Alaska Sea Grant program offers online class on direct marketing of seafood

The Alaska Sea Grant program will offer an online class, Introduction to Starting and Operating a Seafood Direct Marketing Business, from 5:30-8 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays from Oct. 23 to Nov. 6 via distance delivery. The class costs $125.

This introductory course presents content on the development and management of a successful seafood direct marketing business from inception to operation. The practical application of business planning, obtaining financing, permitting, feasibility analysis, marketing, and operational aspects of a seafood direct marketing business will be introduced.

The course will be delivered primarily by lectures and in-class discussions, supported by four homework assignments that are individualized to assist you in developing an action plan for your business.

At the end of the course, the student will understand and be able to use the appropriate managerial and decision-making tools that are needed to start and run a seafood direct marketing business.

Note: The course is designed for commercial fishermen with little or no experience in direct marketing, who want to onboard or custom process and direct market their catch in various ways. The course will be taught in five sessions: Oct. 23, Oct. 25, Oct. 30, Nov. 1, and Nov. 6, from 5:30-8 p.m.

To register, click this link. To see a course syllabus, click this link and scroll to the bottom. For more information, contact Quentin Fong at 907-486-1516 or

• Sitka Seafood Festival announces new director; will host art auction on Saturday, Oct. 5


(The following letter to the editor originally appeared on Page 2 of the Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, edition of the Daily Sitka Sentinel. It is reprinted here with the writer’s permission.)
ssflogo2The fifth annual Sitka Seafood Festival (SSF) is scheduled for Aug. 1-2, 2014. The festival continues to grow each year. This past year we brought in more than 100 out-of-own guests, had some national recognition from a couple of well-known culinary magazines, and continued to have more and more local support. 
Over the past four years, we have had a small group of volunteers working extremely hard to follow through with our mission statement, to “celebrate wild Alaskan seafood.” We have done this through education, such as bringing in amazing speakers such as a 2012 McArthur Genius Award-winner David Montgomery, and accomplished author, professor and chef Becky Selengut to offer free presentations to the public. We also started the new culinary scholarship award this past year which we hope will continue to grow to give a passionate future culinary artist more experience and funds to pursue their career further. 
We offer entertainment, including local and headliner bands such as the well-known band Trampled by Turtles, aerial silk dancers, Ninja acrobatics, and of course, the addition of the Scottish Highland Games and this past year the full- and half-marathon. But, even with all the other fun events going on, the focus of our festival is based around celebrating the culinary aspect of our amazing, local seafood products.  
Carolyn Kinneen

Carolyn Kinneen

I am writing this letter today to introduce you to the new director and co-directors of the Sitka Seafood Festival. I am so extremely excited with the potential of where this festival can go. If anyone gets the pleasure to meet our new directors, I think they will share in my enthusiasm, because these folks encompass what this festival is all about, and I think it can only get better from here!  The 2014 SSF Director is Carolyn Kinneen, along with co-directors Jeren Schmidt and Robert Kinneen.  All past board members, including myself, are staying active with the festival. 

Carolyn Kinneen is wife to our four-time returning guest chef Robert Kinneen, and has been active in the festival since the start. She currently lives in Anchorage, but with the help of our local co-director, Jeren Schmidt, should be a wonderful fit.  Carolyn works in many different areas of food-related advocacy and policy, and sits on multiple boards pertaining to Alaskan-based foods.  She has experience in running a large array of projects including the TEDx Anchorage lecture series, as well as the Alaska Food Policy Council

We are very excited to have Carolyn on board. If anyone would like to hear more about Carolyn, or pick her’s or any other board member’s brains about the future SSF, we will be holding an open “meet and greet” at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct 4, at Baranof Island Brewing Company (215 Smith St.).  Come say hello and welcome Carolyn, Rob and Jeren to their new positions, and feel free to pass along any suggestions, concerns or input you may have. 

Thank you for your continued support Sitka!  Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the 5th annual SSF Aug 1-2, 2014. And please attend our upcoming fundraiser, the Live Art Auction with the Fishermen’s Eye Gallery, at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct 5, at the Westmark Sitka Hotel.

— Alicia Haseltine, past SSF Director, current board member

• Fourth annual Sitka Seafood Festival takes place on Aug. 1-4

SSF Event Calendar

ChefLouisaChuDo you love Sitka’s wild Alaska seafood? Help celebrate our salmon, halibut, rockfish, crab and other seafood species during the fourth annual Sitka Seafood Festival on Aug. 1-4 at various locations around Sitka.

The Sitka Seafood Festival (SSF) was formed in 2010 by a small group of volunteers as a culinary-based festival established to celebrate our local seafood and one of Sitkaʼs greatest resources. The festival has grown very quickly and we have had some national attention, including from the popular culinary magazines “Relish” and “The Lucky Peach,” as well as drawing the interest of multiple well -known chefs. We feel the festival only has room to grow from here, and is a tool to start attracting the independent traveler to boost Sitka’s tourism, as well as a way to educate others about our industry. For a quick taste of the festival, check out the 2012 promotional video.

