Mug Updates tell Alaska fishermen how to navigate covid-19 mandates in place for salmon season.

“The purpose is to help you dip your toe in and give you a roadmap for some information to prepare for this upcoming salmon season and for fisheries that are currently ongoing,” said Jamie O’Connor, a longtime Bristol Bay fisherman and director of the Alaska Fishermen’s Network, which is providing the updates. The network is an extension of the Alaska Marine Conservation Council.

Covid puts the kibosh on parties in the boatyard, the Mug Updates advise, and include simple suggestions like using paper dishware and changing up your galley game with gloves and masks for making meals.

“Basics of sanitation and hygiene are huge,” O’Connor stressed. “I think when people are putting together their grubstake, whether they’re putting in a barge order for their summer in the community or they’re going fishing, it’s important that they flag some of these little things to put in their shopping cart. It can make a world of difference.”

From what she’s hearing, O’Connor said fishermen “are committed to doing things as safely as possible.”

“I'm also hearing a real concern for our supply chain, and people are very aware of the important role we play as food producers,” she added.

“Keeping informed is vital right now,” she said, “and we're doing our best to make that as understandable and digestible as possible. We’re also helping people work through the decision process about whether they are able to fish this season or sit this one out.”

The Mug Updates tell it straight about salmon fishing during the pandemic: Play by the rules or everyone gets sent home.

Find the Updates at www.akyoungfishermen.org and on Facebook.

Laine Welch is an independent Kodiak, Alaska-based fisheries journalist. Click here to send her an email.

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