AMCC January E-news

Happy New Year from all of us at AMCC!

AMCC is excited to start the New Year by welcoming two new board members, Josh Wisniewski and Melanie Brown. Both bring a strong fisheries background to AMCC, as well as a commitment to AMCC’s mission towards sustainable coastal communities and healthy marine ecosystems.

Josh holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology and is an anthropologist, hand-troller and subsistence fisherman who lives in Sitka, Alaska.

Melanie Brown is a commercial fisher and organizer who fishes in Bristol Bay and works for Salmon State.

AMCC has a strong history of promoting resilience and hope towards its mission, largely through our capacity to engage our community to take action when needed by writing an op-ed or blog, by speaking out through political channels, and by collaborating with like-minded individuals and organizations in Alaska, the U.S. and throughout the world. AMCC continues to prepare fishermen, coastal residents and conservationists to make the most of their voice and to understand the process to effect positive change.

Join like-minded, passionate Alaskans like Josh and Melanie and make a larger commitment to AMCC. One way you can help us maintain the integrity and intrinsic value of Alaska’s coastal communities and ecosystems is by choosing to give through Pick.Click.Give.   We'd appreciate your support.

Catch 49 January Offering: Kodiak Tanner Crab And More!
Happy New Year from Catch 49! As the daylight returns, we're looking forward to a great year of seafood offerings in 2019. To kick it off, we are thrilled to offer Kodiak Tanner crab, harvested by Capt. Charlie Peterson, F/V Patricia Sue, statewide starting January 7th!

Catch 49 and small-boat, conservation-minded fishermen work together to bring Alaskan seafood lovers the beautiful, sweet, and rich species: Kodiak Tanner Crab! Tanner crab - Chionoecetes bairdi - are carefully managed and only harvested once a year in the Kodiak District of the Gulf of Alaska if there are enough crab for commercial harvest. In fact, 2019 will be only the second time in six years that this fishery has been open. In addition to this crab's superb taste, it adds diversity to Kodiak's small-boat fishing region. We are proud to offer this unique crab species that provides crucial income to many fishing families and adds an economic boost to the town.  

T his short ordering period closes on January 20!

We will also be offering delectable Homer Pacific halibut and sablefish, harvested by Captain Erik Velsko on the F/V Dangerous Cape. And, we still have gift cards available for those hard-to-shop-for friends and loved ones. Gift cards are available in values ranging from $50-$200 and are redeemable for any 2019 offering.

You can pick up your crab, halibut and sablefish in Anchorage or Fairbanks during the first weeks of February. Place your order and keep an eye on  www.catch49.org for details. Don’t miss your chance to secure your share of Alaska’s finest wild seafood!
Washington D.C. Fly-In

Young Fishing Fellows Grace Allan and Celeste Beck-Goodell joined AMCC’s Jason Dinneen and Jamie O’Connor on a Fishing Communities Coalition (FCC) fly-in last month to develop advocacy skills and bring their message to Capitol Hill. 

Grace and Celeste met with the offices of Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, and Congressman Don Young to share their experiences as fishermen and support the Young Fishermen’s Development Act. The Young Fishermen’s Development Act, introduced by Senator Sullivan in the Senate and Congressman Young in the House, would provide funding for education and training programs for rising fishermen nationwide. 

Additionally, the group discussed a variety of issues including the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA), which is on the table for the new Congress. Our group reiterated our request to maintain strong, science-based fisheries management and preserve MSA’s successes. Aquaculture also loomed large on the national stage with the introduction of Senator Wicker’s Advancing the Quality and Understanding of American Aquaculture Act (2018). We and the Alaska Congressional Delegation remain dedicated to maintaining Alaska’s strong voice in this discussion. 

Our young fishing fellows represented themselves and Alaska fishermen with authenticity and professionalism and came away with skills and experience that will serve them and their fisheries for the rest of their careers. We looking forward to working with them on these important issues again soon!   
North Pacific Fishery Management Council Report

Congratulations to Jamie O’Connor, AMCC’s Fishing Communities Organizer, on her appointment to the Advisory Panel to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council). The Advisory Panel is a diverse group of industry representatives, environmentalists, recreational fishermen, processors and consumer groups. Jamie is based in Homer and was raised in Dillingham, Alaska, spending her summers at the family set-net operation in the Nushagak where they have harvested salmon for six generations. 

The Council held its last meeting of the year in Anchorage the first week of December on the heels of a major earthquake and ongoing tremors throughout the week. As usual, it was a full meeting, with recommendations for the final Gulf of Alaska (GOA) and Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands (BSAI) groundfish catch for the upcoming fishing season front and center. Commonly referred to as the "specs process," the Scientific and Statistical Committee, the Advisory Panel and the Council approve the stock assessment and fishery evaluation (SAFE) report, which summarizes GOA and BSAI Plan team recommendations for each stock and sets groundfish harvest for 2019 and 2020 fishing seasons. 

The Gulf of Alaska Pacific cod stock remains at a low harvest level as a result of a large decline after warming conditions in the Gulf in 2014-2016 and climate related changes in Alaska’s large marine ecosystems.

The Bering Sea Fishery Ecosystem Plan (BS FEP) was formally adopted by the Council and will serve as a guidance document to strengthen the Council’s approach to ecosystem-based fisheries management. The BS FEP is structured to facilitate dialogue and information sharing among stakeholders, scientists and fishery managers. The Bering Sea was prioritized, as it is experiencing significant environmental changes. With the loss of sea ice, the ecosystem is undergoing shifts in species distribution that affect fisheries and fishing communities. 

For more information on these topics and more please see the NPFMC newsletter .  
Thanks to Ocean Boogie Silent Auction Donors!

Special thanks to all who helped make the 11th Kodiak Ocean Boogie a great success November. Through ticket purchases and silent auction donations we raised nearly $5,000 to support AMCC work. A heart felt thank you to our volunteers and a shout out to our nautical decorator Debra Nielsen, who transformed Tony’s in a few quick hours, the band "A Couple More Drinks" and Monks Rock for the scrumptious appetizers. It was a dark and stormy night in Kodiak but the old bar was hopping in support of marine conservation. 

We had a lovely array of silent auction items from the following donors, and we thank you all for the support :

Salmon Sisters 
Alaska Weathervane Scallops 
Bear Creek Winery
Bullet Proof Nets
Kodiak Island Brewery 
Kodiak Marine Supply
Maritime Program at Kodiak College
Nomar
SeaHawk Air
Skinny Raven Sports
Chris Trosvig
Darius Kasprzak
Debra Kubiak
Duncan Fields
Ellen Tyler
Marty and Marion Owen
Ron Kuczek
Stacy Studebaker
Switgaard Duersterloh
Pete Hannah
Dillingham Board of Fish Mixer  

Alaska Fishermen’s Network coordinator and AMCC Fishing Communities Coordinator Jamie O’Connor flew back to her hometown of Dillingham to attend the Bristol Bay Finfish Board of Fisheries meeting on November 28 – December 3 . With the help of fantastic local sponsors, the Network hosted  a mixer where Board members, commercial and sport fishermen, processors, and locals came in from the freezing rain and found common ground over a bowl of Susie Brito’s famous Set the Net chowder and Amy Raine’s homemade bread. 

We’d especially like to thank our sponsors: Alaska’s Best Seafood, Ekuk Fisheries, Bigfoot LLC, N&N Market, Alaska Commercial Co., and BBEDC! Thank you for coming out, Dillingham! We look forward to seeing you all again soon. 
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