An ongoing project is compiling voices from fishermen on how a changing climate is affecting their lives and views on the future.
“Tidal Change.org is a listening project. It realys tarts with a question – what kind of changes are commercial fishermen seeing out there. Also how climate change affecting how commercial fishermen think about their future, their families, their fishing business and the fisheries overall.”
Dustin Solberg is a writer with The Nature Conservancy in Alaska, based in Cordova. He set up a recording booth last fall at Pacific Marine Expo to connect with fishermen in a wide cross section of gear groups and fisheries. He says two things really jumped out –
“First of all, I have to say that we encountered with very eloquent and heartfelt stories of fishermen’s love for the sea. It’s clear that everyone felt a deep sense of gratitude for their fishing life. We heard a lot of stories about family and tradition, work ethic, good times that are really celebratory of the fishing life. On the flip side, a lot of people have concerns about the future. Tops on the list was concerns about climate change.”
Fishermen have a lot of questions, Soldberg says, and the predominant feeling is one of uncertainty.
“There is a real conversation happening right now about climate change, and it is clearly a conversation for everyone. The commercial fishing sector is an important set of eyes and ears with important things to say. The Nature Conservancy wants the Tidal Change.org listening project to make sure these voices have a megaphone and are heard far and wide.”
The listening project brings voices beyond politicians and scientists to the people whose lives and business are most directly affected by a changing climate. Tidal Change.org aims to bring their stories beyond the docks and local fishing towns and give them a broader reach.
“Our main intention at The Nature Conservancy is to make sure that people have an opportunity to hear stories that are truly authentic and rooted in personal experience that perhaps aren’t otherwise being heard.”
Fish Radio will feature the fishermen’s voices on climate change tomorrow. You can find Tidal Change.org on the web and on social media – and at our website www.alaskafishradio.com and on Facebook and Twitter.