Young Fishermen’s Summit Offers Tools of the Trade

A passion for fishing is prerequisite, but to really succeed in commercial fisheries, young harvesters need to acquire a toolbox full of knowledge on practical matters, ranging from bookkeeping and borrowing to economics and fisheries politics.

From Dec. 10-12 in Anchorage, a cadre of lenders, insurers, seafood economists, marketers and buyers will be on hand, along with veterans of fisheries politics and more, to provide that education.

The Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit is the industry’s effort to assure that young men and women committed to careers in commercial fishing will be equipped to tackle the challenges of 21st century economics.

Bristol Bay fisheries veteran Robert Heyano, of Dillingham, president of the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, will deliver the keynote address at the start of the summit. University of Alaska Professor Quentin Fong, of Kodiak, will join Kate Consenstein of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute and representatives of Costco Wholesale and Washington Sea Grant on an afternoon panel on Alaska seafood markets at home and abroad. Commercial fisherman Dan Hull, a member of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, will offer an introduction to Alaska fisheries management, and the young fishermen will also get a tour of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s genetics laboratory in Anchorage.

Speakers for the second day of the summit include commercial harvester Dave Kubiak, of Kodiak, a board member of the Alaska Marine Conservation Council, speaking on the importance of being involved in the harvesting process; and John Hilsinger, a retired head of commercial fisheries for ADF&G, and now science advisor for the Aleutian King Crab Research Foundation, speaking on the Alaska Board of Fisheries process.

Also on the second day, the fishermen will learn about halibut management in Alaska from Bruce Leaman, executive director of the International Pacific Halibut Commissioner, and Jerry Dzugan, executive director of the Alaska Marine Safety Education Association, who will discuss ergonomics of fishing.

The third and final day of the session will offer panel discussions on managing one’s fishing business, the science behind fisheries management, direct marketing one’s catch and the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.

Online registration is at