Large monetary donations are pouring in from Alaska and Seattle-based participants in the seafood industry to aid fishing communities hard hit by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
The Alaska Fishing Industry Relief Mission in Juneau announced this week that the Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association has donated $20,000, while Unisea has pledged to match donations to AFIRM from its employees and crab fleet up to $50,000. In addition, said AFIRM director Terry Shaff, president of Unisea, Tatoosh Seafoods has donated $5,000, the Northwest Farm Service Creditors has donated $5,000, United Fishermen of Alaska, $1,000, and other individual donations are pushing AFIRM over $140,000 raised or committee in just a week of active fundraising.
AFIRM chairman Larry Cotter of APICDA urged those who make their living from the seafood industry to remember their long-term partnership with and many friends in Japan.
Meanwhile, AFIRM board members and advisors have been in contact with the Japanese Embassy in Washington DC, the Japanese Fisheries Association, the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, Maruha Nichiro, Nissui and other Japanese companies to seek their input on the most effective way to directly assist people and communities in need.
AFIRM, a non-profit charity, was first formed to assist Gulf of Mexico fishing communities following hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.
All donations to AFIRM are tax deductible and may be made online at www.akjapanhelp.org