
Lori Jenkins
Kachemak Bay Running Club
Sunrise Kilcher
La Baleine Cafe
Land’s End Resort
Chris Moss
Jessica Shepherd
Spit Sisters
Kyra Wagner



Bering Sea Halibut Bycatch Nears Final Action in June

Graphic by Emma Laukitis

Graphic by Emma Laukitis

With the June meeting of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (the Council) less than a week away, supporters of halibut bycatch reduction in the Bering Sea are working hard to communicate to the Council Alaskans’ strong support for bycatch reduction.

The meeting is slated for June 1-9 in Sitka, and will include discussion and potential final action on Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands (BSAI) bycatch reduction.

Since 2005, landings from halibut fishermen have been cut by 63% in the Bering Sea, while halibut bycatch caps for non-halibut fisheries have not been measurably reduced for 20 YEARS! This inequity has created a stark disparity between halibut fishermen and fisheries that harvest halibut as bycatch in the Bering Sea. In 2014, Bering Sea groundfish fisheries killed and discarded 7 times more more halibut (number of fish, not pounds) than the halibut fishery in landed in the same region or over 5 million pounds!

BSAI halibut bycatch in 2014 came in at roughly one million fish, with an average weight of just under 5 pounds. Tagging studies show that from these large groups of juvenile halibut feeding in the Bering Sea, 70-90% of them are slated to migrate to other areas upon maturity. The removal of large numbers of these juvenile animals from the ecosystem is a critical stock concern for any halibut fisherman or consumer in the North Pacific, from California to Alaska.

How to Comment

It is vital that the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (the Council) hear from halibut users from across the North Pacific. Join other fishermen and communities across Alaska and write to the Council today asking them to reduce halibut bycatch caps in the Bering Sea by no less than 50%! The deadline for written comment is Tuesday, May 26, 2015. Only a meaningful reduction will give the halibut fishery and the communities that depend on halibut the relief they need. Policy makers should not prioritize bycatch over other harvests and the long term health of juvenile halibut populations. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council is responsible for managing halibut bycatch in the Bering Sea and as stewards of this resource, it is time to take action to reduce bycatch.

*To submit comments to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, email your comments to npfmc.comments@noaa.gov with “C2 Bering Sea Halibut PSC” in the subject line. Copy our Congressional Delegations in your comments – Alaska’s representatives need to hear how Alaskans feel about bycatch. Letters can be copied to:

Senator Lisa Murkowski – Ephraim_froelich@murkowski.senate.gov
Senator Dan Sullivan – erik_elam@sullivan.senate.gov
Congressman Don Young – bonnie.bruce@mail.house.gov

For more information on how to comment or testify in person, please visit npfmc.org or contact:

  • Hannah Heimbuch — Community Fisheries Organizer — Homer (907) 299-4018 or hannah@akmarine.org
  • Theresa Peterson — Kodiak Outreach Coordinator — Kodiak, (907) 539-1927 or theresa@akmarine.org

Other Ways to Participate:

Testify in person: The Council takes public testimony on every agenda item. The meeting starts June 1 and runs through June 9 in Sitka, AK. To testify in person, sign up at the Council meeting before public comment on that agenda item begins.

Listen online: We will post the link to listen on Facebook on the first day of meetings.

Support AMCC’s work on important issues: AMCC has staff at every Council meeting, advocating for the health of marine ecosystems and fishing communities. Donations from individuals like you are essential to maintaining this key role. Help support our work today: donate now.

Read What Other Alaskans Have to Say:

For past updates on this issue, click here.



Alaska Food Policy Council Upcoming Town Halls

Date Posted: February 16, 2015       Categories: AMCC Blog       Tags: Calendar/Events, Local Seafood

Locavores, foodies, and seafood advocates, join us for these upcoming Alaska Food Policy Council Town Hall Meetings in your community! And be sure to check out all of our local food events by visiting our Events Calendar.

Why is food important to you?

The Alaska Food Policy Council (AFPC) and the Alaska Marine Conservation Council (AMCC) invite you to attend a community town hall meeting to gather your ideas and opinions about local food and food systems issues from local community members.

The purpose of these meetings is to increase awareness of Alaska food issues, promote involvement in local food issues by community members, and gain a perspective of local food issues to inform AFPC and policy makers.

AFPC LogoUpcoming Meetings

February 18 Alaska Food Policy Council Palmer Town Hall

March 17 Alaska Food Policy Council & AMCC Homer Town Hall

March 24 Alaska Food Policy Council Anchorage Town Hall

 

 



AMCC’s Rocking 20th Anniversary Bash

Date Posted: September 1, 2014       Categories: AMCC Blog       Tags: Calendar/Events

AMCC_BashIt’s hard to believe, but the Alaska Marine Conservation Council turns 20 this year! Save the date for Saturday, December 6th at the Snow Goose Restaurant in downtown Anchorage for AMCC’s Rockin’ 20th Anniversary Bash! Celebrate AMCC’s 20th Anniversary with us during an evening of delicious seafood, dancing, and friends. This event beginning at 6:30pm will include stories from AMCC members, current and former board members, and staff. Great music by Melissa Mitchell will follow!

Since 1994, AMCC has passionately worked to advance solutions for healthy fisheries and thriving coastal communities in Alaska. During this time we have accomplished a tremendous amount working together with supporters like you. We hope you’ll join us to celebrate all we’ve accomplished!



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