There’s a movement going on in Cordova to get you to think differently about what you eat for dinner. It starts with a story.
“I want people to feel they can come aboard. I want to bring them in, make them feel like they’re a part of it and (so they) can feel connected to Alaska,” said Nelly Hand, a commercial fisherman using social media to widen her net to catch customers who care about what they eat.
Hand and her husband Michael own Drifter’s Fish. They use their website and Instagram accounts to drum up business. They don’t just want to sell their fish, they want to tell a story.
She and her husband are getting ready for the commercial fishing opener in Cordova. They are meticulous about everything on their boat, the Pelican, from the way they store their ice, to where they stand on the boat. They say every detail matters when it comes to salmon.
“Each one, you’re handling two or three times from the net to the ice,” Hand said. “We’re really trying to give it the best care that we can.”
For Hand, fishing is a journey she wants to share with her customers. From their nets in the mouth of the Copper River to fillets packed in ice and shipped off in chests from the Cordova airport, the Hands want people to know what happens to their meal every step of the way.
“We’re producing sustainable wild protein that’s cared for really well,” she explained.
It’s an idea that the Copper River Watershed Project says is connecting people with food.
“We want people to get excited about salmon. We want people to know they’re eating a high-quality food product and that it supports these families and people who work really hard to make that happen,” said Kristin Carpenter.
Instead of simply dropping off their fish at the cannery, the Hands process, pack and ship out as much salmon as they can sell. The couple said when they see fish, they don’t see dollar signs, they see a connection.
“Every fish that comes across our boat goes on someone’s plate, is someone’s dinner and feeds someone’s family,” Hand said.