Need a deckhand?

ALFA Members, 

We have received several requests from potential crew who are interested in participating in our crewmember apprenticeship program. We are now looking for experienced skippers to match them with. If you are looking for crew for next season, are interested in taking someone out for any period of time, or are just interested in getting involved, please contact Alyssa at


Thank you! 

NOAA report reaches to compound the interest and rewards of sport fishing

By Jerry Fraser

This article from National Fishermen points out misleading information put forth in a recent NOAA report. 

"Anyone who spends time with NOAA’s report will recognize that the commercial harvest of fish is a substantial driver of the national economy. Why, in a report intended to illuminate the masses, NOAA chooses to trumpet the soft science of a data-poor economic impact assessment is beyond me, and a little worrisome."

Read the full post here:

Electronic monitoring rolling out in 2018 after years of work

Excerpt from the full article- read the full article here. 

Alaska fishermen will see changes to the mandatory observer program next year.
After years of requests, testing and prepping, the National Marine Fisheries Service is rolling out a more-complete electronic monitoring program for small boat fishermen who are directed to have partial observer coverage as part of the 2018 observer program.
Electronic Monitoring uses cameras and sensors to record and monitor fishing activities, and help ensure the accuracy of catch records. Normally, that work is done by human observers who are placed on fishing vessels.
But when the North Pacific Fishery Management Council moved to put observers on smaller fishing vessels (those 60 feet or shorter) several years ago, to get a better sense of what was happening on those boats, captains said it could be problematic to take an extra person on their boats.

Join ALFA at the 2017 Fall Fishermen's Expo!

The next Fishermen's Expo is planned for November 7-10th, 2017, as part of an initiative by the Sitka Seafood Festival to involved more fishermen with the festivities. Visit or contact 747-3400 for more details! 

Schedule (view a PDF version here)

November 7th (Centennial Hall): 
-F/V Drill Conducter training (more info coming soon!) (full day training, sign up at

November 8th (Centennial Hall): 
- 9 AM : Bathymetric Mapping Workshop
- 1pm : “ASMI Update: The value of your catch and consumer marketing trends.” 
- Nobeltec vessel visits (email to sign up) 
- 2 PM: Sablefish Pots 101
- 3 PM: "Eyes on the Sea: What halibut fishermen have to say about bycatch and data collection in their fishery"
- 5:30pm Fishermen's Job Fair & Mixer at the Mean Queen

November 9th (Centennial Hall): 
- 9 am: Bookeeping for your Fishing Business
- 11am: Borrowing for your Fishing Business
- 1:30-4:30pm: Fishing Vessel Stability Training

ALFA and the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust banded together to host the first ever Fishermen's Expos in 2016 and 2017, which offered workshops on topics such as fuel efficiency, fishing for sablefish using pot gear, and reducing sperm whale depredation on longline gear. Since then, the expo has evolved to focus especially on young people and those who are new to the industry by offering workshops focusing on business skills, beginner's courses in seafloor mapping, and safety courses.

Japanese Marine Debris- paper published

We've received exciting news about friends of ALFA, Jim and Debby Carlton, who gave a talk and dock walk about this fascinating work at the Sitka Seafood Festival this year!

Jim and Debby Carlton have a major research paper published today at 2:00 PM in Science (with the *cover photo* as well!) on their past 5 years of research on Japanese tsunami marine debris! Jim is lead author, with additional co-authors John Chapman (who many spring W/M alums will remember as our spaghetti dinner chef in Newport, Oregon), Jon Geller, Jessica Miller, Greg Ruiz, Megan McCuller, Nancy Treneman, and Brian Steves. A Perspectives essay was also written about the paper. To see the paper go to ! 

Alaska Day Open House & Smoked Seafood Contest

Join ALFA for our third annual Alaska Day Open House and Smoked Seafood Contest! This event will be held at 10 AM on Wednesday, October 18th at the Sitka Sound Science Center.

Enjoy a delicious brunch (including our world famous black cod!) and mingle with fisherfolk and townfolk alike at this fun and casual event. During this event, will also hold a screening of our short Patagonia-funded film, WE ARE ALL FISHERMEN, which features local fishing families. 

