ALFA has recently become involved with a (work-in-progress) program called Fish 101, which was created to educate non-fisherfolk about Alaska's fisheries. Read on for more information!
By Meredith Redick
Alaskans care about fish. And Alaskans care about the ecological, socioeconomic, and cultural issues wrapped up in Alaska fisheries. Understanding how Alaska fisheries are managed, though, can be like trying to jump into a 100-m freestyle ten seconds late with a bunch of Olympians. Many people — from mom and pop fishermen, to Alaska Natives, to conservationists — give up trying to get involved because the world of fish politics is complicated, and there’s no real entry point for learning. As a result, we lose valuable voices and contributions.
Fish 101 serves as a 0-60 crash course in Alaska fisheries and fisheries management. By translating fish jargon into clear, accessible — maybe even fun? — language, we want to make Alaska’s diverse stakeholders excited and empowered about getting involved. The reference text, website, and seminar that comprise Fish 101 work together towards this goal. The reference text guides readers through the fundamentals of Alaska fisheries and fisheries management using accessible language and visuals. The website houses the same content as the reference text, but with the added magic of interactive graphics, animations, and 24/7 accessibility. The seminar builds off of both of these, allowing participants to dive deeper into some of the trickiest, most convoluted questions in fish politics. The goal outcome of this project is to leave an alumna ready to walk on her own two feet into a North Pacific Council or Board of Fish meeting, have a sense of what's going on, and feel empowered to get involved in the decision-making process.