AMCC March E-news
ComFish, March 28-30 Kodiak, Alaska
ComFish!
Spring is in the air, which means longer days and Comfish in Kodiak! The 40th year of Alaska’s lar gest commercial fishing trade s how will be held March 28th - 30th. In addition to a convention room full of exhibitors, there will be a number of informational forums, seafood receptions, fishermen and processor events, and our annual fish taco night.
 
Fish Taco Night at the Kodiak Island Brewery kicks off Comfish from 4-6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27th. Come and enjoy rockfish tacos prepared in authentic fashion by the Association of Latin Women in Alaska (ALMA) with rockfish donated by members of the local jig fleet. AMCC, the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI), and Kodiak Jig Seafoods are co-hosting the event celebrating Kodiak's rich maritime history. Suggested donation is $5 and proceeds will support the recertification of Pacific cod harvested with jig gear in the Marine Stewardship Council and Responsible Alaska Fisheries Management (MSC/RFM) certification programs.
AMCC staff Theresa Peterson and Jamie O’Connor will be hanging out at the Harborside Coffee Shop downtown Thursday morning from 9-11 a.m to share information about the upcoming second volume of the Alaska Young Fishermen’s Almanac. The Almanac features hard won advice, true stories, eclectic art, fishing traditions, and our stewardship and connections to the ocean. Submissions for Volume 2 will be accepted until September 1st, come on down, visit and learn more.

A Bristol Bay Happy Hour will be held Thursday evening at 6 p.m. at the Kodiak Island Brewery. The first 30 folks to arrive will get a free drink token!
AMCC and Sea Grant are bringing back Sea Stories above the harbor Friday, March 29th from noon until 1:15 p.m. at the Best Western Kodiak Inn Harbor room . Come enjoy rockfish chowder from Monk’s Rock along with a lineup of stories about fishermen and the mentors who trained them.


Also on Friday, from 1:30-2:15pm, Melanie Brown, Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay, will join Ryan Spies, Lynker Technologies, in presenting, “ Digging deeper into the Pebble Mine and its threats to Bristol Bay”.

The Pebble Mine is being pushed through the federal permitting process faster than any other large mine in Alaska's history. A final decision is targeted for early 2020 despite continued opposition from local residents, fishermen, processors, and businesses around the country. In this panel discussion, attendees will hear the results of hydrology study showing some likely results of various dam failure scenarios, discuss the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), hear the latest science and research being done to assess potential impacts on Bristol Bay's salmon fishery, and learn how to be effectively have your voice heard during the current public comment period.
 
It is critical that Alaskans share their perspective on the proposed mine development at the headwaters of Bristol Bay. Interested individuals can comment here .

Those of you in Kodiak can stop by the Commercial Fishermen of Bristol Bay booth during the trade show to learn more about ebble Mine and comment submission during the current comment period. Find them upstairs at booth #9. 

Comfish brings a host of Alaskan dignitaries this year and there will be a number of opportunities to hear from, and ask questions of, our representatives. All forums are in the Harbor room of the Best Western Kodiak Inn. On Thursday, March 28th, from 1:00-1:30 p.m., Senator Murkowski will provide a video update and staffer Ann Robertson will present a legislative update on federal fisheries and legislation.

From 2:15-2:45 p.m. Representative Louise Stutes will provide a legislative update on State of Alaska fisheries and state budget issues including; 2016 Pink Salmon Disaster Relief funding, Department of Fish and Game budget cuts, Gulf of Alaska Rationalization, Title 16, HB 35, HB 65, HB41/SB22 , AMHS Funding, and Hatchery Straying Studies.

From 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. John Moller, Senior Policy Advisor for the Dunleavy Administration, and Rachel Baker, Deputy Commissioner with the ADF&G, will provide an update on fisheries related policies and appointments , upcoming and ongoing North Pacific Fishery Management Council actions, updates on pink salmon and Pacific cod disaster declarations, and the status of the ADF&G budget.

Senator Sullivan will close out the forums on Friday at 3:15 p.m. with an update on federal fisheries along with a discussion on successful and existing legislation.

For more ComFish information and a complete list of forums please visit www.kodiakchamber.org
The Young Fishermen’s Development Act
The Young Fishermen's Development Act (H.R.1240, S.496)(YFDA) would establish a national program to support young men and women entering the commercial fishing industry. First introduced in 2017, the YFDA is modeled after the USDA’s successful Beginner Farmer and Rancher Development Program, which is credited with preparing hundreds of young farmers and ranchers for rewarding careers. The strong show of bipartisan support early in the 116th Congress indicates positive momentum for the Fishing Communities Coalition’s (FCC) initiative.

AMCC and several young fishermen are heading back to D.C. in April to advocate for this important program. Special thanks to the Alaska delegation for their support of rising fishermen. Check out the video and read more here .

The Young Fishermen’s Almanac Volume 2!
The Alaska Fishermen’s Network (AKFN) has opened up the call for submission for a second Young Fishermen’s Almanac following the successful release of Volume 1 last year. If you or a young fisherman you know have fishing photos, stories, art, poems, musings, recipes, advice, admonitions, and/or mischief to share please send them to AKFN coordinator Jamie O’Connor at Jamie@akmarine.org

 
The Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust Local Fish Fund
AMCC would like to congratulate the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust on the launch of their new Local Fish Fund. The fund is an innovative fisheries loan program that will provide a new financing tool for the next generation of commercial fishermen in Alaska’s fishing communities.
 
The Local Fish Fund is a collaborative effort spearheaded by the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust, a Sitka-based nonprofit organization that protects and promotes fishing and fisheries. The loan fund aims to support Alaska’s fishing communities by reducing specific barriers to entry into commercial fisheries and engaging next-generation fishermen in marine stewardship and policy leadership. Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust was supported in setting up and capitalizing the fund by The Nature Conservancy, Craft3, Rasmuson Foundation, and Catch Together. Read more here
Catch 49 and AKFN at the Alaska Food Festival & Conference
This month, Catch 49 director Katy Rexford and Alaska Fishermen’s Network coordinator Jamie O’Connor participated in the fourth annual Alaska Food Festival and Conference in Homer. As panelists in a session entitled, “ Food from the Sea: A Round Table Discussion on Alaska’s Salmon Systems, Our Fisheries & Food Security,” Katy and Jamie discussed the role of salmon as arguably Alaska’s most important food source in terms of cultural and nutritional value, and the critical role of salmon and salmon harvesters in our local food systems. 
 
The conference is organized by the Alaska Food Policy Council , which aims to create a healthier, more secure, and more self-reliant Alaska by improving our food system. AMCC shares this vision and works to this end through Catch 49, our community-supported fishery delivering local wild Alaska seafood directly from the small-boat fishermen who harvested it to Alaskan dinner tables. Watch for new collaborations with farmers, fishermen, and local food producers in 2019!
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