The Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association (ALFA) in Sitka has received a $40,000 grant for a pilot project to convert the Alaska fishing fleet to hybrid diesel/electric in order to help lower the carbon footprint within the seafood industry.
The project, supported by the Energy Transitions Initiative Project Partnership, joins ALFA with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Kemp Energetics to transfer technologies proven through other forms of transportation to small-scale commercial fishing boats.
The Seafood Industry Climate Award (SICA) from the Acme Smoked Fish Foundation in Brooklyn, N.Y., will be used to purchase equipment for ALFA’s hybridization and decarbonization project, ALFA Executive Director Linda Behnken said.
Together with TD Bank of Anchorage as the catalyst sponsor, Acme’s awards program looks to support innovation to mitigate the impacts of climate change while featuring the work of underrepresented groups.
In addition to funding, award recipients have opportunities to work with leaders at Acme Smoked Fish Corp.
Behnken said that hybrid boats make sense in the immediate future for many vessels in the ALFA fleet.
“Our long-term goal is to completely decarbonize our fleet so we are doing our part to address climate change and ocean acidification,” she said. “This award moves us closer to a carbon neutral future.”
Fuel usage in wild capture fisheries contributes significantly to carbon emission and high costs in the seafood industry. The ALFA project, thanks to Acme’s support, takes on the challenge, piloting technology that can lead the fleet toward a lower carbon footprint.
The Acme Smoked Fish Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit founded in 2021 in honor of the late Eric Caslow, co-chairman of Acme and a leader in the seafood industry for more than 50 years.