GOAC3 MAJOR INITIATIVES UPDATE
UPDATED: AUGUST 2003
|The Gulf of Alaska Coastal Communities Coalition (GOAC3) specifically seeks to retain the maximum sustainable amount of fishing effort � harvesting, processing, tourism, subsistence, etc., within our coastal communities. We believe that rebuilding our fishing communities will also help us re-build markets and increase economic opportunities now and for future generations.
The GOAC3 is involved in many issues but there are key initiatives that we have helped to develop and that we promote as part of our mission. These include (but are not limited to)
Community Purchase of Halibut and Sablefish
This initiative was approved by the North Pacific Council in April of 2002. It has since been reviewed by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in Juneau for regulatory language. It should be heading to Washington, DC, soon for further regulatory and legal review. It will then be published in the Federal Register as "proposed rule." It will have a 30-day commentary period and then it will go back through the review process to be approved by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and to be published as "final rule." What does this mean to potential application of this program for 2004. "Cautiously possible."
What should we be doing in the meantime?
- look for funding sources
- start the development of community-based non-profits for the administration of the community purchase program
- develop recommendations for uniform protocols
Halibut Charter IFQs community set-aside
In April of 2001, the NPFMC approved a "community set-aside" within the proposed halibut charter IFQ system. The IFQ proposal is currently being reviewed by the National Marine Fisheries Service before being considered for publication in the Federal Register as "proposed rule." Please see NPFMC web site, "Halibut Issues" for details.
One of the reasons the program may be in jeopardy is the use of data from log books required by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game during the qualifying years. A report requested by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council regarding this issue is available on the ADF&G web site.
LAMPs (Local Area Management Plans)
The GOAC3 has actively pursued Local Area Management Plan (LAMP) options for our Gulf communities. We have initiated the Kodiak Island LAMP, which is before the Alaska Board of Fisheries. We have also encouraged residents of Prince of Wales Island to develop a template for a LAMP, especially regarding dive and mariculture issues.
LAMPs have many potential benefits, not the least of which is to help keep decision making local and to encourage cooperation among user groups when it comes to gear-conflicts, habitat protection and other near-shore issues.
The Sitka Sound Local Area Management Plan is the only active LAMP , developed because of near-shore depletion of halibut stocks - and results seem to be favorable. User groups including commercial, sports and subsistence users worked hard on the plan. The Sitka Sound plan may be reviewed through the NPFMC web site.
GOA proposed groundfish IFQ community options
Currently before the North Pacific Council are options for analysis for a proposed groundfish IFQ program in the North Gulf. GOAC3 has taken a very strong position in support of analyzing a wide variety of community options so that our communities are not artificially restricted from harvesting and processing opportunities. Check out the items for analysis at the NPFMC website.
The GOAC3 is working actively with research groups to provide as much applied science (science applicable to the needs of our fishing communities and industry) as possible to help all of us make the best decisions we can about fisheries and habitat management. In addition, the GOAC3 feels strongly about research on socio-economic impacts of regulatory decisions.
- GOAC3 Technical Team members or Board of Directors are active members of the following organizations as part of our initiatives development:
- North Pacific Fishery Management Council Advisory Panel
- North Pacific Research Board Advisory Panel
- Alaska Legislative Salmon Task Force
- Prince William Sound Science Center Board of Directors
- United Fishermen of Alaska, Executive Board
- Alaska Board of Fisheries Marine Protected Area Committee (GOAC3�s involvement is to help the state define criteria on whether or not we need MPAs and to provide community protections)
- International Pacific Halibut Commission Conference Committee
A future issue of The Gulf Channel Marker will discuss the GOAC3 initiatives for a community-based marine observation system.
Find further information at our website - goac3.org - or the North Pacific Fishery Management Council http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc/
JOIN US: SOMETHING YOU CAN DO NOW
As you can see, the marine-related issues facing our coastal communities are multiple and complex. The Gulf of Alaska Coastal Communities Coalition (GOAC3) is a 501(c)6 non-profit, working hard to protect Gulf of Alaska communities� sustainable access to adjacent marine resources in perpetuity. We can�t do this without the help of our members and many other organizations. We are one piece of the puzzle, but an important piece.
If you are a resident of a coastal community in the Gulf of Alaska and you are not currently a member, please join us in this effort. Contact us directly or through our web site at goac3.org. Eligible VOTING members of the GOAC3 include Gulf of Alaska boroughs, cities, ANCSA regional and village corporations and tribal councils. NON-VOTING membership is open to everyone for an annual fee of $100.00.
LAMPs (Local Area Management Plans) are area-specific resource management plans that address local concerns about conservation and allocation between user groups. LAMPs can be initiated by the local ADF&G advisory committees and are developed using a consensus decision-making process inclusive of representatives of all users of the resources included in the lamp.
Community Purchase of Halibut and Sablefish
Individual Fishing Quota Shares Discussion Paper
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