Please note: Opinions expressed in commentary on KCAW are those of the author, and are not necessarily shared by the station’s board, staff, or volunteers.

My name is Patty Dick. I am a retired Blatchley science teacher. Thank you Raven Radio for giving me this opportunity to express my opinion.

In some state, climate change is causing record setting droughts, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and seasonal changes that throw off life food webs. Here in Alaska, our ice is melting, releasing trapped carbon rich methane and storm strength is increasing causing flooding, loosening our shallow growing Tongass, causing dangerous landslides.

But here in Southeast Alaska, one of the biggest climate change problems comes with the change in ocean temperatures. Temperature changes are affecting the plankton growth. The role that plankton plays in the Sitka Sound food web cannot be overstated.

It would be crazy during this environmental stressful time to rape the ocean of plankton when it is fighting for survival. That is what the commercial sac roe fishery does. Herring eggs are zooplankton. They are the life blood, the life blood of the Sitka Sound food web. They feed all our precious salmon. As they hatch the plankton larvae feed our birds, crabs, hatchery fish, and our wild fish that feeds us all.

We are a part of the Sitka Sound food web. When we kill the herring, before it has laid its eggs, it is like we literally kill the goose that lays the golden egg. We all know better, we all know this is a mistake. In the past, the herring were so abundant the mistake was made without us noticing the dangerous cost. But now, we see that to save the herring is to save ourselves.

If we want Sitka to survive, the commercial sac roe fishery has got to stop now. I feel so grateful to the Sitka Tribe of Alaska for filing a lawsuit to stop this destructive fishery. It may be the only hope we have for Sitkans to survive.

I stand in support of our Sitka Sound food web for my grand children’s children. My family says welcome home to the herring plankton, we are grateful that you made it back, and we will do all that we can to protect you in your perilous journey through our food web, so you can return home again. Gunalcheesh to Raven Radio for airing my opinion.