Aug 25 2008
German Media Get A Taste Of Alaska Seafood
Monday, 25 August 2008

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            Recent data suggests that while Japan and other Asian markets continue to lead the way for importing Alaska seafood, the rest of the world is quickly catching up, especially the countries that make up the European Union. The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute is trying to take advantage of Europeans’ interest in Alaska fish by bringing journalists from the region to the state. KMXT’s Casey Kelly has more.

            Christian Bader is a German television journalist based in Munich. He’s working on a documentary about Alaska’s fishing industry that will air on German TV.

            (Bader 1                                              :10s                             “…it’s a lot of salmon.”)

            ASMI set it up so that Bader and his cameraman could spend the night on a salmon troller outside Sitka. They’ve also visited Juneau and now Kodiak. On Saturday, they took a floatplane to the Kodiak Regional Aquaculture Association’s Kitoi Bay Hatchery on Afognak Island. Bader says he’s been impressed by Alaska’s natural beauty, which he calls “the wild, wild north.”

            (Bader 2                                              :20s                             “…a wild state, I guess.”)

            Bader says Germans, and Europeans in general, are concerned about over fishing, and react favorably to buzzwords like sustainability and wild. According to ASMI’s website, between 2000 and 2006 the percentage of Alaska’s seafood exported to Europe increased from 11 percent of all exports to 23 percent. But even though Alaska seafood is making in-roads in European markets, Bader says it’s still a tough sell.

            (Bader 3                                              :25s                             “…Alaskan, wild caught salmon.”)

            Cornelia Stolze is a freelance journalist from Hamburg with a background in biology. She writes mainly on the topics of the environment and sustainability. But as a consumer, she admits that in the past she hasn’t paid much attention to where her fish comes from.

            (Stolze 1                                              :21s                             “…happened during this travel.”)

She says in Europe, with so many countries competing for limited resources, there’s no unified fishery management. So getting to witness Alaska’s system up close has been an eye-opener.

(Stolze 2                                              :19s                             “…that’s very nice to see.”)

This isn’t the first time ASMI has brought foreign journalists to witness Alaska’s fishing industry. Last year a group from France toured Southeast Alaska. In 2006, a group from China visited the state on a trip that included a stop in Kodiak.

I’m Casey Kelly.