A $90,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to the Alaska Marine Conservation Council will be used to help fishermen in the Kodiak area get greater opportunity and better prices in the jig fisheries that target Pacific cod and rockfish.
The award was announced April 20 by NFWF in Washington DC. AMCC added $126,460 in matching funds, so that the funding totals $216,460.
Theresa Peterson, outreach coordinator for AMCC at Kodiak, said on a long-term basis, AMCC wants to educate the jig fleet and others who want to become part of that fleet on careful handling, chilling and bleeding of the fish immediately after harvest, to boost the quality of the harvest, and prices.
The jig fishery, said Peterson, represents a true entry-level fishery that encompasses the most sustainable fishing practices among gear types targeting Pacific cod, and has the lowest bycatch and habitat concerns of all other gear types. The project combines the capacity and experience of a community-based nonprofit organization, the support of small boat fishermen and fisheries business expertise to generate innovative solutions to maintaining a working waterfront in one of the nation’s largest fishing ports, Kodiak,” she said.
The collaborative community-based project will address barriers, including the high price of quota shares and limited entry permits, and stimulate progress toward securing the Gulf of Alaska Pacific cod and rockfish quota by creating incentives to transform the fishery into a high-value enterprise, based on excellent quality and appreciation in the market for strong conservation performance and social benefits of buying from small boat, community-based fishermen, she said.
AMCC was one of 18 entities in 2012 sharing in $1.55 million in grants from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, matched by more than $1.2 million from grantees.
A complete list of winners, including others in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, is at www.nfwf.org