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Young Fishermen's Development Grant Program

In December 2020, Congress passed the Young Fishermen’s Development Act (Public Law No.116-289).

The summary of the act is stated on as follows,

This bill directs the National Sea Grant Office in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to establish a Young Fishermen's Development Grant Program to provide training, education, outreach, and technical assistance initiatives for young fishermen.

The office shall make competitive matching grants to support local and regional training, education, outreach, and technical assistance initiatives for young fishermen, including programs, workshops, and services related to (1) seamanship, navigation, electronics, and safety; (2) vessel and engine care, maintenance, and repair; and (3) sustainable fishing practices. Grant recipients must be a collaborative state, tribal, local, or regionally-based network or partnership of public or private entities.

Grants may not be used to purchase a fishing license, permit, quota, or other harvesting right.





Informational Highlights

  • Sea Grant is authorized for $2M per year beginning in FY2022 as stated in the law. 
  • Sea Grant is holding a competition in FY2021 to support the development of regional planning frameworks for implementing the YFDA.
    • To maximize coordination with federal regulators, the regions used will correspond to the NOAA Fisheries regions, plus the Great Lakes:
      • Alaska
      • Great Lakes (Lake Superior to Lake Champlain)
      • New England/Mid Atlantic (Maine to Virginia)
      • Pacific Islands (Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, and other US Pacific Island territories)
      • Southeast/Gulf of Mexico (North Carolina to Texas, including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands)
      • West Coast (Washington to California)
  • These six month long projects are intended to catalyze regional planning efforts in advance of potential future funding.

Sea Grant supports the seafood industry through workforce development.

Sea Grant was selected to lead the new program in part because of its previous and ongoing work to support the professional development of seafood professionals. Sea Grant's work includes funding social science research to understand patterns and challenges associated with the seafood industry and providing job-based safety and skill training. Specific to young fisherman and early career seafood professionals, Sea Grant has many existing training and apprenticeship programs. Here are a few examples of Sea Grant’s efforts to support the development of the seafood workforce.

Science Serving America's Coasts

National Sea Grant College Program
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