Hawaii & Alaska
via NOAA Fisheries

AK - Harvesters to NOAA: Ecosystem-based solutions are needed

Recommendations for climate-resilient fisheries include a reduction in carbon emissions

Federal officials looking for recommendations on how to achieve climate-resilient fisheries are being advised, by a group representing thousands of commercial fishermen, that such decisions should be locally defined and drafted to support local livelihoods.

The recommendations to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration came from collaborators led by the Salmon Habitat Information Program, which is affiliated with SalmonState, and Alaska Fishing Communities Coalition.

Their recommendations ranged from ocean-based climate solutions that are ecosystem and science-based to the reduction of carbon emissions.

The group told NOAA fisheries that climate issues must be considered in all fisheries management decisions and that managers should be provided with tools to respond quickly to extreme events.

Other recommendations included an improved reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act and a commitment to social justice and public health, while simultaneously spurring economic growth in commercial fisheries.

They also called for a reduction in carbon emissions to achieve climate-resilient fisheries by slowing the trajectory of ocean acidification, marine heatwaves, coastal erosion and lower oxygen levels in the ocean.

They reminded NOAA that Alaska fisheries and fishing communities experienced persistent unusually high water temperatures in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea in 2018 and 2019, wider swings in precipitation ranging from drought to flooding, both of which disrupt salmon life cycles and shifts in abundance and range of economically and culturally important marine fish and shellfish species.

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