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State of Alaska Requests Offshore Aquaculture Moratorium


May 21, 2010, Juneau, Alaska - At the request of Governor Sean Parnell, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration held a listening session in Anchorage today. The federal agency, which is drafting a new national aquaculture policy, heard input from concerned Alaskans and state officials.

"Alaska's wild-capture fisheries are incredibly important to our entire state," Governor Parnell said. "We have serious concerns about the development of offshore aquaculture near Alaska due to the significant threat it poses to existing fisheries and Alaska's marine resources."

In testimony, state officials conveyed concerns about maintaining protection of wild stocks and avoiding environmental damage, while warning of potential economic harm to fishery-dependent communities should offshore aquaculture be authorized on a broad scale.

The State of Alaska is requesting a moratorium on new offshore aquaculture operations to allow further evaluation of environmental and socio-economic effects. Additionally, the state is requesting that coastal states be vested with the authority to determine the extent to which aquaculture will be allowed off their shores, and that congressional authorization be secured before offshore aquaculture can proceed.

A copy of the state's comments on aquaculture is available at:
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