Linda Behnken has fished commercially off Alaska since 1982, and since 1991 has been executive director of the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association, an organization that promotes sustainable fisheries. In 2020, she received the Heinz Foundation award for the environment.
“I love everything about being on the ocean except when the weather’s crummy. Every day is different when you’re out there. It’s an opportunity to have a connection to the marine world that I don’t think almost anybody else gets, when you’re working that close and pulling these beautiful fish out of the ocean that you’re then providing to this country for people to enjoy. It’s just really satisfying to me to be part of harvesting Alaska’s wild bounty. I also feel like it’s really important to give something back and make sure that we’re taking care of the resource and able to provide to the next generation the same opportunities that I’ve had for a great life in these communities, on the ocean, catching fish for a living.”