Alaska Young Fishermen's Summit

Weaving a Network of Future Fishing Leaders

January 25 and 26, 2007
Captain Cook Hotel
Anchorage, Alaska

AYFS group photo
More than 70 fishermen from throughout Alaska participated in the first AYFS gathering in Anchorage.

Alaska's fishing future depends on our young fishermen. As our established commercial fishing fleet "grays" and retires from the fishing business, the next generation will take up the burden of supporting much of our coastal economy with their commercial fishing businesses.

This summit, created by the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program, was designed to provide training and networking opportunities for fishermen under 40 and/or in the business for less than five years. The main focus of the conference was to build leadership and networking capacity through a 2-day summit addressing three main topics: business management, the fisheries management process, and understanding the role of Alaskan seafoods in the world marketplace and the importance of producing a quality product.

Each topic was addressed through panel discussions and breakout sessions. Invited expert facilitators and panelists provided background and historic insight. Breakout tables and exercises focused on public speaking activities, banking loan application forms, and brainstorming and networking on selected topics by the participants.

Keynote speakers Clem Tillion, long-time Alaska fisherman, legislator and fisheries policy advisor, and Arne Fuglvog, natural resources and fisheries staff to Sen. Lisa Murkowski, each spoke to the personal responsibility of maintaining the legacy of Alaskan fisheries conservation and management, the complexities of fishing businesses and the many opportunities that lie ahead.

Nearly all of the 70 attendees were sponsored by a regional fishing association, CDQ group, or a vessel. Ports represented ranged from Metlakatla to St. Marys, from Sitka to Kodiak. Six organizations gave general sponsorship support, and the USCG Fishing Vessel Safety Program along with other marine trade vendors donated raffle items. Steering committee members were comprised of faculty from the Marine Advisory Program, and personnel from the McDowell Group and Kwik'pak Fisheries/Yukon Drainage Fisheries Development Association.

There is widespread interest in repeating this training; statewide and regional options are being explored. We'd appreciate your feedback on this conference and future venues.

Contact Sunny Rice, Petersburg Marine Advisory Agent, at 772-3381 or

Steering committee

This event was sponsored in part by

wsu western center for risk managment education logoWashington State University – Western Center for Risk Management Education