AMCC News

We’ve Been Making Waves for 24 Years

Date Posted: December 13, 2018       Category: AMCC Blog AMCC in the News

In 1992, with support from the Alaska Conservation Foundation, Nevette Bowen, a community organizer and fisherman, traveled coastal Alaska to listen to the marine conservation concerns of commercial, recreational, and subsistence harvesters, and coastal residents. A consensus emerged from these coastal voices and with it, the creation of the Alaska Marine Conservation Council (AMCC). In 1994, AMCC was founded as a voice for long-term, community based marine conservation. Since that time, AMCC has remained steadfast in its commitment to ensuring the role of local coastal residents in decision-making processes, and addressing growing threats to Alaska’s marine ecosystems, including high levels of bycatch, destructive fishing practices, and offshore drilling with insufficient consideration of fisheries resources and habitats. The work of AMCC is guided by the core principle that people are part of, and depend on, healthy and diverse marine ecosystems and are responsible for maintaining these ecosystems.

Excerpt from “Making Waves for 24 Years – The Alaska Marine Conservation Council” by Theresa Peterson, ONCORHYNCHUSXXXVIII, 1-2; 5-6.


#GivingTuesday is a great time to show AMCC some love!

Date Posted: November 26, 2018       Category: AMCC Blog Uncategorized

There are so many great causes to support on Giving Tuesday–we hope that AMCC is on your list!

Founded by the team in the Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact, #GivingTuesday is a global giving movement that has been built by individuals, families, organizations, businesses and communities in all 50 states and in countries around the world. This year, #GivingTuesday falls on November 27. This day is meant to inspire people to take collective action to improve their communities, give back in better, smarter ways to the charities and causes they believe in, and help create a better world. #GivingTuesday demonstrates how every act of generosity counts, and that they mean even more when we give together.

Thank you for your support!


AMCC Welcomes New Fishing Community Organizer

Date Posted: November 26, 2018       Category: AMCC Blog Uncategorized

Jamie O'ConnorHave you met Jamie O’Connor yet? AMCC is so happy to welcome her! She hit the ground running and is already in the swing of things.

Fishermen, pilots, and a noisy librarian raised Jamie in Dillingham, Alaska just north of the family set-net operation, where they’ve harvested salmon for six generations. She earned her B.A. of Journalism and Public Communication at the University of Alaska Anchorage, gathering diverse experience in corporate communications, independent film, and community theater projects. She then served Alaskans in Washington D.C., building Senator Dan Sullivan’s front office and internship program before running back to Bristol Bay with the sockeye. Jamie has since put down roots in Homer, where she participated in AMCC’s first class of Young Fishing Fellows. She joined the AMCC staff in October of 2018. She coordinates the Alaska Fisherman’s Network and supports our fisheries conservation projects. While fish consume the majority of her life, Jamie is also a certified yoga instructor, writer, and traveler. Her favorite thing in our wild world is to make connections — to nature, and to people. And she is excited to continue that work with AMCC.


National Award Won for Research Project Examining Fisheries Access

Date Posted: October 10, 2018       Category: AMCC Blog AMCC e-news       Tags: Graying of the Fleet Research Project

Left to right: Courtney Carothers, Rachel Donkersloot and Danielle Ringer

“Graying of the Fleet in Alaska’s Fisheries: Defining the Problem and Assessing Solutions”

The Graying of the Fleet research project won a national award at Sea Grant Week hosted in Portland, Oregon last month. The Sea Grant AssociationsResearch to Application Award recognizes notable Sea Grant funded research that elevates public understanding and responsible use of the nation’s ocean, coastal or Great Lakes resources.

The Graying of the Fleet study examines barriers to entry into Alaska commercial fisheries in Bristol Bay and Kodiak Archipelago fishing communities. The research team consists of UAF faculty, Courtney Carothers, AMCC’s Working Waterfronts Director, Rachel Donkersloot, retired Alaska Sea Grant director, Paula Cullenberg, and UAF graduate research assistants, Danielle Ringer and Jesse Coleman. UAF undergraduate student, Alexandra Bateman, also contributed to the study.  Alaska Sea Grant and the North Pacific Research Board provided funding for the project.

The three-year study includes a global review of potential policy responses to the graying of the fleet in Alaska in the report: “Turning the Tide: How can Alaska address the ‘graying of the fleet’ and loss of rural fisheries access?” The research team also recently released two journal articles. Another article is currently under development.

“We’re honored that our work has received this recognition,” said AMCC staffer Donkersloot. “From the outset we have worked to meaningfully share project findings with a broad audience. Our team gave more than 60 presentations over the course of this project in local, state, federal and international venues. Last summer we worked with long-time fishermen and industry experts to gather advice that we shared via Public Service Announcements during the fishing season. We are hopeful that our work will continue to inform fisheries policy and better support the next generation of Alaska fishermen.”

Left to right: Jesse Coleman, Danielle Ringer and Rachel Donkersloot

The team has also created seven short videos featuring advice to new and young fishermen that are available on the project’s website and the Alaska Young Fishermen’s Network website. The final report is available at the North Pacific Research Board’s project database. Other project materials and reports are available at fishermen.alaska.edu.


Copper River Coho Salmon Available from Catch 49

Date Posted: September 28, 2018       Category: AMCC Blog AMCC e-news       Tags: catch 49

Copper River Coho Salmon Filet

AMCC’s Catch 49 Program is offering Copper River coho salmon in 10-lb, 20-lb or 30-lb shares, with ordering available online on Catch 49’s website until close of day on September 30, 2018.

