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Small Boat Fishermen Advocate for Thriving Working Waterfronts in Washington

Updated: Jun 27

Posted June 27, 2024

Community-based fishermen from Alaska and around the Nation flew to Washington, D.C. in May 2024 to take part in the annual Fishing Communities Coalition (FCC) fly-in to advocate for a number of policies that support sustainable and equitable fisheries and vibrant working waterfronts. 

From L to R: Chris Ystad, Astrid Rose, Danielle Ringer, Theresa Peterson, Grace Allen, Lauren Howard, Emily Scott and Karl Jordan (kneeling)

Alaska Marine Conservation Council is a longtime member of the FCC, an association of commercial fishing groups representing more than 1,000 independent small boat fishermen and business owners who share a commitment to the sustainable management of America’s fishery resources. AMCC’s Fisheries Policy Director Theresa Peterson organized a group of fishermen to attend who proudly represented Alaska to our congressional delegation and other key policymakers.

A priority for this year’s fly-in was to continue efforts to help lawmakers understand how they can support fisheries and seafood in the renewal of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Bill. Despite the fact that fishermen are food providers, fishing and seafood industries are currently ineligible to apply for many USDA programs. 

Together, AMCC and the other FCC representatives advocated for fishing communities across the country to be eligible to participate in these valuable programs too. Such access would allow us to maintain and strengthen working waterfront areas, provide opportunities for the next generation of commercial fishermen, integrate seafood into regional food systems, advance our domestic seafood marketing programs and bring more nutritious seafood into national school lunch programs. 

We are heartened to see numerous meaningful provisions included in the recently released Senate Republican version of the Farm Bill framework to support our working waterfronts and fishing communities in Alaska and around the Nation.

To read more about these provisions, a brief history of the Farm Bill and the effort to see fisheries more represented in it, check out these recent articles in National Fisherman and Seafood Source. While you’re at it, you can read more about the 2024 FCC fly-in in this story Thirty Six Offices in Two Days, Small Boat Fishermen in D.C. by Doreen Leggett from the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance.

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