Opinion: Ruling changes salmon oversight

In a recent ruling by the ninth circuit court of appeals, the court ruled that the North Pacific Fishery Management Council has been and is required to develop a fishery management plan for Cook Inlet. I see this as a huge win for the fish that migrate into Cook Inlet.

In the past (since back sometime in the 1980’s) the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has been tasked with this chore. The criteria for doing so were meant to include the 10 national standards of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act:

1. Prevent overfishing while achieving optimum yield.

2. Be based upon the best scientific information available.

3. Manage individual stocks as a unit throughout their range, to the extent practicable; interrelated stocks shall be managed as a unit or in close coordination.

4. Not discriminate between residents of different states; any allocation of privileges must be fair and equitable.

5. Where practicable, promote efficiency, except that no such measure shall have economic allocation as its sole purpose.

6. Take into account and allow for variations among and contingencies in fisheries, fishery resources, and catches.

7. Minimize costs and avoid duplications, where practicable.

8. Take into account the importance of fishery resources to fishing communities to provide for the sustained participation of, and minimize adverse impacts to, such communities (consistent with conservation requirements).

9. Minimize bycatch or mortality from bycatch.

10. Promote safety of human life at sea.

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About the author

Jessica Hathaway

Jessica Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman. She has been covering the fishing industry for 13 years, serves on the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s Communications Committee and is a National Fisheries Conservation Center board member.

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