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Editor's Note: Paying tribute

Fiona Robinson, Associate Publisher/Editor
Fiona Robinson, Associate Publisher/Editor
September 01, 2010

When it comes to covering the commercial fishing industry, we normally leave it up to our sister publication, National Fisherman. However, we'd be remiss not to pay tribute to former Alaska senator Ted Stevens, who died in a plane crash near Dillingham, Alaska, last month.

Stevens and fellow Sen. Warren Magnuson of Washington state crafted the fisheries legislation that bears their names, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. The legislation has shaped the commercial fishing industry for more than 30 years, and created an exclusive economic zone prohibiting foreign vessels from fishing within 200 miles of the U.S. coastline.

Stevens had vision, a common trait among those belonging to what's been called "the greatest generation." He was not only instrumental in fighting for the seafood industry, but he also played a significant role in the transformation of Alaska from an impoverished territory to a full-fledged state. He was instrumental in establishing the state's infrastructure and thus was named "Alaskan of the Century" by the state legislature in 2000.

Stevens served in the senate for 40 years and leaves a legacy that would be difficult to duplicate. He not only served Alaska, Stevens served his country as a World War II pilot, and was a strong supporter of the country's armed forces and the U.S. Olympic movement.

Upon hearing of his death, many politicians commented on Stevens' endearing ability to reach across the aisle to forge bipartisan alliances. For the sake of the seafood industry's future, we need someone to at least approach the aisle. I'm sure Stevens would appreciate someone picking up the reins.


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