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AMSEA: A National Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Program

One of the things that surprises many people about AMSEA’s training, is that although our offices are in the port of Sitka, Alaska, our marine safety training courses reach commercial fishermen in all parts of the United States.

Our program has drawn national participation since we started in the mid 1980’s. The need for accessible, relevant, hands-on, and cost-effective training is not only needed in Alaska, but helps fulfill a national need as well. This is evidenced by the large number of instructors from the East, Gulf, and West Coasts, as well as Alaska, trained in our Marine Safety Instructor-Training (MSIT) courses since 1992.

The MSIT is a forty-four hour, “train-the-trainer” marine safety course that prepares instructors to teach AMSEA Fishing Vessel Drill Conductor classes and other marine safety classes. Every year we schedule two MSIT workshops in Alaska and two outside Alaska. Some instructors from our earliest MSIT workshops are still providing marine safety classes in their regions. These instructors have reached commercial fishermen from Barrow, Alaska to American Samoa and from Puerto Rico to Maine. We have also had participants from Europe and Asia in our MSIT, train-the-trainer workshop, who have brought training to their home countries. Click the map above for a closer look at where AMSEA instructors have taught.

We couldn't do this work without an enthusiastic national instructor network. AMSEA has conducted 115 Marine Safety Instructor Training workshops in 27 ports located in the coastal states of Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Hawaii, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, Virginia, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Maine. 1,531 instructors have been trained since 1985.

Alaska produces about 50% of the domestic seafood in the U.S. and AMSEA delivers about half of its Fishing Vessel Drill Conductor courses to Alaska fishermen. However, instructors also bring this training to the many ports across the U.S., where their knowledge of local fisheries and culture is invaluable. Since 1991, AMSEA has conducted over 1,967 Fishing Vessel Drill Conductor classes, attended by 21,651 commercial fishermen in 251 different ports and other communities across the coast of the U.S.

AMSEA trained instructors have brought lifesaving, hands-on training to over 169 mariners that subsequently survived a marine emergency at sea. Our thanks go out to our network of dedicated, professional instructors, and our partnerships with other training organizations such as Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and Georgia Sea Grant, North Pacific Fishing Vessel Owners Association, Fishing Partnership Support Services, and others. They make it possible for AMSEA training to reach fishing ports in every part of the U.S.

We also acknowledge and thank our important partner organizations for their support and collaboration in this national effort: the National Institute for Occupation Safety & Health (NIOSH), the U.S. Coast Guard, Trident Seafoods, and AMSEA’s individual and businesses members. For our Alaska programs, we

thank the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, & Economic Development, the Alaska Office of Boating Safety, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, and Alaska Sea Grant. This mutually supportive network makes this important work possible!

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