(Anchorage, AK) – In a continued effort to mitigate the poor 2021 salmon season among communities in the Yukon River region, the Dunleavy Administration Tuesday facilitated the delivery of 12,500 pounds of chum salmon to the region.
“Spending 20 years in rural Alaska, I understand the hardships that the communities are facing when they cannot prepare traditional foods for the winter season,” said Governor Mike Dunleavy. “While this donation cannot replace a bountiful subsistence fishing season, the collaboration of local business leaders, tribal and village leaders, and the seafood industry goes a long way in assisting our communities.”
The delivery consisted of 12,500 pounds of Prince William Sound chum salmon purchased from Copper River Seafoods. The salmon was flown by Everts Air Cargo to Emmonak for further repackaging and distribution by Kwik’Pak Fisheries.
“This is truly a relief for the folks out here who depend on fish to get through the winter. Most impressive was how fast the Governor’s office put this together, especially considering in only a matter of days the families here in the Lower Yukon will have this fish,” said Operations Manager Jack Schultheis, Kwik’Pak.
“We are grateful to Governor Dunleavy and all involved for the donation of salmon to the communities on the Lower Yukon River in a time of need,” said CEO Vivian Korthuis, Association of Village Council Presidents. “Again, the donation will not fill the freezers up, but the salmon is very appreciated. We are grateful and the acknowledge teamwork it took to get the salmon from where they were caught, transported, delivered and distributed to the families along the Lower Yukon River. Quyana on behalf of the region.”
“As Alaska Native people, sharing resources is one of our cultural values that helps us survive during hard times,” said Calista President and CEO Andrew Guy. “Quyana to all who have donated fish to our Lower Yukon communities, and to all the partners working to distribute the fish.”
The salmon was purchased through the Governor’s authorization of $75,000 from the Department of Fish and Game’s food security enhancement project, funded through the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (CSLFRF). The salmon is being distributed to communities that have had an economic impact due to COVID-19 and the closure of subsistence fisheries due to poor salmon returns. Additional deliveries to the region will be announced in the coming weeks.