young-fishermens

Family Fishing Traditions Part 2: Homer’s Claire Neaton and Emma Teal Laukitis

Date Posted: January 1, 2016       Categories: AMCC Blog       Tags: Business Memberships, Donate, Fisheries Conservation, Pick.Click.Give., Salmon Sisters, Young Fishermen's

Today, we continue our series on family fishing traditions that highlights the next generation of fishermen that have grown up as part of the extended Alaska Marine Conservation Council family. We were inspired by our friends at The Salmon Project who recently showcased some of our favorite fishing women: Lexi Fish Hackett of Sitka, and Claire Neaton and Emma Teal Laukitis (aka The Salmon Sisters). Lexi, Claire, and Emma Teal are the daughters of our founding board members Steve Fish and Buck Laukitis.

Salmon sisters old AMCC photo

Buck Laukitis with daughters Emma & Claire in the bottom row, surrounded by AMCC founders at an AMCC board meeting in October 1997.

We caught up with Lexi, Claire, and Emma Teal on childhoods spent fishing and what their hopes are for future fishing generations. In the first edition we highlighted Lexi Fish Hackett of Sitka, and in this edition we showcase the Salmon Sisters, Claire and Emma Teal Laukitis.

Like we said before, it’s hard to describe how it feels to see these young women step into the roles of conservation-minded fishermen, stewards of the resource, business owners, and mothers. The simplest way to sum is: it’s why we do what we do at the Alaska Marine Conservation Council.

At AMCC, we believe in sustaining ties to family, community, and to the ocean that nourishes us so deeply. We believe in nourishing the next generation of fishermen and leaders like Lexi, Claire, Emma, and many other young fishermen across Alaska that we have the pleasure of knowing and admiring.

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Claire and Emma fishing for halibut in the Bering Sea onboard the family boat.

Through their business the Salmon Sisters, Emma and Claire have been especially generous to AMCC, joining early on as a business member, creating a special “Our Oceans” hoodie with a portion of proceeds going to AMCC, and most recently donating revenue from sales of their young fishermen apparel to support young fishermen. We hope you will join Claire and Emma in supporting AMCC’s work.

In Alaska, it’s the time of year where we apply for our annual PFD.

AMCC is an official Pick.Click.Give. organization and we hope you will consider donating a portion of your PFD to AMCC’s work to bolster the next generation of young fishing leaders.

For additional instructions on how to allocate a portion of your PFD to AMCC, click here


Q&A on Family Fishing Traditions with Salmon Sisters, Claire Neaton & Emma Laukitis

Question: How long have you been fishing for and what’s your favorite thing about fishing?

Claire & Emma: We grew up on our dad’s boat, but started fishing together as his crew when we were 12 and 13. Our favorite part about fishing is that it’s guaranteed time together as a family — we’ve gotten to know each other and our parents in a different way because of long summer days together at sea. When we were in college on the East Coast, we always looked forward to returning to Alaska to fish for the summers, and still feel an innate seasonal pull back to the ocean.

Question: What does it mean to you to continue your family’s fishing tradition?

Salmon Sisters

The Salmon Sisters Claire & Emma.

Claire & Emma: Our family’s fishing traditions began with our parents, who moved to Alaska in their 20’s. So, our own tradition is young. But our parents learned skills from fishermen on the back deck of boats and on the dock, listened to stories from village elders, saw how fish were treated as a valuable resource and taught these values to my sister and me as we were growing up in False Pass. We continue our family’s fishing tradition by returning to the ocean each year to harvest fish sustainably, and in the off-season we spend our time and efforts celebrating our lifestyle as fishermen, the traditions that keep our industry and coastal communities strong, and the wild seafood that we catch with our business, Salmon Sisters.

 

Question: What types of lessons has your family passed down to you about stewardship our fisheries and oceans?

Claire & Emma: Our dad always taught us about the ocean — the geography, the birds, the tides, the way salmon swim upstream to spawn. A total education has allowed us to appreciate and respect where we work and the importance of our treatment of the resources there, how abuse of a resource will affect much more than itself. We have been taught that our family’s health is directly dependent on the health of the oceans, so we must do whatever we can to keep it in equilibrium, and thriving.

Question: What are some of your hopes for the future of our fisheries, your community, or the fishing legacy that future generations might inherit?

Claire & Emma: We hope that more young people will get involved in our fisheries and take responsibility for its health. Sustainable fisheries are about feeding yourself and others, without waste. If we can all keep this simplicity in mind, then there’s room to help the industry and ecosystem in other ways. Learning skills that will make us more efficient and smarter fishermen, getting educated on what our communities need and how we can help spread wild Alaska seafood across the globe. We hope the strength in the community of fishermen stays united and strong in the future, because our identities depend upon it.


Help celebrate and support the continuation of family fishing traditions like those of the Laukitis family and donate a portion of your PFD to AMCC this year. Together, we can create the kind of fishing future generations of Alaskans to come deserve.

 



Family Fishing Traditions Part 1: Sitka’s Lexi Fish Hackett

Date Posted: December 29, 2015       Categories: AMCC Blog       Tags: Fisheries Conservation, Young Fishermen's
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Lexi Fish Hackett onboard the family boat with father and AMCC founding board member Steve Fish.

The Salmon Project recently highlighted some of our favorite fishing women: Lexi Fish Hackett of Sitka, and Claire Neaton and Emma Laukitis (aka The Salmon Sisters). Lexi, Claire, and Emma Teal are the daughters of our founding board members Steve Fish and Buck Laukitis.

It’s hard to describe how it feels to see these young women step into the roles of conservation-minded fishermen and mindful, stewards of the resource. The simplest way to sum it up is, it’s why we do what we do at AMCC.

