STONINGTON — Robin Alden has been selected as the Grand Marshal for Tuesday’s Fourth of July Parade through Deer Isle Village. After spending over 40 years working and advocating for Maine’s fisheries and communities, Alden has earned a reputation as a fighter of authority, or a “Pirate of the High Seas” – the theme of this year’s parade and the reason the selection committee chose to honor her. For decades she has questioned mainstream fisheries theories and management, advocating that fishermen’s voices drive outcomes.
In 1973 Alden co-founded Commercial Fisheries News, a regional fishing industry newspaper that is still in production today. She also co-founded the annual Maine Fishermen’s Forum in the mid-1970s. She served as a member of the New England Fishery Management Council and was Maine Commissioner of Marine Resources from 1995 to 1997, responsible for Maine’s marine and anadromous fishery management and enforcement, and for aquaculture in the state. She was a member of the National Sea Grant Review Panel from 2000-2009 and is currently a member of Maine Sea Grant’s Policy Advisory Committee.
Currently, Robin Alden is Executive Director of Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries (MCCF), a Stonington-based nonprofit that she co-founded in 2003. Alden has been the fighter – or pirate – behind MCCF’s innovative approach, which brings education, research, and policy together to drive successful and sustainable fisheries. She has been at the forefront of local management efforts, driving the conversation between fishermen, scientists, and governing organizations.
Not only a pirate of the seas, Alden has been recognized as a hero of the seas – receiving the 2017 Hero of the Seas Peter Benchley Ocean Award. Her life-long career in fisheries was also honored by the White House Champions of Change, who presented her with the Sustainable Seafood Award in 2016. Of her career achievements, Alden feels most proud of the committee’s decision to select her as this year’s Grand Marshal. “It means the world to have this special island honor and know people feel that I have made a difference for our future as a fishing community.”
Alden’s Grand Marshal selection is a timely honor, as she will retire from Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries at the end of 2017, turning over the role of Executive Director to Paul Anderson on January 1, 2018. You can catch Robin Alden– and wish her well in her upcoming retirement – as the parade kicks off at 10 a.m.