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House Asks Gov to Give Sport Fish & Subsistence Users a Voice on N. Pacific Fishery Management Council (HCR13)

HCR13 asks Parnell to set aside two of his five selections to influential group

Wednesday, February 8, 2012, Juneau, Alaska – The Alaska House of Representatives today passed a resolution asking the governor to diversify his selections to an influential federal fisheries management panel to include Alaska sport fishery and subsistence users.

House Concurrent Resolution 13, which passed 36-1, asks the governor to nominate the users to two of his five seats on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. The Council has jurisdiction over Alaska’s million square mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ,) the federal fishing grounds off Alaska’s coast.

“The Council now is weighted for the commercial fishery. That’s got to change if we are to give all users a voice in Alaska’s fisheries. It’s an issue about balance, fairness and perspective,” House Special Committee on Fisheries Chair Steve Thompson said. “In a state that is home to 3,000 rivers, three million lakes and 6,640 miles of coastline, protecting opportunities for sports fishers and subsistence users is vital.”

The 15-member Council has five public seats, and the governor nominates whomever he or she chooses for approval by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce.

Thompson, R-Fairbanks, said that resident sport fishery licensees and subsistence users have expressed frustration over past meetings, where they’ve had to attend yet sit idly by. HCR 13 asks the governor to forward the names, with consent from an Alaska Native organization in the case of the subsistence user.

HCR 13 now moves to the Alaska Senate for consideration.

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