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Summer 2014 Issue

Board of Directors

Jan Jacobs – President
Harvester, Region IV-BSAI
American Seafoods Company

Ken Simpson – Vice President
Harvester, Region II-PWS/CI F/V 
Lady Simpson

Ekaterina Ratzlaff – Secretary/Treasurer
AFDF

Bart Cox – Sergeant at Arms
Tai Foong USA

Jim Beaton
Harvester, Region I-SE

Al Burch
Harvester, Region III-Kodiak
Alaska Whitefish Trawlers Association

Chris Mierzejek
APICDA

Richard Mullins
Alaska Marine Nutrition, LLC

Trevor Sande
Harvester, At-large
Marble Seafoods

Mark Scheer
Young & de Normandie, P.C.

Denny Smith
Marel Seattle, Inc.

John Sund
E&E Foods, Inc.

Mark Tupper
Triad Fisheries, LTD

John Van Amerongen
Trident Seafoods

Message from the
Executive Director, Julie Decker 


 
I am thrilled and honored to serve the seafood industry as the new executive director of AFDF. I was promoted to this position on January 1st, after being Development Director with AFDF since 2011 and on the Board of Directors for four years prior to that. 

I first came to Alaska to work in a cannery in 1994 during a summer break at Northwestern University. I moved to Wrangell, Alaska in 1996 and have now worked in the seafood industry for twenty years.
 
I believe AFDF can make a positive difference to the seafood industry and to coastal communities. The list of challenges and opportunities in the seafood industry is long, but exciting.

Growing up in the Detroit area, I have great respect for Henry Ford. His unique attributes helped him to not only imagine what others could not, but also successfully build it. 
 
“Vision, without execution, is just hallucination.”
---Henry Ford
 
Applying vision, and working together to execute that vision, we can accomplish great things on behalf of the industry!

Alaska Mariculture Initiative:
Grow a $1 billion industry in
30 years

NOAA awarded AFDF a Saltonstall-Kennedy grant for the Alaska Mariculture Initiative. The Initiative will expedite the development of the mariculture industry in Alaska through a strategic planning process. The vision of the Initiative is to grow a $1 billion industry in thirty years. For more information, view the concept paper

Member Spotlight:
Chris Mierzejek, Director of Administration, APICDA

Chris Mierzejek is one of the newly appointed board members of AFDF. Chris started work with the Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association (APICDA) in 1998 and has moved up the internal ranks of the company. Chris currently serves as APICDA’s Director of Administration, a position he has held for the past 13 years. In addition to being a long time Alaska resident, Chris commercially fished and worked at the Medvejie and Sheldon Jackson College hatcheries in the early 1980’s. While in St. George in the early 1990’s, Chris developed and implemented a successful salmon hatchery program for the St. George School. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Fishery Science. Chris currently sits on the AKCRRAB steering committee, and is exploring mariculture/aquaculture opportunities projects for APICDA. Chris frequently interacts with various fishery related agencies both in the industry and regulatory arena. In Chris’s current position with APICDA, senior management allows Chris latitude to research and develop economic opportunities for the member communities of APICDA which include Atka, Akutan, False Pass, Nelson Lagoon, Nikolski and St. George.
Chris currently lives in Anchorage with his wife Beverly, daughter Samantha, and in-laws Ella and Andronik Kashevarof. Though no longer a commercial fisherman, Chris continues to pursue personal use fishing throughout the state. He also, on occasion, likes to chase deer in the fall.

More about APICDA

APICDA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit incorporated in the state of Alaska.  Its charitable purpose is to develop stable local economies in its member communities of Akutan, Atka, False Pass, Nelson Lagoon, Nikolski and St. George.
APICDA’s focus on community development sets it apart from the typical seafood company. The region’s seafood resources have provided for families in its communities through many generations. 
Community Development Quota (CDQ)
APICDA is one of six CDQ groups. The CDQ program allocates a percentage of all Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands quotas for groundfish, halibut and crab to eligible communities. The program’s intent is to provide economically disadvantaged communities in western Alaska with the opportunity to generate capital to develop stable local economies based upon the fishing industry.

