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Tony Allison Discusses Soviet-American Joint Fishing Venture and Citizen Diplomacy During the Cold War

December 18, 2017

For many years, Tony Allison worked for Marine Resources Company, the only jointly owned Soviet-American venture during the Cold War period. He was the first Fisheries Operations Manager at sea on Soviet processing vessels that received catches from US boats. These operations continued for 12 years. Later, Tony served in Russia as Director of the Nakhodka and Moscow offices of the Marine Resources Company and then served as CEO from 1990 until the company’s closure in 2001. Marine Resources Company sponsored or initiated several forms of citizen diplomacy with the USSR-Russia, including a baseball exchange, long-distance chess matches between school children, and a sister city relationship between Bellingham and Nakhodka. Tony subsequently became a high school history teacher in Seattle for several years before transitioning to teaching environmental education at the Washington Park Arboretum and Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust. He recently initiated an environmental education exchange between Botanical Gardens in the Russian Far East and the Pacific Northwest.

Tony was a presenter at the Ellison Center’s Master Teacher Workshop in October 2017 and will participate in the upcoming symposium, Glasnost & Goodwill: Citizen Diplomacy in the Northwest held in conjunction with the ongoing exhibit by the same name at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma, WA. The symposium will take place on January 20, 2018.

Glasnost & Goodwill Exhibit Video


Tony Allison is author of “Fishing with the Soviets” published in Columbia Magazine and the article “Back To The Cold War? A Seattleite’s Anxious Return To Russia” on KOUW’s website.

The resource packet created for the Master Teacher Workshop is available here.

Listen to Tony Allison’s presentation from the workshop below.