The Future of Sustainable Salmon Fisheries and the Case of Alaska

Today, being eco-conscious and green is all the rage. People are tracking and reducing their carbon footprint. They are setting up solar panels and recycling more. They are opting to eat slow food that is produced locally. They are cutting out meats and eating more fish. Still, many people are unaware of the poor shape our oceans and their inhabitants are in. Marine life is being depleted by overfishing. Habitats are being destroyed due to logging and bottom trawling, not to mention pollution. Even though Earth's oceans cover a large percentage of the surface of this planet, there's simply not enough fish to keep up with our consumerist ways. Modern fishing practices are extremely wasteful and detrimental to the environment. However there is home yet.

Take Alaska's sustainable salmon management practices, for instance. Alaska is recognized around the world for its healthy salmon fisheries and environmentally friendly standards. On September 5, 2000 Alaska became the first state in America to be certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) for being well managed and sustainable. It is also the world's largest salmon fishery to be certified as such. The certification was awarded due to Alaska's outstanding stewardship of the environment, in managing resources for a sustainable yield.

Alaska's salmon swim freely in the cold waters off the coast of the state. As a result, they are much healthier and tastier than their farmed counterparts. Alaska allows its salmon population to spawn, grow and mature at a natural rate, so that depletion is not an issue.

Salmon conservation is required under the Alaska state constitution. Sustainable salmon management practices are part of Alaska's law, that is how committed they are to preserving their pristine environment and marine life.

Strict laws are in place to govern industrial and developmental activities such as logging and mining, as these may potentially damage salmon spawning environments. Management of Alaska's salmon population is monitored by local biologists who have a conservation mandate; they are the ones who can call for the opening and closing of fisheries when needed. Alaska's laws, furthermore provide clean waterways, and they have opted to forgo hydropower dams in order to protect their fisheries.

Alaska's sustainable salmon management practices should set the standard for the rest of the world.

Source by Allie Moxley

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