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Robin Alden has made it her life's work to help fishermen, scientists, and fisheries managers understand each other with the goal of making local fisheries more sustainable for Maine's coastal communities and future generations.
—2015 Innovator Award, Maine Sustainability Awards
In 2003, a group of community members and fishermen known as the Stonington Fisheries Alliance (SFA) decided that they needed an organization with bigger reach and resources to tackle science, management, and policy questions that impacted local fishermen. SFA members Robin Alden, Ted Ames, and Ted Hoskins, together with Kristen and Paul Lewis, founded Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries (then known as Penobscot East Resource Center) to help Stonington and other community fishing groups in Eastern Maine see beyond the horizon of their own harbors and take part in the care of their fisheries. Since then, Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries has launched many innovative programs and studies, and has created a place where fishermen’s voices can be part of the management dialogue.
Robin, now executive director of Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries, 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. For twenty years, she published and edited Commercial Fisheries News, a regional fishing trade newspaper that she founded in 1973. She was co-founder of the annual Maine Fishermen’s Forum in the mid-1970s and received the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment Visionary Award in 1997 and the Maine Initiatives Social Landscape Artist Award with her husband, Ted Ames, in 2007.
Robin was a public member of the New England Fishery Management Council, 1979-1982, and a member again during her tenure as Commissioner. She was a member of the National Sea Grant Review Panel from 2000-2009 and is a current member of Maine Sea Grant’s Policy Advisory Committee. Robin has a B.A. in Economics from the University of Maine. She and Ted live in Stonington.