AMSEA to offer first aid and drill conductor classes in Sitka

The Alaska Marine Safety Education Association (AMSEA) will offer a Fishing Vessel Drill Conductor class in Sitka on Thursday, April 4 from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM at the Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association (NSRAA) building at 1308 Sawmill Creek Road. The class is free to commercial fishermen, and will cost $185.50 for all others. The class will provide hands-on training with marine safety equipment and emergency drills, and meets U.S. coast Guard training requirements for drill conductors on commercial fishing vessels.

On Friday, April 5, AMSEA will offer a first aid, CPR and AED class at the NSRAA building from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The class will cover treatment of various medical treatments and common fishing injuries. Participants will receive a Coast Guard approved certificate. The class cost is $100.00

Participants can register for either or both classes online at, or by phone at (907) 747-3287.

Notification of Upcoming Workshop: Steller sea lion/Salmon Fisheries Interaction Workshop

Meeting: Steller sea lion/Salmon Fisheries Interaction Workshop


April 29 - 11:30-4:30 – coffee, tea, and lunch provided

April 30 - drop in 9:00-nooncoffee, tea, and snacks provided - organizers will be available in the morning for further discussion, brainstorming, planning. If there is interest, we also would be happy to come to the docks to meet with fishermen, look at gear, and have any follow-up discussions in the afternoon.

Meeting Location: NSRAA, 1308 Sawmill Creek Road, Sitka, Alaska 99835

Introduction: We hope to meet with members of the fishing community to listen to fishermen’s concerns and have an open discussion about this problem. Our goals are to connect with fishermen interested in being part of a working group that will work toward developing effective deterrents or gear modifications that could help fishermen avoid catch and gear losses. 

Eric Jordan has agreed to lead discussions. We will have an open discussion on the issue of sea lion depredation and brainstorm ideas that may help reduce this problem. ADF&G and NOAA Fisheries will also give a short presentation on the data we have collected on Steller sea lion - fishery interactions. Mainly, we hope to develop a relationship between the salmon fishing community and biologists to discuss this issue and formulate possible solutions together.

***Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC) will be handling logistics and travel for fishermen/women coming from out of town.

To set up travel:

Fill out the attached travel request form and email to Teresa Fairchild at If you have question, please call Teresa at 503-595-3105.

Per Diem: for those coming from outside of Sitka, PSMFC will have a partially prepared travel claim at the meeting that you can complete and mail in for reimbursement.

Stipend: Fishermen/women that attend the full workshop on April 29th can complete a form at the meeting to mail in for compensation for their time.

Deadline for booking travel through PSMFC is March 27, 2019

For additional information, please contact Kim Raum-Suryan at, Lauri Jemison at, or Molly Kemp at Thank you.


FDA lifts import ban on "Frankenfish" salmon

On March 8, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lifted an import ban on genetically engineered salmon. The manufacturer of “AquAdvantage Salmon” intends to transport engineered salmon eggs to a facility in Indiana where the fish will mature. The fish are a combination of genes from Chinook, Atlantic salmon and an eel-like fish that will grow twice as fast as other farmed salmon.

The entry of “frankenfish” into U.S. markets is a threat to Alaska’s salmon fisheries, the environment, and seafood consumers. Alaska fishermen harvest healthy, high quality wild salmon in clear, pristine waters and take pride in providing families across the nation with a sustainable and delicious protein source. It is unlikely that farmed salmon producers will clearly label frankenfish. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s guidelines for genetically engineered foods allow producers to use codes or 1-800 numbers rather than disclose risks to consumers on the label.

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski has repeated expressed concerns about genetically engineered fish and challenged imports of genetically engineered salmon without clear labeling guidelines. In a press release Senator Murkowski issued the following statement in response to the FDA’s action:

“I’m extremely disappointed in the FDA’s short-sighted decision. It is wrong-headed and a bad idea, simple as that. I am not going to back down and will continue my fight to ensure that any salmon product that is genetically engineered be clearly labeled,” said Senator Murkowski. “USDA’s new guidelines don’t require adequate mandatory labeling and don’t suffice as giving consumers clear information. Instead, they will only confuse people. I continue to have serious concerns about splicing DNA from two animals to produce a new marketable fish, essentially creating a new species. America consumers deserve to know what they are purchasing, and ultimately eating.”

New Local Fish Fund to in invest in Alaska fishing families




February 29, 2019


HEAD: New Local Fish Fund To Invest In Alaska Fishing Families

SUBHEAD: Unique partnership supports conservation and the future of fishing communities


SITKA, ALASKA—Local Fish Fund is a new innovative fisheries loan program that will provide a new financing tool for the next generation of commercial fishers in Alaska’s fishing communities.


The Local Fish Fund is a collaborative effort spearheaded by the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust, a Sitka-based nonprofit organization that protects and promotes fishing and fisheries. The loan fund aims to support Alaska’s fishing communities by reducing specific barriers to entry into commercial fisheries and engaging next-generation fishermen in marine stewardship and policy leadership.  Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust was supported in setting up and capitalizing the fund by The Nature Conservancy, Craft3, Rasmuson Foundation, and Catch Together.


