Wrapping up and welcoming winter

Dear Alaskans Own Subscribers and Friends,

We hope you're getting ready to welcome the coming of winter, and enjoying your final Alaskans Own shares for the 2015 season. As the daylight leaves us, eating fish becomes more important than ever. Except for sunlight itself, there is no better source of vitamin D than wild salmon.

Our troll fishermen are now targeting winter kings, the ocean “feeders” that will come to rivers to spawn in future years.  Longliners are wrapping up their halibut and black cod season and looking forward to sharing stories and thinking about next season.  At Alaskans Own, we are doing some of the same—reflecting on the past year and planning for next season. We hope you'll help us by filling out our end of season survey that will soon be coming your way.  We need you, our subscribers, to let us know what you liked and what you would like changed.

And we would like to tell you about some changes at Alaskans Own.  This fall Alaskans Own transitioned from being a program of the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust (ASFT—where Caroline worked), to being a program of the Alaska Longline Fishermen's Association (ALFA—where I work).

The decision is far from a wild leap: ASFT and ALFA have worked closely together since 2009 on a shared vision for a healthier Alaska, for both fish and people.  Together they have launched programs that strengthen fisheries and fishing communities, including the Fishery Conservation Network and the Local Fish Fund.

The bottom line: your subscriptions will continue to support the same conservation and stewardship efforts, but with the change the management of Alaskans Own will be more directly connected with the fishermen themselves.  ALFA is, above all, a fishermen's association, working directly to improve management in the same fisheries that provide your fish each month. Our goal is to engage more fishermen and more land-based residents in the future of our fisheries - all while connecting you with great wild seafood.

We hope you will be as excited as we are to be working more closely with ALFA and the FCN. Still, transitions are never without growing pains, so I also want to thank you for bearing with any hiccups along the way.  We deeply appreciate your support and look forward to reading your recommendations.  Please watch for the AO survey and, when you can, take time to share your thoughts.

For now, stay warm and keep in touch,