PWSSC honors McCune contributions to fisheries resources

Commercial fisheries veteran Jerry McCune, a gillnetter and lobbyist who recently retired as president of Cordova District Fishermen United, has been honored as the 2022 winner of the Prince William Sound Science Center’s Fisheries Achievement Award.

He was recognized during the presentation of the award during the 2022 Copper River Nouveau dinner by Katrina Hoffman, president and CEO of the science center.

“He received the biggest standing ovation I have ever seen at the Copper River Nouveau,” she said. “It was a wonderful celebration of his many decades of achievements.”

McCune has been a commercial gillnetter out of Cordova for 64 years, buying into the fishery at age 15. He has participated in seine, crab and herring fisheries.

After graduating from Cordova High School in 1966, he got a $2,500 loan from a local cannery to purchase a gillnet plus a 26-foot Charlie Moore skiff with a cabin to begin a lifetime of fishing.

In addition to his leadership of CDFU, McCune served as president of United Fishermen of Alaska from 1993 to 1998 and again from 2014 to 2018, and as a fisheries lobbyist for over 30 years.

In the wake of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster, McCune helped to strengthen oil spill contingency planning in Prince William Sound and advocated for establishment of the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council, securing CDFU a permanent seat on that council.

He served on the PWSRCAC board from 1981 through 1991, on Gov. Tony Knowles’ Fisheries Transition team in 1998, and on Gov. Frank Murkowski’s Fisheries Restructure Panel for the Alaska Board of Fisheries in 2005.

McCune was named to the first UFA Alaska Seafood Industry Hall of Fame in 2009, for his “lifetime contribution to sustaining Alaska’s commercial fisheries and resources for the benefit of Alaska’s social and economic well-being.”

He has taught his own children and grandchildren how to fish, and also mentored participants in the Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit.