Young Fishermen’s Act Passes in Senate, House

The Young Fishermen’s Development Act passed Sunday in both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.

The bipartisan bill, introduced by Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) in the Senate and Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) in the House, passed unanimously in both chambers of Congress and establishes the first ever national program to train, educate, and foster the next generation of commercial


The Young Fishermen’s Development Act was first proposed in 2015 by the Fishing Communities Coalition, a national advocacy group that represents more than 1,000 independent fishermen and business owners from Maine to Florida to California and Alaska, said Linda Behnken, executive director and the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association. ALFA – a founding member of the Federal Communities Coalition – has, along with others, spent the last five years working with members of Congress to develop YFDA, which directs the National Sea Grant in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to establish a Young Fishermen’s Development Grant Program to provide training, education, outreach, and technical assistance initiatives for young fishermen.

“Young people entering our nation’s fisheries deserve support to succeed in this challenging but vital business,” Behnken said. “Commercial fishing demands a broad skillset to operate safely and successfully. We are thrilled by passage of the YFDA and grateful for the effective leadership provided by Alaska’s Congressional delegation in moving this Act through Congress.”

Even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Behnken said, new commercial fishing entrants faced many challenges, including high cost of entry, financial risks, and limited entry-level opportunities.

‘‘This year, those challenges have been amplified as the ongoing pandemic continues to devastate America’s commercial fishermen and fishing communities, and jeopardize our country’s food security and supply chains,’’ Behnken said. 

She said the legislation (H.R. 1240, S. 496 ) will help mitigate the challenges facing the next generation of commercial fishermen and entrants into the fishing industry by supporting regional

training opportunities and apprenticeship programs. It’s modeled after similar agricultural programs, and will provide competitive grant funding and support for state, tribal, local, or regionally based networks or partnerships.

The YFDA will support programs such as ALFA’s crew apprentice program and Sitka Fishermen’s Expos.

“We look forward to expanding our Young Fishermen programs and

supporting other communities in launching similar initiatives.” Behnken added.


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At a Glance

(updated 1-12-22)

By Sentinel Staff

The state Department of Health and Social Services has posted the following update on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alaska as of 11:55 am Wednesday.

New cases as of Friday: 2,512

Total statewide – 172,329

Total (cumulative) deaths – 955

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 3,337

Current Hospitalizations – 103

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.

COVID in Sitka

The COVID alert rate for Sitka is “high,” based on 153 new COVID cases in the past 7 days. Case statistics are as of Sunday.

New cases in Sitka – 34

Cases in last 7 days – 153

Cumulative Sitka cases – 1,531

Deceased (cumulative) – 6

The local case data are from the City of Sitka website.





January 2002

Classified ads, Rentals: 3-bdrm. house on the beach. $900; 3-bdrm duplex, washer/dryer $945; Great downtown house, 2 bdrms., 2 baths, furnished,
W/D, hardwood floors $850; 2-bdrm. roomy apartment $945..


January 1972

The City and Borough Assembly Tuesday approved an ordinance establishing a transportation committee to advise the assembly and promote transportation services for the municipality. Members are Cecil McClain, Ray Mabey, Clarence Kramer,
Dick Cushing and Burt Hansen.