U.S. Senator Sounds the Alarm on Alaska Fisheries

U.S. Senator Sounds the Alarm on Alaska Fisheries
Image: ComFish Alaska.

Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, says his first priority in dealing with the economic woes facing the state’s seafood industry is sounding the alarm in Congress and the Alaska Legislature.

Sullivan told participants at the state fisheries meeting ComFish Alaska on April 13 in Kodiak that he has told every member of the Legislature that this is a big deal, and that he’s also sounding the alarm with the federal government.

“The executive branch of the federal government can do a lot more,” Sullivan said. “If this was a crisis impacting Wall Street or American farmers, they would have been all over this months ago.”

Sullivan said that immediate action and long-term policy actions need to be considered for fisheries challenges all over the state.

He also propped up his National Seafood Supply Act as a section of the new farm bill, which would allow many of the same benefits that are available to farmers to become available for fishermen.

Sullivan said the Alaska congressional delegation is working continuously to tighten efforts to keep Russian harvested fish processed in China –“crummy seafood loaded with phosphates” – from being imported into the United States.

The senator said that Russian fish processed in China is driving down global markets and that Russia is claiming the fish is actually Alaska fish.

He also criticized the Marine Stewardship Council for recently approving Russian seafood products, saying that while Alaska fisheries received extensive scrutiny before MSC certification, that MSC does not have the same standards for Russian seafood.

“We need to get more people to buy more fish from Alaska,” he said, to applause from ComFish attendees. “I know it is a very rough time for Alaska fishermen,” he said.  “We need to shore up markets, making sure stocks are plentiful and that the country stands with you.”

Sullivan also told fishermen that all Alaskans need to work together and internationally with allies.

“Working together, we will get stronger, more resilient, and we will get through this,” he said.

Source: https://fishermensnews.com/u-s-senator-sounds-the-alarm-on-alaska-fisheries/

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