Winners of the 2014 Alaska Symphony of Seafood – Tilgner’s Ruby Red Smoked Sockeye

AFDF announced the winners of the Alaska Symphony of Seafood - an annual contest for new products made from Alaska seafood. The competition enlists chefs and industry experts to pick the best new seafood products each year. This year’s first place winners are listed below by category:
RETAIL: Salmon Jerky (Black Pepper), by Ocean Beauty
FOODSERVICE: Redi Grilled Pollock, by Trident Seafoods
SMOKED: Ruby Red Olde World Scottish Style Cold Smoked Sockeye, by Art Tilgner
GRAND PRIZE: Ruby Red Olde World Scottish Style Cold Smoked Sockeye, by Art Tilgner
The main sponsors for this year’s event included: the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, At-sea Processors Association, Northwest Fisheries Association, Marel, Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association, Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation, Trident Seafoods, Copper River Seafoods, Alaska Air Cargo, Marine Stewardship Council, City of Unalaska, Alaskan Brewing Company, Kwik’Pak Fisheries, Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation and Bowhead Transport Company.
“Developing new products is a risky investment of time and money. The sponsors and the companies that entered products all deserve special recognition. They understand that a rising tide floats all boats. In other words, when one company develops a product that increases the value of our resources, the entire industry, plus our communities, benefit from that,” said Julie Decker, executive director of AFDF.

Improvements to Symphony considered for 2015

AFDF is considering making changes to the Alaska Symphony of Seafood which will improve the event for both industry participants and the public. Some of the changes under consideration are new categories, new event venues, and additional promotion of winners. If you have any comments or suggestions, please send them to the executive director, Julie Decker.

BioMarine Business Convention:
Oct. 30-31, 2014

Recognized as a “broker for investment and innovation in marine bio resources”, this convention is for business executives interested in the following marine industries: food & nutrition, cosmetics, health & pharmacology, cleantech, and marine renewable energy. For more info, check out the program.

Pacific cod re-certification underway

AFDF remains the client for the MSC sustainability certification of the P-cod fishery. The 4th annual survellience audit and the 5-year re-certification is scheduled for completion by January, 2015. AFDF contracted with MRAG of Americas as the auditor, and collected the voluntary industry fees for the cost of the certification. The site visit occurred in late May in conjunction with the site visit for the Alaska pollock and flatfish fisheries as a cost-saving measure to industry. Continued updates regarding the certification process will be posted on the AFDF website throughout the year.

Alaska Maritime Workforce Development Plan

Alaska’s maritime industry has reached a milestone – the adoption of a workforce development plan. For the first time in Alaska’s history, a partnership of industry, government and educators created a guide to grow the maritime industry through the development of a better and bigger workforce. The plan identifies 23 priority occupations across the four sub-sectors of the maritime industry. Implementation of the plan will take the engagement and cooperation of all stakeholders. View the plan here. For more background information about how the plan was developed, click here

Fishing Vessel Energy Audits Completed

In 2012, AFDF received a grant from the Alaska Legislature for a Fishing Vessel Energy Audit Pilot Project. The goal of the project is to help commercial fishermen better understand energy usage on their vessels in order to better inform decisions on energy efficiency improvements. In 2013, Mike Gaffney, a vessel engineer from Alaris Companies, completed twelve energy audits on various fishing vessels in Alaska (troller, gillnetter, seiner, longliner, trawler and tender). The results were compiled and used to create an Energy Model which can be used by additional fishermen to calculate their energy use and potential savings given different scenarios for efficiency improvements. The next step is to further refine the somewhat complicated Energy Model into a user-friendly online version and presenting this useful tool to fishermen beginning with Pacific Marine Expo in Nov. 2014.

ASMI improves RFM certification

After its last Board meeting, the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) announced that it will enhance the Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) Certification program in order to continue to provide the highest assurance that Alaska’s fisheries are responsibly managed. Improvements of the RFM Certification program include the following key areas: governance, fishery applicant, certification bodies, Conformance Criteria Committee, RFM Task Force, and transparency. More information can be found at the following links:
Copyright © 2014 Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation Inc., All rights reserved.
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