Story by Alexa Proctor
Did you know that Alaska is a world model for Sustainability? This commitment dates all the way back to Alaska becoming a state in 1959, when Alaskans wrote sustainability into their Constitution – calling for fisheries to be sustainably managed. In this way, Alaska promises to provide wild-caught and sustainable seafood for generations. Sustainable seafood is seafood that’s managed and fished using practices that ensure there will always be more to catch in the future.
The secret to Alaska’s success lies in two basic principles:
“¢ Responsible fisheries management and sustainable fishing practices take care not to harm the fish, other marine plants and animals, nor the environment
“¢ And fish populations are never overfished.
Fishing and seafood processing employ more people than any other industry in Alaska, Being responsible stewards of this natural resource means that these fishing families understand the importance of obeying the strict fishing laws, using careful harvesting methods and accurately reporting their catches. The men and women who fish the 34,000 miles of Alaska coastline know that taking such measure is the only way to protect the fish and their livelihood.
Marine habitats are protected from harmful fishing methods, unnecessary human disturbance, industrial activities and pollution with the Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). More than 40 MPAs, covering hundreds of thousands of square miles have been established in the waters off Alaska to safeguard this sensitive habitat from human activity. As well as the wild seafood, this also protects whales, sea lions, otters and birds.
No Alaska seafood has ever been listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Ever.
As new research emerges, Alaska fisheries set new guidelines for the total number of fish that can be caught. It’s such a precautionary and conservative approach, Alaska’s fisheries have become a model for the world.
Sustainable seafood in Alaska is the result of co-operation between the people and the government. This unique blend of collaboration and public decision making are key features of Alaska’s management model. The Alaska commitment to sustainability, as mandated in the State Constitution has time and again proved the effectiveness of strict, science based, precautionary fisheries management.
About the author: Alexa Proctor is the Online Marketing Manager for JamieOliver.com
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