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  • Writer's pictureMonique Coombs

MCFA receives grant to increase mental health awareness & promote well-being for fishermen.

Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association receives grant to increase mental health awareness and promote well-being for commercial fishermen.

December 19, 2019

For immediate release-- (Brunswick, ME) The Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association (MCFA), an industry-driven organization dedicated to restoring the fisheries in the Gulf of Maine and sustaining Maine’s fishing communities for future generations, recently received a grant from the Fisher Charitable Trust to begin work increasing mental health awareness and promote well-being for commercial fishermen.

Maine’s fishermen and their communities are facing unprecedented changes that are beyond their control; from climate change to regulations, and an increasing cost of doing business. Commercial fishing is also one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States.

Alex Todd, a commercial fisherman from Chebeague Island and MCFA board member says, “It’s important to me and my friends and family who go fishing that there are resources available that can help us deal with some of the challenges we are facing. There is so much we have to deal with right now and it’s really taking a toll on a lot of us. I think even just letting people know that some fishermen are pretty anxious and depressed right now is important.”

Fishermen aren’t alone in their daily struggles, but the lack of resources dedicated to fishing communities puts them particularly at risk. The agriculture industry, which deals with many of the same stressors as the fishing industry, has shown that investing in preventative and reactive programs brings value to the community, and can help humanize and preserve a significantly important industry.

For example, the state of Kansas recently announced a new program dedicated to farming families “coping with ag-related stress.” It is the hope of Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association that by starting this discussion and engaging with fishermen, that their health and wellbeing becomes a priority for Maine.

“It is time for us as a state to invest in our fishermen just as much as we invest in our businesses,” says Ben Martens, Executive Director of MCFA. “We hope that by providing opportunities for mental health awareness and self-care education that we can give fishermen the resources they need to be healthy on the water and in their communities.”


The Maine Coast Fishermen's Association (MCFA) is an industry-based nonprofit that identifies and fosters ways to restore the fisheries of the Gulf of Maine and sustain Maine’s fishing communities for future generations. Working with fishermen and fishing communities we strive to ensure that the next generation of fishermen has the community infrastructure and environmental resources to maintain Maine’s coastal cultural identity and sustain vibrant working waterfronts.

The Fisher Charitable Trust is a private operating foundation established by Dean L. Fisher, late of Rockport, Maine, which became active in 1997.

For more information contact Monique Coombs at



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