Kodiak Chamber rolls out ComFish forums for Sept. 17-18

Kodiak Chamber of Commerce officials have rolled out the preliminary agenda for the 40th annual ComFish Alaska forums set for Sept. 17-18 in virtual format, with the advisory that all forum times and titles are still subject to change.

All events will be recorded and available online until ComFishAk 2021, chamber officials said.

As of Wednesday, Sept. 9, efforts were still underway to finalize a virtual debate during ComFish between Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, and independent Dr. Al Gross, an orthopedic surgeon and commercial fisherman challenging Sullivan in his bid for re-election.

The Kodiak Chamber, which organizes the fisheries forum and trade show, opted to go online in 2020 because of the global novel coronavirus pandemic, with no trade show.

On tap for the first day of ComFish are three morning sessions offering updates on federal legislation from Alaska’s congressional delegation; the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, by fisheries economist Garrett Evridge of the McDowell Group and ASMI’s communications director Ashley Heimbigner; and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, by regional manager Nat Nichols.

The two afternoon sessions will focus on getting started in mariculture, with marine biologist Tamsen Peeples, and Paul Dobbins of the World Wildlife Fund; and cooperative research., with a presentation by Paul McCluskey of the Alaska Fisheries Science Center.

Day two will include updates from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services on state COVID-19 mandate 17, by Tom Koloski; and by Fish and Game Commissioner Doug Vincent-Lang and John Moller, public policy advisor to Gov. Mike Dunleavy. There will also be presentations from Sen. Gary Stevens and Rep. Louise Stutes, both R-Kodiak; fisheries safety issues, by Ted Teske of the National Institutes of Occupational Safety and Health; and shipboard electrical safety, by Adam Smude, owner and lead technician of Breakwater Marine Electric in Homer.