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Sign on to Support Ocean Acidification Research

Date Posted: January 22, 2016       Categories: AMCC Blog       Tags: Get Involved, Ocean Acidification, Ocean Acidification in Alaska

Congress will soon undertake important funding decisions for Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring (FOARAM). Right now, it is critical that they hear from you! 

walterskids_zps71c07375Ocean acidification (OA) is caused by the increased uptake of carbon dioxide (CO₂) from the earth’s atmosphere. Acidification makes it harder for shell-forming species such as oysters, clams, crabs and some tiny zooplankton to form their shells. It also fundamentally alters many other natural processes (e.g. growth, reproduction, etc.) necessary for healthy marine ecosystems and the people who depend on them. Sufficient funding is needed to understand this global problem and its impacts here in Alaska. The administration has recommended $30 million be included in the new NOAA budget for ocean acidification research. This increased funding will improve experimental research, add more observing stations to monitor acidification and study effects on valuable marine species so that we can be better prepared for the effects of ocean acidification in Alaska. Request this of our congressional delegation today by filling out the form below.


Sign the Letter by February 12th to Ask Congress to Increase Funding for Essential Ocean Acidification Research


To the Alaska Congressional Delegation:

We are writing to urge you to support the President’s FY17 NOAA ocean acidification research funding amount of [$30 million].  Ocean acidification is changing the very chemical nature of our oceans, harming a multitude of important species today and threatening more in the future. Not only are Alaskan waters particularly susceptible to changes in ocean chemistry, but fishermen, shellfish farmers, and coastal communities across the state depend on productive coastal areas for their jobs, cultural traditions, food security and recreation.

These communities and essential systems will suffer if we don’t respond to the challenge of ocean acidification. Federal research dollars can help avert impacts by deepening our scientific understanding of the problem, enabling local businesses to remain productive through awareness and adaptation, and active planning on next steps, both locally and nationally.

This line item will enable our federal and state scientists to inform policymakers’ response to this challenge and allow them to work with local communities and sectors that will be affected.  Increased funding for Integrated Ocean Acidification in the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research within NOAA will provide desperately needed resources and make sure we address one of the most critical threats to coastal communities and oceans today.

Thank you for your time and consideration of our request.

Sincerely,



What’s the Latest on Bering Sea Halibut Bycatch?

Halibut Bycatch Updates

For more than a year, dual concerns regarding declining halibut stocks and community access in the Bering Sea have been a hot button issue for both the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) and the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (the Council). Despite committed efforts by a diverse array of stakeholders, the precarious state of the Bering Sea halibut fishery remains uncertain heading into the end of 2015.

International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC)

During its December interim meeting, the IPHC will be releasing its 2015 stock assessment and 2016 harvest decision table. The stock assessment provides managers with the status of halibut throughout its range in the North Pacific, while the harvest decision table guides the Commission’s decision-making as it sets the annual catch limits for 2016. These reports will play a significant role in whether the fishermen in the Bering Sea will have a directed fishery in 2016.

The IPHC is also in a state of transition: in the coming months, the Commission will be hiring a new Executive Director to oversee the IPHC. Additionally, President Obama will make appointments for the two U.S. public seats on the Commission by early 2016. Our hope is that whoever fills these roles will effectively advocate for coastal communities and conservation of the resource, while also bridging the communication and decision making gap between the IPHC and the Council.

More at: www.iphc.int

North Pacific Fishery Management Council (the Council)

The Council’s December meeting is fast approaching and it is filled with halibut bycatch agenda items. The Council will first take action on 2016 catch limits for the Bering Sea/Aleutian Island groundfish fisheries, where it may consider reducing catch limits for fish with high rates of halibut bycatch. Although an unorthodox approach in some ways, a reduction in groundfish catch limits could provide short-term relief to both the resource and the halibut-dependent communities of the Bering Sea.

With long-term solutions in mind, the Council will also take up two agenda items that could provide significant improvements to halibut management. First, it will continue public scoping on its draft Halibut Management Framework. The draft framework could provide for more regular and meaningful communication between the Council and the IPHC, as well as enhance avenues for stakeholder input. Next, the Council will be reviewing a discussion paper on abundance-based management for halibut bycatch. AMCC fully supports the Council’s efforts to move toward abundance based management, provided the new management approach contains appropriate conservation and community safeguards.

