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A New Look at Alaska’s Salmon Fishing Industry
In an effort to improve Alaska’s commercial salmon industry, the Board of Fisheries recently formed a group to provide suggestions and options for restructuring the state’s commercial salmon fishing.
The Salmon Industry Restructuring Panel is charged with examining options, identifying research and information needs, and reviewing models on the range of alternatives for Alaska’s commercial salmon fisheries. The panel is composed of harvesters, processors, hatchery operators, along with other interests; members were chosen by the board as a cross section of interests within the industry. The board intends to work with this panel to receive input for developing a model for fisheries policy considerations, and to identify research and analysis needs on the range of policy considerations. The board will also consider developing an action plan that identifies criteria, guidelines, and a public process for evaluating concepts. In addition, the board will be gathering public comment throughout the state on any options that are developed.
The panel began its work in October 2004 by developing a charge statement and identifying the following areas to pursue: 1) Define a “restructuring proposal”, 2) Design a board process for receiving and evaluating restructuring proposals, 3) Identify board authorities: what exists? what is needed?, and 4) Identify research needs. The panel will meet again in December 2004 to continue these efforts and to further refine its tasks and meeting schedule.
This panel is a result of the efforts by the Joint Legislative Salmon Industry Task Force, a group formed in 2002 to evaluate the state’s statutory framework for the wild salmon industry and make recommendations for statutory, regulatory, and structural changes to improve the industry. That Task Force concluded its work in 2004, with a request to charge the Board of Fisheries with continuing to explore regulatory and statutory changes that may be needed to benefit the industry.
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