Alaska: Conference to focus on preserving fishing communities –

Alaska: Conference to focus on preserving fishing communities Published:  07 September, 2006

ALASKA’S coastal fishing communities face an uncertain future. Changes in fisheries management, an ever-evolving global economy, and a rapidly aging workforce have had a negative impact on Alaska’s small fishing communities. Finding ways to preserve and enhance fishing as an important part of the coastal Alaska economy is the subject of a statewide conference in Anchorage, due to be held from September 21-22.

The conference is a forum for community members to exchange ideas and discuss how to support Alaska’s coastal communities, fishing and seafood businesses, as well as develop strategies to ensure the sustainability of fishing for the benefit of the next generation.

Speakers include coastal Alaskans, as well as guests from India and eastern Canada. Chandrika Sharma, with the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers in Chennai, India, will speak about the sustainability of rural fishing communities in the global marketplace.

John Kearney of Nova Scotia, Canada, will address how communities can plan community sustainability. Stephanie Madsen, chair of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, and Alan Austerman, Fisheries Policy Advisor, Office of the Governor, are also among the speakers. The conference will include breakout discussion sessions and an evening reception and poster session.

The conference is sponsored by NOAA Fisheries-Alaska Region, Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, North Pacific Fishery Management Council and Gulf of Alaska Coastal Communities Coalition.

Contributors include Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association, Norquest Seafoods, Sitka Sound Seafoods, and Ocean Beauty Seafoods. is published by Special Publications. Special Publications also publish FISHupdate magazine, Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.