Commercial fishermen are largely at the whim of the seafood market. Prices can vary wildly, while operation costs stays the same — That is, until now. An energy audit aims to help Sitka’s fishermen increase their profit margins.

It’s a sunny morning in Sitka. Usually Steve Fish — yes, that is his real name — would be out on his boat the Kariel, trolling for salmon or longlining for black cod or halibut. But today, the 66-foot fishing vessel and its captain are parked in the harbor.

Fish has surrendered the Kariel to a swarm of engineers, who can’t help but ask about how his gear works. Fish explains.

“The fish hits the cruise fire and then the winch, as it’s hauling the gear, pulls the hook out of the fish’s mouth.”

They’re all aboard the Kariel to conduct an energy audit of the vessel. Fish, along with 17 other fishermen in Sitka, volunteered for the audit.

“It’s dollars and cents,” Fish says.

 

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