“The cost and risk involved in accessing Alaska’s quota share fisheries are comparable to purchasing a hotel as a first step in home ownership,” says Linda Behnken, commercial fisherman and founding member of the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust. “As a result, the number of young rural residents entering the fisheries has dropped over the past 15 years. Local Fish Fund aims to change that trend by lowering barriers to entry while engaging the next generation of community-based fishermen in resource conservation and management.”  


The Local Fish Fund loan structure has been developed in close consultation with commercial fishermen in Alaska to increase local ownership of halibut and sablefish quota. Traditional commercial fish loans require fixed payments, like a home loan. This presents substantial risk for entry-level commercial fishing businesses because the allowable catch and fish price can vary dramatically from year to year. In contrast, the Local Fish Fund loans use a “revenue participation” approach in which loan repayment is based on fish landings rather than a fixed loan repayment structure. The Local Fish Fund offers loans with competitive interest rates and reduced down payment options, and allows fishermen to build sufficient equity to eventually access conventional loans.


In addition to providing easier access to quota purchase, this loan program has been developed to increase marine stewardship and leadership capacity in the field of sustainable fisheries management. Loan recipients will be incentivized to participate in a flexible set of conservation programs that contribute to sustainable fisheries management by collecting better scientific data; engaging in policy and management decision-making; and working on conservation education and outreach.


“Alaska has some of the most sustainably managed fisheries in the world,” says Christine Woll, the Southeast Alaska program director for The Nature Conservancy. “This is due in large part to Alaskans having an active voice in how our fisheries are managed. Encouraging local participation in our commercial fisheries helps foster a long-standing Alaska tradition of community-based stewardship of our natural resources.”


The launch of this loan fund was made possible by a unique collaboration that brought together varied expertise across fisheries, conservation, and finance. In addition to the  Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust, the launch of the fund was supported by the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association, which has a long history of leadership in Alaskan fisheries management; The Nature Conservancy, which has worked with fishing communities to develop economic incentives for fisheries conservation in communities across the globe; and Craft3, a community development financial institution, which provides loans to benefit Pacific Northwest communities, and is originating and servicing loans on Local Fish Fund’s behalf. The Rasmuson Foundation and Catch Together have capitalized the loan fund, which will seek to make a series of loans over the next two to three years.


“We know how important quota ownership is to fishing communities in Southeast Alaska, and we are pleased to be a financing partner to the Local Fish Fund and its program to keep quota in the hands of local fishermen” says Kelly Wachowicz, Managing Partner of Catch Together.


“Joining Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust and The Nature Conservancy to launch the Local Fish Fund makes perfect sense to Craft3. This effort expands on our decades-long commitment to sustainable fisheries, conservation, and community development,” stated Craft3 President & CEO Adam Zimmerman. “The Local Fish Fund’s flexible credit and conservation incentives will preserve local fishery ownership, build equity in communities and families, and sustain fisheries health. This can be a model for how private, nonprofit, and philanthropic partners can work together to invest in current and next generation fishermen committed to sustainability.”


“The Local Fish Fund relies on creative thinking – and strong local and national partners – to open up economic opportunities in one of Alaska’s most valued industries, fishing,” said Chris Perez, Rasmuson Foundation senior program officer.



For more information, press only:

The Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust

Linda Behnken
907-738 3615


The Nature Conservancy

Dustin Solberg

(907) 424-5101


Carl Seip, VP Communications and External Affairs

(888) 231-2170, Ext. 121

Catch Together

Erica Boyce Murphy



Rasmuson Foundation

Lisa Demer, communications manager






For more information on Product:




About Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust:

The Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust is a nonprofit corporation based in Sitka, Alaska.  Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust’s mission is to protect and support local fishing businesses, promote sustainable fishing practices, and revitalize fishing communities in Alaska.


About The Nature Conservancy:

The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. We achieve this mission through the dedicated efforts of our diverse staff, including more than 600 scientists, all of whom impact conservation in 72 countries, and with the help of our many partners, from individuals and governments to local nonprofits and corporations.


About Craft3:

Founded in 1994, Craft3 is a Pacific Northwest-based nonprofit community development financial institution that makes loans in Oregon and Washington to strengthen the resilience of businesses, families and nonprofits, including those without access to traditional financing. Craft3 has a long history of working with fishing communities to access capital and assistance that supports the resilience of the fisheries and seafood sector, fishing-related businesses/ entrepreneurs and their families. Craft3 conducts the Local Fish Fund’s loan underwriting and servicing activities under a fund management service agreement.


About Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association:

ALFA is an alliance of small boat, commercial fishermen committed to sustainable fisheries and thriving coastal communities. In 2009, ALFA launched a Fishery Conservation Network (FCN) that engages fishermen in conservation initiatives to improve best fishing practices and the viability of small-scale fisheries. Local Fish Fund borrowers will participate in identified FCN projects.


