National Fisherman

The chords, familiar to many in the bar, drifted out over the audience who sat laughing and talking to each other. Several lifted glasses to drink as Richard King leaned into the microphone and crooned out the words to a classic Mexican song.
“Besame, Besame mucho. Como te ama (sic) esta noche la ultima vez,” he sang, his fingers expertly flicking his guitar strings as he grinned and leaned toward the audience.
Then, a twist that only a fisher poet could imagine.
“Kiss-a-me, Kiss-a-me sockeye,” he sang to the surprise and audible delight of the audience at the Tustumena Lodge Saturday night.
“Your cold slime sends chills, all up my spine. Kiss-a-me, Kiss-a-me sockeye. When I possess you I’m feeling, unusually fine.”
His performance was greeted with laughter and applause to an audience of 40 who gathered at the lodge to hear a series of sea chanties performed by local fisher poets and aspiring audience members who competed for a $100 prize.
It’s the third year that fisher poets — mostly local folk so far — have gathered on the Kenai Peninsula to celebrate their common experiences as commercial fishermen.
The tradition, which began in Astoria, Ore., in 1998, brought poets, songwriters and even students of the commercial fishing industry to perform and educate the community on their particular brand of creative culture-sharing.
Read the full story at the Peninsula Clarion>>

Inside the Industry

NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.


Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.

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