Nov 22 2012

Sea Otters likely to be legislative focus for Unted Fisherman of Alaska this year

Sea otters and the Arctic are two focal points for Alaska’s top fishing group at both state and federal policy levels.

United Fishermen of Alaska is the nations largest industry trade group representing nearly 40 organizations. At its recent annual meeting UFA outlined several of its policy watches prior to the legislative session; the group also gave out awards and made a job offer.

UFA is working closely with state and federal overseers to craft a management plan for exploding populations of sea otters in Southeast Alaska. The mammals, which were reintroduced to the region in the 1950s, are feasting on fishermen’s shellfish catches and completely wiping out stocks in prime areas. Sea otters are protected under the Endangered Species Act and may only be hunted by Alaska Natives for traditional uses.

“I think there are opportunities for Alaska Natives to more readily use sea otters in their art, and there also is the need for a management plan,” said UFA executive director Mark Vinsel.  “One thing that is lacking in the US policy is consideration for exploding species. That is a situation that all parties see happening here with sea otters in Southeast Alaska.”

Read the full article at SEAFOOD.COM

 

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