The ComFish Alaska commercial fisheries trade show, now in its 43rd year, begins Thurs., March 24, and runs through Sat., March 26, in downtown Kodiak, Alaska. This year’s event is back in person, but with options to view conference forums virtually.
Topics at this year’s forums range from shellfish in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska to kelp mariculture, the impact of climate change on fishing communities, seafood marketing updates and opportunities and efforts to clean up marine debris.
Along with state fisheries biologists and others, speakers will include Alaska Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Doug Vincent-Lang, Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Kodiak Port and Harbors Director Michael Sarnowski and Alaska legislators Sen. Gary Stevens and Rep. Louise Stutes, both Kodiak Republicans.
Ben Daly, Alaska Fish & Game research coordinator for commercial groundfish and shellfish in the Westward region including Kodiak waters, the Aleutian Islands and Bering Sea, will present on Bering Sea crab populations. Daly supervises research and resulting management of commercial marine fisheries and serves as regional crab fisheries science advisor.
Nat Nichols, ADF&G’s marine biologist for commercial groundfish and shellfish fisheries in the Kodiak, Chignik and South Alaska Peninsula management areas, will present on Gulf of Alaska tanner crab management. Nichols works primarily with those engaged in commercial Pacific cod, black rockfish, Tanner crab, Dungeness crab, red sea cucumber and weathervane scallops in the Gulf between Kodiak and Dutch Harbor.
ComFish concludes Sat., March 20, with the Fishermen’s Showcase, hosted by the Kodiak Maritime Museum. During this friendly outdoor competition, fishermen demonstrate their at sea skills.
Contestants engage in coiling, knot tying, hook throwing, rail tying and putting on survival suits. Prizes are to be given for first, second and third place, and all contestants will receive a recognition reward.
The complete ComFish forum schedule is available online at https://comfishak.com/forums/