Here's the press release from United Fishermen of Alaska on last night's annoucement of its Alaska Seafood Industry Hall of Fame charter class:
United Fishermen of Alaska
April 24, 2009
United Fishermen of Alaska Honors Senator Stevens in Inaugural Alaska Seafood Hall of Fame
Senator Ted Stevens honored with Lifetime Achievement award, among twenty industry leaders named to Hall of Fame.
In celebration of 50 years of Alaska Statehood and sustainable fisheries management, the United Fishermen of Alaska (UFA) honored former Senator Ted Stevens for his record of accomplishments dating from Alaska Statehood to the present, and named nineteen other individuals to its inaugural Alaska Seafood Hall of Fame. The honor recognizes individuals for their lifetime accomplishments in promoting and protecting Alaska’s seafood industry and fishery resources.
Senator Stevens was presented a UFA Honorary Lifetime Membership and Lifetime Achievement award for his work for sustainable fisheries spanning Alaska’s first 50 years of Statehood, including establishing the 200 mile limit; the Magnuson-Stevens Act, establishment of regional fishery management councils, ban on high seas driftnets, and his continuing work to bring a stop to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fisheries worldwide.
“Alaska’s fisheries were a focal point in the impetus behind the statehood movement, and through statehood, Alaska was able to influence national fisheries and ocean policy. Alaska’s founding fathers and fishing leaders took many very difficult steps to bring the necessary protections to rebuild and sustain fishing communities. Without the work of these twenty individuals, and especially Senator Stevens, we can only guess what would now remain of our fisheries stocks and fishing communities,” said UFA President Joe Childers.
In accepting the award, Senator Stevens called upon commercial fishermen to join together to continue his work to stop IUU fishing.
UFA followed a two-step process of open nominations followed by voting by the full board of 41 fishing leaders that comprise the UFA. Over fifty people were nominated and the top twenty after voting were named as inaugural inductees. The awards were presented at an industry banquet at the Comfish trade show this week in Kodiak, Alaska.
“The nomination and voting process was a very educational look back into the fifty years since Alaska statehood, reminding all of us that we owe our fisheries to the vision and hard work that so many individuals have made, and inspiring all fishermen and those who work in fisheries to continue this arduous and often frustrating work. The nomination list includes statesmen, innovative fishermen, activists, processors, biologists, regulators, and many who spanned across more than one of these categories.
“There are many men and women in the fishing community whose work might already well qualify them for inclusion, but that would agree that their work is not yet done. The list of eligible individuals will continue to grow and UFA will elect new members yearly,” said executive director Mark Vinsel.
UFA honored the following Alaska Seafood Hall of Fame Charter Members: Bob Alverson, U.S. Senator Bob Bartlett, Bob Blake, The Brindle Family, Chuck Bundrant, Al Burch, Phil Daniel, Oscar Dyson, Senator Dick Eliason, Governor Ernest Gruening, Governor Jay Hammond, Gordon Jensen, Knute Johnson, Armin F. Koernig, Jerry McCune, Alaska State Representative Drew Scalzi, Alaska State Senator Clem Tillion, Tommy Thompson, and Bob Thorstenson Sr.
“These individuals each made lasting contributions that helped Alaska fishermen and women continue our sustainable fisheries to the present and into the future. We look forward to recognizing the many others that are helping ensure our sustainable fisheries through to future generations,” Vinsel said.