Young Fishermen’s Development Act
The Young Fishermen’s Development Act will establish a national fund, to be administered by Alaska Sea Grant, to support training and education of the next generation of America’s commercial fishermen. The YFDF will be funded by the Asset Forfeiture Fund, which contains penalties and fees paid for fisheries violations. When established, regional organizations, including academic, tribal, trade/non-profit , may apply for to the YFDF to support regionally appropriate and administered training and educations programs to assist young fishermen in gaining the necessary skills and expertise to succeed both on the water and off. ALFA has piloted programs that could be supported by the YFDF that include a deckhand apprentice program and Sitka Fishermen’s Expos, which features courses and workshops for fishermen on topics ranging from evolving fishing technology, new innovations in fishing gear, financial planning for fishermen, fisheries legislation, and understanding fisheries stock assessments. Expo events also include young fishermen mixers, to introduce young fishermen to others entering the business as well as to experienced fishermen and mentors.