ALFA, ASFT to host 2022 Spring Fishermen’s EXPO virtually on March 30

The Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association (ALFA) and the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust (ASFT) are hosting a Spring Fishermen’s EXPO on Wednesday, March 30, to provide free educational workshops and training to new and experienced local fishermen. During this EXPO all the workshops and presentations will be offered virtually.

The EXPO event will be offered on an online platform so that all Alaskan fishermen and others that are interested are welcome to attend. Tools and links to attend the workshops will be provided prior to the event. 

Commercial and subsistence fishermen of all gear types will have the opportunity to attend free and interactive classes on bathymetry mapping updates; halibut catch sharing plan and fishery policy updates; large shark electronic monitoring project; skipper training for ALFA’s Crewmember Training Program; hear from representatives on Smart Buoys and PredictWind fishing vessel products; Skipper Science plans for 2022; Dangers, Health, and Near Misses AMSEA Round Table; and more.  Presenters include Daniel Joram from Nobeltec, Leann Fay from AMSEA, Keith Fuller postdoctoral researcher with the FAST lab at Alaska Pacific University, Kortney Opshaug (founder and CEO of Blue Ocean Gear), Lindsey Bloom and Hannah-Marie Garcia from the Skipper Science Partnership, Linda Behnken (executive director of ALFA), and others.

Attendees are welcome to participate in as many sessions as they are able. Raffle prizes are available for those that attend sessions. Thank you to Alaska Boats and Permits Inc. and Hames Corporation for their support in sponsoring this event. 

Please reach out to Natalie Sattler at program.director@alfafish.org or 907-738-1286 with any questions. Visit alfafish.org for a full schedule of events and to register. All presentations will provide time for questions.

This series is part of a push by ALFA and ASFT to provide resources and educational opportunities for fishermen, especially those who are just starting out in the industry. “Thanks to the support of our sponsors and ALFA’s membership, we are able to offer these workshops free and open to the public,” ALFA executive director Linda Behnken said.

ALFA is an alliance of small-boat, commercial fishermen that support sustainable fisheries and thriving coastal communities by involving fishermen in research, advocacy and conservation initiatives. 

ASFT is a non-profit dedicated to strengthening fishing communities and marine resources through research, education and economic opportunity.

Sitka Seafood Festival events kick off this weekend

The Sitka Seafood Festival kicks off Saturday afternoon with a salmon-themed paint and snack event from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, July 20, at the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association (ALFA) Office, 304 Baranof Street.

There are a series of other events, listed below, and more events will be added as they become available.

  • Saturday, July 20, Salmon-Themed Paint and Snack, 1-3pm, Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association, ALFA, Office (304 Baranof St.), $20 for one ticket and $10 for each additional
  • Sunday, July 21, Boating Without the Boys (women’s only watercraft safety training provided by Alaska Marine Safety Education Association, AMSEA), 8am-4pm, ALFA Office (304 Baranof St.), $125 per person
  • Monday, July 29, Seafood Trivia Night, 7-9pm, Bayview Pub (407 Lincoln St.), no admission charge but donations encouraged
  • Sunday, August 11, Change Your Latitude Open-Water Swim Race (Baranof Barracuda Swim Club), 7am-12pm, Sitka Sound
  • Saturday, August 24, Salmon-Themed Paint and Snack, 1-3pm, ALFA Office (304 Baranof St.), $20 for one ticket and $10 for each additional
  • Monday-Saturday, September 23-28, Marine Safety Inspector Training Course, 8am-5pm, Public Safety Training Academy (877 Sawmill Creek Road), $195

So far, the event organizers haven’t announced a vendor marketplace event or fishing-related races, which have been big draws in the past. Those events could happen in late-August.

The Sitka Seafood Festival is co-sponsored by the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust and the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association, who last hosted the event in 2017. For more information, call 747-3400 or contact sitkaseafoodfestival@gmail.com or asft.outreach@gmail.com.