National Seafood Month Spotlight: Leigh Thomet

Leigh Thomet winter crab fishing, Kodiak

Top photo: Winter crab fishing, Kodiak

To celebrate National Seafood month, we’re highlighting the women and men who bring sustainable seafood to our dinner tables. Next we hear from Leigh Thomet from Kodiak, Alaska, whom we first met earlier this year. 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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