HJR 24: Relating to reduction of wanton waste in North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea fisheries.

00HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 24 01 Relating to reduction of wanton waste in North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea 02 fisheries. 03 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 WHEREAS more fish were discarded in the federally managed fisheries of the North 05 Pacific Ocean than were landed by American fishermen in the North Atlantic Ocean in 1992; 06 and 07 WHEREAS over 740,000,000 pounds of fishery resources were dumped overboard in 08 the Bering Sea and North Pacific Ocean, including 16,000,000 pounds of halibut, 1,000,000 09 pounds of herring; and 10 WHEREAS over 16,000,000 crab were discarded by fisheries in the North Pacific 11 Ocean and the Bering Sea; and 12 WHEREAS, in 1993, over 370,000 salmon were harvested in groundfish fisheries of 13 the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea; and 14 WHEREAS these discarded herring, crab, and salmon are resources managed by the

01 State of Alaska that were intercepted in offshore federal waters; and 02 WHEREAS these resources are the economic and cultural life blood for many 03 Alaskans who depend on the sea for their livelihoods and subsistence; and 04 WHEREAS this continued wanton waste undermines any long-term management 05 strategy for sustained commercial, subsistence, and recreational fisheries, and places the rural 06 communities of Alaska at risk; and 07 WHEREAS marine wildlife species in Alaska marine waters that depend on fish for 08 food are faced with declining populations and potential listing as endangered species; and 09 WHEREAS minimizing the catch of undersized fish and reducing wanton waste will 10 conserve fisheries resources for present and future generations of subsistence users, 11 commercial and recreational fishermen, seafood industries, coastal communities, consumers, 12 and the nation; and 13 WHEREAS fisheries can technically or operationally reduce waste or the incidental 14 taking of nontarget species if given economic incentives or through appropriate regulatory 15 measures; 16 BE IT RESOLVED by the Alaska State Legislature that the wanton waste now 17 occurring in federal fisheries of the North Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea is of utmost 18 importance ecologically, socially, and economically; and be it 19 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature respectfully urges the 20 Congress to amend the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act, or to enact 21 other legislation, encompassing a broad range of measures to reduce wanton waste in North 22 Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea fisheries, including harvest priority incentives for clean fishing 23 practices and other management tools. 24 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Ron Brown, Secretary of the 25 United States Department of Commerce; the Honorable Richard B. Lauber, chair of the North 26 Pacific Fishery Management Council; and to the Honorable Ted Stevens and the Honorable 27 Frank Murkowski, U.S. Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, 28 members of the Alaska delegation in Congress.