  • Wild Copper River Coho (silver) Salmon
  • 8-12 oz portions
  • Skin on, pin bone in, vacuum-sealed and flash-frozen
  • Carefully caught and impeccably handled
  • Processed by fishermen-owned 60 North Seafoods
  • Available in 10-, 20-, and 30lb shares
  • Caught by Hayley Hoover of the F/V Obsidian and Tyee Lohse of the F/V Free Ride

Copper River coho, also known as silver salmon, are widely known as the finest coho anywhere in the world due to their high oil content and firm, robust flesh. Averaging about 12 pounds each, Copper River cohos arrive in late August and September, and signal the close of Alaska’s fresh summer season. Kodiak jig rockfish, wild Alaska sablefish (black cod), and Norton Sound red king crab are also available.

Catch 49 offerings are only available in limited quantities for a limited time. If you are not on our e-mailing list and would like to join it so you can be notified about Catch 49 offerings, please email katy@akmarine.org and ask to be added to the list. Please visit www.catch49.org to see current offerings.


Modernizing Fisheries Management Should Benefit All Sectors

Date Posted: March 29, 2018       Category: AMCC Blog AMCC e-news AMCC in the News
F/V Captain Cook

F/V Captain Cook

Modernizing Fisheries Management Should Benefit All Sectors

By Shannon Carroll and Susie Zagorski for Fisherman’s News

For more than forty years, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) has utilized a precautionary science-based approach to fisheries management. This approach has led to some of the most sustainably managed fisheries in the world. A key component to this success has been the use of exempted fishing permits (EFPs), which have incentivized innovation, improved sustainability, and developed lasting partnerships between industry and managers.

It is surprising, then, that some members of Congress are seeking to limit the use of EFPs. As introduced, Senate Bill S. 1520 — the Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2017 — does just that by making the EFP process so onerous that it is unlikely to be used in any region. In doing so, S. 1520 will inhibit the ability of industry and managers to pilot new and creative improvements to managing fisheries.

Read the full story here.


Tanner Crab Fishery Reopens in Kodiak: Theresa Peterson

Date Posted: January 19, 2018       Category: AMCC Blog AMCC in the News Press Releases Uncategorized

Local Tanner crab vessels steamed out of Kodiak and Old Harbor on January 18th, with high hopes for a successful crab season.  We always leave that way, full of hope. Why else would we keep going out?

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Tanner crab boat, F/V Jamboree, heads out to the fishing grounds.

The winter Tanner crab fishery is somewhat unique in that it was designed with input from the community-based fleet. Fishermen wanted managers to factor in safety, equity, and conservation into how the fishery operates.

One way managers do this is by using the weather to dictate openings. If the daily weather update for the fishing grounds includes a gale warning, managers delay the fishery for 24 hours. Doing so provides for greater safety and equity in the fishery, as it is dangerous for smaller vessels to travel in rough weather with crab gear on their decks. While it may be an uncomfortable ride for an 80-foot vessel carrying 20 heavy crab pots out to the grounds, it is rarely life threatening. However, for a 42-foot shallow draft seiner, like our boat, it is life threatening and we would have to stay in town. Thus, without the weather stand down, the fishery could be harvested with by a handful of larger boats while the rest of the fleet is tied to the docks. Working together, the fishermen came up with a solution. This year, the season was delayed for three days due to gale winds clocked at up to 106 knots.

The fishery was also designed with input by fishermen to have a minimal impact on Tanner crab stocks. Crab pots can only be hauled from 8:00 in the morning until 6:00 at night, thereby reducing the mortality of discarded crab—those that are undersized or female. Minimizing the number of times a pot is hauled and therefore how often crab are handled reduces stress on the resource.  The daylight-only requirement limits the exposure of discarded crab to colder temperatures in the night. Vessels are also limited to 20 pots, depending on the total allowable catch of crab, which serves to both minimize the impact of the gear on the crab and level the playing field. When the allowable harvest goes up, so does the number of pots the fishermen can use. When the total allowable catch is under 2 million pounds, the limit is 20 pots; as that catch rises, the number of pots allowed stair-steps all the way to 60 pots (when the allowable catch is over 5 million pounds. This year the total allowable catch for the Kodiak Island district is 400,000 pounds, and after a four-year closure due to low crab abundance, fishermen are supportive of the limit and just happy to be fishing.

 

Tanner Crab Picking Pot

Crew members Jay Lund and Hunter Bigley, two young men raised in Kodiak, carefully sort a pot of Tanner crab on the F/V Patricia Sue.

In a town like Kodiak, which is sustained by fishing, there are few opportunities to make a living other than commercial fishing.  As community-based fishermen dependent on the health of the fisheries resource to make a living, many fishermen advocate in the fisheries policy arena in support of sustainable fisheries and opportunities for the next generation. We work hard to share both our experience and knowledge of the industry with management bodies like the Alaska Board of Fish and the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. Both of these bodies are set up to provide stakeholder input, and policy makers value the contribution of the fishermen to inform decisions. This process, coupled with the influence of strong science, has led to the world-class, sustainable fisheries that are found throughout Alaskan waters.  I’m proud to call this state and Kodiak Island my home, and will continue to advocate for policies that sustain the stocks and provide other families the opportunity to make a living from the sea.


A Tanner “Giant Snow” Crab Offering

Date Posted: January 18, 2018       Category: AMCC Blog AMCC in the News Uncategorized

CATCH 49 - Alaska's Seafood Hub

For the first time in four years, the commercial Tanner crab fishery has opened, and AMCC is once again offering delicious Kodiak Tanner crab harvested by small-boat, conservation-minded fishermen to residents of the Anchorage and the MatSu area. This will be a short offering, from January 9th to the 19th, with limited crab available for purchase, so order while you can!

