Pelican Struggles with Absent Fish Economy: Part One

The Chichagof Island city of Pelican has long prided itself on being “closest to the fish.” Its placement in Lisianski Inlet made it an ideal spot for fishermen to drop off their catch and quickly head back out to the fishing grounds.

That’s how Pelican started in 1938, when Charlie Raatikainen, aboard the fishing vessel “Pelican,” established a cold storage facility here. But that complex is now closed, and as a result, the local economy has suffered.

This week, KCAW looks at Pelican in a three part series. In parts two and three, we’ll look at the perseverance of local residents and their hopes for the future.

In this first installment, KCAW’s Ed Ronco reports on the loss of the cold storage, and what it’s meant for Pelican.

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Ed Ronco is a reporter at KCAW in Sitka.

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