Almost 40 years ago, without regard for the conservation of our fisheries or the needs of the Alaskan people, foreign fishing fleets dominated the waters off Alaska’s shores and took anything and everything in their reach. Ask anyone familiar with the times, deck lights of foreign vessels — dozens if not more — could be seen just miles off the coast of Kodiak and other coastal communities. Recognizing the need for change, countless Alaskan fishermen came to Congress to ask for help in pushing the foreign fleets out.
Senator Ted Stevens and I knew that Alaska’s and America’s interests needed protection and we immediately began working to spearhead commonsense fisheries reforms through Congress. Reforms weren’t easy, but partnerships and friendships were formed — with Representatives and Senators across state and party lines — to convince our colleagues it was the right thing to do.
After years of work, the foundation of our domestic fishing fleet was born, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA). Along with the creation of the 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone that pushed foreign fleets further from our shores, the MSA “Americanized” our fisheries and created wealth and certainty for our State and fishermen.
Read the full story at the Peninsula Clarion>>
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