While commercial fishing for salmon this summer—as I have done for almost 40 years—tucked away on a remote beach on the southern end of Kodiak Island, I watched the ocean. I thought about the devastating impacts of climate change related fires, floods and droughts happening to people’s beloved homes around our country.
I thought about my own special island home in the North Pacific, the bountiful marine ecosystem that has sustained my family for four decades and what was happening—below the water.
The marine environment changes in ways we cannot always see or feel until it’s too late. Like the Alaska red king crab fishery that collapsed and closed this year for the first time in 25 years, the toxic algal blooms in Southeast destroying marine life or jellyfish in the Gulf of Alaska so thick you can barely get your fishing net in the skiff. I’ve experienced such impacts myself, like so many fishermen and coastal residents around the state.
As a fisherman and a staff member of Alaska Marine Conservation Council, I often wonder: What will the next four decades hold for all of us if we don’t turn this tide now?
As someone who is invested in our work, I imagine you do too.
Today, we’re asking for your support to help us advance urgent solutions. AMCC has set a $25,000 fundraising goal to achieve by year’s end and thanks to a group of generous supporters, up to $12,500 of that will be matched $-for-$. Will you help us achieve our goal?
The latest science from the United Nations continues to confirm what you and I know to be true: our oceans are warming and acidifying to a degree and at a rate already endangering our planet’s food web. Wild fisheries have declined dramatically across the earth. While Alaska continues to maintain a relatively strong fishing industry, despite these conditions, the odds are stacked against us if we do not act now.
But there is hope.
AMCC is working in earnest to weave efforts to address the climate crisis throughout everything we do. And we are partnering with fishing communities and tribal and conservation organizations from around the state and across the country to multiply our efforts!
Right now, with our allies from Maine to Alaska, we are advocating to ensure climate-ready fisheries policies become a considerable part of the next Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) reauthorization working its way through Congress. The MSA provides the crucial framework for ensuring sustainable fisheries, healthy marine ecosystems and thriving coastal communities for Alaska and the entire U.S.
We are also working diligently through the regional North Pacific Fishery Management Council process to advocate for climate change and ocean acidification research to become more integrated into ecosystem-wide fisheries management approaches to build the resilience of the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska.
The time is now to double down on our efforts to ensure our policymakers heed our calls for action on the climate crisis. But AMCC cannot do this vital work without you, nor have we—through over 25 years of advocacy, AMCC members have maintained focus on climate work at all times. Please make a gift today to help advance critical solutions like these to support the vibrant marine ecosystems that sustain all Alaskans. Your support truly makes a difference.
When I think about a collective vision for the future of Alaska’s fisheries and the thousands of people that depend on healthy fish stocks, I see a common thread: we all want to maintain resilient, sustainable fisheries now and in the future. As an important part of the AMCC ecosystem—our grassroots—I am certain you do too.
Thank you for being an essential part of our creative, resourceful and generous community!
Fisheries Policy Director
P.S. Please consider joining our dedicated community of monthly donors! Monthly giving is convenient and budget-friendly for you and provides a stable source of income AMCC can rely on throughout the year to help us carry out our mission. You can learn more or sign up at www.akmarine.org.
Theresa fishing with family off the coast of Kodiak.