Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust Received Award To Promote Indigenous Fisheries

The following is courtesy of the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust:


The Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust (ASFT) is thrilled to announce a $475,000 award from the Rasmuson Foundation to promote rural and indigenous access to Alaska’s coastal fisheries. 

With support from the Rasmuson Foundation, the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust will establish a quota bank to anchor fisheries access in Alaska’s rural and indigenous communities. Working with both Tribal and non-Tribal partners, ASFT will provide entry level opportunity while also partnering with coastal communities to address existing barriers to fisheries participation. 

“Over the past 20 years, rural and especially indigenous communities have steadily lost access to Alaska’s fisheries, a loss that has eliminated commercial fishing from some communities and reduced subsistence access and food security across the State,” commented Linda Behnken, ASFT acting director. “With support from Catch Together and now the Rasmuson Foundation, we are building a quota bank that will allow community partners to reverse that trend. We are deeply grateful to the Rasmuson Foundation for this significant investment in our work and mission.” 

The Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust works to promote sustainable fisheries through research, education, and economic opportunity. ASFT programming includes: SeaBank, a multidisciplinary initiative to identify, assess, and communicate the economic value of the Southeast Alaska ecosystem; Local Fish Fund, an innovative fishery access loan program launched in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy, Catch Together, and Craft3; and Fish For Families, a seafood donation program operated in partnership with the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association that has distributed over 645,000 seafood meals to families in need. 

“Fishing is fundamental to life in coastal Alaska,” noted Liberty Siegle, Local Fish Fund program director. “Without access to fishing, both culture and community health are at risk. With this generous award we will work with our Alaska partners to strengthen access and this essential connection to fisheries.”

These funds are part of a larger effort by the Rasmuson Foundation to invest in Alaska communities. As president and CEO Diane Kaplain recognizes, “Alaska’s nonprofits, Tribes, and local governments work hard every day to help their neighbors and make life better in immeasurable ways” – and the $500 million Rasmuson has given to such groups since the foundation’s inception prove their commitment to supporting Alaska.