We caught up with Lexi, Claire, and Emma Teal on childhoods spent fishing and what their hopes are for future fishing generations. In this first edition we highlight Lexi Fish Hackett of Sitka, and in the next edition we will showcase the Salmon Sisters, Claire Neaton and Emma Teal Laukitis.


Q&A with Lexi Fish Hackett, daughter of AMCC founding board member, Steve Fish.

Question: How long have you been fishing for and what’s your favorite thing about fishing?

Lexi with husband Adam and daughter Isla.

Lexi: I grew up spending time on my parent’s longline and salmon tender boat. I took my first trip on the boat when I was 9 months old. I didn’t fish with my parents during the derby days (not so kid friendly), just when we tendered in the summer. At age 15, I went longlining out of Kodiak with my dad as a paid deckhand for the first time. Every year since then, I have fished seasonally with my parents on their boat, F/V Kariel. Our family fishing has morphed into several trips per year, and we fish with lots of family and friends – my parents, siblings, husband, daughter, aunts and uncle have all been a part of our family trips. I also troll out of Sitka for salmon on the boat my husband Adam and I own, F/V Myriad.

I love being on the ocean in Southeast Alaska and spending time working as a team with my family and friends. I also love the challenging physical labor and focus that fishing entails.

Trio on dock

Adam, Isla, and Lexi.

Question: What does it mean to you to continue your family’s fishing tradition?

Lexi: It means continuing to mindfully harvest wild ocean resources in a sustainable way so that future generations may enjoy similar experiences. It means working hard and earning your own way, but taking care of friends and family. I also want to teach my children the beauty of harvesting and putting up their own food. I hope to pass on a culture of environmental stewardship and gratitude for nature’s bounty.

It is important to stay involved in our community and our fisheries in order to work toward a sustainable future, because it will not happen if we leave that up to others and pass on the responsibility instead of taking ownership of the future, ourselves. These are philosophies my parents passed on to me.

 

 

 

Question: What are some of your hopes for the future of our fisheries, your community, or the fishing legacy that your daughter will inherit?

Lexi: I hope my daughter can get out in the wilderness and take time to absorb the beauty of the natural world. I hope has a good work ethic and integrity. Mostly, I hope she finds satisfaction in doing whatever it is that she loves, whether it be fishing, hunting, gathering, or taking a peaceful walk in the woods. I hope she lives in a community where people maintain personal connection with each other and their local environment.

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Lexi Fish Hackett with husband Adam and daughter Isla in front of their freezer troller the F/V Myriad

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Isla in the pit on the F/V Myriad playing with salmon roe.

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Lexi and Adam on her parents boat, the F/V Kariel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


You can help celebrate and support the continuation of family fishing traditions like those of the Fish Hackett family with a year end gift to AMCC. Give $100 or more through December 31st and get entered to win a 10 lb. box of Norton Sound king crab in our Countdown to Crab giveaway!

Together, we can create the kind of fishing future generations of Alaskans deserve. Stay tuned for the next edition featuring the Salmon Sisters Claire and Emma!



Bioneers, You Had Us at Greenhorns

Date Posted: October 31, 2014       Categories: AMCC Blog       Tags: Fisheries Access, Get Involved, Local Seafood, Our Team, Staff, Take Action, Working Waterfronts, Young Fishermen's

by Sam Baker & Rachel Donkersloot

1779765_10152792159198699_540287983296832074_nLast week we returned rejuvenated from the annual Bioneers Summit Conference in San Rafael, CA. The multifaceted event, what speaker, author and activist Naomi Klein describes as a ‘transformational meeting of minds’ melds conversations about indigenous rights, local and sustainable food systems, women’s rights, and other social and scientific topics, and left a strong imprint on both of us and re-ignited a spark of creativity in our work at AMCC.

We were both particularly impressed by the amazing work that is being done by groups like the Greenhorns,and the National Young Farmers Coalition who are actively addressing the challenges that new and young farmers in the U.S. face today through innovations and tools like Farm Hack and Agrarian Trust and epic awareness raising endeavors like the Vermont Sail Freight Project. While we were learning about all of the inspiring work and resources aimed at young farmers, we were reminded that there is overlap and opportunity here in Alaska, and AMCC hopes to help foster the type of community and support for young fishermen that is gaining traction among our friends in the farming world.

While we study issues like the Graying of the Fleet, and work to inform fisheries policy that protects working fishermen and benefits our fishery dependent communities, we hope also to facilitate the creation of forums for young fishermen and to advance the discussion on linkages between intergenerational access, community sustainability and resilient, regional food systems.

We intend to continue our conversations with luminaries like Severine von Tscharner Fleming of the Greenhorns and Dune Lankard of the Eyak Preservation Council in the coming months and to invite others to the table to take part through upcoming events like the Alaska Food Festival & Conference. AMCC has organized two fisheries focused panels at the conference which will hopefully serve as a springboard for potential solutions to some of the challenges Alaska’s community-based fishermen face today surrounding access and profitability.

On a final note, food systems, young farmers and land access rights may have piqued our primary interest at the conference , but various iterations of citizen science also caught our attention. Hearing from groups like Public Lab in the Gulf of Mexico, we were inspired to think of the many ways we could engage Alaskans through citizen science on important research like ocean acidification. We are excited to announce that this approach will fit into some new work we will be doing next year to bring informational and interactive ocean acidification kiosks to communities throughout coastal Alaska.

Overall, the Bioneers Conference was one of great learning and great brainstorming and we are lucky to have had the opportunity to attend. We wish there was space for us to share all of the exciting science and social endeavors we learned about at the conference. For now though, we are happy to be home in Alaska and we are ready to get back to work turning some of these ideas into concrete and collaborative projects aimed at achieving triple bottom line benefits for people, profit and planet.

 



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