The coronavirus has derailed face-to-face fish gatherings and forced them to online venues, and there’s a fishing industry dream of a lineup for this month. One perk of going virtual is that more people can tune in to all kinds of meetings, discussions and workshops, no matter where they call home.

Get the latest updates on nearly every Alaska fish in the sea at the popular All Hands on Deck virtual meetings set for Nov. 10-13 by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. Each day will focus on marketing strategies and challenges for the fish and shellfish ASMI promotes in the U.S. and around the world.

“ASMI’s mission is to increase the economic value and awareness of the Alaska seafood resource and that's a really big lift,” said Ashley Heimbigner, ASMI communications director. “And we couldn't do it without the input and guidance and ‘on the ground’ information we get from all of our industry partners and stakeholders.”

The All Hands lineup features the latest industry economic indicators presented by the McDowell Group, including covid impacts around the world, trade disputes, and a roundtable forum with experts from the global seafood supply chain.

Every fish and shellfish species gets its own session, Heimbigner said.

“If you were to pop in to a crab species committee meeting, you might hear them discussing an overview of stock assessments in specific regions, or how consumer preferences are changing in certain countries or what product forms are gaining in popularity,” she explained, adding that ASMI is excited about the potential to attract more attendees.

“This year is the opportunity to get more voices from more places and more aspects of our industry that maybe couldn't have made a trip to Anchorage to participate in previous years,” she said.

The All Hands on Deck conference and documents will be posted to the ASMI website. Register for free at

The Fishermen’s Fall Expo takes place in Sitka on Nov. 11 and 12, hosted by the Alaska Longline Fishermen's Association and the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust.

“Usually, it's Sitka fishermen and women that come in and get to participate in these trainings and workshops. But this year, we're hoping to have a broader scope of folks throughout the region and the state and maybe beyond, too. We’ve got quite a lineup and yes, it is a bit pot heavy,” said Natalie Sattler, program coordinator, with a laugh.

Sattler is referring to the new lightweight, coiled pots that prevent whales from robbing black cod catches and are changing the game, especially for smaller boats. Manufacturers will be on hand with demonstrations; others will show how to set up boat decks and hydraulics for longliners who are interested in switching to the whale-proof pots.

The new gear could lead to new fishing regulations and Sattler said a forum will discuss potential changes.

“We want to help both hook and line and pot boats really coexist on the grounds and ensure that small boats continue to have a viable future in the sablefish fishery,” she said.

Also in the lineup: updates on local mariculture, vessel energy efficiency, hybrid technology, management 101, and fishermen’s ergonomics.

“How to take care of your body when you’re fishing to prevent certain injuries,” Sattler explained. “So that'll be kind of fun to get folks up and moving in the comfort of their own homes.”

Sign up for free at

Pacific Marine Expo, the West Coast’s largest annual trade show, has been transformed to Expo Online from Nov. 17-19 in Seattle, hosted by National Fisherman. The three days of “conferences, contests and making connections” will showcase offshore wind power and commercial fishing, the latest in vessel design and gear technology, what’s next for the Pebble Mine and a Fishing Industry Career Fair.

The Expo plans to keep the show running through 2021 with monthly webinars that feature direct marketing, onboard safety drills, reducing ocean plastics, and Ask an Old Salt, to name a few. Register for free and get updates at

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

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