Celebrating Women in Fishing: Leigh Thomet

Leigh Thomet winter crab fishing, Kodiak

Winter crab fishing, Kodiak

Continuing our celebration of National Women’s History Month, the Marine Fish Conservation Network has been highlighting the contributions of women to America’s fishing tradition. Several women are sharing their experiences in the commercial fishing industry with us.

In this blog post, we hear from Leigh Thomet from Kodiak, Alaska. She fishes for salmon, halibut, herring, and Tanner crab.

Leigh Thomet at her setnet site, Kodiak

Leigh Thomet at her setnet site, Kodiak

Why has commercial fishing been a good career for you and other women?

It has fulfilled the ‘adventure life’ for the type of person I am… Challenging, on the edge, and forcing me to push myself physically to keep going in uncomfortable conditions and personalities. This is likely the same for other women.

What has commercial fishing taught you about our relationship to the oceans and its natural resources?

My relationship to the ocean is full on respect. It’s an amazing world under the water – its inhabitants, movements, and rhythms. The nutrition that comes from seafood is unparalleled to that above the surface. Mother Ocean will put the boots to you in reminding you just how much respect you should have.

How can we better support working waterfronts and the people and families that depend on healthy fisheries?

It is common sense to make sure the younger generation can afford to have access to maintain fishing communities and support fishing families. Fisheries management must continue to strive to minimize bycatch and support small-scale fisheries.

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