Unfortunate Decision on Bairdi Suggests Alaska Failing its Fisheries Obligations in Age of Austerity
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by John Sackton January 23, 2017
Alaska’s fiscal crisis is continuing, as low oil prices have decimated the state budget. One of the important foundations of the state’s economy going forward is its fishing industry. Yet at their January meeting, the Alaska Board of Fisheries rejected a request to open a small Bairdi fishery under unique circumstances this year that would have been worth $25 million.
The difficulty of the fisheries situation in Alaska is partly due to the fact that at the same time the state is becoming more dependent on fisheries resources, the impact of global warming and possible spatial changes in stocks is creating new uncertainty in traditional survey estimates.
The ADF&G mission statement says “The primary goals are to ensure that Alaska's renewable fish and wildlife resources and their habitats are conserved and managed on the sustained yield principle, and the use and development of these resources are in the best interest of the economy and well-being of the people of the state.”
Unfortunately, the Board of Fisheries Decision to deny a well-researched plan for a small Bairdi fishery this year put out of date science over the interests of the “economy and well-being” of the people of the state.
Bairdi crab has been an Alaska success story. Once a highly sought after crab that was larger and more valuable than Opilio,...
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