A Guide to Fisherman Training Programs
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A Guide to Fisherman Training Programs

Filetype[PDF-748.58 KB]


  • Description:
    Commercial fishing is a culturally and economically important industry in coastal regions across the United States. During the past 30 years, the average age of commercial fishermen has increased substantially. This trend is commonly referred to as the “greying of the fleet” and is attributed to a substantial decrease in the number of new commercial fishermen entering the industry. Fishermen training programs can provide the infrastructure needed to encourage new entrants into this sector, including training and matching entrants with captains. However, no comprehensive lists of these programs previously existed. Therefore, we sought to collect information on existing commercial fishermen training programs across the U.S. Given the increased popularity of recreational fishing, aquaculture, and stewardship, we also included information on these types of training programs. We first performed a Google search to identify existing programs. Then, we entered program information into an online database, contacted program organizers to obtain additional information and insight, and mapped program locations. We identified a total of 27 programs. Program activity spans from 1981 to present, but 56 percent of programs were created in the last 5 years. The number of commercial versus recreational programs is relatively equal, and six programs are intended for both sectors. Programs are located in most of the coastal and Great Lakes states. Specifically, 36 percent of programs are located along the Atlantic Coast, 25 percent along the Gulf Coast or in the Caribbean, 14 percent in the Great Lakes, 14 percent in Alaska, and 11 percent along the continental U.S. Pacific Coast. Currently, no training programs exist in New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, South Carolina, Texas, Wisconsin, or Minnesota. Our findings illustrate that while a wide variety of fishermen training programs exist, additional efforts are still needed in specific regions.
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