Stories from the Sea: Fishermen Confront Climate Change

Fishermen in the North Pacific intimately understand the ocean, and they've noticed that once-reliable stalwarts like seasonal patterns and fish migration routes are changing alongside a warming climate. The Nature Conservancy in Alaska gathered their powerful perspectives on changes already underway—and the uncertainties yet to come.  

Peter Andrew has been a commercial fisherman for 45 years, out of Dillingham, Alaska. After overcoming seasickness in childhood, he says he was soon hooked. Rising water temperatures worry him, and raise his concern about the future of the fishery in Bristol Bay.


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Sharry Miller grew up in Eagle River, Alaska, and works with her husband on the water. They have noticed changes in the weather patterns and shifts in where fish used to be.


Eugene Anderson inherited the fishing life from his father, in Chignik, Alaska. He finds peace on the water, but as conditions have changed, he's noticed the fish have too. He fears the challenges that will face the next generation.


Larry Vander Lind is originally from Oregon and began fishing in Alaska in 1973. As he looks toward retirement, he reflects on the beauty of Bristol Bay and how conditions have changed, and our collective vulnerability.


John and Brenda Gaedke live in Washington, but travel every year to fish for King and Coho salmon in Southeast Alaska. It's safe to say that they keep a close eye on salmon, and they're noticing a lot of change in patterns of timing and migration. 


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Bob Snell fishes for salmon and albacore along the Washington and Oregon coasts, and he has fished since 1971. He reveres the salmon he brings in, and laments the challenges they now face in water that is warmer than it used to be.


Melanie Brown fishes in Naknek, Alaska, where she learned the trade, along with important life lessons, from her grandfather. He passed his down site and legacy, but the site is changing. She considers the impacts on her family's history and her children's future.