In partnership with the Alaska Longline Fishermen's Association (ALFA), ASFT has worked to support initiatives that help fishermen to start and maintain successful fishing operations. ALFA has a long history of providing educational opportunities to fishermen, both new and experienced. Whether by helping fishermen to choose equipment that is more fuel efficient, teaching them about the political process, or teaching them about new tools and software like bathymetric mapping, ALFA works hard to keep fishermen in the know about the policies that affect them and innovations that can help them to use best practices and fish more effectively.
ALFA and ASFT banded together to host the first ever Fishermen's Expo in 2016, which offered workshops on topics such as fuel efficiency, fishing for sablefish using pot gear, and reducing sperm whale depredation on longline gear. Since then, the expo has evolved to focus especially on young people and those who are new to the industry by offering workshops focusing on business skills, beginner's courses in seafloor mapping, and safety courses.
The next Fishermen's Expo is planned for November, 2017, as part of an initiative by the Sitka Seafood Festival to involved more fishermen with the festivities. Check back soon for details!