As all Alaskans know, the foundation of our sustainable fisheries is habitat. Alaska’s position as a world leader in fisheries sustainability and top producer of wild seafood is a clear result of the fact that we have the most intact, continuous and unaltered freshwater and marine habitat in the world. However, protecting that habitat demands constant vigilance. If today’s leaders and policymakers don’t continue the tradition, that leadership position will be lost.
Aaron Longton is a commercial fisherman based in Port Orford, Oregon. He knows the importance of protecting habitat so that fish can find shelter and food, grow, and reproduce—even when that means closing certain areas now in order to ensure that fishing remains a viable living for future generations. It’s why he believes it’s time to strengthen the law that governs management of U.S. ocean fish, known as the Magnuson-Stevens Act, to require federal officials to do more to protect habitat already being stressed by a changing climate.