 ORDER NOW

The Tanner crab fishery is extremely important to the diverse fishing portfolio of Kodiak’s small-boat fishermen. Your crab is harvested by local  conservation-minded fishermen in Kodiak, flash frozen, and shipped by air immediately to Anchorage. Available in 17 lb. shares of frozen leg clusters for $275. Orders must be placed by Friday, January 19th and picked up in Anchorage on January 29th from the AMCC office at 106 F St., between 10 am and 6 pm. (No shipping available.)

Executive Director Search Re-Opened

Date Posted: January 17, 2018       Category: AMCC Blog AMCC in the News 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 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 will be considered until the position is filled. Please see https://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.


2017 Raffle Winners – Congratulations!

Date Posted: December 18, 2017       Category: AMCC Blog Uncategorized       Tags: Boogie, Homer, raffle

It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for – the announcement of the 2017 AMCC Raffle Drawing Winners! Thank you to the hundreds of people who purchased a raffle ticket and supported our cause, your contribution will go a long way in helping us maintain healthy oceans and thriving coastal communities. Now, for the drumroll……If your name is on this list, we will be contacting you with instructions about how to proceed. Congratulations and, again, THANK YOU!

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boogiecrowd boogie reading and buoys boogie almnanac reading

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Announcing Call for 2018-2019 Host Organizations for AMCC Fishing Fellows Program!

salmon_troller_sitka_kelly_harrell_oct_06_zps4003a1df-2

AMCC is excited to announce that the application period for Alaska organizations interested in hosting a fishing fellow in 2018 is now open!

Our current cohort of fellows continue to impress us on and off the water. You can read more about what they are up to here and here.  

If you are an organization working on marine and fisheries related issues please consider hosting a fishing fellow. The deadline for this application period is January 16, 2018. You can submit your application and short fellowship project description at: akyoungfishermen.org

In early 2018, we will select 3-5 organizations to host fellows in the upcoming year. Once we’ve selected host organizations and projects we will put out the call for applicants interested in serving as fishing fellows. AMCC provides each fellow with a stipend. Host organizations provide mentorship, guidance and hands-on learning and leadership opportunities.

You can find more information on AMCC’s Fishing Fellows Program and answers to FAQs here.

Click here to apply to host a fellow in 2018-2019. 
P.S. For inspiration and ideas, you can read about 2017-2018 fellowship projects here.


Young Fishermen’s Bill Introduced in U.S. Senate

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 12, 2017

Young Fishermen’s Bill Introduced in U.S. Senate

Initiative Gains Momentum as Senators Sullivan (AK), Murkowski (AK), Markey (MA) & Cantwell (WA) Champion Effort to Assist Next Generation of Commercial Fishermen

Washington, DC – The Fishing Communities Coalition (FCC) today applauded 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 (S.1323). The bipartisan and bicoastal bill, a top FCC priority, would give fishing communities a needed boost by addressing steep and growing obstacles – including high cost of entry and limited entry-level opportunities – facing the next generation of America’s commercial fishermen.

“The growing bipartisan momentum behind this bill is very encouraging and shows that leaders in both parties understand that fishermen in today’s world need to know a lot more than simply how to fish,” says John Pappalardo, CEO of the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance. “We appreciate Senator Markey’s leadership in getting this program off the ground because it will give the next generation of fishermen training in fisheries management, business planning and market development tools they’ll need to make a good living bringing sustainable seafood to Americans.”

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.

“As one of those dependent on the long-term success of our working waterfronts, I’m very grateful to Senators Sullivan and Murkowski for supporting legislation that recognizes the challenges today’s fishermen face,” said Hannah Heimbuch, an Alaska commercial fisherman who also works for Alaska Marine Conservation Council. “By supporting independent fishermen with this action, we have an opportunity to bolster American food security and the health of coastal communities.”

The bill is modeled after the USDA’s successful Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, which is credited with preparing hundreds of young farmers and ranchers for rewarding careers in agriculture. Young fishermen representing FCC members from every U.S. coast recently traveled to Washington, DC to urge legislators to support the initiative.

“Fishing employs more Alaskans than any other industry in the state, but high barriers and costs remain for newer generations attempting to fill the ranks of this vital sector of our economy,” said Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK). “This legislation will coalesce regional efforts to lower these barriers through new grants, training opportunities and an apprenticeship program that will help harness the experience of seasoned fishermen. Replenishing the stocks of qualified stewards of our fisheries will help ensure Alaska remains the superpower of seafood.”

“For centuries, fishing has been at the heart of coastal communities in Massachusetts, but it is an increasingly challenging one for new fishermen to join,” said Senator Ed Markey (D-MA). “This legislation will help make sure that our fishing industry continues to attract future generations of fishermen. These training programs will help young men and women be able to push off the dock into new careers and make vital economic contributions to their communities.”

About the Young Fishermen’s Development Act

Founded in 1994, Alaska Marine Conservation Council is a community-based, nonprofit organization committed to protecting the long-term health of Alaska’s marine ecosystems and sustaining the working waterfronts of our state’s coastal communities. Our members include fishermen, subsistence harvesters, marine scientists, business owners, conservationists, families, and others who care deeply about Alaska’s oceans.

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Member Spotlight: Erica Madison

Date Posted: April 23, 2017       Category: AMCC Blog       Tags: Fisheries Access, Fisheries Conservation, Working Waterfronts, Young Fishermen's Network

Erica Madison is a first-generation commercial fisherman, and owner of Madison’s Salmon Co. An Alaska resident for 20 years, Erica spent 10 years working in the marine ecology field before making the switch to commercial fishing several years ago. 

