Bering Sea Fishermen’s Association receives grant

photo by Greg Lincoln

On May 10, 2018, Bering Sea Fishermen’s Association (BSFA) received a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) to fund the Alaska Ocean Cluster Initiative (AOCI).
In early 2017, BSFA began pursuing the development of an Alaska Ocean Cluster to promote and enhance Alaska’s seafood industry growth, blue/ocean economy, and support Arctic prosperity.
The concept of clustering involves a group of companies in related fields forming around a base industry and, in the process, enhancing both the industry and each other through economic transactions and circulated assets. The GOAL is…
To grow Alaska’s ocean economy by:
● Increasing opportunities for entrepreneurship and innovation
● Increasing collaboration among businesses, non-profits, government and universities
● Increasing awareness and education
● Establishing a link to other Arctic nations
The Alaska Ocean Cluster (AOC) mission is to design and build a framework around Alaska’s ocean economy. The AOCI will be a hub for entrepreneurship, collaboration and education within Alaska’s fisheries and maritime sector. The AOC will have a sustainable business model, generating revenue through multiple sources including membership fees, leased office space and business consulting services.
Cluster initiatives (CIs) are organized efforts to increase growth and competitiveness of an industry within a region, involving industry representatives, government, universities and the research community. CIs have become a central feature in improving growth and competitiveness. CI’s have formed new partnerships between government, academic and industry leaders in all parts of the world. There are over 50 ocean or maritime cluster examples from around the globe from which to emulate.
The AOC will be a global resource, a one-stop “shopping” space where people will learn about opportunities to engage in Alaska’s fisheries and maritime sector. The AOC will serve all stakeholders within the industry including private enterprises, non-profits, government, and university. It will offer consulting services to entrepreneurs and businesses as well as outreach to Alaskan ports to support their fisheries and maritime sectors.
The long-range vision includes adding an Alaska Maritime Museum to expand education and tourism. Overall, the AOC will create a positive long-term economic impact for Alaska by creating opportunities for Alaskans to engage in the fisheries and maritime sector through entrepreneurship, collaboration and education.
“These funds provide an exciting jumpstart to the economic growth work we have been doing for the past year. We are thrilled about the doors this opens for the Initiative and look forward to growing Alaska’s economy in ways that would not have been possible without grant funding.” AOCI Program Director, Joel Cladouhos.
EDA’s mission is to lead the Federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness, preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy.
BSFA works to support healthy and vibrant fishing communities by fostering greater social, financial, and political capacity to access and develop fisheries in the Arctic, Yukon, Kuskokwim, and Bristol Bay regions of Alaska. We are committed to the sustainable management of Alaska’s resources and serve as stewards of the extraordinary lifestyle and culture of Alaskans. We serve to strengthen local communities, support long-term ecological integrity, and stimulate robust economies.

1 Comment

  1. Thank you, Delta Discovery, for sharing this news.
    If you google “ocean economy” you’ll be blown away by the efforts around the globe to develop and transform economies, shifting attention toward our ocean’s business potential. This isn’t about exploiting our resources but thinking about the capacity to utilize these resources by increasing growth and competitiveness of ocean-associated industries. Join us as we work to strengthen ALASKA’S OCEAN ECONOMY.

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