We will have awesome prizes available for the top two winners of our smoked seafood contest, to be judged and awarded during the event! 

Participants interested in entering our smoked seafood contest should email to confirm before the event.

IPHC Seeks Vessels to Conduct Halibut Discard Mortality Study

The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) is seeking commercial longline and research vessels to conduct a Pacific halibut discard mortality study in the latter part of October to early November 2017. The purpose of the charter is to (1) evaluate the effects of fish handling practices on injury levels and their association with the physiological condition of captured Pacific halibut, (2) investigate the effects of fish handling methods and associated injury level and physiological condition on post-release survival of sublegal Pacific halibut discards, and (3) validate the ability of electronic monitoring (EM) to correctly identify release methods and associated fish handling methods to post-release survival.

This project will help refine current estimates of discard mortality rates (DMRs) in the directed Pacific halibut fishery by investigating the relationship between hook release methods, injury levels, physiological condition, and survival post-release. Additionally, it will pioneer the use and application of EM to associating fish handling practices with survival. Sealed tenders must be received at the IPHC office in Seattle no later than 12:00 noon (Pacific Daylight Time) on Monday, 25 September 2017.


News Release:

Bid Specifications and Tender Forms:

Upcoming Marine Safety Workshops in Sitka

AMSEA is offering two upcoming marine safety workshops in Sitka this September. Read on for more information: 


First Aid, CPR & AED Workshop in Sitka

The Alaska Marine Safety Education Association will conduct a first aid, CPR, and AED workshop in Sitka on Tuesday, September 26, 2017.  The workshop will be held from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM at the NSRAA, 1308 Sawmill Creek Road.

Instructor, Eric Van Cise, will cover CPR & automatic external defibrillators (AED); treatment of choking; medical emergencies; trauma; environmental hazards; patient assessment; medical communications; drowning & hypothermia; and common fishing injuries.  Attendees will receive a U.S. Coast Guard accepted, two-year certificate issued by the American Safety & Health Institute. The cost for the workshop is $95.00.  Register online at or call (907) 747-3287.


Free F/V Drill Conductor Workshop for Commercial Fishermen

The Alaska Marine Safety Education Association (AMSEA) will offer a Fishing Vessel Drill Conductor workshop in Sitka on Monday, September 25, 2017, from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM. The workshop will meet at the Public Safety Training Academy, 877 Sawmill Creek Road.

This workshop is an excellent opportunity for commercial fishermen and other mariners to gain hands-on training with marine safety equipment and learn best practices for surviving emergencies at sea. Instructor Rick Petersen will cover cold-water survival skills; EPIRBs, signal flares, and MAYDAY calls; man-overboard recovery; firefighting; flooding and damage control; immersion suits and PFDs, helicopter rescue, life rafts, abandon ship procedures, and emergency drills.

AMSEA’s Drill Conductor workshops meet the U.S. Coast Guard training requirements for Drill Conductors on commercial fishing vessels. This workshop is offered to commercial fishermen at no cost, thanks to support from the U.S. Coast Guard, the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health. The cost is $175 for all others. Interested mariners may register online at or call (907) 747-3287.



A Fresh Look at Frozen Fish

ALFA and Alaskans Own, its CSF program, have been involved with a research study testing consumer's preferences for "fresh" vs frozen fish, all in an effort to answer the question, "is fresh seafood really higher quality than flash frozen? 

One of our partner organizations, Ecotrust, has recently published a blog post about this study and its fascinating results: 

"This pervasive preference, along with the desire to build more stable markets for community fishermen, prompted a recent study we conducted in partnership with Oregon State University’s Food Innovation Center, and Michigan-based seafood certification company, Seafood Analytics. The partners set out to address two key assumptions: That frozen fish is less fresh and less tasty than its unfrozen counterpart.

Conducted using samples of salmon and cod harvested by community fishermen from Port Orford Sustainable Seafood in Oregon and Alaskan’s Own out of Sitka Alaska, the study compared their flash-frozen fish with fresh-from-the-grocery-store samples."

Read the full blog post here.