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

I am a Bristol Bay fisherman. I set-net on the Naknek and Kvichak Rivers. I have a set-net permit and have been connected to this fishery for three years.

e-news_april_erica madisonWhy do you choose to support AMCC? 

I believe in the promotion of healthy sustainable fisheries. I also want to give support to the communities behind those fisheries and that is what the AMCC does. It is a grassroots organization that is not just looking at the fish, they want the fisherman, culture and ocean to be healthy. As a scientist I found that there was too much “species specific” focus. If you want to make something last, you have to take in all of the parts and pieces. If I as a fisherman can be a part of healthy salmon in the future, then I am on board.

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

AMCC has a lot of great work going on this year. With the upcoming season about to be in swing I am the most excited about the Working Waterfronts project, specifically putting in place a connection between local fisherman and their community. I myself am working with a sea-to-table approach by direct marketing my salmon through Madison Salmon Co. I take pride in knowing that my fish are well taken care of and that locals will know exactly where their fish came from.

What do you love most about fishing?

I was drawn to fisheries because of my at-sea work in the marine sciences. I would see fishermen from afar as I was counting birds and staring at fish monitors and I always thought, I want to work for myself with a species I understand from start to finish. Fishing lets you connect not only to the species you’re working on but also the ecosystem it originates from and the community it directly affects. 

What’s happening in the small boat commercial fishing industry that is exciting or encouraging? 

It is encouraging to see people take ownership of their oceans and rivers again. Closing down mining projects or damn projects that directly affect salmon is a giant triumph for the salmon. If we as as a fleet of small boat commercial fisherman can come together to protect ecosystems, I believe we can have power in other conservation efforts as well.

e-news_april_erica madison_2What do you see as the biggest threat to Alaska’s small-boat commercial fisherman?

I find it scary when I reach out to my friends in the lower 48 and they tell me about cheap “natural” salmon they buy at the grocery store. There is not enough education about where our food comes from, and that leaves the consumer without information about what they are getting. The commercialization of farmed fish is not not only a threat because it steals market share, it also poses genetic threat to wild salmon stocks and spreads disease.

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

I live in so many different places in Alaska that I sometimes fear I will lose my community or feeling of community, but Alaska’s great because we take in wanderers, seasonals, and newcomers and treat them like family. After my commercial season last year, I met a woman named Kate Taylor who is an accomplished guide in Bristol Bay and runs her own business Frigate Travel. She took me under her wing and taught me how to fly fish. We talked conservation of headwaters and ways to protect the fishery. She even took a day to come out and learn all about commercial fishing and cheer me on in my work. That right there is community.

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

I feel so lucky to have seen Alaska’s waters so thoroughly when I was doing marine research. I also have a passion for traveling over land, and at some point I will make it from Anchorage to Naknek, hopefully on skis. Connecting two places by foot is pretty special.


Tell Congress to Save Sea Grant

Date Posted: March 16, 2017       Category: AMCC Blog       Tags: Fisheries Conservation, Ocean Acidification, Working Waterfronts

Click here to sign our letter supporting Sea Grant

White House Seeks To Eliminate Critical Program

The White House released its preliminary 2018 budget proposal on March 16. As reported by The Washington Postthe Trump administration is proposing massive cuts to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) budget. Included in those cuts is the complete elimination of the Sea Grant program.

Losing Sea Grant would have profound negative impacts on Alaskans. Alaska Sea Grant represents a unique partnership between NOAA and the University of Alaska Fairbanks. For more than 46 years, the program has supported healthy coastal resources, strong economies, and vibrant communities in Alaska through research, education, and outreach. What does this mean in terms of on-the-ground action? Here are a few examples of Sea Grant’s work in Alaska:

  • FishBiz Program: This program provides financial and business tools for fishermen, ensuring those looking to get into, remain, or sell out of a fishery have the tools to do so effectively.
  • Training Alaska’s fishing workforce: Sea Grant provides Alaskan fishermen with education and training on essential topics such as vessel safety and maintenance, fuel efficiency, refrigeration, direct marketing, and permitting. It has also hosted the Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit, which has provided critical training to more than 350 young fishermen.
  • Mariculture investment: Sea Grant has invested more than $2.5 million in research and outreach in support of Alaska’s growing mariculture industry.
  • Practical Research: Sea Grant leads research that addresses coastal community priorities, including the “Graying of the Fleet” project that is working to identify and find solutions to barriers to entry for the next generation of fishermen.

What can you do about these proposed cuts?kachemak07-dmp-1537

NOAA’s budget will ultimately be decided by a congressional budget resolution. Congress typically makes changes to the president’s proposal, so now is the time to let your representatives know how important Sea Grant is to Alaskans. Senators Sullivan and Murkowski have gone on record opposing the cuts to NOAA’s budget, but it’s still critical that they hear from you about maintaining federal funding for Sea Grant.  

Please call your Congressional representative. Phone calls carry more weight with legislators than emails. Listed below is the contact info for each office, along with talking points to guide your call. 

Talking Points:

  • I’m calling today to let [elected official] know that I oppose the president’s proposed cuts to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), specifically the elimination of the Sea Grant program.
  • Sea Grant directly contributes to job creation and economic development, the core functions of the Department of Commerce. In Alaska, Sea Grant offers valuable technical assistance to our seafood industry, which employees 60,000 Americans from across the country. 
  • Federal funding of Sea Grant goes a long way. Each dollar Sea Grant receives in federal funds is multiplied threefold through strategic partnerships with the University of Alaska and other grant funders. 
  • I personally value [name Sea Grant program or service that is important to you, such as the Young Fishermen’s Summit, the Graying of the Fleet research project, food preservation workshops, educational materials and trainings, etc.]. Click here for more information about Sea Grant’s workshops, trainings and programs.
  • Again, I urge [elected official] to maintain funding for Sea Grant in NOAA’s 2018 budget. Thank you for your time.

