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EMPOWERING THE NEXT GENERATION OF OCEAN STEWARDS

HELPING ALASKANS GAIN ACCESS TO LOCAL FISHERIES

LOCAL INVESTMENT × CONSERVATION LEADERSHIP

The Local Fish Fund is a program of Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust, a non-profit corporation based in Sitka, Alaska. The mission of the Trust is to protect and support local fishing businesses, promote sustainable fishing practices, and revitalize fishing communities in Alaska. The Local Fish Fund program aims to incentivize ocean conservation practices and strengthen fishery leadership in Alaska communities by structuring loan products that will support Alaska residents in purchasing quota and retaining fishery access opportunities.

Photo credit: Matt Voelckers

 

Local Fish Fund Loan Overview

The Local Fish Fund (LFF) extends loans with competitive interest rates to new entrants and community-based vessel owners seeking to finance quota share purchases.  Borrowers must be willing to participate in fishery conservation programs as part of the loan requirements. LFF loans provide borrowers with reduced down payment options and a variable repayment structure that is based on the ex-vessel value of the catch.  This repayment structure allows borrowers to build equity and a credit history over a 5 to 6-year period to levels that should enhance their ability to qualify for refinancing with a traditional lender.  The quota shares financed by LFF loans will serve as sole collateral for the loan, and the borrower will share with LFF any gains associated with increased value realized upon refinancing.

 

Phone

(907) 747-3400

 

MAILING ADDRESS

P.O. Box 2106
Sitka, AK 99835

INQUIRIES & APPLICATION MATERIALS

localfishfund@gmail.com

slideshow Photos by John neider, F/V Faithful deckhand

 
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Mission

Alaska’s commercial fisheries are a critical and sustainable source of employment, income, and cultural identity. A $6 billion-dollar industry employing over 30,000 people, fisheries have been the economic engine of Alaska’s coastal communities for over a century. Commercial fishing uniquely allows self-sufficient people, businesses, and communities to flourish in places where other economic opportunity is scarce. Alaskans want – and in many places, need – access to sustainable, vibrant fisheries.

 

Alaska pioneered the use of “rights-based management” for its high-value fisheries, a policy that allocates transferable harvesting rights (known as quota shares or individual fishing quotas), and provides the holder with a dedicated portion of the allowable harvest and a financial stake in the fishery. This type of management has been applied all over the world, and while it is proven to align economic incentives with sustainability objectives, it has also resulted in poor socioeconomic outcomes in fishing communities whose livelihoods rely upon access to well-managed fish stocks.

 

Because these fishing rights can be traded, over time they tend to transfer to individuals or businesses with greater access to capital, creating consolidated ownership and diminished fishing opportunities for local fishing businesses that have limited access to capital. In turn, places like Alaska that have led the nation in sustainable fisheries management are at risk of losing local fishermen leaders who have historically been fierce advocates for marine conservation.

 

The Local Fish Fund program aims to address this issue by providing new entrants and community-based vessel owners a financing bridge to   ownership access in Alaska’s  rights-based fisheries, and in the process helping to build the next generation of fishermen leaders.

 
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apply today

Review the LOCAL FISH FUND HANDOUT

To discuss the next step and for more application materials, email Tracy at localfishfund@gmail.com

 
 
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PARTNERS

Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust:

The Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust (ASFT) is a nonprofit corporation based in Sitka, Alaska. ASFT’s mission is to protect and support local fishing businesses, promote sustainable fishing practices, and revitalize fishing communities in Alaska.

The Nature Conservancy

The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. We achieve this mission through the dedicated efforts of our diverse staff, including more than 600 scientists, all of whom impact conservation in 72 countries, and with the help of our many partners, from individuals and governments to local nonprofits and corporations.  

Craft3

Founded in 1994, Craft3 is a Pacific Northwest-based nonprofit community development financial institution (CDFI) that makes loans in Oregon and Washington to strengthen the resilience of businesses, families and nonprofits, including those without access to traditional financing. Craft3 has a long history of working with fishing communities to access capital and assistance that supports the resilience of the fisheries and seafood sector, fishing-related businesses/ entrepreneurs and their families. Craft3 conducts the Local Fish Fund’s loan underwriting and servicing activities under a fund management service agreement.

Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association

ALFA is an alliance of small boat, commercial fishermen committed to sustainable fisheries and thriving coastal communities. In 2009, ALFA launched a Fishery Conservation Network (FCN) that engages fishermen in conservation initiatives to improve best fishing practices and the viability of small-scale fisheries. Local Fish Fund borrowers will participate in identified FCN projects. 

Catch Together

Catch Together invests capital to support fishermen, fishing communities, and ocean conservation.  Our team has partnered with fishing communities in New England, the Gulf of Mexico, California, Washington, Alaska and British Columbia to enlist fishermen as stewards of ocean resources through the acquisition and ownership of fishing quota.  In 2018, Catch Together launched the Catch Together Fishermen’s Loan Fund, and has financed a total of over $10 million of fishing quota to date.  

Rasmuson Foundation:
Rasmuson Foundation was created in May 1955 by Jenny Rasmuson to honor her late husband “E.A.” Rasmuson. Through grantmaking and initiatives, the Foundation aims to promote a better life for all Alaskans.