Fish Radio

Senator Dan Sullivan pushes science, markets for AK fisheries

April 8, 2016

AK Senator Dan Sullivan Credit:

AK Senator Dan Sullivan

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Senator Dan Sullivan talks fish science, markets and more. That’s up next –

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 Senator Dan Sullivan touts three core principles when it comes to Alaska’s fisheries: science,  strong coastal economies, and  markets.

Now in his second year in Congress, Sullivan has scored seats on nearly every committee that deals with issues on, over and under the oceans. In a two day Kodiak visit, he said he gets Alaskans’ concerns that an off kilter climate is causing negative impacts to what calls the ‘super power of seafood.’

We’re trying to make sure on the science side of the issue, Ocean acidification and other related issues that impact the fisheries that we are completely and fully funded. I’m all over that.   In Alaska we’re seeing the impacts of climate change and the impacts of a warming ocean. And what I have been very focused on doing is making sure the agencies have the applied science capability to manage the stocks accordingly.  

Sullivan agrees that human activity has an impact on climate change, at least to some degree.

And I’ve said with regard to climate change with 7 billion human inhabitants there is certainly a human impact, but to what degree that is – and when you hear the science is settled on that, I don’ think the science is ever settled. We certainly need to continue to look for that. I certainly am a believer on the energy side of an all of the above energy strategy.

On another front -Sullivan says he added language to the Trade Promotion Authority to include seafood, a glaring omission. It has been passed into law meaning future trade agreements must include provisions that open markets for US seafood.

He also is working with the US Dept. of Agriculture to require that only US-caught fish is used in the school lunch program.

There are some current loopholes right now that don’t make that so tight.  The idea is you get kids something more nutritional  and healthy and it tastes good and they end up liking seafood as opposed to being turned off by it because they ate some bad fish sticks when they are 8 years old. And we end up creating more demand for our products.   

Senator Sullivan said Alaska’s roads, harbors and airports will benefit from a portion of a $2.6 billion, five year highway bill. And the nation’s largest Coast Guard airbase at Kodiak also is set for some new items.

Including new C 130 Js-  the  most sophisticated. More Coast Guard personnel coming here, new cutters coming in. again, I’m on the commerce committee so I have oversight of the Coast Guard.    

That’s Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan.

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, an Alaska corporation proudly supporting Alaska’s coastal communities and the Alaskans who depend on fishing for their livelihoods and culture.    In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.