Young Fishermen’s Development Act Signed into Law

CONTACT: Jo Knight,

New law will assist next generation of commercial fishermen entering the industry

Arlington, VA – The president signed into law today the Young Fishermen’s Development Act (YFDA), which will enact a national grant program to support initiatives to educate, train, and mentor young and beginner fishermen around the country.

Robert C. Vandermark, executive director of the Marine Fish Conservation Network, released the following statement:

“The Marine Fish Conservation Network applauds Congress and the president for passing the ‘Young Fishermen’s Development Act,’ which will significantly help future generations of fishermen join a longstanding American tradition and provide a steady supply of nutritious, wild-caught seafood to millions of people. This important law creates new opportunities that will foster young and beginning fishermen with the education, training, and mentorship needed to overcome the steep financial costs of entering the fishing fleet, allowing them to compete within the industry while fishing in a sustainable manner. The Network thanks Congress and the president for supporting small-boat fishermen, family businesses, coastal communities, and greater stewardship of our marine resources.”

Linda Behnken, executive director of the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association (ALFA) and co-chair of the Marine Fish Conservation Network’s Policy Council, released this statement:

“Young people entering our nation’s fisheries deserve support to succeed in this challenging but vital business. We are thrilled by the passage of the YFDA and grateful for the effective leadership provided by Alaska’s Congressional delegation in moving this act through Congress.”


The Marine Fish Conservation Network is a coalition of commercial and recreational fishing associations, regional and national conservation groups, aquaria, and marine science organizations committed to sustaining fish populations, healthy marine ecosystems, and robust fishing communities.