makes it to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro
seafood dealer Jeff Aiken reached the Mt. Kilimanjaro summit Friday
afternoon, Jan 29. In an interview before he began the week
climb, Aiken said he wanted to use the opportunity to raise public
awareness about the challenges facing commercial fishing families and
to raise funds for Commercial Fishermen of America, a coalition of
organizations that support commercial fishing and promote healthy
oceans. More information about the organization is available
January 20, 2010
Hatteras seafood dealer aims to scale Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa
seafood dealer Jeff Aiken will be leaving the lowlands later this month
to scale Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak and the
world’s tallest free-standing peak.
it’s a ‘bucket list’ sort of adventure for me,” Aiken, 58, said.
a personal dream is not Aiken’s only motivation for climbing the 19,340
foot peak in Tanzania though.
He will be
carrying a banner from Commercial Fishermen of America to display when
he reaches the summit.
public hears a lot of information about overfishing and the need for
conservation, but I don’t think they hear enough about what is
happening to the families that harvest seafood. I hope to
draw attention to that part of the story with this climb,” Aiken
said family fishing fleets are rapidly disappearing from U.S. docks and
ports under the weight of an unfriendly regulatory environment.
Fishermen of America is a coalition of organizations that support
commercial fishermen and promote healthy oceans.
hopes people will join him in supporting the cause by donating to the
coalition anything from a penny to a dollar for every foot he
said his experiences hiking the Appalachian Trail when he was younger
made the idea of climbing Kilimanjaro with a long-time friend instantly
has been training for several months. Training includes
weights while climbing the stairs of the 37 story tall building in
Virginia Beach where he and his wife own a condo.
been training pretty vigorously, and the guide service we’ll be
using does everything possible to make sure guys like me don’t
get hurt,” Aiken said.
admitted that the big unknown is how he will react to the altitude.
people climbing Kilimanjaro experience some degree of altitude
sickness, and suffer some discomfort, such as headaches or vomiting.
reactions can also occur, resulting in treks cut short.
wishing to support Aiken’s cause can send pledged donations
directly to Commercial Fishermen of America, c/o Maryland
Watermen’s Association, P.O. Box 436, Chester, MD 21619.
is paying all of his own expenses associated with the climb, and any
donations will go entirely to Commercial Fishermen of America.