AFDF Member Spotlight: Al Burch

Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 12.05.08 AMAl Burch received the prestigious Walter J. and Ermalee Hickel Lifetime Achievement Award. The late Governor Walter J. Hickel and his wife Ermalee endowed this award for 10 years to recognize an individual who has made exceptional contributions to the management of Alaska’s coastal and ocean resources over a period of 20 years or more. Starting as a shrimp dragger in Seward, Al Burch has fished Alaskan waters for more than 55 years and serves on numerous national and international fishing boards. Since 2002, Al has represented the Kodiak Island Borough on the board of the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council. Al accepted the council position because he believes it is important that active fishermen have representation. He strives for an equal balance between various interest groups to ensure Alaskan waters are protected but not overly regulated. Al is a founding member of the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation and served 30 years on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s Advisory Panel. He recently retired as the Executive Director of the Alaska Whitefish Trawlers Association, a non-profit group representing approximately 40 bottom-fish vessels out of Kodiak. He was inducted into the United Fishermen of Alaska’s Seafood Hall of Fame in 2009 for his dedication to Alaska’s fisheries and ocean resources. Award was presented at the Alaska Marine Gala.