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Shining a spotlight on community fishermen

An exhibit at Ecotrust celebrates small-boat fishermen and lets eaters know where to buy local fish.

We’re celebrating community fisheries at Ecotrust’s Natural Capital Center with a display featuring two of our fishing heroes:

Aaron Longton is a commercial fisherman based out of Port Orford, Oregon, who is also a member of the Port Orford Ocean Resource Team and a founder of Port Orford Sustainable Seafood — a community supported fishery that makes regular deliveries of locally caught seafood up and down Oregon’s I-5 corridor, including at Ecotrust’s Natural Capital Center.

Linda Behnken is a fisherman and community leader based in Sitka, Alaska, where she fishes with her husband and two sons. She is also the executive director of Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association, a nonprofit representing longline fishermen who are committed to supporting healthy marine ecosystems. In Sitka, one of out of 10 residents are fishermen, making fisheries policy, the stability of commercial species, and the integrity of the local seafood market key to the health of the community.

While they are separated by many miles of ocean, Aaron and Linda and community fishermen like them face similar challenges. To overcome the hurdles of running a small-boat operation, building markets for local seafood, and making sure fisheries stocks remain stable for future generations, both have joined the Community Fisheries Network, convened by Ecotrust.

If you find yourself at the Natural Capital Center, check out the display on our second floor, and learn more about supporting community fishermen throughout the bioregion.