Contact Information:

Office of Senator Lisa Murkowski
Contact: Ephraim Froehlich
Ephraim_Froehlich@murkowski.senate.gov
(202) 224-6665

Office of Senator Dan Sullivan
Contact: Erik Elam
erik_elam@sullivan.senate.gov
(202) 224-3004

Office of Representative Don Young
Contact: Mike DeFilippis
Michael.Defilippis@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5765


MSA Update: A new Congress may mean big changes for nation’s fisheries laws.

Date Posted: February 21, 2017       Category: AMCC Blog       Tags: Federal Fisheries Policy, Fisheries Conservation, Magnuson-Stevens Act

By Shannon Carroll

Sen Sullivan speaks with Alaskan young fishermen in Washington D.C. (March 2016)

Sen. Sullivan speaks with Alaskan young fishermen in Washington D.C. (March 2016)

Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) was recently named chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard for the 115th Congress. The subcommittee, among other things, is responsible for addressing matters that concern federal fisheries; it will be a key player in the ongoing effort to reauthorize the Magnuson Stevens Act (MSA). The Senate has yet to introduce a MSA bill, despite the House passing a bill in 2015, but rumors have been circulating that a draft bill is in the works.

AMCC believes strongly in the MSA. Its record speaks for itself: Since 2000, fishermen and managers have rebuilt more than 40 stocks nationwide, while Alaskan stocks under its jurisdiction have thrived since Congress passed the act. We are therefore hesitant, under the current political climate, to advocate for wholesale changes to the law. In our view, many of the issues facing Alaska and other regions could be addressed through increased funding for key programs such as at-sea monitoring, stock surveys, and enforcement; better use of existing funds; and improved application and enforcement of current laws and regulations.

shannon_quoteShould the Senate decide to reauthorize the law, we are excited to have Senator Sullivan carrying on the “Alaska legacy” by taking a leadership position the process. Since Congress enacted the law, Alaska has always played a lead role in shaping our nation’s fisheries. Under Alaskan leadership, each reauthorization has been a bipartisan effort to improve the sustainability of our fisheries through reforms based upon science and stewardship. And, because of the lead role that Alaskans have played in the process, reauthorization always been an opportunity to directly address the issues facing Alaskan fishermen. In short, each reauthorization of the MSA has made fisheries management better for Alaskan fishermen.

To date, Senator Sullivan has proven to be advocate for Alaska’s fishermen, passing legislation that addresses illegal and unreported fishing, while also working to prevent others from undermining the MSA. This track record hopefully indicates the Senator’s willingness to carry the Alaska legacy by putting fish, fishermen, and fishing communities first. To us, that means sensible, smart reforms that will keep this and the next generation of fishermen on the water. These reforms should include improving monitoring and accountability, strengthening community protections, reducing bycatch, and supporting the next generation of fishermen. We look forward to working with Senator Sullivan and the other members of the 115th Congress.

Shannon Carroll is AMCC’s fisheries policy director. Contact him at shannon@akmarine.org.


Science Advisory Committee Seeks Volunteers

Date Posted: January 27, 2017       Category: AMCC Blog       Tags: Federal Fisheries Policy, Fisheries Conservation

Leslie Cornick, Ph.D., led the effort to form AMCC’s Science Advisory Committee, which launches this year. As Dean of Research and Sponsored Programs at Alaska Pacific University, her most recent work includes beluga whale monitoring projects in Knik Arm, Cook Inlet and Bristol Bay. Read on to learn more about Dr. Cornick and the Science Advisory Committee’s exciting work.

Dr. Leslie Cornick

Dr. Leslie Cornick

What is your background? What drew you to AMCC’s’ work?

I have a BA in Biological Anthropology, MA in Physiology and Behavioral Biology, and PhD in Wildlife Ecology. I’m a physiological ecologist by training, working primarily on the limits to behavioral plasticity in marine mammals and how they adapt to environmental change. I’ve been a supporter of AMCC’s mission for a long time, so when I took a course in nonprofit sustainability and began looking for local organizations to partner with, I found AMCC to be a natural fit.

Why did you decide to spearhead the development of the Science Advisory Committee?

In my early conversations with AMCC staff it became clear that the organization was looking to build scientific capacity to bolster their effectiveness in the policy arena. Yet, without a full-time scientist on their staff, fundamental scientific advising was a gap that they needed to fill. I worked closely with Fisheries Policy Director, Shannon Carroll, and Executive Director, Kelly Harrell, to craft the concept and identify need areas. I also wanted to give back to the AMCC in a meaningful way by helping them to move the committee forward.

How will the Science Advisory Committee support AMCC’s work?

My goal is for the Science Advisory Committee to provide vital input on the current state of the science in key areas so that AMCC can craft policy positions, create programs, and advocate for their constituencies based on the most up to date and best available science.

How does the Science Advisory Committee recruit members? What skills are you looking for?

We are currently recruiting volunteers to serve on the Science Advisory Committee through a variety of networks, including the Marine Section of the Society for Conservation Biology, the Alaska Marine Science Symposium, and the American Fisheries Society. We are looking for early career or established scientists who are currently engaged in research, to synthesize the current state of the science and provide summaries to AMCC staff. If you’re interested in the Science Advisory Committee, have questions, or would like to submit an application, you can find out more here.


