Written by Leslie Taylor
Fishermen have come to realize that they are inextricably linked to the sum health of the ocean. Our very existence depends upon it.
Gone are the presumptuous times of our past, when people believed the world’s oceans were impervious to our every advance and forgiving of our every transgression.
When a single stock comes down with a cold, the fishing industry is arranged to contract pneumonia. We in the industry don’t reject the concept of accountability; we embrace it as a component of our survival. Healthy ecosystems support healthy economies. Should the system suffer, and stocks falter, we are the only quantifiable entity. As the ecosystem is compromised, so hardened is our journey, so lessened is the quality of our lives.
Several thousand miles from Point Judith, in Bristol Bay, Alaska, a battle is being waged that is destined for our backyard. Make no mistake about it: the Pebble Mine is our battle, too. It is a battle between David and Goliath, of big business versus small. It matches a globally driven, industrial lust for raw material against a community’s right to continue to enjoy a lifestyle based on resilient wild stocks. In short, it pits the needs of the global economy versus that of a local community.
The Southeast Alaska Fishermen’s Alliance recently announced that the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation has awarded the organization a Hollings Grant to reduce whale entanglements in Alaska salmon fisheries by increasing the use of acoustic whale pingers to minimize entanglements in fishing gear.
Last week, Alaska senators Lisa Murkowski (R), Dan Sullivan (R) and Rep. Don Young (R) asked Secretary of State John Kerry to negotiate with Canadian leaders to make sure appropriate environmental safeguards are in place for mine development in Southeast Alaska.
The congressional delegation explained the importance of this issue to Alaskans and the need for assurances that the water quality in transboundary waters between Alaska and Canada will be maintained.Read more...