fish crew training_alice-tirard_eric-jordan

Fish Crew Training Program

By ALFA & ASFT, for Aspiring Young Fishers

Job Description

The Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association (ALFA), a Sitka-based fishing group, and partner organization Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust (ASFT) are seeking applicants for the Crew Training Program.

Through a safe and well-guided entry-level experience, the Crew Training Program aims to 1) provide young people with an interest in pursuing a career in commercial fishing an opportunity to gain experience; and, 2) give young people the opportunity to better understand commercial fishing, the lifestyle it provides, and its important role in supporting coastal communities. All while providing a safe, well-guided, entry level experience.

ALFA and ASFT are seeking applicants for the 2024 fishing season. The crew training application period is currently open and will close March 31.  Applicants must be 18 years or older to qualify. It’s free to apply.

Application information can be found at

Contact Natalie Sattler at (907) 738-1286 or for more information.

As ALFA Executive Director Linda Behnken explains, “With support from… funders, we have been fortunate 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.” Already, we have shared the Crew Training Program curriculum with several organizations throughout Alaska and coastal organizations throughout the U.S.

Formalized as part of ALFA’s Young Fishermen Initiative in 2015 — in late 2017 ALFA was awarded funds to get more boots on deck statewide. Since 2015, more than 100 apprentices have been trained and placed on local fishing vessels in Southeast Alaska. This crew training program is a way to attract younger entrants into an industry where the average fisherman’s age in Alaska is older than 50.

Over several years, one of the skipper participants, ALFA Member Eric Jordan of the F/V I Gotta, has brought more than 50 young people fishing as part of ALFA’s Crew Training Program. While on the water, Eric teaches these deckhands the intricacies of commercial fishing and demonstrates sustainable fishing practices to encourage a strong conservation ethic.