Claire grew up on a remote homestead in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands and fished with her family for salmon and halibut. Peter grew up on a large farm east of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Peter and Claire own a percentage of their family’s boat and fish for salmon, halibut, Pacific cod and black cod.
What’s it like to fish for a living with your spouse?
Claire: Having a spouse who knows first-hand the challenges of running a boat and isolation on the grounds makes it work — what’s happening on the back deck is one partner’s reality. What is happening onboard is what’s most important — staying present in the moments on the back deck, being with our family, on Alaska’s pristine waters, commercial fishing and enjoying the work and challenges directly in front of us.
What do you wish the world knew about commercial fishing in Alaska?
Peter: We work insanely hard to bring in our catch. Our hope is that consumers will respect the work and risk involved in bringing you this delicious food to be shared with your family and friends. Commercial fishermen want nothing more than to have their catch shared around a table by family and friends.
How do you show love and pride for the seafood and for the work?
Peter: Each fish is handled properly and we celebrate the beautiful, big ones. It’s important to us that we sell our catch to a good quality, fair market. We envision our fish purchased at local seafood markets, grocery stores, or direct from their fishermen and enjoyed by a community that values healthy, delicious food from a sustainably managed resource caught by small independent fishermen and fishing families.
How can people outside of Alaska support fishermen like you?
Claire: When you choose wild Alaska seafood you’re supporting the entire system behind the commercial fishermen — the village, the local seafood processor, the college kid working on the slime line, the local net maker, the boat mechanic who is more of a family member than a friend to the fishermen. You are respecting and honoring the generations of fishermen who have braved the sea for glory and gain before us, respecting how people have worked with – not against – the land and made use of everything, without excess waste. You are giving us a purpose, a place, a chance to be independent in our livelihoods and the ability to bring you this food with our blood, sweat and tears behind it.