Jes Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman magazine and NationalFisherman.com.
Friday, 29 July 2011
As I flew out of Petersburg, Alaska, Thursday morning, I watched the seascape below me until the clouds obscured my view of the Sockeye Islands in Frederick Sound.
I'm on my way home from a week in Alaska's Little Norway. Those kinds of titles are often just marketing ploys, but the moniker holds true in Petersburg.
This town of 2,800 (not including seasonal cannery workers) is fiercely proud of its Scandinavian heritage — which can be seen in its tidy homes and gardens — and the people are as closely connected to the sea as were their Viking cousins.
In recent years, the fleet has been diversifying and accumulating fishing permits — so much so that Petersburg, with less than 0.5 percent of Alaska's population, holds nearly 10 percent of the state's permits. It comes as no surprise to me in a town that pulses with fish.
Overall, the fishing has been good this summer in Alaska, and that is definitely the case in Southeast. The humpies and chums were so hot the seiners moved from two-day to four-day openings while I was in town. Those can be long trips away from home for this family-friendly fishery in which many of the town's children have been raised.
I won't soon forget my visit to this amazing fishing village. I can't thank its people enough for their kindness, hospitality and eagerness to talk fish with a stranger.
Tusen takk to Julianne Curry, executive director of the Petersburg Vessel Owners Association, for being my tour guide and bountiful hostess.
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