More at: www.npfmc.org/upcoming-council-meetings

Proposed Bycatch Rule

The National Marine Fisheries Service is seeking public comments on the proposed rule that would implement the Council’s bycatch recommendations from this past June. Comments are due December 28, 2015. This is your opportunity to tell the National Marine Fisheries Service that the Council did not go far enough in reducing bycatch.

You may submit comments on the proposed rule via the Federal e-Rulemaking portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2015-0092, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.



Fish Talk in Our Nation’s Capitol: Magnuson-Stevens and Beyond

By Hannah Heimbuch

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Left to right: Frankie Balovich and Jeff Farvor (Alaska Longline Fisherman’s Association), Senator Lisa Murkowski, Kelly Harrell and Shannon Carroll (AMCC)

It’s amazing what you can fit into three days. In the case of three Alaska Marine Conservation Council (AMCC) staff members this October, it was more than 6,000 miles, a half-day of lobbying training and several dozen meetings with congressional offices, agency leaders, and conservation partners in our nation’s capital.

This trip to Washington, D.C. was my first, and allowed me to witness firsthand what it looks like when diverse groups truly collaborate in pursuit of a better future. This is the promise I see in the Fishing Communities Coalition (FCC).

Presenting as a unified voice on national fisheries policy, the FCC is made up of conservation-minded, community-based fishing organizations that have found common ground in their policy concerns, despite hailing from different corners of America’s coastline. At present, the FCC includes AMCC and the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association, both from Alaska; the Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholder’s Alliance, from Texas; and the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association and Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance, both calling New England home.

For a few short, busy days, we joined our partners from the FCC to visit House and Senate offices on Capitol Hill. We were there to introduce ourselves to decision makers from coastal states across the country. Collectively, we spoke to agency leaders and congressional staffers, covering a variety of policy issues important to our small boat fleets: bycatch reduction, electronic/at-sea monitoring, community access to local fisheries, and improved fisheries data collection, and a strengthened Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA) reauthorization bill.

Left to right: Frankie Balovich, Hannah Heimbuch and Jeff Farvor

Left to right: Frankie Balovich, Hannah Heimbuch and Jeff Farvor

As House and Senate offices look at options for MSA reauthorization moving forward, the FCC believes it is vital that this important law uphold or enhance current standards of science-based, conservation-minded fisheries management, while also ensuring access for local communities. These essential measures guide the sustainability of our nation’s fish stocks and fishing communities.

In the bycatch realm, we shared important information about the halibut bycatch crisis occurring in the Bering Sea — from the massive removal of juvenile halibut by trawl vessels, to the precarious health of directed halibut fisheries coast-wide. The group reminded congressional delegates of the national importance of the halibut fishery, and of the bad precedent being set, with halibut bycatch becoming the priority use of halibut in the North Pacific.

Group members also voiced a need for progressive policies supporting robust at-sea or electronic monitoring, and cohesion of those practices across Council regions. Issues of insufficient data, major funding challenges, and ease of small-boat monitoring were important coalition-wide, including to small boat fleets in New England deeply concerned about excessive haddock bycatch.

Finally, we communicated the continued need to support local access to fisheries. The coalition shared the success stories and ongoing needs for those access rights by pointing out unique community solutions across the country, such as permit and quota banks, while also pushing for improved community access provisions in the reauthorized MSA.

During our Capital Hill visits, our coalition team divided up into two groups and managed to make 21 meetings with Senate and House staffers in a single day. We covered some significant ground — both under our feet and in our policy work — using our united voice to amplify these important issues. We were able to meet directly with two Alaskan delegates, Senator Lisa Murkowski and Representative Don Young. Sitting next to fellow fishermen and fisheries leaders from around the country, and speaking together for responsible policies, was a truly empowering experience.

It is AMCC’s hope that as we continue to advocate for federal policies that support a sustainable fishing future, we can offer that experience to more of our community fishermen, infusing voices from Alaska’s small boat fisheries into this national arena. We believe it’s particularly vital that young fishermen are given the opportunity to participate in this policy work, something I personally look forward to developing.

Those of us that hope to be fishing for the next 30 years — those of us that want to continue the tradition of fishing families and strong local fisheries — must help to guide the long-term vision of the federal policies that do and will shape management of our marine resources. We must demand robust science- and conservation-based standards that allow fisheries, communities and ecosystems to thrive together.

