Three Alaska fisheries veterans join Sitka Salmon Shares

Published on
February 9, 2021

Community supported fishery Sitka Salmon Shares is expanding its team, bringing on Michael Kohan as its fisheries science and policy director, Steve Ricci as its fisheries and fleet director, and Lauren Mitchell as its Sitka fleet manager.

The company, which aims to delivery traceable, wild-caught Alaska seafood from small-boat fishermen to home cooks across the U.S., has added to its team in an effort to bolster a more ethical seafood system amid the unfolding climate crisis.

"Against the backdrop of the growing threat of climate change, we are striving to create a more just seafood system that focuses on stability for small-scale fishermen, environmental stewardship and better-tasting fish that our members can trust," Sitka Salmon Shares Co-Founder, CEO, and Chief Fishmonger Nic Mink said. "By expanding our team with these proven leaders in Alaska fisheries, we are investing in the company's commitment to building a values-driven supply chain that benefits fishermen, communities, food systems, and our oceans."

Sitka Salmon Shares’ innovation directives and responsiveness to the growing impact of climate change on fisheries in Alaska will be steered by Kohan, who will work closely “with supply chain leadership and the growing fleet of small-boat fishermen-owners,” the company said. Kohan formerly served as seafood technical director for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) and as a wildlife biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Ricci, an established policy leader in Alaska, “will actively support the growth of Sitka Salmon Shares' fleet of small-boat fishermen-owners with the goal of improving their livelihoods and well-being,” the company said. The former skipper has served more than a decade in the legislative and executive branches of Alaska state government, aiding the Alaska Department of Fish and Game with key budget strategies, policies, and legislation. He is also a former quota manager for the Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association.

Mitchell comes to the role of fleet manager with a robust maritime background, previously working as a staff member to Alaska Longline Fishermen's Association and as captain and deckhand of the F/V Northwind in Sitka. As fleet manager, Mitchell will “develop and support the company's expanding fleet to ensure its focus on the highest environmental, social, and quality standards across its supply chain,” Sitka Salmon Shares said.

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