The Salmon Sisters, Claire Neaton and Emma Teal Laukitis, have been delivering fish from their Alaska-based family fishing business since they can remember.

The duo has more recently made a secondary career of delivering the goods through a fishing lifestyle brand that includes branding partnerships with fish-gear gurus Grundéns and XtraTuf.

This fall, the company the sisters founded made a special delivery to the Food Bank of Alaska.

"We're celebrating our 130,000th can of salmon donated with the help of Silver Bay, Alaska Airlines and Lynden Transport," said Laukitis.

The Salmon Sisters Give Fish Project began in 2016.

The Salmon Sisters' Give Fish Project began in 2016 as a mission to donate a can of salmon for each can they sold. Their first donation was 15,000 cans.

"We’ve been thinking about ways we can continue to give back to our community and inspire other businesses in our industry to do the same," said Laukitis.

This spring, the team upgraded their efforts to matching 1 percent of the company's overall profits with donations of canned salmon, both larger cans of red salmon and smaller cans of pinks.

"We hope a small business being able to make an impact on a tight budget and using the resources we have available will inspire others to do what they can," said Neaton. "If there aren't funds available, give your time and energy as a mentor. Find other ways to give back."

Charitable donations increase during the winter holidays, but the Salmon Sisters make this cause part of their mission year-round.

"We know we're in a very fortunate position to be able to use our audience to tell the story of Alaska Seafood," said Neaton. "And we're so thankful to the community that has given us all of this."

Community is key for the sisters' home-grown Alaska family fish business.

"It's awesome that in can be circulated in the community that has served our business," said Laukitis. "The feedback we've gotten from the food bank is that people really appreciate the traditional foods. It's important to see that we're feeding our neighbors."

The donations, however, serve a dual role that helps complete the circle of fisheries, fishing communities and communities in need. The sisters hope deliveries of wild Alaska fish into communities in need will also remind their neighbors of the important role commercial fishermen play in Alaska's working waterfront and coastal communities.

"It's the thing we're most proud of in our business, and it's a source of inspiration and motivation internally," said Neaton. " We're so fortunate that we're able to build this brand. And it seemed like the most natural thing to give back."

Jessica Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman. She has been covering the fishing industry for 14 years, serves on the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute's Communications Committee and is a National Fisheries Conservation Center board member.

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