It was incredibly encouraging to see the FCC paving the way for more community voices — the young and veteran alike — to be heard in a meaningful and collaborative way at a national level. As I head back home to Alaska, it is with the knowledge that our local, regional and statewide work is united with this national conservation ethic, of which AMCC and its members should be proud.



Get Ready to Boogie at the 9th Annual Ocean Boogie

Date Posted: October 6, 2015       Categories: AMCC Blog       Tags: Calendar/Events, Donate, Get Involved, Local Seafood

BOOGIE_AMCC_KODIAKWhat: The 9th Annual Kodiak Ocean Boogie
When: 7pm Saturday, October 24th
Where: Tony’s Bar, Kodiak, AK
Tickets: $30 (Call 907.539.1927 to get yours today!)

Join the Alaska Marine Conservation Council for an evening of music, dancing, delicious seafood appetizers, and silent auctions at Tony’s Bar in Kodiak on October 24th, 2015. The Ocean Boogie is an annual fundraiser for AMCC and also features the drawing for AMCC’s Annual Cash Raffle with prizes ranging from $250-$10,000! Contact Kodiak Outreach Coordinator, Theresa Peterson, to purchase your Ocean Boogie ticket ($30) at theresa@akmarine.org or 907.539.1927.

Don’t forget to invite your friends on Facebook.

We’ll see you on the 24th ready to boogie!

 

 

 

 

 



Halibut Capital of the World Kicks off First Homer Halibut Fest

IMG_0537_zpsu9uz7cttby Homer Community Fisheries Organizer, Hannah Heimbuch

There’s no place like home. And in my case, that place is Homer, Alaska, location of the first ever Homer Halibut Festival. We set aside a lovely fall weekend in September to kick off this festival of the flat fish in the Halibut Capital of the World, and we couldn’t have asked for a better year-one shindig. We set out to celebrate the halibut resource, to share some great information and great food with the community, and Homer showed up in droves to make it happen.

We hosted some fantastic speakers from Seattle, Anchorage and Homer who filled us in on halibut ecology, examined economic dynamics from the international market to businesses in our own backyard, and IMG_1173_zps7ti7sw5bprovided insight into the policy process that manages the incredible economic and ecological engine that is the halibut fishery.

Did you know that halibut larvae spawned in the Eastern Gulf of Alaska drift on major Pacific currents back to the Bering Sea nursery where they mature into those adult fish we all love? Did you know that the sport halibut fishery has become one of the growing avenues for young people to enter into a fishing career? Or that Homer’s commercial halibut landings have often been higher than any other port in Alaska? Those are just a few of the many things I learned from the great presenters on September 19th.

The community meal was a testament to the power of local food — feeding at least 300 people with halibut donated by local fishermen and produce from many of our local farmers. At the Halibut Cabaret we had IMG_1182_zpsfqdnernomusicians and storytellers sharing the personal side of the fishing life, and a generous showing of community support through donations and auction bids on the fabulous buoys donated and decorated by Homer fisherfolk and artists. The Halibut Hustle, a 5K run that zipped us around the harbor trail on Sunday morning, had a great turnout of weekend runners.

The other piece of this that I want to celebrate are the dozens of volunteers that gave their time and resources to help plan the festival, paint buoys, prepare food, put up posters, staff events and more. Dozens of businesses donated funds, goods and services — without IMG_1222_zpsi3sj0u5qwhich the festival would not have been possible. The community of Homer and beyond truly showed up to make the Homer Halibut Festival a reality.

What did all of this show me? It showed me something that I already suspected — that fisheries are a vital piece of culture and economy here in Homer; and that our community, and many others along the coast, is tied in countless ways to the marine ecosystem. And finally this reminded me that the working waterfronts across Alaska and their coastal residents are vital pieces of the marine web. We are fishermen, neighbors and marine stewards, and together we represent the past, present and future of Alaska fisheries.

 

Thank you to all of our generous sponsors!

