I loved learning about Veta La Palma last week and how letting nature run its course ultimately helped the production of their fish in the end. I think fisheries are a great idea to help with the declining fish populations, but unfortunately many of them have fallen to some of the same problems as commercial agriculture has such as feeding animals corn to quickly fatten them up. So it got me thinking, are there more places like Veta La Palma that prioritize the quality of their product over quantity?
After a bit of research I found a list of some of the worlds greenest fisheries. Unfortunately only two of the US’s fisheries make that list including a small Alaskan village called Kaltag. Like many other Alaskan villages Kaltag sits on the Yukon River, the world’s longest wild salmon river. The length of the river causes the highest amounts of Omega 3 in any salmon and it’s caviar. Living in a remote area with salmon fishing being one of their only resources, they relied heavily on it creating a collapse of the local resources in the 90’s. After decades without fishing the population boomed once more and the people of Kaltag sought to ensure their resources would never run out again by using fish wheels. Fish wheels capture the fish and allow any unwanted to be released back into the water to strengthen the population. The fishermen say that it is difficult to release valuable fish but after a decade without being able to fish they understand the value of conservation and sustainability.
Their operation is small but because of their great success and International Seafood naming them one of the greenest fisheries they want to expand with the help of the NOAA. I hope that in the future they can gain even more recognition for their efforts to help their community overcome economic hardships and rebuild their natural resources.