HJR 15: Relating to open ocean aquaculture in the federal exclusive economic zone.

00 HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 15 01 Relating to open ocean aquaculture in the federal exclusive economic zone. 02 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 03 WHEREAS Alaska wild fish stocks are healthy and sustainable, in large part due to a 04 strong gene pool and Alaska's history of sound fisheries management, clean water, and habitat 05 protection; and 06 WHEREAS Alaska commercial, subsistence, and recreational fisheries are managed 07 to achieve the state's constitutional mandate of sustained yield; and 08 WHEREAS the State of Alaska enacted legislation in 1990 to prohibit finfish farming 09 in state waters; and 10 WHEREAS there are numerous outstanding issues and concerns regarding the social, 11 economic, health, and environmental consequences of farmed fish, both in state and federal 12 waters; and 13 WHEREAS open net cage fish farming poses persistent risks to the health of the 14 marine resources of Alaska; and 15 WHEREAS salmon farming has had severe economic impacts on coastal 16 communities in Alaska as demonstrated by significantly lower prices for wild salmon

01 fisheries products; and 02 WHEREAS Alaska coastal communities and fishing families rely on the health of 03 wild fish stocks for a strong economy; and 04 WHEREAS global markets increasingly demand natural seafood products harvested 05 sustainably from a clean environment; and 06 WHEREAS the seafood industry in Alaska has developed strong name recognition in 07 the marketplace for wild, natural, and healthy seafood products; and 08 WHEREAS successful seafood marketing depends on product differentiation and 09 Alaska's untarnished name is its greatest asset in the global market; and 10 WHEREAS the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is promoting 11 legislation to permit open ocean aquaculture in federal waters from three to 200 miles 12 offshore of the states; and 13 WHEREAS the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act 14 provides for input from fishermen and coastal communities through regional fishery 15 management councils; and 16 WHEREAS the proponents of federal open ocean aquaculture and members of the 17 ocean aquaculture industry have not satisfactorily demonstrated that this activity will not be 18 detrimental to the ocean resources and to the economy of Alaska coastal communities; and 19 WHEREAS Governor Frank H. Murkowski has proposed a five-year moratorium on 20 all permitting, leasing, or development of ocean pen-reared shellfish and finfish in the federal 21 exclusive economic zone off Alaska; 22 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature is committed to ensuring that 23 open ocean aquaculture does no harm to ecosystem integrity, to existing wild fisheries, or to 24 the social and economic well-being of Alaska coastal communities; and be it 25 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature supports the regional 26 fishery management councils under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 27 Management Act and their involvement in any discussions or proposals regarding open ocean 28 aquaculture proposals in federal waters; and be it 29 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature respectfully requests the 30 United States Congress to require any federal proposal to authorize open ocean aquaculture in 31 the federal exclusive economic zone to undergo a legislative environmental impact statement,

01 as required by law. 02 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable George W. Bush, President 03 of the United States; the Honorable Ted Stevens, President Pro Tempore of the U.S. Senate 04 and member of the Alaska delegation in Congress; the Honorable J. Dennis Hastert, Speaker 05 of the U.S. House of Representatives; the Honorable Carlos Gutierrez, United States Secretary 06 of Commerce; and the Honorable Lisa Murkowski, U.S. Senator, and the Honorable Don 07 Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress.