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Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 15, 2013 at 5:24 PM

Fishery council adopts new ecosystem plan

Protect the Bering Sea canyons

Commercial fishing boats are tied up at the Port of Brookings-Harbor, Ore. The Pacific Fishery Managment Council, which regulates sport and commercial fishing in federal waters off the West Coast, has adopted an ecosystem management plan to help them take into account impacts on the whole ocean when they make decisions on fishing seasons, catch quotas and other issues. (AP Photo / Jeff Barnard)

Commercial fishing boats are tied up at the Port of Brookings-Harbor, Ore. The Pacific Fishery Managment Council, which regulates sport and commercial fishing in federal waters off the West Coast, has adopted an ecosystem management plan to help them take into account impacts on the whole ocean when they make decisions on fishing seasons, catch quotas and other issues. (AP Photo / Jeff Barnard)

The Pacific Fishery Management Council ‘s Fishery Ecosystem Plan is historic and will result in greater sustainability for fishing regions [“Fishery council approves West Coast ecosystem plan,” online, April 9].In June, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council — which represents Washington, Oregon and Alaska — could make similar progress.

Science suggests that protections for the Bering Sea canyons, the largest in the world, could help to sustain the unique ecosystem found in the Bering Sea. The Bering Sea is home to whales, albatross, fur seals, crab and fish, some of which are in steep decline. Deep-sea trawling with enormous nets that plow through areas larger than a football field for miles and overfishing are destroying essential habitat and threatening the ecosystem as a whole.

We hope this historically progressive council that oversees the most productive and profitable fishery in the United States will protect the invaluable source of sea-life habitat, food and profit found in the canyons from destruction.

Amber Smith, Seattle

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