IMG_1203_zpsotwf7kaaInternational Pacific Halibut Commission
Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute
Representative Paul Seaton
Trident Seafoods
Alaska Boats & Permits
ANL Corporation
Bulletproof Nets
Captain Mike’s Charters
Cook Inletkeeper
Homer Chamber of Commerce
Icicle Seafoods
North Pacific Fisheries Association
IMG_0538_zpshibatpz3Preventive Dental Services
Salmon Sisters
Salty Girls Gifts and Booking
Alice’s Champagne Palace
Auction Block
Coal Point Trading Co.
Paul and Jennifer Castellani
Bob Durr
F/V Captain Cook
F/V Challenger
F/V Dangerous Cape
F/V Nuka Point
F/V Sheik
Robert Heimbach
Todd Hoppe
DSCF4692_zpsnnizx8irIslands & Ocean Visitor Center
Lori Jenkins
Kachemak Bay Running Club
Sunrise Kilcher
La Baleine Cafe
Land’s End Resort
Chris Moss
Jessica Shepherd
Spit Sisters
Kyra Wagner

*For more information about how you can get involved in next year’s Homer Halibut Festival, you can contact Hannah at hannah@akmarine.org. And be sure to check out homerhalibutfest.org.



Take Action Now: Reduce Halibut Bycatch in the Bering Sea

Although the North Pacific Fishery Management Council failed to recommend meaningful halibut bycatch reductions in the Bering Sea groundfish fishery this past June, there is still time to tell the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to take action. Ask our Alaskan Congressional Delegation to urge NMFS and the Secretary of Commerce to protect the halibut resource and Alaskan coastal communities.

Please submit this letter and show your support for reducing halibut bycatch in the Bering Sea by October 28, 2015.



Reel in $10,000 in 2015!

Date Posted: July 13, 2015       Categories: AMCC Blog       Tags: Donate, Get Involved

Tickets for AMCC’s Annual $10,000 Cash Raffle are available now. Call 907.277.5352 to buy yours today!

The raffle has been popular across Alaska for years, as it offers a chance to win a grand prize of $10,000 by purchasing a $100 ticket. The odds of winning are outstanding, as only 350 tickets are sold and 16 will receive cash prizes! In addition to the $10,000 grand prize, one $1,500 prize, three $500 prizes, and eleven $250 prizes will be awarded.

  • Last ticket drawn wins $10,000
  • 2nd to last ticket drawn wins $1,500
  • 100th, 200th & 300th tickets drawn win $500
  • 1st, 25th, 50th, 75th, 125th, 150th, 175th, 225th, 250th, 275th and 325th tickets drawn win $250

As a bonus, you also receive a complimentary AMCC membership for one year with your purchase of a raffle ticket!

The raffle drawing will be held in Kodiak, Alaska during our annual Ocean Boogie fundraiser on Saturday, October 24, 2015. You do not need to be present in order to win.

Tickets do sell out, so get yours today!

>>To purchase a raffle ticket, please call 907.277.5352 with your credit card ready.

You can also send a check for $100 (or $100 x how many tickets you’d like to purchase) with “AMCC Raffle” in the memo. Please also include a note with your name, phone number and email address and send to:

Alaska Marine Conservation Council
PO Box 101145
Anchorage, AK 99510

We recognize that $100 dollars is no small amount to many of us. Please know your hard-earned money used to purchase a raffle ticket will directly support our work to sustain healthy marine ecosystems and promote thriving coastal communities in Alaska. We hope you will take a chance for fisheries and marine conservation by purchasing a raffle ticket or making a donation of your choosing to help AMCC continue these vital efforts.



AMCC Hosts First Homer Halibut Festival

The Alaska Marine Conservation Council is excited to host the first ever Homer Halibut Festival on September 19th & 20th, 2015!

Homer is often called the Halibut Capital of the World, and this is a title we want to celebrate! We are kicking off the Homer Halibut Festival as an opportunity for the community to celebrate the iconic halibut resource of Homer and of Alaska. The weekend’s activities will provide ample opportunity to learn about halibut science and fisheries management, enjoy a community meal with friends, run the 5K Halibut Hustle and through music, storytelling and art, honor the fish and fishing traditions that have enriched the End of the Road. Through knowledge and celebration, we hope to increase awareness and stewardship of both halibut and marine ecosystems.

Learn more and view the full festival schedule at www.homerhalibutfest.org.

Thank you to all of our generous sponsors who made this event possible!

