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Begich Holds Second Listening Session on Magnuson-Stevens

Makes Sure Alaska Voices are Heard during Reauthorization Process

U.S. Senator Mark Begich discussed issues including by-catch, changes in ocean temperature, tribal involvement in fisheries management decisions and the Salmon Treaty with Canada during a Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA) listening session held last week in Fairbanks and focused upon subsistence fishing issues.  As chairman of the Senate Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard subcommittee, Sen. Begich is beginning work on the reauthorization of the MSA and wants to make sure Alaskans have an opportunity to submit their comments.    

“I want to get a sense of what Alaskans think works well in the MSA and what changes might be needed,” said Sen. Begich.  “The MSA is national legislation that affects more states than just Alaska and I’m partnering with Senator Marco Rubio to ensure the reauthorized MSA is stronger than before.” 

Sen. Begich at the Magnuson-Stevens Act listening session he hosted in Fairbanks today on subsistence issues.

The meeting was the second in a series of roundtable discussions, official committee meetings and public comment times that will be held in the coming months in Alaska, Washington D.C. and elsewhere regarding Magnuson-Stevens Act reauthorization.  The previous meeting held in May in Kodiak focused on commercial fishing and today’s meeting focused on subsistence.  In August Sen. Begich will travel to Kenai to hold a listening session with sport fishermen.  Those who are unable to attend a listening session may send their comments to msacomments@begich.senate.gov

With ranking member Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Sen. Begich is planning more oversight hearings this fall in New England and the mid-Atlantic, South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, and Pacific and Alaska.  Sen. Begich initiated roundtables early in Alaska in order to ensure that Alaskan voices are heard. 

“Reauthorization of the MSA is an opportunity to take stock of our fisheries and management systems and decide what we want to achieve in the future,” said Begich.  “So far, we’re in good shape.  Most stocks managed under the MSA are in healthy.  In Alaska there are no overfished species of finfish and pollock, cod, halibut and salmon are certified as sustainable.  I’m working hard to ensure the MSA works even better for Alaska.”

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