Behnken chosen to be part of statewide climate action team

December 12, 2017 JUNEAU — Governor Bill Walker today appointed the 15 public members and five exofficio members of the Climate Action for Alaska Leadership Team, established in October by Administrative Order 289. Governor Walker announced the team following an extensive internal review of nearly 100 applications. The team will focus on mitigation, adaptation, research, and response for Alaska.

Among members chosen was ALFA Executive Director, Linda Behnken

“Naming our team is another critical step in advancing meaningful climate policy,” Governor Walker said. “I am proud to present a motivated group of leaders, each of whom brings a range of expertise and interests to the table. Our team members not only represent a breadth of experience across the state from the North Slope to the Southeast, but also have strong networks and resources spanning from Alaska to the rest of the world, giving us a voice in the global dialogue on climate change.”

View the full press release here. 

​​​​​​​Linda Behnken honored by Alaska State Legislature

Linda Behnken, Executive Director of the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association (ALFA) and a Sitka-based commercial fisherman, was recently granted an honorarium by the Thirtieth Alaska Legislature for her work protecting our local, regional, and national small-boat fisheries and coastal communities. 

Behnken was awarded the honorarium during a “Gearing up to 40 years” reception in Sitka last week, attended by ALFA’s supporters, funders, and local fishermen and featuring seafood prepared by award-winning Juneau chef, Lionel Uddipa. The award comes on the heels of Behnken’s national recognition last year as a “Champion of Change for Sustainable Seafood” by the White House.

"Linda is a down-to-earth, hard-working Alaska mom and fisherman who cares about our oceans and sustainable rural economies and bring ferocious political efficacy to bear on her work," said Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, who represents Sitka and surrounding rural communities. "She’s employed innovative strategies to advance marine conservation and strengthen small-boat, community-based fisheries. She has a history of collaborating with diverse stakeholders and bringing fishermen to work together with scientists to solve conservation and management challenges."

In addition to honoring Behnken, the reception was hosted to celebrate forty years of ALFA’s leadership in fishery conservation locally and nationally. Founded in 1978, the organization spearheaded efforts to eliminate foreign fishing on sablefish and rockfish stocks in the 70s, supported an aggressive rebuilding schedule for depleted sablefish stocks in the 80s, and lead the battle to eliminate trawling from Southeast Alaska waters in the 90s. Linda has acted as Executive Director since 1991.  

Under her leadership, ALFA has received recognition nationally for its role as a leader in fishermen-led advocacy in support of coastal fisheries and communities.

“Linda has taught me that while the fish in the Gulf of Alaska may be different from the fish in the Gulf of Mexico, our battles are the same.” says Eric Brazer, Deputy Director at the Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholders’ Alliance. Brazer works with ALFA as part of the Fishing Communities Coalition, a national coalition of small boat fishing organizations. “Through her leadership at the Fishing Communities Coalition, we can chart a better course for tomorrow’s commercial fishermen.”

To celebrate forty years of advocacy, forty donors contributed to support ALFA’s Fishery Conservation Network, a program started by Behnken that engages fishermen and scientists in a range of conservation projects. The reception wrapped up the Sitka Fishermen’s Expo, a weeklong event hosted by ALFA and the Sitka Seafood Festival, which provided workshops, educational events, and networking opportunities for commercial fishermen and the public.

When asked about the award, Behnken said, “I am humbled, amazed, and more than a little overwhelmed. Really the accolades belong to the entire ALFA Team--staff, board and members--and to the incredible community that supports us. My inspiration comes from all of you.”

 

The Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association is an alliance of small boat, commercial fishermen committed to sustainable fisheries and thriving coastal communities. Our members support science-based fisheries management through collaborative research, advocacy and innovation. We work to safeguard ocean health and improve the economic viability of small boat fishing. For our members, commercial fishing is more than a livelihood; it's a way of life.

 

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 alfa.outreach@gmail.com

 

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: 

https://www.nationalfisherman.com/viewpoints/national-international/noaa-report-reaches-compound-sport-fishing-interest-rewards/?utm_source=informz&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_content=newsletter

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 alfafish.org 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 amsea.org

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 iker.pryszo@nobeltec.com 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 http://www.sciencemag.org/ ! 

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 alfa.staff@gmail.com 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:  http://www.iphc.int/news-releases/538-iphc-nr-2017-28.html

Bid Specifications and Tender Forms:  http://www.iphc.int/research/surveys/dmr-study.html