The Alaska Young Fishermen’s Network is a developing initiative that engages and empowers the next generation of fishermen to be successful in their careers and communities. We are currently building a statewide steering committee and regional chapters to help guide the activities of this growing effort.
The Network values principles of mentorship, innovation, stewardship, accountability and community health in all of its actions. It strives to create opportunities for young fishermen to develop new skills and connections, build resilient businesses, and be active and positive members of their fishing communities.
If you are a young fisherman or mentor and would like to host a young fishermen’s event or chapter meeting, have questions, or want to join the Network — which includes fishery policy updates and meeting announcements, invitations to events and participation on the Young Fishermen’s listserv — please visit the Alaska Young Fishermen’s Network website. You may also contact Network Coordinator Hannah Heimbuch at firstname.lastname@example.org and join the Alaska Young Fishermen’s Network Facebook Group.
Other Young Fishermen Efforts
GRAYING OF THE FLEET
A key aspect of AMCC’s work to conserve fisheries and support our coastal communities is finding solutions to the specific challenges young and new fishermen face when entering the business. Through research, education, outreach and leadership development, AMCC continually strives to develop ways to better support young fishermen as community and industry leaders. Collaborative research projects like The Graying of the Fleet in Alaska Fisheries: Defining the Problem, Assessing Alternatives is just one of the ways in which AMCC is working to help identify and advance policy and applied solutions to the barriers to entry and upward mobility in fisheries experienced by young Alaskans today.
YOUNG FISHERMEN’S DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
AMCC has been a primary driver of legislation to establish this program, a national effort to support young fishermen through federal funding for training and educational opportunities. This funding pool would help expand upon current, but very limited, regional efforts underway and initiate a federal program to support our nation’s beginning commercial fishermen and ensure a continuous supply of safe, healthy American seafood to market.
Currently, there is not a single federal program dedicated to training, educating and assisting the next generation of commercial fishermen and the need could not be greater. Without a new generation of fishermen, consumer access to domestically-caught seafood will disappear along with fishing jobs and portside infrastructure.
The program is modeled after the USDA’s successful Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, which Congress enacted several years ago to ensure the future of that industry. That program is credited with preparing hundreds of young farmers and ranchers for industry careers.