Murkowski praises NOAA's resolution of 3-mile boundary dispute

Posted: Friday, March 04, 2011

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, commended the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for cooperating with the state of Alaska on resolving a dispute over the 3-mile water boundaries.

“I commend NOAA for accommodating the request of the State of Alaska and allowing the existing state water regulations to apply,” Murkowski said in a press release. “The technical changes to the baseline caused fishermen to lose a significant amount of crucial state water fishing grounds and a high degree of confusion.”

NOAA, acting under authority of the U.S. Baseline Committee, redefined the baseline and various offshore lines that determine state and federal waters off of Alaska.

The state of Alaska asked NOAA to support the state’s regulatory definition of state waters for purposes of fisheries management and enforcement. NOAA agreed to not enforce the new baselines in 2011.

“I am pleased that we have a solution to this issue for the current fishing season and I look forward to long term resolution between the State of Alaska, NOAA and the baseline committee,” Murkowski said.

As a result of the changes to the baseline, Alaska Department of Natural Resources has requested to present its views to the Baseline Committee at an upcoming meeting.

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