Fishing Fellows Program


Program Summary

The Young Fishing Fellows Program is an AMCC initiative in our steadfast commitment to Alaska’s next generation of fishermen as stewards, advocates, business owners and community leaders.

The program works with community partner organizations to provide fellows with valuable learning, leadership and career-building opportunities in the following arenas:


  • Fisheries management & policy
  • Seafood businesses
  • Seafood markets
  • Fisheries & ocean sciences
  • Marine conservation
  • Fishing community sustainability & well-being

Fellowships match the goals and needs of young fishermen today with host organizations engaged in fisheries-related projects. Fellowships are structured to provide opportunity, experience and support to young fishing leaders through mentorship, professional development and hands-on learning. In 2018-2019, AMCC will work with partner organizations to offer fellowships based in Homer, Juneau, Kodiak, and Anchorage.

The Young Fishing Fellows Program is funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Edgerton Foundation. For inquiries about YFFP, please contact

For inquiries about the fellowships, please contact Dr. Rachel Donkersloot at:

Click Here to View our 2018 Fellowship Opportunities!


Which organizations are hosting fellowships?

AMCC supports young fishing fellows at Alaska organizations engaged in work central to the sustainable management of fisheries and complementary to AMCC’s mission, values and goals. You can read more about our 2017-2018 host organizations and fellowship projects here.

What is the program’s format?

The Young Fishing Fellows Program provides young Alaskan fishermen with valuable learning, leadership and career-building opportunities in the following arenas: fisheries management and policy, seafood business, seafood markets, fisheries and ocean science, marine conservation, and fishing community culture, sustainability and well-being. The program works with a broad group of community partners to match the goals and needs of young fishermen today with host organizations across coastal Alaska engaged in fishery-related issues and projects. AMCC’s Young Fishing Fellows Programs works to provide fellows with opportunity and support to become leaders through mentorship and professional development while also offering important off-season job opportunities that help to grow their knowledge of the fishing industry. The Young Fishing Fellows Program is designed to be flexible in nature in terms of duration and scope of work. We have identified 4-12 months as a target for fellowship length. AMCC works in collaboration with host organizations and fellows to define the scope of work, goals and expectations for each individual fellowship.

What is required?

Each fellowship begins with an orientation led by AMCC staff and the host organization. At that time, a clear list of work activities, goals and expectations are identified and agreed upon. Each fellow is required to (co)host one or two community-based outreach activities designed to help grow and shape the Alaska Young Fishermen’s Network (AYFN). AYFN is a recent initiative of AMCC and aims to empower the next generation of fishermen as advocates, stewards, business owners and community leaders.Outreach activities may include (co)organizing a young fishermen event or workshop, or writing an article or blog for a local paper or the AYFN website.

How is the program funded?

AMCC provides grants to host organizations which cover the fellowship stipend. In some cases, host organizations provide matching funds to support fellows and cover additional costs such as travel. Matching funds are not required to apply to serve as a host organization for this program.

Who is eligible to apply? (i.e. Who is a young fisherman?)

AMCC and host organizations seek applications from highly motivated individuals currently engaged in Alaska fisheries and interested in furthering their education, personal growth and professional development in Alaska fisheries.

Applicants must be:

  • Alaska residents that participate in Alaska commercial and/or subsistence fisheries.
  • Active crew members, skippers and/or permit/quota holders.
  • All active fishermen under the age of 40 are welcome to apply but priority will be given to fishermen with at least 3 years of fishing experience and demonstrated leadership and commitment to their community and industry.
  • Applicants must be able to commit to the full duration of the fellowship.

How can fellows stay engaged after their fellowship ends?

The Young Fishing Fellows Program was created in the spirit of AMCC’s broader work to support the next generation of community-based fishermen in Alaska. The program is tied closely to the Alaska Young Fishermen’s Network (AYFN). Both initiatives work to connect young fishermen to each other, to strong mentors and to the resources they need to be successful. The Alaska Young Fishermen’s Network is the vehicle which supports the continued engagement and growth of fellows after fellowships end. You can learn more about AYFN or join the network here.

How do I apply for a fellowship?

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