Skipper Level Sponsors $1000+
International Pacific Halibut Commission

Deckboss Level Sponsors $500-999
Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute
Representative Paul Seaton
Trident Seafoods

Deckhand Level Sponsors $150-499
Alaska Boats & Permits
ANL Corporation
Bulletproof Nets
Captain Mike’s Charters
Cook Inletkeeper
Homer Chamber of Commerce
Icicle Seafoods
North Pacific Fisheries Association
Preventive Dental Services
Salmon Sisters
Salty Girls Gifts and Booking

 

In-Kind Donors & Partners
Alice’s Champagne Palace
Auction Block
Coal Point Trading Co.
Paul and Jennifer Castellani
Bob Durr
F/V Captain Cook
F/V Challenger
F/V Dangerous Cape
F/V Nuka Point
F/V Sheik
Robert Heimbach
Todd Hoppe
Islands & Ocean Visitor Center
Lori Jenkins
Kachemak Bay Running Club
Sunrise Kilcher
La Baleine Cafe
Land’s End Resort
Chris Moss
Jessica Shepherd
Spit Sisters
Kyra Wagner



Bering Sea Halibut Bycatch Nears Final Action in June

Graphic by Emma Laukitis

Graphic by Emma Laukitis

With the June meeting of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (the Council) less than a week away, supporters of halibut bycatch reduction in the Bering Sea are working hard to communicate to the Council Alaskans’ strong support for bycatch reduction.

The meeting is slated for June 1-9 in Sitka, and will include discussion and potential final action on Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands (BSAI) bycatch reduction.

Since 2005, landings from halibut fishermen have been cut by 63% in the Bering Sea, while halibut bycatch caps for non-halibut fisheries have not been measurably reduced for 20 YEARS! This inequity has created a stark disparity between halibut fishermen and fisheries that harvest halibut as bycatch in the Bering Sea. In 2014, Bering Sea groundfish fisheries killed and discarded 7 times more more halibut (number of fish, not pounds) than the halibut fishery in landed in the same region or over 5 million pounds!

BSAI halibut bycatch in 2014 came in at roughly one million fish, with an average weight of just under 5 pounds. Tagging studies show that from these large groups of juvenile halibut feeding in the Bering Sea, 70-90% of them are slated to migrate to other areas upon maturity. The removal of large numbers of these juvenile animals from the ecosystem is a critical stock concern for any halibut fisherman or consumer in the North Pacific, from California to Alaska.

How to Comment

It is vital that the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (the Council) hear from halibut users from across the North Pacific. Join other fishermen and communities across Alaska and write to the Council today asking them to reduce halibut bycatch caps in the Bering Sea by no less than 50%! The deadline for written comment is Tuesday, May 26, 2015. Only a meaningful reduction will give the halibut fishery and the communities that depend on halibut the relief they need. Policy makers should not prioritize bycatch over other harvests and the long term health of juvenile halibut populations. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council is responsible for managing halibut bycatch in the Bering Sea and as stewards of this resource, it is time to take action to reduce bycatch.

*To submit comments to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, email your comments to npfmc.comments@noaa.gov with “C2 Bering Sea Halibut PSC” in the subject line. Copy our Congressional Delegations in your comments – Alaska’s representatives need to hear how Alaskans feel about bycatch. Letters can be copied to:

Senator Lisa Murkowski – Ephraim_froelich@murkowski.senate.gov
Senator Dan Sullivan – erik_elam@sullivan.senate.gov
Congressman Don Young – bonnie.bruce@mail.house.gov

For more information on how to comment or testify in person, please visit npfmc.org or contact:

  • Hannah Heimbuch — Community Fisheries Organizer — Homer (907) 299-4018 or hannah@akmarine.org
  • Theresa Peterson — Kodiak Outreach Coordinator — Kodiak, (907) 539-1927 or theresa@akmarine.org

Other Ways to Participate:

Testify in person: The Council takes public testimony on every agenda item. The meeting starts June 1 and runs through June 9 in Sitka, AK. To testify in person, sign up at the Council meeting before public comment on that agenda item begins.

Listen online: We will post the link to listen on Facebook on the first day of meetings.

Support AMCC’s work on important issues: AMCC has staff at every Council meeting, advocating for the health of marine ecosystems and fishing communities. Donations from individuals like you are essential to maintaining this key role. Help support our work today: donate now.

Read What Other Alaskans Have to Say:

For past updates on this issue, click here.