In the past three years the festival has grown from a small, two-day festival for the locals, into a multiple-day celebration not just for our community but also for travelers visiting Sitka from Juneau to Florida. The festival opens on Thursday with films showcasing Alaska’s salmon, the well-received “Poet Sea” poetry contest, a sunset pasta cruise aboard an Allen Marine vessel, as well as endless educational and entertainment activities for all ages, and of course, some amazing food.

FishHeadBobbingCatchOne of our most popular events is a five-course seafood extravaganza on Friday night at Harrigan Centennial Hal, which sells out each year. It is a formal dinner striving to use all local seafood and products. This event is prepared by many local chefs, as well as our three guest chefs,  including returning chefs Robert Kinneen and Seth Caswell, and introducing our executive chef Mickey Neely who was recently voted “Best New Up and Coming Chef of Chicago.” The evening is complete with a silent auction, live music, entertainment, and, of course, the best food around. Other Friday events include hatchery tours and a book signing.

The following day is an all-day festival, starting at 7 a.m. with the addition of our Cross Trail Classic half- and full-marathons, which will finish at the festival grounds. Starting at 11 a.m. at Totem Square, come enjoy the festival parade down Lincoln Street, leading right to the Sheldon Jackson Campus and the Sitka Seafood Festival’s Marketplace. It is full of local food booths, arts and crafts, educational and informational booths, as well as many contests such as the favorite “fish-head bobbing” and “fish-head toss,” kids games, and many Alaska  dance groups and educational-based demos.

MusicRobertJacobsJBradleyHollyKeenThere also will be a free presentation by author, chef, and professor Becky Selengut of Seattle, titled “Good Fish: One Chef’s Quest to Preserve Our Ocean Resources.” The presentation will take place at noon in Sweetland Hall, on the Sheldon Jackson Campus. Starting at 12:30 p.m., the second annual Highland/Island Games will also be taking place. Come watch the best of the best from Alaska toss a log or two. There also will be a beer garden, multiple food vendors, and of course the main stage with dance performances, and live music throughout the night. This is one event you won’t want to miss. And new this year is a Sunday golf tournament at Sea Mountain Golf Course.

The Sitka Seafood Festival hopefully will continue to grow. Please mark your calendars for the fourth annual event scheduled for Aug. 1-4. WE NEED VOLUNTEERS! If you would like to get involved or have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact Alicia Olson Haseltine at (928) 607-4845 or, or check us out at And thank you Sitka.. You are what makes this festival, and so many other amazing events in our wonderful community.

• 2013 Sitka Seafood Festival events calendar

• Sitka Seafood Festival banquet poster

• 2013 Sitka Seafood Festival marketplace food vendor information

• 2013 Sitka Seafood Festival Highland Island Games info

• Aug. 1 entry deadline approaches in the search for a signature Sitka seafood dish

In an effort to support and promote the position of Alaska’s wild seafoods in the global marketplace, the Sitka Seafood Festival organizers and the Sitka Convention and Visitors Bureau have partnered to help inspire the creation of a signature seafood dish for Sitka.

Both professional and amateur chefs are encouraged to enter this contest, which will have judging take place from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 11, at Harrigan Centennial Hall. The entry deadline is Wednesday, Aug. 1.

It is our sincere hope that this contest inspires locals to create an exciting seafood entrée that would become synonymous with Sitka. We also hope that the majority, if not all, local restaurants will offer their own version of the winning entry and eventually adopted by restaurants nationwide.


  • Main Ingredient — Any locally available wild Alaskan seafood (eg, salmon, halibut, ling cod, black cod/sablefish, crab, shrimp, scallops, snapper/rockfish, etc.)
  • Quantity — Minimum of 12 servings of approximately 2 ounces each. The more the merrier!!
  • Categories — Versatile recipe/economical version, mid-priced version and, of course, gourmet.
  • Entries must be pre-made/ready-to-serve, no kitchen access will be available on-site.
  • Recipes for entries must be provided and will become public domain.
  • Deadline to enter is Wednesday, Aug. 1. There is no cost to enter
  • Set-up available at 11 a.m. and judging will begin at noon on Saturday, Aug. 11, at Harrigan Centennial Hall.
  • Judging — An anonymous panel of judges will determine the winner based on various criteria (taste, recipe flexibility, potential retail price, marketability, availability, etc.)

The winning entry will receive a cash prize, a certificate acknowledging their accomplishment, local promotion and, of course, bragging rights as Sitka’s signature dish. The winner will be announced during the Sitka Seafood Festival’s evening events at the Alaska Arts SE Campus at Sheldon Jackson.

