Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association Seeks Applications for Crew Training Program

Image: Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association.

A fishing crew training program in Sitka, Alaska is accepting applications through March 31 to teach the next generation of young people interested in a career in commercial fisheries.

Since 2015, the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association (ALFA) and its partner, the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust (ASFT), have trained more than 100 apprentices and placed them on fishing vessels in Southeast Alaska.

The program is an effort to attract younger entrants into an industry where the average fishermen’s age in Alaska is now over 50.

The program was formalized as part of ALFA’s Young Fishermen Initiative in 2015. In 2017, ALFA was granted funds to get more boots on deck statewide.

Over several years, one of the skipper participants, ALFA Member Eric Jordan of the f/v I Gotta, has brought more than 50 young people fishing as part of ALFA’s Crew Training Program. While on the water, Jordan teaches the deckhands the intricacies of commercial fishing and demonstrates sustainable fishing practices to encourage a strong conservation ethic.

Program goals include giving young people the opportunity to better understand commercial fishing, the lifestyle it provides, and its important role in supporting coastal communities, while having a safe, well-guided entry level experience.

Program grants have been provided by the Edgerton Foundation, the City and Borough of Sitka, the Alaska Community Foundation, OneUSDA Southeast Alaska Sustainability Strategy (SASS), National Sea Grant’s Young Fishermen’s Development Program and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF).

There is no cost to apply. Application information is available at, or by emailing for more information.