In addition to supporting the closure of essential fish habitat areas, the MCA has taken other actions to support healthy oceans and sustainable fisheries:
• Successfully pushed to apply the “Alaska Model” of sustainable, science-based fishery management to the nation’s other fisheries during renewal of the Magnuson Stevens Act (MSA).
• Worked with the North Pacific Fishery Management Council to develop measures to protect roughly 390,000 square miles of Essential Fish Habitat in the Aleutian Islands and Gulf of Alaska. This, combined with today’s action brings the total to over 450,000 square miles.
• Promotes the use of ecosystem-based fishery management practices by building on existing management actions and science programs, and through applied scientific research to find practical solutions to conservation issues.
• Published popular wheelhouse guides to help fishermen and other mariners avoid conflicts with northern Right whales, Short Tailed Albatrosses, and other seabirds.
• Coordinates cooperative research efforts between fishermen and scientists such as the effort that developed a successful prototype halibut excluder that reduced halibut bycatch by cod trawlers by over 50 percent.
• Coordinates marine debris cleanup efforts throughout Alaska, including Prince William Sound, St. Paul and St. George Islands, Unalaska, Sitka, and Unalakleet.
“Alaska’s seafood industry depends on a clean ocean and sustainable management practices, andwe recognize our responsibility to be stewards of the resource,” Benton said. “We’re willing to do our part and fully support the efforts of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council to protect Alaska oceans.”
David Benton | EurekAlert!
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