July 24, 2007
"With the increased focus on the condition of our oceans and the sustainability of our fishing practices, this report provides us with vital insights into how to preserve the fragile balance between ecosystem health and our economy," said David Benton, executive director of the Marine Conservation Alliance.
Written by Brad Warren and commissioned by MCA and the University of Alaska Anchorage's Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER), with funding provided by the Pollock Conservation Cooperative Research Council, the report outlines practical approaches toward ecosystem management, based largely on the success of Alaska and North Pacific fisheries, recently cited by National Geographic as being one of only three well managed fisheries in the world (Iceland and New Zealand were the other two).
The 25-page Sea Change report includes findings from a panel of leading scientists and national experts that were convened by ISER to discuss practical approaches to ecosystem-based fishery management and outlines 13 best practices for ecosystem-based fisheries management:
The report notes that the North Pacific Fishery Management Council already incorporates most of these best practices into management of the regions fisheries.
Recent actions taken by the council further underscore the findings of the report. These actions included:
"The findings and recommendations made in the Sea Change report and recent actions taken by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council demonstrate that the Magnuson-Stevens Act already provides a blueprint for managing sustainable fishing practices while ensuring that we meet the growing demand for seafood for many generations to come," Benton added.
The Marine Conservation Alliance is a coalition of seafood processors, harvesters, support industries and coastal communities that are active in Alaska fisheries. The MCA represents approximately 75 percent of the participants in Alaska shellfish and groundfish fisheries and promotes science-based conservation measures to ensure sustainable fisheries in Alaska.
On the Web:
Sea Change: Ecological Progress
in U.S. Fishery Management
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