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Fishermen file suit over salmon management

Posted: February 6, 2013 - 10:31pm  |  Updated: February 7, 2013 - 9:11am

United Cook Inlet Drift Association and Cook Inlet Fishermen’s Fund filed suit in District of Columbia District Court Jan. 18 over the transfer of salmon management from federal authorities to the state of Alaska.

The drift association, or UCIDA, and fishermen’s fund, or CIFF, filed the suit against the National Marine Fisheries Service, or NMFS, on behalf of Cook Inlet fishermen, their families and employees. The lawsuit alleges that moving Cook Inlet salmon fisheries into state management violated the Magnuson Stevens Act, or MSA, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act. According to the plantiffs, declining salmon runs in Cook Inlet are the result of State of Alaska management actions, and evidence that the state is not upholding the Magnuson Stevens requirements for fishery management.

In December 2011, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council unanimously voted to officially have Alaska Department of Fish and Game manage Cook Inlet, Prince William Sound and Alaska Peninsula salmon fisheries, and note that in the federal fishery management plan, or FMP.

The salmon FMP for federal waters offshore from Alaska was then revised to reflect that change in jurisdiction. The FMP is required by the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

The final rule implementing that change was published in the federal register in December 2012, effective Jan. 22.

The drift association has been vocal about its issues with the transfer for several years.

In the lawsuit, UCIDA says that even if Cook Inlet salmon runs were performing better, the state should only be in charge of day-to-day management, not the overall FMP.

“Some people say (that we want) federal management of the fisheries,” said David Martin, UCIDA president. “No, that’s not it at all, but we want oversight because the state is not doing their job. Even though they say they’re doing their job, they’re not. That’s why we’ve been fighting them.”

The administrative record is due in March.

NMFS is also a defendant in a lawsuit over the new marine observer program, which went into effect Jan. 1. Producing the administrative record for that suit is expected to take significant staff time, although NMFS did receive permission to file it electronically.

NOAA General Counsel Lisa Lindeman said Wednesday at the North Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting in Portland that both lawsuits are taking up a significant amount of time for NOAA counsel. The same is likely true for NMFS staff.

Judge Reggie B. Walton is presiding over the case.

 

Peninsula Clarion reporter Rashah McChesney contributed to this report.

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KenaiKardinal88
445
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KenaiKardinal88 02/08/13 - 03:38 am
0
1
Com Fish Thugs

As the cod fisheries proved, commercial interests will fish the stock to death.

Out of state commercial fishing interests take everything and leave nothing but trash. Cordova is a junk yard and many of these people are "summer Alaskans"

Stop the rape of our shared resources.

kenai123
1312
Points
kenai123 02/10/13 - 09:00 pm
1
0
KenaiKardinal88

You got that right! Commercial fishing interests wiped out our lower 48 east coast, the west coast and then moved on to Alaska waters. They will WIPE OUT all of Alaska once great fisheries just like the east and west coast fisheries which are now history. It matters not who is managing the fisheries, the state, the fed., either way commercial fisheries buy political fishing access by corrupting politicians with part of their fishing money. They catch some fish, dole out some of the fish money to buy politicians, who in turn grant them more fisheries access. The increased fisheries access gives them more cash which allows them to buy more politicians, who will grant more fisheries access UNTIL ALL THE FISH ARE GONE. Then the commercial fishery moves on to some other better fishing location. THIS IS HOW COMMERCIAL FISHING WORKS. There is no such thing as a sustainable commercial fishery with the above illustration. All commercial fisheries cause all the fisheries they fish, to fail eventually. It may take decades or even centuries but in the end commercial fisheries eventually cause all fisheries to fail. The east & west coasts thought they could manage their way out of this commercial mess but as you can see state or fed. management is not the issue. Commercial fishing is a death sentence to a fishery either way.

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