POCF Ashley Green on AMSEA’s Free Safety Trainings for Commercial Fishermen

Did you know there are free and discounted safety programs for commercial fishermen on every coast? It’s true! 

POCF Ashley Green is the Training Coordinator for AMSEA, Alaska Marine Safety Education Association in Sitka, Alaska. In this episode, we discuss Ashley’s background in education, her relationship with her fisherman, Tyler, her experience as a partner of a commercial fisherman, including family adjustments when Tyler is away, plus the challenges and rewards of running a direct marketing business. We get into Ashely’s work with the Alaska Marine Safety Education Association (AMSEA), the various courses they offer for free or at reduced rates for commercial fishermen around the country, and the importance of partners of commercial fishermen attending, too.

Ashley was introduced to AMSEA when she attended a class with her husband. After teaching in public education for a few years, she decided to leave and join AMSEA. She found the organization to be a perfect match for her teaching and environmental backgrounds.

Check out the latest episode of the Partners of Commercial Fishermen Podcast!

Here’s a quick Q&A with Ashley to coincide with our podcast episode. Let’s dive in!

AMSEA Training Coordinator Ashley Green

Tell us about yourself. Where are you from? Where are you now 

I grew up in Tacoma, WA. My dad was in the army, so I grew up just south of Tacoma and spent most of my adulthood there.

How did you meet your fisherman, Tyler? 

A biker/dive bar in Tacoma that was in between where I was renting a room and his friend’s house. 

Did you have experience with commercial fishing before you met them? 

Not at all. I grew up with fish sticks, and we went river fishing. I didn’t like fish much growing up. Luckily, our tastebuds change!

What are your responsibilities as a POCF? 

Like most wines and partners, I tend to manage the house and the land side aspects day to day. I had a part in getting the direct market up, including social media and sales. 

Tell us about your experience in direct marketing. What was that like?

It mostly started during Covid. We were interested in selling fish to friends and family who wanted to purchase and eat our fish. Luckily, we have friends and connections in town who operate a small, family processing plant that could do that part. It is fulfilling, but it can be very stressful if shipments don’t arrive expediently. 

Just the paperwork alone was a challenge. All while trying to do this endeavor I continued to work, and we had a family tragedy. We decided for our mental health, our relationship, and our time that it just didn’t pencil out to try and keep it up. So, we decided to take a break and see how things went. 

What were the highs and lows of that experience? What would you do differently? Keep the same? 

I would establish our roles, responsibilities, and expectations ahead of time. The last year we did it, we didn’t stress about selling fresh fish or getting shipments out during the season. That worked out better by reducing the load and shifting it to the off-season. 

Did you have a conversation about expectations before you had children? 

Hmm… I don’t recall an actual conversation, but who can really recall anything prechildren?!? 

AMSEA Training Coordinator Ashley Green and fisherman husband Tyler on a fishing boat.

Tell us about your involvement with Southeast Alaska Women in Fisheries.

I’ve just been a member, not committing to being on the executive board, as I am already on the board at my daughter’s daycare facility. I’m seeing the connection that small organizations like SEAWIF can support others’ missions while expanding on their own. I’m hoping to get more members within my same demographic, having young children and dealing with similar business challenges, in hopes of building a stronger support network and sharing resources. 

What is the overarching goal for SAWF? What is their mission? 

Their mission is to promote sea safety and increase the use of Alaskan seafood.

Tell us about your work with AMSEA. What does AMSEA do, and how did you get involved?

AMSEA was formed in the mid 80’s when fishing fatalities were astronomical. We provide US Coast Guard-accepted safety courses, specifically our fishing vessel drill conductor course, that meet training requirements for commercial fishermen. 

We also provide courses for non-commercial mariners and work with organizations such as NOAA, which NIOSH largely funds. I took my first AMSEA course after moving to Sitka. At the time, they were offering an educators course for practicing educators to learn the skills and embed them into activities. I was teaching special education then, and I didn’t have the time to do it then. I left public education just before Covid when a position was available at AMSEA. It’s allowed me to blend our family’s worlds and to expand some of my professional goals, like getting my master’s and offering professional development for teachers- the thing that piqued my interest from the beginning. 

Commercial Fisherman and daughter walking the docks AMSEA Training Coordinator Ashley Green
Ashely’s husband, Tyler Green, walks the docks with their daughter, Ellie.

Tell us about AMSEA’s safety training program that is coming up in May.

We’ve partnered with NC Sea Grant and Carteret Community College to train new marine safety instructors in the area to expand our instructor network and as the first step to their project of hosting a fishermen’s apprenticeship program at CCC either this fall or next winter. 

What do people need to know to prepare for this?

Ideally, folks have some experience in the commercial fishing industry, spending time onboard fishing vessels, or have held a position with some sort of marine safety emphasis. Prior US Coast Gaurd or educators are excellent too. 

How would POCFs benefit from taking part?

At the very least, just as I did years ago, taking the drill conductor course is a great idea to get on the same page. It will give partners, no matter how much time they spend onboard, the necessary procedures to respond in an emergency.

Why is connecting to Partners of Commercial Fishermen important in your work and in your career?

If there’s one thing that the pandemic forced us into, it was social media, and in so many ways, it can have a very polarizing effect on standards such as beauty, relationships, and parenting… Can you tell what follows? Haha! 

I’ve found that in many ports, similar groups act as a support network for those on and off the boat, so I guess, in a way, I’d like to encourage people to establish those connections, even if it might be through your phone at first, to engage with those who may be experiencing some of the same struggles or celebrate similar wins

Visit the links below to learn more about AMSEA training or to connect with Ashely!

Website: www.amsea.org

FB: https://www.facebook.com/alaskamarinesafety/

IG:  https://www.instagram.com/amseatraining/


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Check out the latest episode of the Partners of Commercial Fishermen Podcast!

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