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Town Hall Meeting to Discuss Fish Farming Announced


October 15, 2004

Juneau, Alaska - Speaking before the United Fishermen of Alaska on Thursday, Alaska Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Kevin C. Duffy announced that the State of Alaska will host a series of town hall meetings this winter to launch an important policy discussion regarding options for Alaska's response to the growth of finfish farming. The meetings are being held in response to the expansion of finfish farming across the globe.

Recent developments, including the release of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy Report, the expansion of finfish farming in British Columbia to include black cod, and proposals by the National Marine Fisheries Service to expand aquaculture in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, have elevated the debate over finfish farming to a new and higher level of importance.

"This is an opportunity for Alaskans to voice their opinions and give the State of Alaska direction on how we might support industry's efforts to respond to the expansion of finfish farming in a manner that maintains the economic vitality of our fishery-dependent communities," said Commissioner Duffy. "Only after hearing directly from Alaskans, can we adequately assess and address the potential socio-economic and environmental impacts that finfish farming will have on Alaska's fishing industry, coastal communities, and economy."

The first town hall meeting, entitled "Alaska at the Crossroads: A Town Hall Meeting to Identify Options for Addressing the Growth of Finfish Farming," will take place at the Pacific Marine Expo in Seattle, Washington on Friday, November 12th from 2:00-4:00 p.m. Additional town hall meetings will be held in Alaska this winter (details have yet to be determined).

The Murkowski Administration has been closely following the expansion of finfish farming. In September, the Governor asked the U.S. Department of Commerce for a five-year moratorium on new finfish farming and for other concessions before considering any changes to encourage aquaculture in federal waters.

More recently, the Governor sent a letter to Premier Gordon Campbell expressing concern over his government's recent decision to allow new sablefish farming operations in British Columbia without first assessing the potential economic, social and environmental impacts of sablefish farming.


Source of News Release:

Alaska Department of Fish & Game
Web Site


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