Growing the Alaska Young Fishermen’s Network

Date Posted: January 27, 2017       Category: AMCC Blog       Tags: Working Waterfronts, Young Fishermen's Network

By Hannah Heimbuch and Rachel Donkersloot

This has been an exciting year for the Alaska Young Fishermen’s Network. We’ve celebrated, made new friends, and are laying big plans for the future. It’s been a busy January so far. Network coordinator Hannah Heimbuch and three other Alaska fishermen recently traveled to Victoria, British Columbia, observing the annual meeting of the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC). Heimbuch, along with Keith Bell and Peter Neaton of Homer, and Carina Nichols of Sitka (who was recently appointed to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s Advisory Panel), participate in halibut fisheries that span Alaska’s coastline.

Young fishermen at IPHC’s annual meeting in Victoria. From left: Carina Nichols, Keith Bell and Peter Neaton.

The IPHC process is a robust management collaboration between two countries and multiple gear types, spanning nearly a century. Just as we’ve seen our fleets greying, we’ve seen the same among the leaders and advocates in these important decision-making bodies. As the Network develops, an important part of our mission is giving fishermen an opportunity to experience this and other management and policy processes. Meeting decision makers and mentors in the policy arena, and gaining insight and experience in the process helps expand fishermen engagement and build a new generation of skilled leaders.

Also taking place in Victoria this week was a Young Fishermen’s Gathering geared toward supporting young harvesters in British Columbia, the first of its kind. Our group took some time to participate in this important discussion, an event modeled after Alaska Sea Grant’s robust Young Fishermen’s Summit. This gathering has been an excellent time to learn from those in other sectors, and better understand our shared strengths and challenges as North Pacific fishermen.

In other developments, Network participants around the state are gearing up to support spring workshops and events, including a fishing finance workshop in Sitka, a ComFish panel in Kodiak and a young fishermen’s happy hour in Anchorage. Details for these events are still developing, but we’re excited to see the Network helping to create regional opportunities that support their fishing businesses and communities. On the creative front, the Young Fishermen’s Almanac is underway and in the policy realm, the Young Fishermen’s Development Program continues to gain Congressional support.

In the coming year, the AYFN is going to be growing in some important ways and we’re going to need lots of help and ideas along the way from folks like you. We’re putting together a steering committee and regional AYFN chapters that will help create a vision for the AYFN in the future. If you are a young or a more experienced fishermen that wants to be engaged, please reach out to Hannah Heimbuch.

Young fishermen at the Network's Fishmas event in Homer in December.

Young fishermen at the Network’s Fishmas event in Homer in December.

As part of this growing effort, we are excited to announce the pilot of the Young Fishing Fellows Program! The program will match the goals and needs of young fishermen today with host organizations across coastal Alaska engaged in fishery-related issues and projects. The aim is to provide young Alaskan fishermen with valuable learning, leadership and career-building opportunities through projects focused on fisheries management/policy, seafood business, fisheries and ocean science, marine conservation, or fishing community sustainability issues.

We are currently working with potential host organizations to develop and refine fellowship projects and plan to place 3-5 young fishing fellows in the next year. If you are interested in learning more about the Fishing Fellows program, please contact Rachel Donkersloot.

If you would like to learn more about developing the Alaska Young Fishermen’s Network in your community, please contact Hannah Heimbuch to sign up and join the Network’s Facebook group. Stay tuned for more information!

Hannah Heimbuch is AMCC’s Community Fisheries Organizer. Rachel Donkersloot is AMCC’s Working Waterfronts Program Director. Both can be reached via email or by calling 907.277.5357. 


Member Spotlight: Kate Consenstein

Date Posted: January 23, 2017       Category: AMCC Blog       Tags: Fisheries Conservation, Working Waterfronts

Kate Consenstein is an AMCC member and a champion of wild Alaskan seafood. She grew up picking fish at her family set-net site on Kodiak’s west side. Kate is the principal and chief strategist of Rising Tide Communications, an Alaskan communications firm specializing in public relations, strategic communications, and integrated branding. Kate’s work is centered on fishery-related marketing as well as campaigns of all kinds. She lives in Anchorage with her husband and daughter. 

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

My family history, my culture and my livelihood are all connected to Alaska’s wild fisheries. A large part of my job is telling the story of Alaska’s amazing seafood and the individuals, families and communities that are supported by it.

How did you become involved with AMCC?

I learned about AMCC through their early Catch of the Season work in tanner crab, as well as being an excellent collaborator with Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.

 What part of AMCC’s work resonates most with you? 

Having been raised in a fishing family, I am truly appreciative of AMCC’s efforts to support young fishermen and increase Alaskans’ participation in our commercial fisheries. I wish everyone could grow up with an appreciation for our fisheries and our ocean.

What is your most vivid fishing memory?

I have so many memories of picking fish with my dad, cutting kelp off our lines, listening to the sounds of whales in the distance. It’s hard to pick.

member profile_kate c_pic 2Have you ever participated in Alaska’s commercial fisheries? If so, please tell us a bit about your experience. 

I grew up spending summers at our family set net site on the west side of Kodiak, where my dad still fishes every summer. My brother seines in Kodiak on his boat, the F/V Atlas. My uncle owned a beautiful wooden boat, F/V Kilkenny for many years, fishing for scallops, halibut and black cod. He still catches salmon and halibut on his hand troller the F/V Godwit.

What’s happening in the small boat commercial fishing industry that is exciting or encouraging? 

I am excited to see so many young people investing in their own boats, especially young women. I didn’t see a lot of women fishing growing up. There’s a lot of positive role models out there now.

Why do you give to AMCC?

