FISHERIES CONSERVATION

The rich waters of the North Pacific support some of the most productive and intact marine ecosystems remaining on our planet. Teeming with fish and other marine life, these waters are the lifeblood of Alaska’s coastal communities, economies, and ways of life.


While wild fisheries have declined dramatically across the planet, Alaska continues to maintain a strong fishing industry, providing 50% of U.S. domestic seafood production. However, Alaska’s fisheries populations and fishing communities face numerous threats, such as bycatch in important fisheries, impacts to critical marine habitats, the pressure to drill offshore for oil and gas, climate change and ocean acidification, and barriers to accessing fisheries resources.

Bycatch is the incidental harvest of non-target species, including fish, crab, corals, sponges, and marine life. High bycatch numbers can indicate a significant source of mortality in species such as salmon, halibut, and crab that are critical to Alaska’s subsistence, sport, and directed commercial fisheries.


AMCC collaborates with Alaska’s fishermen, coastal communities, Tribes, and other organizations to support policy solutions that prioritize the long-term health of Alaska’s coastal and marine ecosystems and the communities that rely on them.
 

Erica Madison

Magnuson Stevens Act

AMCC has partnered with other groups around the country to not only make improvements to the law but to prevent Congress from rolling back requirements for science-based catch limits and rebuilding of overfished species. AMCC’s priorities for MSA reauthorization include:

  • Defending science-based catch limits, accountability measures, and rebuilding plans.

  • Strengthening community protections overall and in limited access privilege programs in particular.

  • Strengthening measures to minimize bycatch and habitat impacts.

  • Supporting an ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management.

  • Elevating subsistence in the MSA alongside commercial and recreational fishing interests and providing for a designated subsistence/tribal seat on the NPFMC.

  • Improving catch accounting by all fishing industry sectors (recreational and commercial) by developing cost-effective, fleet compatible monitoring strategies (integrating observers, electronic monitoring, and dockside sampling).

  • ​Recognizing climate change in fisheries management.

North Pacific Fishery Management Council

AMCC is committed to ensuring local voices are at the policy table both locally and nationally when it impacts Alaska's fisheries and coastal communities. Current Priorities:

  • Advancing ecosystem-based fishery management and consideration of climate change in fisheries management.

  • Supporting the development of the Bering Sea Fishery Ecosystem Plan, including the climate change and local and traditional knowledge action modules.

  • Addressing halibut bycatch in the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands with an abundance-based management approach that considers the overall health of the halibut stocks when determining the amount allowed for bycatch in trawl groundfish fisheries each year.

  • Achieving significant reductions of halibut and crab in the developing Bering Sea/Aleutian Island catch share program for the Pacific cod trawl catcher vessel fleet.

  • Support improvements in the partial coverage Federal Fisheries Observer program in the Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands, and the coverage for the Gulf of Alaska.

Family of commercial fishermen Alaska

Learn More About Our Partners

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Marine Fish Conservation Network
Fishing Communities Coalition
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© 2020 by Alaska Marine Conservation Council