Mike Bangs (Photo courtesy of the Federal Subsistence Management Program, U.S. Department of the Interior)

The United Fishermen of Alaska have honored Mike Bangs of Petersburg, who died in February, as the organization’s fisherman of the year for 2018.
Bangs, a commercial diver and fisherman, was 62. The UFA noted that he was an industry leader in the development of the herring roe-on-kelp fisheries and dive fisheries in Southeast.

The statewide commercial fishing trade association’s executive director Frances Leach said the decision was made at UFA’s spring meeting. “Mike was a really great example of the fact that a commercial fishermen’s job is not just limited to working on the boat,” Leach said. “Mike was very involved in the Southeast Regional Subsistence Advisory Council, your local Petersburg fish and game advisory committee and he was also on the Southeast Alaska Regional Dive Fisheries Association and his dedication to public service off the deck was absolutely outstanding which is why we recognized him.”

Originally from Washington state, Bangs was involved in the 1998 start up of the Southeast Alaska Regional Dive Fisheries Association and was elected the first president of the board for that industry group. He served on the regional subsistence advisory council since 2003 and was part of other local boards as well.