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Alaskan fishing communities ask for seat at climate policy table by Brian Hagenbuch April 08,2021   |  Source: SeafoodSource

Alaskan fishing organizations are urging the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden to listen to coastal communities and fishermen while crafting an ecosystem-based approach to climate change and fisheries policy.

The message from Alaska fishing communities came through recent public comments hearing by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on the new administration’s executive order on climate change.

Alexus Kwachka, a commercial fisherman based in Kodiak, Alaska, said the threat climate change poses to commercial fishing is clear to those working on the water in Alaska, where warming sea temperatures and a lack of ice in the Bering Sea have prompted unprecedented fluctuations in fish stocks and species distribution.

“As an Alaska fisherman, I can tell you first hand that climate change has put America’s access to healthy, sustainable wild seafood at stake – and with it, thousands of fishing jobs, businesses, and communities dependent on access to wild seafood,” Kwachka said.

Like many fishermen, Kwachka was hopeful the Biden administration will enact proactive climate policy, but said the knowledge of coastal communities and those at sea must be taken into account.

“I applaud the Biden administration for acknowledging this


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