Here's an update from an Alaska fishing industry group raising money to help victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.
April 12, 2011
Alaska fishing industry generates funds for tsunami relief
The Alaska Fishing Industry Relief Mission (AFIRM) has announced major donations from Alaska- and Seattle-based seafood industry participants towards its efforts to aid fishing communities affected by the earthquake in Japan.
"The Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association has donated $20,000, and UniSea has pledged to match donations to AFIRM from its employees and crab fleet up to $50,000," said AFIRM director Terry Shaff, president of UniSea Inc. and chairman of the Pacific Seafood Processors Association.
"In addition," Shaff said, "Tatoosh Seafoods has donated $5,000, Northwest Farm Credit Services has donated $5,000, United Fishermen of Alaska $1,000, and other individual donations are pushing AFIRM over $140,000 raised or committed in its first week of active fundraising."
"This week's significant aftershock is a reminder that this will be a long-term project, with many decisions to be made and problems to be overcome," said Larry Cotter, AFIRM chairman. "We ask those who make their living from the seafood industry to remember our long-term partnership with and many friends in Japan. AFIRM is seeking to accelerate our fundraising efforts within and outside of the seafood industry to provide meaningful assistance to Japan's fishing communities."
Many people are interested in how AFIRM plans to use the funds it raises. AFIRM board members and advisers are in contact with the Japanese Embassy in Washington, D.C., the Japanese Fisheries Association, the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, Maruha Nichiro, Nissui and other Japanese companies to seek their input on the most effective way to directly assist people and communities in need. We are interested in any ideas the public may have as well.
AFIRM, a 501(c(3) nonprofit charity, was first formed to assist the Gulf fishing communities following hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. The group has zero overhead given its volunteer board and staff, so 100 percent of all contributions go directly for assistance. AFIRM will collaborate with fishing industry and governmental leaders to best leverage cash contributions with other available industry assets to help fishermen get back to harvesting and processing seafood for the public.
All donations to AFIRM are tax-deductible.