August 14, 2004
"I am pleased to see that the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee has listened to the public and taken a position consistent with that of the State of Alaska," said Commissioner Duffy. "Under Governor Frank H. Murkowski's leadership, we will closely monitor developments and continue to work cooperatively with the National Marine Fisheries Service, our Congressional Delegation, and interested stakeholders to ensure that federal policies address Alaskans' concerns."
The State of Alaska's position on offshore aquaculture development is outlined in the "State of Alaska Comments and Recommendations to the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy Preliminary Report" dated June 3, 2004. In the report, the State supports a five-year moratorium on all permitting, leasing, or development of ocean pen-reared shell and finfish in federal waters, which are located from three to 200 miles offshore. The State recommends conducting scientific research to address environmental and economic concerns, including socio-economic impacts to fisheries-dependent communities.
The Advisory Committee announced its recommendation on Thursday, August 12 after concluding a three-day meeting in Juneau. The recommendation will be forwarded to U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Donald L. Evans, who will then determine whether to pursue federal legislation on the issue.
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