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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Commercial Fisheries Apprenticeship Program seeks applicants for 2024

Program run by Commercial Fisheries Center of R.I., with URI assistance

Dave Lavallee

The Commercial Fisheries Apprenticeship Program run by the Commercial Fisheries Center of Rhode Island, with assistance from the University of Rhode Island, is seeking applicants for the 2024 year.

Now in its seventh year, the apprenticeship program is fully funded by Real Jobs Rhode Island through the Department of Labor and Training. 

The program will accept 16 individuals to partake in the program beginning May 28 and ending in late June 2024. After the initial training, apprentices will be given opportunities to work as crew members on Rhode Island vessels to begin on-the-job learning. 

The training provides essential knowledge and skills to hard-working, self-motivated, and dependable men and women. Upon completion of the month-long training, participants will have the potential to become the next generation of conservation-minded fishers and secure full-time employment aboard local commercial fishing vessels.

The program consists of hands-on, classroom-based training sessions, and at-sea training. Hands-on components will include safety training, seamanship, navigation, basic vessel maintenance, gear design and repair. 

Classroom sessions will include Fishing as a Business, Rhode Island Fisheries Management and Regulations, Cooperative Research, Data Collection, Species Identification, and the Ethics of Responsible Fishing Practices. 

As part of the program, apprentices get three days at sea and experience different types of fishing and gear types. Training locations are Point Judith and Kingston, Rhode Island, at URI’s East Farm, the home of the Commercial Fisheries Center of Rhode Island.

At the end of the training, participants will receive a $1,500 stipend for completing the program, and receive job placement assistance.

For more information about the program please, contact Shaye Rooney at or 401-316-0081 or Fred Mattera at ​401-741-4178.  Interested applicants can apply online at