Letters to the Editor

Letter: We need climate action

As I read the latest issue of National Fisherman, I was reminded of Kendra Zamzow’s letter last week. She said it right — climate change is about much more than the environment. It’s the future of our fish and the communities that rely on them that really worries me.

Off the coast of California, the lucrative red urchins have mostly disappeared since the “Blob” withered their kelp beds, the primary food for red urchins.

Two years of hot water and red tides off Florida’s west coast plus back-to-back Category 5 hurricanes have left the Stone Crab fishery in shambles.

In the Bering Sea, Red King Crab have spiraled to the lowest catch in three decades.

I’m a commercial fisherman in Western Alaska. This year, our run was weak and late, the latest ever. In the Yukon River, Alaska’s biggest river, the temperature climbed above 70 degrees. In Bristol Bay, the streams were even hotter, leaving rotting, unspawned fish floating in the rips.

It seems every day, there’s discouraging news about how our lives and livelihoods are struck by the effects of climate change. But there are many things we can do about it. Congress must too; the oceans are their bailiwick.

The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (HR 763) has been introduced in the House of Representatives. HR 763 will go a long way toward stabilizing our climate and reducing the heat and acidification that are hitting our salmon. Senators Sullivan and Murkowski and Congressman Young need to stand up for our fisheries and oceans by co-sponsoring HR 763. Learn more at energyinnovationact.org.

— George Donart


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