Friday, January 18, 2008

10 More Years!!

A 10 year agreement Boundary Area is jointly settled in current Portland Pacific Salmon Treaty talks

Alaska’s Northern Panel, including SEAS member Mitch Eide, John Carle, Bob Thorstenson and PSC Alternate Commissioner Jim Bacon, reported today that they and their Canadian counterparts have come to agreement upon a rollover of the Boundary Area ( Tree Point and Noyes Island) for the period 2009-2018. The agreement will be identical to the agreement signed in 1999 that we have been managed under since that time.

The Northern Panel and the scientists and experts at the corresponding Northern Boundary Technical Committee have been working on a new agreement for nearly 2 years now, as dictated by the annex signed in 1999. There have been only approximately half of the sockeye harvested during this decade compared with the prior decade but this is a result of lower than expected sockeye production from Southeast rivers and streams as well as decreased Nass and Skeena River runs. We signed an agreement based upon abundance and health of salmon stocks and we will harvest less sockeye during times of lower abundance and more during times of increased abundance.

Although there will be more water to cross with the remaining annexes, Chinook for the troll and sport fleets , and the Transboundary Rivers annex dealing with the driftnet fisheries at the mouth of the Taku and Stikine Rivers, this is the cap of SEAS efforts to put to rest the negotiations for the seine fleet for the next decade.

SEAS will be very supportive and will be standing tall alongside the driftnet, troll and sport fleets to ensure that there is a fair and equitable deal for these groups as well. In order to move ahead with the final, final agreement, the troll Chinook and driftnet TBR fisheries must be finalized as well.

But it’s time to celebrate this significant victory for SEAS’ efforts in this process. When you have the opportunity to thank Mr. Carle (FV Pacific Lady), who represents subsistence users on the Northern Panel, Mr. Eide (FV Rose Lee), who represents seiners, and Mr. Bacon (FV Wavedancer), who represents all Alaskans as the highest ranking commercial fisherman in this process as Alternate Commissioner to PSC Commissioner David Bedford.

Also a round of thanks to Glen Oliver, Phil Doherty, Scott Walker, Gordy Williams, USAG President Bill Auger, Arnold Enge, Russell Thomas, Howard Pendell, Dennis Longstreth and the rest of the panel members and staff for their remarkable stamina and work ethic. And a special thanks to Governor Sarah Palin for sending her Fisheries Advisor, Cora Crome, to speak on behalf of the state of Alaska at the Portland meeting. We couldn't have done this without the support of the administration, the Alaska state legislature and, of course our magnificent Congressional delegation, Senator Ted Stevens, Senator Lisa Murkowski and Congressman Don Young. They are all key folk who give the backbone to our negotiation.
And, of course, you SEAS members who make this organization all possible. Thank you all.

And cheers as well to our Canadian brethren for their hard work and ability to work well with the Alaska delegation.


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