Network members on panel at National Working Waterfronts Symposium in Tacoma, WA

April 1, 2013

Community Fisheries Network members Leesa Cobb, Pete Halmay, Dave Kubiak and Rob Snyder came together to sit on a panel at the National Working Waterfronts Symposium in Tacoma, WA. The panel focused on the critical role that working waterfronts play in supporting community based fisheries and how successful fishing businesses can help communities preserve their working waterfronts. By highlighting examples from diverse CFN communities in California, Oregon, Alaska, and Maine, the panel explored regional differences and common themes about the key role that communities play in marketing their fish. From the tiny urchin fishery working to be viable within the large, metropolitan port of San Diego to the Port Orford fishing community geographically isolated on the southern Oregon coast, each panelist discussed what investments they need in their infrastructure, their businesses, and their communities. By engaging in creative marketing, small-scale fisheries across the country can help ensure there is enough revenue crossing the wharves they rely on to support the long term sustainability of their communities. And, by working together as a network of commercial fishing communities across the nation, they can help to influence federal policies so that they better address the needs of diverse small-boat and large-boat fishing communities.

CFN members also participated in several other symposium panels. Leesa Cobb of Port Orford Ocean Resource Team was a panelist following the special screening of the highly acclaimed film, "Ocean Frontiers: The Dawn of a New Era in Ocean Stewardship". Nick Battista of the Island Institute was moderator for a panel that announced the release of a Sustainable Working Waterfronts Toolkit and a panel on marine spatial planning and working waterfronts. Pete Halmay, a commercial sea urchin diver out of San Diego and Network member, was a panelist on sociocultural dimensions of the working waterfront, focusing on the commercial fishing community. Linda Behnken, of the Alaska Longline Fishermen's Association (also a Network member) was a panelist in a discussion on legislative issues during the session called "NOAA Fisheries and the Coast: Exploring Opportunities for a National Working Waterfront Policy". Finally, Rob Snyder, president-elect of the Island Institute, was a panelist in the plenary session, representing small coastal communities on the challenges facing working waterfronts around the nation and strategies for moving forward.

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