U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski speaks during a meet-and-greet Oct. 12 at Louie’s Douglas Inn. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski speaks during a meet-and-greet Oct. 12 at Louie’s Douglas Inn. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Opinion: Murkowski understands and prioritizes the seafood industry and coastal Alaska

Around here, the blue economy is not just a trendy phrase.

  • By Julie Decker
  • Thursday, October 20, 2022 5:25pm
  • Opinion

By Julie Decker

For over 25 years, I have lived in coastal Alaska and worked in the seafood industry — in areas of harvesting, processing, research and economic development. I’m not alone. Alaska’s seafood industry directly employs over 60,000 workers, as the state’s largest private sector employer. Alaskans depend on the ocean for food security, culture, recreation, and employment. People around the world rely on Alaska for a source of the finest seafood. If Alaska was a country, it would be in the top 10 for seafood production. The world loves Alaska, its seafood and even its commercial fishermen! (This year, “Deadliest Catch” starts filming its 19th season and airs worldwide!)

Around here, the blue economy is not just a trendy phrase for those who like to visit the ocean on the weekends, but it is essential to those like us who live and work on the water, and we need leaders who share this priority. It is one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world. As the state with more coastline than the rest of the country combined, all of Alaska wins when we invest in our blue economy.

Lisa Murkowski recognizes this opportunity to use a trendy phrase for the benefit of Alaskans. Lisa understands Alaska and our coastal communities. She literally has coastal Alaska in her blood, as she was born and raised in Southeast Alaska. This is why she is drafting a Working Waterfronts bill, and announced its framework this month.

Alaskans brought her good ideas that will boost industries like fishing, tourism, and mariculture, and help pave the way for younger generations to enter these careers. Lisa is now crafting these ideas into federal changes that she can implement. These changes would make a big difference to coastal communities by promoting U.S. seafood to domestic consumers, increasing food security, upgrading shoreside infrastructure, and focusing on workforce development for maritime trades. It also strengthens research on the health of our oceans in order to further understand changes we are experiencing. It would also include fishing vessels in national efforts to consider energy solutions onboard including increased efficiency, electricity, and hydrogen.

Lisa Murkowski not only understands Alaska’s seafood industry and coastal communities, but she also prioritizes our interests every day, and her track record shows she delivers for us. As a colleague said recently, “I wouldn’t trade a dollar for a penny”, when referring to trading Lisa for Kelly in the upcoming election. I agree. I wouldn’t trade a dollar for penny, no matter how shiny others told me the penny was. I know what is truly valuable. I will be voting for Lisa Murkowski for U.S. Senate. See you at the polls.

Julie Decker resides in Wrangell.

More in Opinion

Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks in support of an agreement between the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities and Goldbelt Inc. to pursue engineering and design services to determine whether it’s feasible to build a new ferry terminal facility in Juneau at Cascade Point. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
State, labor and utilities are aligned on modernizing the Railbelt grid

Today, Alaska has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to capture federal infrastructure dollars and… Continue reading

No to 67%

Recently, the Alaska State Officers Compensation Commission voted to raise the pay… Continue reading

This image available under the Creative Commons license shows the outline of the state of Alaska filled with the pattern of the state flag.
Opinion: Old models of development are not sustainable for Alaska

Sustainability means investing in keeping Alaska as healthy as possible.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy unveils proposals to offer public school teachers annual retention bonuses and enact policies restricting discussion of sex and gender in education during a news conference in Anchorage. (Screenshot)
Opinion: As a father and a grandfather, I believe the governor’s proposed laws are anti-family

Now, the discrimination sword is pointing to our gay and transgender friends and families.

Kenai Peninsula Education Association President Nathan Erfurth works in his office on Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Voices of the Peninsula: Now is the time to invest in Kenai Peninsula students

Parents, educators and community members addressed the potential budget cuts with a clear message.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy holds a press conference at the Capitol on Tuesday, April 9, 2019. (Juneau Empire file photo)
Opinion: An accurate portrayal of parental rights isn’t controversial

Affirming and defining parental rights is a matter of respect for the relationship between parent and child

Opinion: When the state values bigotry over the lives of queer kids

It has been a long, difficult week for queer and trans Alaskans like me.

Unsplash / Louis Velazquez
Opinion: Fish, family and freedom… from Big Oil

“Ultimate investment in the status quo” is not what I voted for.

Dr. Sarah Spencer. (Photo by Maureen Todd and courtesy of Dr. Sarah Spencer)
Voices of the Peninsula: Let’s bring opioid addiction treatment to the Alaskans who need it most

This incredibly effective and safe medication has the potential to dramatically increase access to treatment

An orphaned moose calf reared by the author is seen in 1970. (Stephen F. Stringham/courtesy photo)
Voices of the Peninsula: Maximizing moose productivity on the Kenai Peninsula

Maximum isn’t necessarily optimum, as cattle ranchers learned long ago.

(Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: The time has come to stop Eastman’s willful and wanton damage

God in the Bible makes it clear that we are to care for the vulnerable among us.

Caribou graze on the greening tundra of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Alaska in June, 2001. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: AIDEA’s $20 million-and-growing investment looks like a bad bet

Not producing in ANWR could probably generate a lot of money for Alaska.