TAKE ACTION TO PROTECT OUR FISHERIES
Everyone benefits from strong coastal communities, healthy fisheries, and supporting our small boat fishing fleets.
There are several opportunities for fishermen and the public to take part in ALFA's work and advocate for our fisheries!
1) Support the Young Fishermen's Development Program
Currently, there is not a single federal program in place dedicated to training, educating, and assisting the next generation of commercial fishermen. ALFA has joined forces with the Fishing Communities Coalition, a nationwide fisheries advocacy group to advocate for a national program to support young fishermen. Modeled after similar agricultural programs, the Young Fisherman’s Development Program would help connect and expand on existing regional efforts to support beginning commercial fishermen.
The program will provide funding and support for state, tribal, local, or regionally based networks or partnerships to:
- Create training and educational opportunities in sustainable and accountable fishing practices and marine stewardship, business practices, and technical initiatives that address the needs of beginning fishermen.
- Create mentorship/apprenticeship opportunities to connect retiring fishermen and vessel owners with new and beginning fishermen.
- Foster a conservation ethic that prioritizes sustainable fishing practices and marine stewardship.
- Offer financial support and guidance for new fishery entrants.
A national program that provides increased opportunities for the next generation of commercial fishermen could be a groundbreaking step in protecting the stability of coastal fishing communities and America’s seafood supply chain. The bill has been introduced in the House and Senate, but our legislators need to hear how important it is to support young fishermen to move it along!
2) Support the Magnuson-Stevens Act
Since its adoption in 1976, the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA) has helped improve the health of our nation’s fish populations, which has translated into more revenue and jobs for Americans. The MSA’s previous success has been a product of the following core principles:
• Accurate and timely fish stock assessments and harvest monitoring
• Enforcement of annual catch limits
• Shared accountability across all fishing sectors
ALFA is working with two national coalitions, the Fishing Community Coalition and the Marine Fish Conservation Network, to advocate for a strong Magnuson-Stevens Act that will take on the issues important to sustaining our nation’s fisheries for the future. The FCC is working to educate Congress on the importance of sustaining coastal economies by protecting healthy marine fisheries, and ALFA members travel to DC to assist with this effort.
3) Donate to ALFA OR BECOME A MEMBER
Your donation will directly support programs that engage fishermen in conserving ocean health, help fishermen to avoid bycatch, improve the efficiency of our fleet, involve young people through mentorship opportunities, and much more.
ALFA members receive regular updates from us on the latest happenings and opportunities in fishery politics, can become involved in our Fishery Conservation Network, and are welcome to attend our member meetings to help shape the goals & priorities of our organization. Sign up to be an ALFA member here.