SeaShare Delivers 13,000 Pounds of Bycatch Halibut to Kotzebue

SeaShare, the Seattle-based nonprofit organization dedicated
to improving nutrition for people served by food banks and feeding centers,
recently delivered 13,000 pounds of frozen halibut for distribution to 11
villages in Northwest Alaska.
The catch was caught incidentally by trawl fishermen in the
Gulf of Alaska and provided to SeaShare by Ocean Beauty Seafoods.
“Kodiak fishermen work hard to avoid bycatch, but when they
get it they want to see these valuable fish utilized,” said Jim Harmon,
executive director of SeaShare. “That’s how SeaShare was started 20 years ago,
to provide a network to feed hungry families with fish that would otherwise be
thrown overboard.
Harmon said fishermen did a great job handling and
delivering these fish, and that six processing plants in Kodiak cleaned,
packaged, froze and stored the fish for SeaShare. Local food banks take what
they can, and when we receive more fish than Kodiak needs, SeaShare works to
find freight and storage partners to help us reach other communities, he said.
In this particular scenario, SeaShare worked with the US
Coast Guard and NANA Regional Corp., the regional Alaska Native corporation for
Northwest Alaska, to get the fish to Kotzebue and 10 other villages in
Northwest Alaska, he said.
Elders get fish first, with the balance going to families
according to need.
In addition to volunteers from NANA and FBX Aviation
Services, the Coast Guard flight crew helped unload, then reload the halibut on
the various pallets and trucks, Harmon said.

Since 1994, SeaShare has provided over 150 million meals to
Feeding America’s food bank network. Lean more about SeaShare at