by Bob Thorstenson, Jr. and Mark Vinsel for the United Fishermen of Alaska
April 22, 2004
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
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.
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.