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Linda Behnken

Guest Speaker

Professional affiliation

Executive Director, Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association (ALFA)

Full Biography

Linda Behnken has been a commercial fisherman in Alaska since 1982, and currently fishes with her spouse and their two sons on their 38-foot boat. She served on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) from 1992-2001, when she also served as an industry advisor to the North Pacific Anadramous Fish Commission and the National Academy of Science Individual Fishing Quota Review Panel.

Linda helped launch the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust, which invests in fishing access opportunities for community-based fishermen committed to sustainable fishing practices, and Alaskan’s Own, the first Community Supported Fisheries program in Alaska. She served as a U.S. Commissioner to the International Pacific Halibut Commission from 2016-2018 and as a member of Alaska’s Climate Action Leadership Team. In 2009 she was awarded the National Fisherman Highliner award for her work promoting healthy marine ecosystems and strong coastal communities. In 2016 she was recognized as a White House Champion of Change for Sustainable Seafood by President Obama, and in 2020 was awarded the Heinz Foundation Award for the Environment.

She has BA from Dartmouth College and a Masters in Environmental Science from Yale University.