I give to AMCC because every dollar they receive contributes to Alaska’s waters, fishermen, fishing communities and the things I love most about Alaska. They have top-notch professional staff that work incredibly hard and it is important to me to support them. I know they make the most of every dollar to support efforts I believe in.


Seeking Submissions for Young Fishermen’s Almanac!

Date Posted: July 14, 2016       Category: AMCC Blog       Tags: Working Waterfronts, Young Fishermen's Network

We are proud to announce a new project in the works: The Alaska Young Fishermen’s Almanac! This book-length publication will be developed through the Alaska Young Fishermen’s Network, and feature short stories, art, humor, recipes, poetry, gear/boat hacks, how tos, and more, all while reflecting our fishing traditions.

Through this project we aim to better connect young fishermen to each other, and to the skills and stories of their coastal livelihoods. By sharing it within and beyond Alaska’s communities, we hope this unique collection can serve as a cultural touchstone, illustrating Alaska’s fishing way of life to a broad audience. We’ve gathered a dynamic group of young fishermen to lead the development of the almanac, and now we need your help!

We’re seeking contributions from young fishermen representing a variety of fisheries and fishing communities across Alaska. Submissions will be considered through the end of the year. Please participate and help us spread the word!

Submission ideas:

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  • Your favorite boat recipe
  • A letter to loved ones from the water
  • A tribute to your favorite captain or crew member
  • A story about your best or hardest day fishing
  • Illustrations of different species
  • A packing list of essential items
  • Advice that you wish you’d known as a greenhorn
  • A diagram of a useful knot or gear hack

Click here to learn more about the almanac and read our submission guidelines. 

We welcome your stories, your creative ideas and your voices in this new venture!

Get in touch with questions, ideas or submissions. Email almanac@akmarine.org or call 907.227.5357.

The Alaska Young Fishermen’s Almanac is a project of Alaska Young Fishermen’s Network and made possible by funding from Alaska Humanities Forum.


Kodiak Ocean Boogie 2018

Date Posted: October 16, 2018       Category: AMCC Blog AMCC e-news       Tags: Ocean boogie

AMCC is pleased to announce the 11th annual Kodiak Ocean Boogie on Saturday, November 10th at Tony’s Bar! Enjoy live music, dancing, free appetizers, and an all around good time. Bid to win silent auction items and fantastic auctioned desserts, with all proceeds to benefit AMCC. We will not be doing a raffle this year. Please join us at the Boogie for a night of fun.

Buy tickets in advance or at the door. Thank you for your support!

Kodiak Ocean Boogie details



Catch 49 Offers Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon

Date Posted: July 11, 2018       Category: AMCC Blog AMCC in the News

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Catch 49 is for Alaskans, by Alaskans

Alaska seafood is the No. 1 brand featured on all US menus. But the majority of it is exported around the world, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). That’s what makes Catch 49 unique. Originally called “Catch of the Season,” this community supported fishery program provides Alaskans with wild seafood harvested by Alaska’s small-boat fishermen. Catch 49 is one of many initiatives run by the Alaska Marine Conservation Council (AMCC), who is committed to supporting local, Alaska resident fishermen and processors, and facilitating access to local, sustainable seafood to fellow Alaskans who share AMCC’s vision for maintaining a healthy marine ecosystem. The Catch 49 program is currently offering Bristol Bay sockeye salmon. Catch 49 allows customers in the state to order a share of the season’s harvest from small-boat Alaska fishermen ahead of time. Customers then can pick up their orders at a designated site in Anchorage, Fairbanks or Homer, about two weeks after the ordering period closes. “Although the program is quite consumer focused, we have had a high level of interest from foodservice operators in Alaska,” says Cassandra Squibb, who is helping to market Catch 49 products. “Not only does each offering come with information about the fishery, but we also can provide the name of the captain, the vessel, and exactly where the fish was caught.” Go to www.catch49.org to order 10, 20 or 45 lb shares of high quality, flash frozen Bristol Bay sockeye fillets.



June 2018 Post-Council Update

Date Posted: June 25, 2018       Category: AMCC Blog

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council met in Kodiak June 4-11. Council meetings in fishing communities provide valuable engagement opportunities for both community residents and Council members. Representatives from Alaska Marine Conservation Council attended all meetings, and have developed discussion highlights:

Tanner Crab
Upon review of a discussion paper examining federal groundfish effort and observer coverage in areas associated with longstanding Tanner crab abundance on the east side of Kodiak Island, the Council voted to take no further action at this time. The areas identified remain a high priority to Kodiak Tanner crab fishermen to better understand the contribution to the Tanner crab stocks in critical crab habitat. Kodiak fishermen were interested in pursuing increased observer coverage in these areas. In 2010 the Council voted to require 100% observer coverage on non-pelagic trawl vessels and 30% observer coverage on pot cod vessels in order to fish in identified statistical areas until the restructured observer program was implemented.

The new observer coverage went into effect in 2013, prior to implementing increased coverage, and thus the increased coverage action was never implemented. Improvements to the observer program have been identified as a high priority and an action to focus coverage in particular areas at this time may hinder a more inclusive approach.

Community Engagement
The Council established an ad hoc Community Engagement Committee and will solicit nominations for this committee. The Council adopted a charter that aims to increase participation in the Council process by tribes and rural communities.

The membership of the committee will benefit from rural and tribal representatives and people with necessary expertise in the Council process to accomplish the committee’s goals. The community engagement committee will not replace the Council’s existing community outreach efforts which have very instrumental in the decision-making process but will seek measures to improve communication and understanding between rural communities, tribes and the Council.

