ALFA Beginnings

Founded in 1978, the Alaska Longline Fishermen's Association (ALFA) has successfully represented longline fishermen in securing sustainable access to healthy halibut, sablefish and rockfish stocks. 

ALFA spearheaded efforts to eliminate foreign fishing on sablefish and rockfish stocks during the 70s, supported an aggressive rebuilding schedule for depleted sablefish stocks during the 80s, and lead the battle to eliminate trawling from Southeast Alaska waters during the 90s. During the 90s ALFA also supported the implementation of an Individual Quota system for North Pacific halibut and sablefish stocks, successfully campaigning for measures to protect the independent, community-based fleet critical to the economic health of Alaska's coastal communities and, ultimately, the resource on which it depends. 

ALFA was instrumental in forming the Halibut Coalition in 1998, an umbrella organization uniting longline fishermen, processors and consumers in protecting longline access to halibut stocks. ALFA continues to actively promote resource and industry health, supporting sustainable fishing quotas and historic access to carefully managed stocks.

 

Cooperative Research 

ALFA has developed and been a participant in many research projects to address fishery management and ecological issues in the Southeast.

These include helping launch the Southeast Alaska Sperm Whale Avoidance Project, and advancing Electronic Monitoring as an alternative to observers for small boats in Alaska. Other projects, past and present, include developing a voluntary logbook program for sablefish vessels (allowing fisheries data to be incorporated into the sablefish apportionment formula), testing light weight seabird avoidance devices appropriate for small longline vessels, developing low bycatch gear for underutilized rockfish species, developing a real time bycatch reporting network to decrease bycatch in the halibut fishery, and developing identification aids to help processors correctly identify rougheye and shortraker rockfishes.

You don't have to be a longliner to be a part of ALFA's work: we encourage all fishermen and land-dwellers to get in touch and get involved in our efforts to preserve our fisheries and our oceans for future generations. 

 

Our Crew 

 

Executive Director

Linda Behnken 

Linda Behnken came to Sitka with a strong love of wildness and a vague idea about fishing to earn college money. After one season she was hooked— on fishing, Sitka, and Alaska's wild coast.  After earning a Masters from Yale University, Linda took over as ALFA's executive director.  Linda now fishes with her husband and their two sons on their 40 foot boat the Woodstock.

 
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Project Coordinator

Dan Falvey    

Dan Falvey began fishing in Alaska as a long-line deckhand in 1981, and became the owner/operator of his first boat a few years later. Dan has participated in the longline fisheries for halibut, sablefish and rockfish; the dive fisheries for abalone and sea cucumbers; and the troll fisheries for king, coho and chum salmon. He is extensively involved in ALFA’s advocacy and research efforts and was awarded the National Fisherman Magazine’s “Highliner of the Year” award in 2011.  

 
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Assistant Executive Director

Willow Moore

The 18 years that Willow Moore has spent as a Sitkan have been among the best of her life. Willow spent her childhood dreaming of traveling the world, but she knew Sitka was home as soon as she stepped off the plan and into a kayak.  After spending her second day in Sitka fishing, Willow officially retired her traveling shoes.  With vast wilderness to explore, incredible community, and meaningful work, Willow, her husband, Justin, and their children, Kai and Ada, have much to be grateful for.  With an master's degree in Public Administration, natural resource management policy as well as an educational background in nursing and psychology. Willow is excited to be a part of the Alaska Longline Fishermens' Association (ALFA) team.  Before working at ALFA, Willow worked in non-profit and business management both in Sitka and abroad.  These and many other experiences have given her a deep appreciation for the way so many organizations, businesses, and nonprofits seek to improve the quality of life and sustainability of the regions they serve.  Willow is grateful to be part of a team that serves Alaska and Alaskans through collaborative research, advocacy, and innovation.

 
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Communications and Program Director

Natalie Sattler

Natalie Sattler is thrilled to be working as the Communications and Program Director for ALFA. Natalie holds an undergraduate degree in anthropology, a masters degree in Educational Psychology/Early Literacy from the University of Colorado, Denver and a masters of science degree in Natural Resource Management and Natural Science Education from the University of Wyoming. Natalie’s passion lies in supporting  sustainable environments and economies. Natalie has worked for multiple non-profits in the past providing educational, outreach, and communication direction and support in various communities. Most recently, Natalie taught math and science to elementary aged students for several years.

 
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Office Manager

Laurinda Marcello

Laurinda Marcello joined ALFA in 2020.  She grew up in Sitka and returned to the community after completing her education.  Laurinda holds a B.A. in biology with a minor in math from Lewis & Clark College and a M.S. in fisheries from University of Alaska Fairbanks.  Prior to joining ALFA Laurinda engaged in science and fisheries research for over a decade and more recently transitioned into the non-profit sector.  Laurinda also serves as the head instructor for Kenwa Karate of Sitka.  She currently resides in Sitka with her family where she enjoys sport fishing, hiking, and bike riding.  

 
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Policy and Legal Advisor

Paul Olson

Paul Olson is a former longline deckhand and current commercial salmon troller who likes to catch big fish.  He has fished continuously in southeast Alaska since 1977.  When not trolling, Paul is either working part-time in the ALFA office or operating a small writing and research oriented consulting business that focuses on fishery resources and conservation of salmon habitat.

 
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Alaskan’s Own & Seafood Donation Coordinator

Liberty Siegle

Liberty Siegle spent a summer in Bristol Bay to make quick cash between Peace Corps service in Kyrgyzstan and graduate school in Bologna, Italy. After earning her MA in Global Risk from Johns Hopkins University, she was lured back to Alaska—this time Sitka—by the beauty and grit of the landscape; by the cooperation between science, government, and private business in the fishing industry; and by the friendly, hard-working people she’s come to respect and enjoy. After living in Siberia, Kyrgyzstan, Israel, Norway, Iceland, Italy, Idaho, and her native Oregon, she’s pretty sure she’s home. Liberty enjoys ultra running, soccer, hiking, camping, and dogs.

 
 

ALFA BOARD OF DIRECTORS

President: Dick Curran, F/V Cherokee

Vice-President: Jeff Farvour, Deckhand Representative

Secretary: Terry Perensovich, Skiff Representative

Frank Balovich, F/V Carol D

Steve Fish, F/V Kariel

Norm Pillen, F/V Sherri Marie

Phil Wyman, F/V Archangel

Wendy Alderson, F/V Ocean Cape

Cale LaDuke, F/V

 

View our 40th anniversary presentation below