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US Oceans Commission Report Welcomed
by Bob Thorstenson, Jr. and Mark Vinsel for the United Fishermen of Alaska


April 22, 2004

The United Fishermen of Alaska (UFA) welcomes the release of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy (USCOP) report. UFA has always supported the sustainable fishery management practices employed in Alaska. Alaska's fisheries resources are assessed using the best available science; resource assessment is always separate from resource allocation, and allocation is always subordinate to assessment. UFA is gratified but not surprised to see these same principles embraced in the USCOP report.

Alaska fisheries have long been managed with conservative science based harvest allocations and rigorous harvest accountability. Investment in the best available science and adherence to a policy of using it, is the hallmark of Alaska fisheries management.

Adherence to science based Total Allowable Catch (TAC) limits, and strict Guideline Harvest Levels (GHL), along with rigorous catch accounting, including well established, industry funded observer programs, contribute to the overall robust health of Alaska's fisheries.

Today, Alaska fishery management is committed to bycatch reduction, ecosystem management, and development of new Dedicated Access Privileges such as IFQ, CDQ, and Co-ops to end the "race for fish". The USCOP report endorses all of these principles for sustainable fishery management.

UFA is glad that the USCOP report supports strengthening the regional fishery management council system. UFA believes that fisheries management decisions made at the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council and at the Alaska Board of Fisheries are sound, science based, sustainable decisions that encourage and utilize broad public participation.

The USCOP report notes that Alaska is potentially a suitable model for national fishery management and UFA agrees.

United Fishermen of Alaska
Bob Thorstenson, Jr., President
Mark Vinsel, Executive Director


Note: UFA represents 32 member fishing associations and hundreds of individual fishermen, altogether representing over 10,000 fishermen in all of the diverse fisheries of Alaska.


Related News:

A Blueprint for U.S. National Ocean Policy for the 21st Century: U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy Releases Preliminary Report...



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