Connecting the coast; bycatch in the Bering Sea

By Marissa Wilson, AMCC Board Member
Originally published in the Homer Tribune

marissa-wilsonA small but formative fraction of my life has been spent gazing out salt-sprayed windows at rugged terrain and open ocean.  My father’s silhouette was always incorporated in the scenery, reflected on the glass that shielded our fragile flesh from the elements. As he sat in the helm seat, occasionally leaning forward to alter our course or to study charts that he had known longer than he knew me, I looked out the window and absorbed what it meant to be a fisherman.

Thousands of miles of coastline, spanning from Attu to Port Townsend, have passed like this. The ocean below our vessel once seemed a vast unknown, prodded only by our longline gear in highly specific areas — little lines draped along ridges at particular depths within abstract boundaries. Throughout my adolescence, I became increasingly aware of certain truths surfacing from those depths. Halibut have become smaller, harder to find, and the amount we’ve been allowed to catch has declined significantly. Privately, I became concerned about the fate of our ocean-dependent lifestyle. My father has fished commercially for forty years. With the trend I witnessed, I couldn’t see how I would manage to do the same.

Adulthood brought the sobering realization that problems rarely fix themselves. With my mind set on a serious long-term relationship with halibut, I recognized the importance of understanding my partner and the issues it faced. I diversified my connection by working on a charter boat. Harvesting halibut for my own freezer strengthened the bond. The deeper I got into the world of fish, the more complex but interconnected it revealed itself to be.

Research from the International Pacific Halibut Commission, conducted since the 1920s, has revealed significant information about the lifestyle of the flatfish.

Halibut move offshore to breed in the deeper waters off the continental shelf. Eggs and larvae get carried with the currents in a counter-clockwise direction, turning an area northwest of the Gulf of Alaska into the landing ground — the nursery — for halibut stock. This is where the Bering Sea becomes a focal point in the lifecycle. As they mature, juvenile halibut begin a southern and eastern migration to counter the initial drift. As such, the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands, or BSAI, is critical to the abundance of the resource throughout its population distribution.

The groundfish fleet that fishes in the Bering Sea consists of a handful of vessels owned by Seattle-based companies. This small fleet of huge ships drags large nets through the water, targeting groundfish — often shipped overseas for processing and consumption. In the last ten years — since I first started baiting longline hooks — 62.6 million pounds of halibut have been caught and killed in the BSAI as bycatch in those groundfish fisheries, 79 percent of that from one area, the Central Bering Sea.

Most of the halibut scooped up in trawl gear as bycatch are juveniles. Last year in the BSAI, one million halibut were caught in trawls. The average size of those fish: just 4.8 pounds. Beyond the immediate loss of these fish, the depletion of juvenile halibut stock prevents a robust population from maturing and taking hold along the entire coast. Of the juvenile halibut caught in trawl gear, 70 to 90 percent were destined to migrate to the Gulf of Alaska, Canada, Washington, Oregon, and California.

The potential exponential growth of those wasted fish is incalculable, and their documented range makes this a coast-wide issue.

In publications issued by the trawl fleet, the current amount of bycatch is described as inconsequential. Their case is, notably, made in light of the profitability of trawling. Commercial, charter, and subsistence fishers along thousands of miles of coastline would likely disagree about the impact of the loss. Direct users of halibut absorb the negative consequences of a wasteful industry with deep pocketbooks and broad regulatory influence.

I think back to those precious moments of stillness between sets or ports, my tired head resting against a cold salt-sprayed window; reflecting. Will future generations have a robust resource to ponder over?

The coastline I’ve traced is linked by more than the wake of my memories — it’s connected by the processes of life and the power of continuity. Lifestyle preservation is, admittedly, an easy cause to fight for. Culture is the breath of human experience. But protecting personal interests over the health of the environment that sustains us is a plague that has led to the collapse of fisheries all around the world.

To the 2,714 halibut IFQ holders aboard the 1,157 vessels that fish it; the 77 registered buyers of halibut in the 32 communities where those fish land; the thousands of charter captains, deckhands, subsistence fishers, processors, and consumers of halibut: keep the Bering Sea on your radar.

This impacts you.

In June, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council will decide whether or not to reduce the cap on Bering Sea halibut bycatch for the first time in decades. It is imperative that they make a meaningful cut, and reduce halibut bycatch in the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands by 50 percent. Please speak up on this issue, and send your comments to npfmc.comments@noaa.gov.

For more on the issue visit: halibut bycatch.



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