SAMUDRA Report

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Issue No:63
  • :0973-1121
  • :November
  • :2012

The Sea Hold

The sea is large.
The sea hold on a leg of land in the Chesapeake hugs an early sunset
and a last morning star over the oyster beds and the late clam boats
of lonely men.
Five white houses on a half-mile strip of land … five white dice
rolled from a tube.

Not so long ago … the sea was large…
And today the sea has lost nothing … it keeps all.

I am a loon about the sea.
I make so many sea songs, I cry so many sea cries, I forget so many
sea songs and sea cries.

I am a loon about the sea.
So are five men I had a fish fry with once in a tar-paper shack
trembling in a sand storm.

The sea knows more about them than they know themselves.
They know only how the sea hugs and will not let go.

The sea is large.
The sea must know more than any of us.

­­—Carl Sandburg

Alaska / Fishing People

From the Heart

Fishing people of the North, though resilient, continue to face steep challenges in maintaining their livelihoods


This article is by Paula Cullenberg (paula.cullenberg@alaska.edu), Programme Leader, Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Programme, School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, University of Alaska Fairbanks


In September 2011, over 150 people from 10 States of the United States (US) and seven countries spent four days together in Anchorage, Alaska, at a symposium titled “Fishing People of the North: Cultures, Economies and Management Responding to Change.”

The symposium provided an opportunity for scholars, fishery managers, fish harvesters and others to explore the human dimensions of fisheries and the growing need to include social-science research in policy development. Organized by the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Alaska Sea Grant Programme, the symposium was a chance for sharing what we have learned about the opportunities and constraints that fishing people in Northern countries encounter in a time of significant environmental, social and economic change.

It was a fitting topic for a conference in Alaska, since Alaska is a fishing State and Alaskans are a fishing people. Recently, the US National Oceanic and...

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