CDQ champions recognized

Deckboss certainly didn't receive an invitation. Heck, he didn't even known it was happening.

But apparently a big event was held last week in Anchorage to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of the Community Development Quota program.

The festivities included recognizing 15 people who helped create one of Alaska's "most innovative and successful economic development projects."

Among the honorees: the late Sen. Ted Stevens, the late Harvey Samuelsen of Dillingham, former state "fisheries tsar" Clem Tillion of Halibut Cove, and former Anchorage banker Ed Rasmuson.

For the complete list and more details on the March 30 celebration, check out this press release.

Launched in 1992, the CDQ program is a government initiative that reserves roughly 10 percent of the Bering Sea's lucrative fish and crab quotas for the benefit of Western Alaska villages. Six companies represent groups of villages, managing their seafood harvests and investments.

The six CDQ companies have amassed hundreds of millions of dollars in assets, including interests in large fishing vessels and processing plants. Creating rural jobs and educational opportunities is a major focus for the CDQ program, its leaders say.