Walt Pasternak, F/V Christi-rob

Walt Pasternak sits easy in the captain's seat in the wheelhouse of the Christi-Rob. And he should, he's been fishing since the mid-70's, first as a handtroller out of a sailboat and several boat later, this troller/longliner. He's been attracted to the fishing lifestyle from the beginning - loves the adventure, the independence, experiencing the ocean - all of it. Pasternak's deckhand since 1999, Jeff Farvour, says "It just gets inside you; it's fulfilling. You get to do all those things that a lot of people just dream about, including providing all that food to the public."

Asked what extra care they take of their fish, Walt replied, "We treat each one personal, like we're going to eat that one." Wife Megan adds, "We treat it like our own." Their insulated fish hold has chilling plates which keep the ice good and cold so fish can be delivered fresh. When they fish black cod, they only out 2 days, halibut - 3 to 4 days, and salmon - 1 to 5 days.

This caring is also seen in the importance they place on protecting the natural resources. Farvour commented that "commitment to stewardship is essential in this industry." These three Alaskans don't stop there. They're all involved in the community of Sitka, especially in protecting commercial fishers' interests.

They're passionate about their home and their work. Farvour says this is the best place on the planet, he couldn't imagine living anywhere else. "I live in Alaska because I fish here, there should be that level of commitment."

Profile and photos by Mim McConnell