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 2018, 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.
“With support from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, we plan to expand the program to include more boats, crew, and communities,” said Linda Behnken, executive director of AFLA. “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.”
ALFA is seeking applicants for the 2019 fishing season. The application period is currently open and will close Feb. 28. Applicants must be 18 years or older to qualify. It’s free to apply and application information can be found at http://www.alfafish.org/apprenticeship/.