Social Science Planning Team
The newly formed Social Science Planning Team (SSPT) met for its first meeting May 8 and 9 and began with reiterating the mission of the group, which is to improve the quality and application of social science data that informs management decision-making and program evaluation. The SSPT will identify data needs, make recommendations regarding research priorities, and advise analysts in efforts to improve analytical frameworks when possible. The SSPT will support the collection and aggregation of social science data in a manner that cuts across Fishery Management Plans and specific management programs within the North Pacific region.

During its two full days of meeting, the SSPT discussed numerous topics including subsistence data, use of existing data in policy analysis, economic data collection of North Pacific fisheries, incorporating qualitative information, moving toward co-production of knowledge and expanding stakeholder engagement. In addition to the current membership of the SSPT the Council recommended that membership expand to include a seat or two to include individuals with expertise in local and traditional knowledge. A call for nominations will be initiated with the intent of further appointments made in October.

Staff Tasking
During the final day of the meeting in Kodiak the Council responded to public comments in regards to the access challenges into the IFQ halibut/sablefish program and requested that staff develop a discussion to review existing programs that facilitate access opportunities for rural communities and new entrants within limited access fisheries.

The Council requested that the discussion paper include an evaluation of Norway’s Recruitment Quota as a program example along with other global initiatives to provide access that were highlighted in a presentation on the Turning the Tide report earlier in the meeting. The report addresses the growing problem of fisheries’ access in Alaska and provides potential solutions to barriers to entry. The Council requested that the discussion paper consider the efficacy of these programs, including successes and failures in providing fisheries access, the potential functionality of programs within the North Pacific management framework and how these programs may comply with standards under the Magnuson- Stevens Act.

The Council heard from a number of young Kodiak fishermen who own boats, hire crew, seek additional employment to make ends meet, but don’t see a path into the IFQ fishery due primarily to the high cost and risk associated with financing quota.



Council Meeting, Kodiak | June 4-11

Date Posted: May 31, 2018       Category: AMCC Blog AMCC e-news

Dear AMCC Community,

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council will be holding its next meeting in Kodiak, June 4-11. These annual meetings in rural communities are valuable engagement for both community residents and Council members. There are numerous occasions to engage in the policy arena during the meeting and evening workshops. The following events offer a venue to share our island stories and the value of the fisheries resource to our island communities.

Fishing Families Workshop – Monday, June 4, 5:15-7:15 p.m., Kodiak Convention Center
Hosted by the Alaska Fisheries Science Center. Discussion focusing on interactions of fishing families and changing regulations, environments, and socioeconomic conditions in Alaska’s fisheries and fishing communities.

Informal Charter Meeting – Monday, June 4, 7-9 p.m., Fishermen’s Hall
Hosted by Andy Mezirow of the NPFMC, Kurt Iverson with the Regional National Marine Fisheries Service Recreational Sector, and Tyler Polum ADF&G sport fish area biologist. Status update on charter-related issues in the NPFMC process, expectations for charter halibut harvest over the next few years, process overview for charter halibut recommendations each fall, and discussion on Kodiak Charter operators future engagement. Potential discussion on Halibut Charter annual reporting requirements for CQE’s.

IFQ Outreach Session – Tuesday, June 5, 5-6:30 p.m., Kodiak Convention Center
Hosted by The Council
Public outreach session with open forum for stakeholders to give insight on the present state of the halibut and sablefish IFQ Program and provide direction for future actions that might be considered by the Council and its IFQ Committee. The Council is particularly seeking input on issues related to entry-level opportunities and rural participation in the fishery.

Community Reception – Wednesday, June 6, 6 p.m., Afognak Native Corporation Building on Near Island
Open to the public. Enjoy local seafood and commemorate Chairman Hull’s last meeting on the Council.

The Council meeting begins June 6 and the Council will convene for the entire meeting at the Kodiak Convention Center downtown. The meeting starts at 8 a.m. and runs until 5 p.m. each day.

Council Meeting Agenda Highlights

Turning of the Tide report presentation by Dr. Courtney Carothers and AMCC’s Dr. Rachel Donkersloot – Wednesday, June 6
The report is a review of programs and policies to address access challenges in Alaska fisheries.

Tanner Crab, Gulf of Alaska groundfish effort and observe data – Sunday, June 10
The Council will be reviewing a discussion paper in regards to federal groundfish fishing effort and observer coverage in important Tanner crab habitat areas previously identified by a local knowledge mapping project on the east side of Kodiak Island. A segment of the identified areas was approved for 100 percent observer coverage in 2010 for a period of time before the implementation of the restructured program. The action was never implemented due to timing issues. The Council will consider potential next steps.

Community Engagement – Monday, June 11
The Council will have a discussion considering the formation of a community engagement and outreach committee structured to foster two-way dialog with rural communities and Native communities.

The full agenda can be found here.



AMCC Welcomes New Executive Director Jason Dinneen

Date Posted: April 30, 2018       Category: AMCC Blog AMCC in the News

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We’re pleased to welcome Jason Dinneen as AMCC’s new Executive Director! A lifelong Alaskan, Jason has had the good fortune of working in communities across the state. Jason spent college summers set netting in Cook Inlet, stick picking along the Beaufort Sea coast, and working on the Exxon Valdez oil spill. These early work experiences gave him a great appreciation for Alaska’s oceans and the value they bring to the Alaska culture and economy. With over 20 years of nonprofit leadership experience in Alaska, Jason has directed a variety of organizations including the Alaska Small Business Development Center as well as overseeing the marketing efforts for Allen Marine’s boat building, tourism and retail operations. He is excited about AMCC’s mission and how he can help AMCC thrive in its next chapter!



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