Jim Smith is an Eyak Native from Cordova, Alaska who grew up in the fishing industry. He was raised in a commercial fishing family and has fished the United States west coast waters of Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and California. He got his first job when he was just 10 years old working for a man who would teach him how to hunt and skin seals and otters. Like many people in Cordova, he watched his parents set aside portions of their catch and hunts to give to grandparents, aunties, uncles and other Elders in the community. Jim sees the need for continuing this important tradition and feels compelled to play a role in furthering it. Jim’s fishing experience gave him the practical knowledge and tools to manage people whose livelihoods require the skills for making nets, for providing subsistence foods from best practices, and for deploying research vessels for kelp seed sourcing, outplanting, harvesting, and processing. Today, Jim serves Alaska’s coastal communities as head of Native Conservancy’s Restoration Management program both as a fisherman and a ‘kelper’.