Future Leaders dive into Portland

Members of the 2014 National Fisheries Institute (NFI)’s 2014 class had plenty to do at their second session this week taking place in Portland, Ore., U.S., including a dip in the pool that was anything but a casual swim.

The American NFI offers the program every year to applicants who want to get a hands-on immersion into the inner workings of the seafood industry. Since the program’s inception in 1998, the class size has grown each year, topping expectations this year with 44 class members. Each class attends four sessions, each in a different location in the United States, with leading American seafood companies hosting the group with discussions, hands-on activities and plant tours.

This week’s session is the second for the 2014 class, the first taking place in Florida and Georgia in May. This time, Pacific Seafood played host to the group, with tours of the company’s plants in Newport and Clackamas, Ore. Tour guides and other Pacific employees showed the attendees how the company takes in and processes shrimp, salmon and whitefish. The guides also discussed sustainability, noting the company’s certification from the Marine Stewardship Council, and the importance of traceability, describing software the company designed to help make it easier to track its products through every step of the supply chain.

One of the highlights of the session was on 9 July, when the group got a very hands-on look at what fishermen need to know in the case of an emergency. Instruction included a full safety course, with a list of what to remember when things go wrong, and a presentation of emergency tools available to fishermen. The items ranged from simple flares to high-tech handheld GPS tools to full-body immersion suits and life jackets. The course included actually trying on the thick, waterproof, heat-retaining suits in a simulated abandoning ship in a swimming pool. The class learned how to work together in the suits in the water, the exercise capping off the day’s activities.


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