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Maine coast with green trees in the foreground and the ocean in the background with a cloudy sky

About Us

Our History

Founded 2022

New England Young Fishermen’s Alliance (NEYFA) has been a conceptual work in progress since 2017, when it was becoming apparent that the "Graying of the Fleet" was leading to a dramatic decline in our fishing fleets in northern New England.  In 2019,  NH Community Seafood, NH Food Alliance and NH Sea Grant held three “focus groups” called Dock Talks: Next Generation throughout the New Hampshire Seacoast. These meetings included commercial fishermen from a variety of fisheries in Southern Maine, New Hampshire and Northern Massachusetts.


These fishermen responded to what they thought the next generation of fishing families needed in regards to services and programs. Based on their responses and the needs expressed by local young fishermen and women, NEYFA was formed with a 3-year grant funded by the USDA, FMPP program in cooperation with Yankee Fishermen's Cooperative. 

New England Young Fishermen's Alliance Logo - a red commercial fishing boat in a black circle with a crab, lobster, fish, and shell icon at the bottom of the circle

New England Young
Fishermen's Alliance

Commercial fishermen in a blue shirt and gray hat holding the steering wheel of a fishing boat and smiling at the camera
Textured image of the ocean

Mission

New England Young Fishermen's Alliance was built with the following principles:

  • We are a value-based 501(c3) organization who sustains community engagement among the younger generation of commercial fishing.

  • We provide resources like networking and training for our regional young commercial fishing community.

  • We plan on maintaining and promoting the culture and heritage of small-boat commercial fishing along the Northern New England working waterfronts.

  • We aim on preserving and protecting the future of small-boat family fishing businesses in Northern New England, with value-based decision making by young fishermen and women.

Our Vision

Resources

We plan to develop a resource and networking enrichment center for young commercial fishermen and women and their families. Our center will offer resources for business management, health insurance, mental health, substance abuse, safety training as well as tax preparation assistance.  

Workforce Development

We provide a Deckhand to Captain Training (DTC) course annually and are currently seeking funding to support Apprentice or “Greenhorn” Programming to train entry level men and women to work in the local fishing industry.

Advocacy

We promote advocacy and fisheries management education for the industry as well as collaborative marketing and cooperative research opportunities. We will also support increasing local access to fresh, locally harvested seafood.

The shortage of young people in commercial fishing.

The phenomenon "graying of the fleet" has led to a dramatic shortage of young people entering the commercial fishing industry nationwide and particularly in our community. New England fishing trade was traditionally passed down through generations.

Closeup image of commercial fishing ropes on the ground

Deckhand to Captain Training Program

Six experienced deckhands and sternmen are selected every year for the nine-month training program with the goal of becoming Owner-Operators.

Close up of a person wearing gloves bagging raw fish into a plastic bag
  • Business Management

  • Budget Development​

  • Marketing & Branding

  • Collaborative Marketing

  • Public Speaking

Man stands on a blue commercial fishing boat
  • Regulations + Standards​​

  • Fishery Management + Policy

  • Collaborative Research

  • Safety Training

  • Advocacy

Developing Resources

Young commercial fishermen and women will have access to networking, training, and skill development resources.

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