Alaska fishermen tour the East Coast

During a whirlwind east coast tour this month, a group of young Alaska fishermen had the chance to visit the Boston Seafood Show, participate in Slow Fish in New Orleans, and share their concerns with Alaska’s congressional delegations.

In D.C., the participants worked together to figure out what message they could share with Alaska’s congressional delegation that they all agreed on, and learned how to effectively approach policy-makers, she said.

“We ended up being pretty united on, we want access for younger people into fisheries,” said Naknek’s Mili Vukich, a Bristol Bay drifter. “I definitely agree that for the rest of the United States and Alaska, it should be more accessible – and a little easier to get loans and funding to get in the fishery. So we were really united on that front.”

At the seafood show, Vukich said there was lots to learn about, but she approached it with an eye toward improving the direct marketing effort she’s undertaken to help sell her family’s salmon in the Lower 48 states. She came to the realization that a high quality product with a story behind it might be the strongest selling point for Bristol Bay sockeye.

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About the author

Jessica Hathaway

Jessica Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman. She has been covering the fishing industry for 13 years, serves on the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s Communications Committee and is a National Fisheries Conservation Center board member.

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