Founded in 1978, AFDF is a collaboration of harvesters, processors, and support sector businesses dedicated to making opportunities out of challenges. AFDF identifies problems common to the Alaska seafood industry and collaborates with coastal communities, research institutes and government agencies to develop effective solutions with shared benefits.
The Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act, which was originally passed in 1976, contained language which allowed for the formation of regional fishery development corporations for the purpose of building infrastructure for the newly claimed American fishery resources. Shortly thereafter, six regional fisheries development foundations were created, however, only two remain in existence today: AFDF and the Gulf and South Atlantic Fisheries Foundation.
AFDF is a 501(c)3 nonprofit and has a Board of Directors which is representative of harvesters, processors and support sector businesses. Examples of past and current AFDF research and development projects are listed below:
• Development of surimi processing in Alaska
• Development of technology to convert fish waste to oil with the ability to scale the processing to the amount of waste created
• Research on trawl gear alterations to reduce salmon and halibut bycatch
• Cooperative research to develop salmon baby food with Ocean Beauty and Beech Nut
• Sponsored conferences such as “Energy Use in Fisheries” (Seattle, Nov. 2010) and “International Conference on Seafood Technology” (Anchorage, May 2010).
• Created and convenes the Alaska Symphony of Seafood which is an annual competition for new commercial-ready, value-added products made from Alaska seafood.
• In 2013, launched the Fishing Vessel Energy Audit Pilot Project which aims to help commercial fishermen save fuel and money through increased efficiency on vessels.