About Catch Together:

Catch Together invests capital to support fishermen, fishing communities, and ocean conservation. Our team has partnered with fishing communities in New England, the Gulf of Mexico, California, Washington, Alaska and British Columbia to enlist fishermen as stewards of ocean resources through the acquisition and ownership of fishing quota. In 2018, Catch Together launched the Catch Together Fishermen’s Loan Fund, and has financed a total of over $10 million of fishing quota to date.


About Rasmuson Foundation:
Rasmuson Foundation was created in May 1955 by Jenny Rasmuson to honor her late husband “E.A.” Rasmuson. Through grantmaking and initiatives, the Foundation aims to promote a better life for all Alaskans.


F/V Drill Conductor course in Sitka February 12th

The Alaska Marine Safety Education Association (AMSEA) will offer a Fishing Vessel Drill Conductor class in Sitka on February 12 from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the NSRAA building at 1308 Sawmill Creek Road. The class is free to commercial fishermen. The cost is $185.50 (including sales tax) to all others. Online registration for the class is available at Phone registration is available by calling the AMSEA office at 747-3287.

The class will include training with marine safety equipment, firefighting, flooding and damage control and other drills. The class will meet U.S. Coast Guard training requirements for drill conductors on commercial fishing vessels.


2019 IPHC Catch Limits Set

2019 IPHC Catch Limits

Alaska/Canada season dates: March 15--November 14

Results in SPR 47%

2019 IPHC Catch Limits

2019 IPHC Catch Limits

Remember 2C and 3A include catch sharing allocations to charter fleet.  

Last years numbers (2018) for reference:  

2A      1.32

2B      7.1

2C      6.34

3A     12.54

3B      3.27

4A      1.74

4B      1.28

4CDE 3.62

Want to be a fisherman? Now accepting crewmember apprenticeship applications!

Local Fishing Group Seeks Applicants for Crewmember Apprenticeship Program

The Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association (ALFA), a Sitka-based fishing group, is seeking applicants for its Crewmember Apprenticeship Program. Through a safe and well-guided entry level experience, the program aims to provide young people an opportunity to gain experience in, as well as an understanding of, commercial fishing and its importance to supporting coastal communities.

In late 2017, ALFA was awarded a $70,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to expand this program in Sitka and to support efforts to launch similar programs in other parts of the state. The grant, leveraged with support from the City of Sitka and ALFA members, was awarded as part of NFWF’s Fisheries Innovation Fund. According to NFWF, “the work funded by these grants will result in improved management that strengthens the welfare of fishermen and local communities, promoting healthy fish stocks and healthy fisheries.”

Last year, ALFA’s apprentice program received over 100 local, national, and international applicants, and ALFA placed 13 apprentices on commercial fishing boats over the 2018 fishing season.  In 2019, ALFA plans to increase the number of participating apprentices, skippers, and fishing vessels and to enhance local employment opportunity. As Executive Director of ALFA, Linda Behnken explains, “With support from NFWF, we plan to expand the program to include more boats, crew, and communities. Our goal is to provide young people with a safe introduction to Alaska’s fisheries and to share the curriculum we have developed through our program with fishing groups in other parts of the State and country”.

Lea LeGardeur, a crewmember apprentice from last year, says of her experience in the program, “Beyond giving me an entry point into an industry that I otherwise would have had a harder getting into…the skippers in the program all wanted to teach, and sign up to take greenhorns so they could pass on what they know.”

            ALFA is seeking applicants for the 2019 fishing season.  Crewmember application period is currently open and will close February 28th, 2019. Applicants must be over 18 years of age. Application information can be found at

AMSEA Fishing Vessel Drill Conductor Class in Sitka Friday January 18

Laurie Mastrella fishes halibut, 2018. Photo credit: Celia Bower

Laurie Mastrella fishes halibut, 2018. Photo credit: Celia Bower

The Alaska Marine Safety Education Association (AMSEA) will hold a Fishing Vessel Drill Conductor class in Sitka on Friday, January 18th from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the NSRAA office at 1308 Sawmill Creek Road. There is no charge for commercial fishermen attending the class. Online registration is available at or by calling (907)747-3287. The class will cover cold-water survival skills, marine distress communications, man-overboard drills, flooding, firefighting and use of safety equipment. The course meets U.S. Coast Guard training requirements for drill conductors on commercial fishing vessels.

AMSEA First Aid/CPR course in Sitka January 17

Photo credit: Graham Kraft 2018

Photo credit: Graham Kraft 2018

The Alaska Marine Safety Education Association will hold a first aid, CPR and AED class from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the NSRAA building, 1308 Sawmill Creek Road, on Thursday, January 17, 2019. Participants will receive a Coast Guard accepted, two year certificate. The cost is $100.00. Interested persons can register online at or call (907) 747-3287.