Graying of the Fleet in Alaska's Fisheries: Defining the Problem and Assessing Alternatives

Project Description

This study seeks to better define the problem of the "graying of the fleet," a pressing concern for the state of Alaska, and to assess and develop alternatives that will help address this growing problem. This ethnographic research project based in the vital commercial fishing regions of Bristol Bay and Kodiak, Alaska will: 1) document and compare barriers to entry into, and upward mobility within, fisheries among youth and young fishery participants; 2) examine the factors influencing young people's attitudes towards, and level of participation in, Alaska fisheries; 3) identify models of successful pathways to establishing fishing careers among young residents; and 4) identify potential policy responses to address the graying of the fleet and develop specific recommendations consistent with the state and federal legal frameworks.

Project Funding

North Pacific Research Board, Alaska Sea Grant
Amount: $393,013
Start Date: 2013-09-00
End Date: 2018-01-00



Research Team

Courtney Carothers

Courtney Carothers

Principal Investigator



  • Environmental Anthropology
  • Political Ecology
  • Marine Policy
  • Fishing Communities

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Paula Cullenberg

Paula Cullenberg

Co-Principal Investigator

Professor Emeritus

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Co-Principal Investigator

Rachel Donkersloot


Research Staff

Jesse Coleman
UAF graduate student in fisheries

Danielle Ringer
UAF graduate student in fisheries