Entry forms can picked up at Old Harbor Books or e-mailed to you. Contact Philip Rupell at 747-5940 or send e-mail to

• Contest information for Sitka Signature Seafood Dish competition 2012

• Sitka Seafood Festival steering committee to meet Aug. 23 to plan 2012 festival

The Sitka Seafood Festival will host a planning (or “see if we can make this festival happen again”) meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 23, in the fireplace pit at the Westmark Sitka Hotel (330 Seward St.).

The third annual Sitka Seafood Festival is tentatively planned for Aug 3-4, 2012, but there is a lot we need to figure out to make sure this can actually happen. If you are interested in any capacity, please either attend the meeting, or get ahold of Alicia Olson prior to the meeting.

Alicia will have specific job descriptions and tasks to try and delegate, and the steering committee will discuss the possibility of merging or piggybacking so this event can be sustainable in the future. If your organization would like to be involved, please send a rep or contact Alicia as well.

“I have heard nothing but positive, amazing comments regarding this festival, and I know we would all like to see it continue to grow, so spread the word,” Alicia said. “Thanks again to everyone for so much hard work and effort … and see you on Tuesday.”

For more information about the Sitka Seafood Festival, contact Alicia Olson at Alicia Olson at 1-928-607-4845 or

• Sitka Seafood Festival steering committee to meet on Saturday, April 17

The next meeting of the Sitka Seafood Festival steering committee is 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 17, at Harrigan Centennial Hall.

During the April 10 meeting, the committee voted Lily Herwald in as secretary and Phyllis Hackett as bookkeeper. The committee also decided to book “NANDA: Acrobaticalist Ninja Action Heroes,” a four-man juggling, acrobatic, martial arts and comedy troupe that is performing at the Southeast Alaska State Fair on July 29-Aug. 1 in Haines, the weekend before the Sitka Seafood Festival (Aug. 6-7). A headline music group also is being booked.

Committee members will be canvassing local businesses for donations to cover the costs of hosting the inaugural Sitka Seafood Festival, and the deadline for donations is May 9 (Mother’s Day). A donation/sponsorship letter has been approved and committee members soon will distribute it to local businesses. Donations will be accepted after May 9, but that’s the deadline to be included in the event promotional materials, which uses a tier system based on the amount of the donation. Donation/sponsorship checks need to be written to the “Sitka Conservation Society” with a memo of “Sitka Seafood Festival” or “SCS/SSF” (the Sitka Conservation Society is letting us share their 501(c)(3) permit until we can get our own next year).

Also, committee members are seeking prizes for a raffle and raffle prize commitments are needed by Wednesday, April 14, to either Alicia Peavey ( or 1-928-607-4845) or Linda Olson (747-6985 or Baranof Elementary School). The raffle will feature 800 tickets at $5 each, with the drawing to take place on May 9 (Mother’s Day). Donations of merchandise, including locally caught seafood or gourmet meals of Sitka seafood, are greatly appreciated.

During the April 5 meeting, the steering committee decided to hold the inaugural Sitka Seafood Festival on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 6-7. The tentative plan is to have an opening dinner on Friday night with a guest chef and the possibility of live music. The main events will be on Saturday, with vendors set up all day, contests, a parade, cooking demos, music and educational activities. The headliner music guest will play a concert/dance on Saturday night.

To learn more about the Sitka Seafood Festival or to volunteer to help on one of the committees, e-mail You also can contact Alicia Peavey at or 1-928-607-4845.

Sitka Seafood Festival minutes from the April 10, 2010, meeting

Sitka Seafood Festival committee breakdown and job tasks (updated)

Sitka Seafood Festival business donation assignments (who asks) (updated)

• Sitka Seafood Festival steering committee to meet on Saturday, April 10

Sockeye salmon hang in a smoker in preparation for the 2009 ANSWER Camp program

Sockeye salmon hang in a smoker in preparation for the 2009 ANSWER Camp program

The next meeting of the Sitka Seafood Festival steering committee is 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 10, at the Bayview Wine Bar (on the second floor of the Bayview Building on Lincoln Street).

During the April 5 meeting, the steering committee decided to hold the inaugural Sitka Seafood Festival on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 6-7. The tentative plan is to have an opening dinner on Friday night with a guest chef and the possibility of live music. The main events will be on Saturday, with vendors set up all day, contests, a parade, cooking demos, music and educational activities. The headliner music guest will play a concert/dance on Saturday night.

To learn more about the Sitka Seafood Festival or to volunteer to help on one of the committees, e-mail You also can contact Alicia Peavey at or 1-928-607-4845.

Sitka Seafood Festival committee breakdown and job tasks

Final draft of Sitka Seafood Festival donation letter

Sitka Seafood Festival business donation assignments (who asks)