In Alaska, the fishing industry is serious business. It's serious in terms of enterprise- this is a lucrative industry spawning billions of dollars in investments and profits. It's serious in terms of its spirit- hard working hard-liners battle the ocean and one another for a piece of the fish pie. But, the fishing industry is more than biological and economic projections tied to political gamesmanship. And our fishing communities are much more than spots of industrial detritus on wave-battered coasts (ahem Kodiak and Dutch Harbor) or quaint tourist traps (ahem Ketchikan and Homer). There is more to the industry than what managers, marketers, biologists, and trade groups promote. There is more to us coast dwellers than what the visitor bureau touts.
Here, there's spirit, history, art, and stories as wild as the resource. And these parts of our communities are tired of being neglected.
We derive our identities from the sea. We aren't all in the seafood industry, but we are all fishfolks. We fishing town dwellers match our communities. We are soulful, damaged, scrappy, tenacious and creative. And there are those of us who are ready- begging- for the human-side of our fish-lives to be recognized. For our art, our music, our culture, our celebrations, to be given validity. For our livelihoods to be recognized outside of the realm of money.
Here, at Salt and Gale, I hope to create a space dedicated to the culture of fishing towns and the culture of the seafood industry. My dream is to share projects, insights, and host conversations about growing and sustaining that culture.
Let's honor our sealives. Let's foster our creative wildness amidst the wilderness.