Irish Nash pictured with her sons Yakobi and Esben at their home in Sitka. Nash is a commercial fisherman and small business owner. (Emily Kwong/KCAW photo)

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Alaskan, commercial fisherman, and mother. Voting “Yes” on Proposition 1.

At 8 weeks old, my husband and I brought our first son out to the winter line in Sitka Sound–commercial salmon trolling for kings. We named him Yakobi for Yakobi Island in Cross Sound, the primary fishing grounds my husbands’ father started fishing in the seventies that we treasure so deeply and where we continue to fish as a family. Fish run along that coastline have filled our holds and our bellies for many years.

The choices we make in our family and in our small businesses is with safeguarding future generations, and in hopes that they can continue to be a beneficiary of the grandeur of salmon. We hope to keep fishing, taking what we need and no more, and providing the world with one of the most bountiful forms of nutrition known to man. But we cannot forget our ecological dependence and the responsibility to protect salmon birthing grounds–or our “Alaskan way of life” will be no more.

Many try to persuade us into thinking that the subject of our ecological crisis is merely a matter of politics and economics, rather than physics and ecology. Sometimes us humans must hit bottom before we wake up and really change. There is a ceiling to greed and we are hitting it. We know enough to know that we don’t know everything, and no one knows what the future may hold. It is uncertain and it is scary, but once we move into the acceptance of what looks like ecologically, it can be empowering and uplifting to take one small step to protect what you love. Please consider voting “Yes” for salmon. Consider voting to have a future to fight for. Thank you.