Last month, Maggie Bursch’s short film, “Grateful for Salmon,” won an honorable mention at the Alaska Ocean Film Festival.
The video depicted Bursch’s everyday life running a fishing boat off the coast of Alaska each summer.
“What I wanted when I made that film was to tell my story and explain what fishing is like,” said Bursch. “Through the upsides and downsides, salmon fishing is in my blood and is very important to me.”
Bursch, an Alaska native, was introduced to fishing by her parents, both commercial salmon fishers. She gained experience throughout her childhood and held a leadership position on a boat by the time she was 15.
Two years ago, she bought her own commercial fishing boat.
From the day she leaves CC in May to the day she returns in August, she is focused on the preparation, repairs, and management of the boat to fund her education at CC.
The original idea for the film came from a joke between Bursch and a co-worker, and then morphed into something that Bursch became passionate about sharing.
“Making a video was perfect for fishing because you have a lot of time for editing while you are just sitting around,” she said. Bursch has made other videos before but has never taken a filmmaking course at CC.
Bursch entered her film into the Alaska Ocean Film Festival at the suggestion of her mom. Films had to be under five minutes and be related to ocean sustainability.
“I really believe that fishermen have a bad name and there are a lot of fisherman that destroy the ocean, but I also believe that there is a sustainable solution,” said Bursch. “It’s the salmon fishermen that work to protect the salmon through a sustainable fishery. They’re the only people who can give the salmon a voice.”
Bursch’s video, “Grateful For Salmon,” is available on YouTube.