By Danielle Ringer
Alaska’s Next Generation of Fishermen study has been working since 2014 to study the graying of the fleet in Alaska fisheries. Our research team has conducted 130 interviews with fishermen and surveyed more than 800 students in fishing communities in the Kodiak and Bristol Bay regions. Our main objective was to better understand barriers to entry and upward mobility for the next generation of fishermen in Alaska.
While we finalize project reports and a white paper outlining policy alternatives to address challenges surrounding intergenerational access, we’re also working to share project results with a broad audience. Over the past three years we have compiled a wealth of advice about fishing careers from seasoned fishermen and industry experts. This summer we also reached out to other longtime fishermen and experts asking for advice for young and new fishermen. Their advice ranges from the nitty gritty of money management to finding a crew job to what questions to ask when looking to buy a boat.
We turned some of this advice into Public Service Announcements (PSAs) that were aired on coastal radio stations recently in an effort to better support and educate the next generation of Alaskan fishermen. We will also be sharing this advice through our project's Facebook page on “Tip Tuesday” and on our project website. We hope that by sharing these tips we can offer some hard won wisdom that can take years to come by to those in the early stages of their fishing careers!
~ Danielle Ringer, Kodiak, Alaska