February 22, 2018


Paula Dobbyn, Alaska Sea Grant, 907-274-9698,

MaryAnn Wagner, Washington Sea Grant, 206-616-6353,

Selling your catch: Sea Grant programs release new edition of

direct marketing guide

The Sea Grant programs in Alaska and Washington are releasing a new, updated edition of the popular Fishermen’s Direct Marketing Manual. As the business climate of the seafood industry evolves, many fishermen are choosing to directly market their catch in hopes of capturing more of its value so the publication’s release is timely.

Hard copies of the 5thedition of the manual, edited by Terry Johnson, are now available through Alaska Sea Grant’s online bookstore. The digital version is online on Alaska Sea Grant and Washington Sea Grant websites.

The manual is a how-to guide and reference book for commercial fishermen who wish to bypass processors and wholesalers and sell their catch directly to brokers, restaurants and other buyers. Direct marketing affords many opportunities but it also involves risk. In addition to fishing, harvesters also take on the added duties of finding buyers, handling market research, advertising and shipping logistics, dealing with regulatory red tape, and more.

The Fishermen’s Direct Marketing Manual helps readers think through the myriad of issues so they can decide whether this business model is right for them. The manual also takes them to the next step and provides much of what one needs to know to launch a new business or fine tune an existing one.

“Since the mid-1990s when we first published the book, hundreds of fishermen have said the manual is a valuable tool for navigating the gauntlet of challenges and opportunities involved with direct marketing,” said Paula Cullenberg, director of Alaska Sea Grant.

Among the many fishermen who have used the book is Shannon Ford, owner of Two If By Seafoods, based in Washington and Alaska. “When I began selling a portion of my catch, the Fishermen’s Direct Marketing Manual was my single most valuable resource in navigating that brand new arena.  Now 10 years later, I still refer to it as a comprehensive guide and reference,” said Ford.

The new edition is packed with updated information on branding, product placement, social media and emerging products.

The manual also has new sections on accounting, insurance, digital marketing and commerce, and working with custom processors. “The book will serve as a useful resource for anyone involved with the business of fishing,”comments Washington Sea Grant Director, Penny Dalton.


ADDITIONAL CONTACT: Editor Terry Johnson, retired professor, University of Alaska Fairbanks, College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences,



Washington Sea Grant, based at the University of Washington, provides statewide research, outreach, and education services addressing the challenges facing our ocean and coasts. The National Sea Grant College Program is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

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