Alaska should celebrate Pew fisheries report

Letter to the editor

Posted: Monday, September 27, 2004

In the Sept. 21 Empire article, "Governor to protest fisheries intervention," Elizabeth Bluemink wrote, "Though the two commissions had many similar findings, Alaska Republicans, including U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, lambasted the Pew commission because it proposed eliminating the current framework of regional fishery management councils." Not so.

Just like the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, the Pew Oceans Commission recommends that the regional fishery management council system continue and that all councils do what the North Pacific Council has done better than the rest: listen to the fisheries scientists, and don't catch more fish than the ocean can replace.

Both Ed Rasmuson and Tony Knowles represented Alaska's concerns well in their work for the U.S. and Pew commissions, respectively. The fact that both commissions have used the Alaska example as a model for the rest of our U.S. fisheries should be a source of celebration, not political rancor, in Alaska.

This is a very important time for our nation's oceans, an issue of considerable importance in Alaska. That is why I feel compelled to clarify the record on what is going on with the two oceans commissions, which have dedicated a combined six years to assessing our oceans' condition and making recommendations to ensure their continued health and productivity.

Christophe A. G. Tulou

President of Center for SeaChange, former executive director of Pew Oceans Commission

Washington, D.C.

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