Sustainable Fisheries in Alaska, Josh Pierson '00 and Marc Barreda '99

As people shuffled into the Log this past, they were pleasantly surprised to smell delicious Alaskan salmon. Josh Pierson ‘00 and Marc Barreda ’99, co founders of “Papa’s Catch Salmon”, returned to Williamstown to give a long lunch talk about how they got involved in Alaskan commercial fishing and why Alaska’s salmon fishery is one of the most sustainable fisheries in the world. To complement their talk, they brought this season’s salmon straight from their boat to the Log. Josh and Marc fish in Bristol Bay, Alaska, home to the longest wild sockeye salmon runs in the world. The Bristol Bay Alaskan fishery is a model of sustainability and has worked hard to ensure that their salmon population stays healthy and abundant.

They spoke about all of the regulations and restrictions that they and other fishermen have to follow to prevent over fishing and ecological harm. Marc, Josh, and their crew hand pick salmon from their nets (specifically designed to caught adult sockeye) to make sure that only the appropriate species and age of salmon get into their boat. They spoke proudly about how every river in the bay has its own biologist who controls what happens in the river that season to make sure that an appropriate amount of salmon makes it past the fishermen to spawn. Marc explained that the “incredible amount of detail and organization ensures that the fish will continue to return every year”. They also informed listeners of the threats looming over the sockeye fishery.

By Cristina Mancilla ’20