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In the murky waters of climate change, native fishers are among the most vulnerable

‘The water temperature is getting warmer, and I don’t know if that’s good.’

A treaty signed in 1836 grants members of the Ottawa and Chippewa tribe rights to fish in the waters of Lake Michigan. After nearly 200 years, the treaty is still vital to small-scale native fishers such as Cindi and Ed John, who catch, smoke and sell fish locally. But the interlocked threats of climate change, pollution and invasive species have left them with just a quarter of their former yields. And the problem seems to be getting worse each year – fish once found at a depth of 50 to 60 feet have gone deeper, to 80 to 90 feet below the surface, in search of cooler waters. The US director Jason B Kohl’s short documentary 80 to 90 ft brings a gently wrenching resonance to Cindi and Ed’s reflections on the uncertain future of their culture, lifestyle and business.

Director: Jason B Kohl

Producer: Nora Mandray

20 April 2017

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