House passes fisheries resolution

Posted: Wednesday, February 28, 2001

JUNEAU (AP) -- The state House has expressed its support for a scientific review of a federal agency's opinion that led to restrictions on the groundfish fishery in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska.

The National Marine Fisheries Service put restrictions on the fishery as a result of the agency's finding that there could be a link between it and declining Steller sea lion populations. U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, convinced Congress to delay full implementation of those restrictions and secured funding for more research.

A resolution passed unanimously by the House on Wednesday expresses support for Stevens' efforts and for an independent scientific review of the issue.

It also asks the Fisheries Service to work with the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council to develop a scientifically sound management program that ''harmonizes'' the fisheries with requirements of the Endangered Species Act and protection of the sea lions.

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