Kavitha George, Alaska's Energy Desk - Kodiak
Climate change is threatening Alaska’s longstanding reputation for sustainable fisheries.
When the last “Blob” hit the Pacific, an area of the ocean larger than Canada experienced surface ocean temperatures rise as much as 7 degrees, completely altering the marine ecosystem for more than two years. The result was havoc in the food chain.
In an unprecedented response to historically low numbers of Pacific cod, the federal cod fishery in the Gulf of Alaska is closing for the 2020 season.
Battered by a marine heatwave, Kodiak’s cod fishermen may not be fishing in the Gulf for much longer
They’re now below the federal threshold that protects cod as a food source for endangered Stellar sea lions. As soon as the population dips below that line, the fishery closes. The whole federal cod fishery in the Gulf could be shut down for the season in January.