Cordova District Fishermen United (CDFU) is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving, promoting and perpetuating the commercial fishery in Area E.
CDFU has a board of up to 13 experienced commercial fishing permit holders in 4 separate divisions: Gillnet, Groundfish, Seine and Herring. CDFU is governed by organizational bylaws, which determine eligibility for Board membership. Board seats are staggered, and any Prince William Sound commercial fishery permit holder can run for a seat in the division in which they hold a permit.
CDFU’s structure is divisional, enabling each gear group to deal with gear-specific and allocative issues without comprising the function of the entire organization to address issues relevant to all commercial fishermen. It is important to note that CDFU, as an organization, does not take positions on gear-group allocations, but rather leaves that to each specific division.
CDFU is a 501(c)(5) non-profit organization, and as such is able to partake in political lobbying activities.
For many years, CDFU has administrated contracting and funding for the annual installation of the navigational stakes and buoys that mark two channels inside the Copper River Delta barrier islands, Pt. Whitshed to Egg Island & Steamboat to Pete Dahl. Stakes are placed to mark the channel between Point Whitshed and Egg Island and buoys are placed through Racetrack to aid in the safe navigation of vessels through these waters.
Over time the cost to maintain this program has substantially increased and CDFU responded by expanding our cooperative partnerships. The Copper River/PWS Marketing Association committed to increase support of this navigational safety and quality assurance program in 2014 & 2015 with a fiscal contribution that effectively covers the portion previously donated by fleet members individually. Local processors, Copper River Seafoods, Ocean Beauty Seafoods and Prime Select Seafoods annually support this program as well.
Navigational markers are put in place prior to the first commercial fishing period of the Copper River drift gillnet fishing season, and remain in place for the duration of the commercial fishing season, from approximately May 1 to October 15. Color maps are made available showing the locations of buoys and channel markers, and provide members with the longitude and latitude numbers for entry into GPS units. These maps are available online or from the CDFU office after May 10.
CDFU believes that education is key - it is the youth of today that promise a strong future for tomorrow. Every two years, CDFU hosts the Fish Prom dinner to raise funds for education programs, including a robust scholarship program. Scholarships are awarded to individuals seeking further education, with a vested interest in our fishery, the community of Cordova and the Prince William Sound region.
CDFU believes in the importance of fostering the growth and education of our youth.
Using funds raised through donations from the fleet, and during CDFU's biennial Fish Prom fundraiser, CDFU is
able to offer scholarships to dependents of CDFU members and the youth of Cordova.
Eligible applicants seeking further education in any field are invited to apply for CDFU scholarships.
Applicants will be competing for one of 3 scholarships as follows:
1 x $2,000 award~ Robert H. Blake Memorial Scholarship
1 x $1,000 awards ~ General CDFU award
1 x $500 award ~ Steve R. Smith Memorial Scholarship