Wednesday, about 15 pallets of frozen halibut will be winging their way north from Kodiak, to be distributed to communities around Kotzebue.
As Sea Share’s Jim Harmon tells us, the halibut is bycatch from the Kodiak trawl fleet.
“These are halibut that were caught in the Gulf of Alaska while trawl fishermen fished for pollock and other ground fish. They’re called ‘incidental catch.’ They’re not allowed to sell those fish, they’re only allowed to sell the targeted species. So the only thing they can do with them is donate them to Sea Share, or throw them overboard.”
The 13,000 pounds of halibut were brought back to Kodiak and processed by local canneries and packed into the 50-pound boxes.
“The processors in Kodiak – there’s seven of them that participate with Sea Share – they work these fish in various ways. The fish that are going up to Kotzebue, are headed and gutted, and then they’re sleeved and then they’re packed in 50-pound boxes. Some of the halibut is also steak and some are filleted, and those generally go to the food bank in Kodiak or the shelters there.”
Also donated is the moving of all that halibut by Carlile Transportation out to Air Station Kodiak, where the Coast Guard will takeover and fly them to Kotzebue on an HC-130 Hercules.
Once in that far north city, the halibut will be distributed in town and surrounding villages by the NANA Regional Corporation.
Sea Share, based in Seattle, has provided 200-million meals over the past 20 years across the nation.
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