Alaska’s seafood industry is getting caught in the middle of a power struggle between Russia and western nations.
Ever since Russia seized part of Ukraine this winter, sanctions against it have been stacking up. Now, Russia’s fighting back by banning food imports from the United States and a handful of other countries.
Alaska shipped almost $9 million worth of pollock to Russia last year. Some of it went to fast food chains, including McDonald’s. A significant chunk of it is used for making surimi — better known as fake crab.
At least one shipment of surimi was on its way to Russia when the ban came out on Thursday. Undercurrent News reports that the fish could get diverted to South Korea or another eastern market.
That’s got some American fishing advocates fired up. A former U.S. Congressman has started the “Just Say Nyet” campaign, seeking a corresponding ban on Russian fish coming into the States.
But it’s slow going: As of Friday afternoon, his petition to the federal government had only gathered 18 signatures.
- September 3, 2015- "I say bravo for the trapper. The state won’t do what’s right. He should do what’s right," says Pete Buist, spokesman for the Alaska Trappers Association.
- September 3, 2015- On Twitter, over email lists, and in wry internal reports, journalists complained about a lack of legitimate opportunities to question the administration’s policies.
- September 3, 2015- As a regional hub for 10 remote villages about 30 miles above the Arctic Circle, Kotzebue is where Obama came closest to actually seeing the communities he’s touted throughout his trip as being imperiled by climate change.
- September 3, 2015- Alaskans of all stripes came out this week for a chance to shake hands with President Barack Obama, or at least glimpse his motorcade, but one person not on hand for the big visit was Don Young, Alaska’s only member of the U.S. House of representatives.