The Salmon Sisters land on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list

The Salmon Sisters, Emma Teal Laukitis and Claire Neaton, have been busy since they were first featured on the cover of National Fisherman in September 2016. Most recently, they were awarded a spot on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list under the category of Leveraging Business Smarts to Save the World.

“We’re proud to represent Alaska and our seafood industry in the good company of other young social entrepreneurs around the country who are using their business platforms to make important changes in their communities,” the sisters said of the experience in an interview.

They credit people connecting more to the ideas of responsibly managed fisheries, knowing the story behind their seafood, and commercial fishermen acting as stewards of the resources they depend on for much of their success and why people have been able to connect with their brand, and they don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.

“We’re excited to connect with our class of 30 Under 30 and continue to tell the story of Alaska’s seafood to a greater audience,” they continued.

And what a story they have to tell. The Salmon Sisters donate a can of wild salmon, caught by Alaskan fishermen, to the Food Bank of Alaska with every item sold. This past fall they celebrated donating their 100,00th can.

“It feels good to give back to the communities that have supported our business from the beginning and we hope that these efforts encourage other small businesses to find ways to give back too,” they said.

They have also established brick and mortar flagship stores in Alaska since 2016. The Salmon Sisters say this helps their customers be able to deepen their experience with the brand. “Our shops let us educate our customers on Alaska’s seafood industry, our products, and our lifestyle as commercial fishermen and let us experience their feedback in a more authentic way,” they said

The Salmon Sisters continue to fish for salmon and halibut every summer, and help manage their families’ boats in the off-season, and they continue to plan on working on the water as a family for many years to come.

According to the sisters, “without fishing, there would be no Salmon Sisters – it’s what connects us to our community and inspires our work.” But that doesn’t mean they don’t have help, “We’re adjusting to Salmon Sisters’ growth by hiring a super-capable on-shore team, but still sticking to our roots as fishermen and taking opportunities to get more involved in the work that we find rewarding and meaningful at sea.”

There are some things that haven’t changed in the past couple of years according to Claire and Emma, “Our work has remained rooted in our dedication to our industry, admiration for the hardworking fishermen in our community, and belief in the benefits of wild Alaska seafood; this has never changed.”

Be on the lookout for much more from the Salmon Sisters, including a cookbook in 2020.

About the author

Monique Coombs

Monique Coombs is the Seafood and Marine Resources coordinator for the Maine Coast Fishermen's Association. She has worked in the fishing industry for a decade, is married to a lobsterman and lives on Orrs Island, Maine.

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