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Goal of Young Fishermen’s Development Program: Recruit more young fishermen to greying industry

WASHINGTON, DC – As a group of small-boat commercial fishing organizations from around the country met and teleconferenced over the past two years, a recurring theme that emerged was the lack of resources available to the next generation of fishermen.

Now, that group – the Fishing Communities Coalition (FCC) – is taking steps to make it easier for young people to enter commercial fishing as a livelihood.

“A lot has changed in the fisheries in terms of gear and technologies, as well as limited access, quota-based management,” said John Pappalardo, CEO of the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance (CCCFA).

“It takes a lot of savvy to run a fishing business,” he continued.

“If we wanted to continue to have fishing communities, we needed to incentivize ways for new fishermen to come into the industry,” said Ben Martens, executive director of the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association (MCFA).

The Fishermen’s Alliance (CCCFA) and MCFA banded together with the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association, Alaska Marine Conservation Council, and the Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholders Alliance to form the Fishing Communities Coalition (FCC) in September 2014.

At the time, the National Guidelines to the Magnuson Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act (MSA) were under revision.

By joining forces, the FCC could amplify their voices to get national support for community-based, conservation-minded, small-boat commercial fishing…

 

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