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Testimony of Arni Thomson, Executive Director of the Alaska Crab Coalition on Bering Sea Crab Rationalization to the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy

By National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Excerpt: The Alaska Crab Coalition is a trade association representing Bering Sea crab vessel owners and industry service and supply companies. Throughout the seventeen years of its existence, the ACC has battled for conservation and safety improvements to the Bering Sea crab fisheries through the Council, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the United States Congress, and the State of Alaska. Since 1990, over 70 Bering Sea crab fishermen have lost their lives in our nation?s most dangerous occupation, once robust crab stocks have declined to historically depressed levels, and fisheries dependent coastal communities have suffered lost employment and diminished tax revenues. The new NPFMC approved three pie rights-based quota system will slow the race for fish, improve the safety of life at sea, reduce handling mortality of undersize and female crabs and help rebuild weak and depressed crab stocks. Both the chairman of the NPFMC and representatives of the States of Alaska, Washington and Oregon have stated that the crab program is not a template for other fisheries in the North Pacific, and elsewhere. Most fisheries are unique and they require unique management and allocative solutions.


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