by George Pletnikoff
December 5, 2008
I have just read the action alert sent out by my coworker John Hocevar, Director Ocean’s Campaign, Starving For Your Help. I have worked with John going on four years now, mostly working on Alaska’s vast Gulf and Seas, surrounding our Great Land. I am writing in total support of Mr. Hocevar’s statements.
As many, if not all of you know, I was born and raised on St. George Island, one of the two inhabited Pribilof Islands. These Islands are a wonderful place, not only for the richness of its wildlife, but imagine what it is like for the people, the Unangan (Aleut) who call this home. As a young Unangan boy, my entire life was surrounded by this richness. This is perhaps why I grew up to major in biology when I went to college. My life, as I understand now, was rich and filled with beauty. There were millions of fur seals, whales, stellar sea lion and countless millions of just about every marine birds one can imagine. That was just a short 30 years ago.
Today, as John said, it is a totally different place. It is becoming bleak, forelorn, empty of its once abundance. We Unangan said: "God put us here to take care of His creation." This is what we believe. Sadly, we are not even close to the numbers of people, the money of large fishing companies with their lobbyests, nor close to having the political clout to fulfill this belief.
I ask you to please consider helping us and our fragile home. Often, as you know, seeing something is always preferable to reading about it. If you saw what these Islands and the Bering Sea is being turned into, you would understand what John and I are saying.
Thank you very much for your help.